Presentation on theme: "On the Eve of Revolution 18.1. French Society Divided In France’s ancien regime, or old order, there were 3 social classes or estates. 1 st Estate- The."— Presentation transcript:
French Society Divided In France’s ancien regime, or old order, there were 3 social classes or estates. 1 st Estate- The Church officials. 2 nd Estate- Nobility who held government and military jobs. 3 rd Estate- Bourgeoisie, or middle class, the peasant class, and the urban workers. Members of the 3 rd Estate were upset that the 1 st and 2 nd Estate were exempt from taxes and received cushy jobs. Enlightenment ideals caused the 3 rd Estate to question the ancien regime.
Financial Troubles Deficit spending occurs when a government spends more money than it makes. Louis XIV left France in debt due to lavish spending by the monarchs, the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution. The government kept borrowing money and tax revenue went towards paying the interest on their loans. A bad harvest caused food prices to rise. Despite all this the 1 st and 2 nd Estate refused to be taxed.
Financial Troubles Louis XVI hired Jacques Necker as a financial advisor. Necker urged the king to stop over spending, reform government, reduce tariffs and to tax the 1 st and 2 nd Estates. The nobles and clergy forced Louis XVI to fire Necker. In 1788 Louis XVI summoned representatives each estate to form the Estates-General. Each estate created cahiers, notebooks listing their grievances.
Estates-General cont. Only men who owned property could vote so the only the bourgeoisie of the 3 rd Estate could be delegates. The 1 st and 2 nd Estates always voted together in order to ensure they continued to remain in control. In June 1789 the 3 rd Estate declared themselves representatives of the people of France and created the National Assembly. They planned a meeting, but the buildings doors were locked. They moved the meeting to a nearby tennis court. The Tennis Court Oath was a promise to meet until a fair constitution was created.
Parisians Storm the Bastille On July 14, 1789 Parisians heard rumors that royal troops were going to occupy the city’s streets A large mob of Parisians gathered outside a medieval fortress known as the Bastille. They demanded weapons to protect themselves from royal troops. The commander of the fortress had the mob fired upon. The mob stormed the Bastille, killed the commander and 5 guards, and freed some prisoners Their were no weapons inside the building