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The French Revolution 1789-1799.

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Presentation on theme: "The French Revolution 1789-1799."— Presentation transcript:

1 The French Revolution


3 This cartoon represents the social order in France before the French Revolution. While a member of the Third Estate is beginning to express anger and rise up, a nobleman representing the Second Estate and a priest, representing the First Estate, recoil in surprise and fear.

4 The First Estate Consisted of Clergy members Owned 10% of land Collected tithes Tax-exempt

5 The Second Estate Consisted of the titled nobility
Held top jobs in the govt, army, church, and courts Owned 20% of land Tax-exempt Had exclusive hunting privileges

6 The Third Estate Made up 97% of population
Paid about 50% of their income in taxes Dues to nobles Corvee – unpaid labor to repair roads Tithes to the Church Taxes to the king

7 The Third Estate Bourgeoisie- Middle Class
Jobs included merchants, bankers, lawyers, doctors and professors (fam. w/ Enlightenment ideas) Most were educated and well off, but paid very high taxes, lacked privileges.

8 The Third Estate Peasants and urban workers made up the rest
The smallest rise in food prices could cause widespread starvation Prostitution and child abandonment were common Forbidden to hunt for food

9 Causes of the French Revolution
1. Resentment of the Third Estate/Social Inequality (Old Regime) 2. Enlightenment Ideas - The Old Regime did not pass the test of reason. Success of American Revolution key.

10 Causes of the French Revolution
3. Economic Problems Deficit spending – L16 and Marie Antoinette – “Madame Deficit” Huge national debt (half of all tax revenue was going toward interest alone.) Poor harvests caused the price of bread to double in 1789


12 Causes of the French Revolution
4. Weak Leadership - Louis XVI was indecisive - neglected duties as king - preferred hunting and tinkering with locks as hobbies

13 The Estates-General Had not been called together in 175 yrs – years of absolutism With France on the verge of bankruptcy, L16 called it together on May 5, 1789 at Versailles

14 The National Assembly Third Estate wanted voting reform = 1 vote per delegate, instead of 1 vote per estate. Louis XVI and nobles refused. Declared themselves the National Assembly The Tennis Court Oath: “vow to never separate” until they had drawn up a new constitution


16 Storming the Bastille Sensing trouble, Louis XVI stationed foreign troops around Paris. Fearing that the king was going to try to stop the new reforms of the National Assembly or order the troops to massacre them, French citizens decide to arm themselves.

17 Storming the Bastille Bastille- a medieval fortress used to hold political prisoners A mob of 800 stormed the prison: In search of guns and ammunition To revolt against a symbol of tyranny The commander and 5 guards were beheaded; heads paraded through the city. July 14: Bastille Day- independence day

18 The Revolution Spreads
The “Great Fear” – rumors caused panic; peasants set fire to manor records Aug 4 – nobles voted to end their privileges: gave up feudal dues, hunting rights, and tax exemption The Old Regime was dead!

19 “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights”
Declaration of the Rights of Man Adopted by the N.A. on Aug. 27 “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights” Women’s March on Versailles (Oct 5) 6,000 women marched 12 miles in the rain from Paris to Versailles demanding bread. Forced L16 and family to return to Paris.

20 National Assembly Reforms
Voted to sell church lands to pay off France’s huge debt. The Church was placed under state control. Even peasants who wanted change protested this. Why? This act drove a wedge between the peasants and bourgeoisie.

21 National Assembly Reforms
Constitution of 1791 Transformed France into a constitutional monarchy (instead of absolute) Gave the new Legislative Assembly the power to make laws, collect taxes, etc… King Louis XVI and family tried to escape, but were recognized and forced to return to Paris under house arrest.

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