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The French Revolution.

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Presentation on theme: "The French Revolution."— Presentation transcript:

1 The French Revolution

2 -- Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity… -- Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities

3 Breakdown of Ancien Regime (Old Oder)
Origins of the French Revolution

4 Economic Causes Public opinion resisted increase in taxes
Govt financed its enormous expenditures through borrowed $ In 1780 debt was so bad that 50% of France’s budget went to pay interest only; 25% went to military; 6% to king and court at Versailles; less than 20% went to function of state Couldn’t declare bankruptcy; no central bank couldn’t print $; French currency was gold Had to increase taxes; tax system was unfair; to increase revenues you would have to change the system

5 Socio-Economic Data, 1789

6 The French Urban Poor

7 Financial Problems in France, 1789
Urban Commoner’s Budget: Food % Rent % Tithe % Taxes % Clothing 20% TOTAL 170% King’s Budget: Interest % Army % Versailles 25% Coronation 10% Loans % Admin % TOTAL %

8 Social Causes: Old Regime (Ancien Regime)
Since Middle Ages 25 million inhabitants of France were legally divided into 3 orders or estates.

9 The 3 Estates 1st Estate: Roman Catholic clergy. 100,000 members owned 10% of land; paid “voluntary gift” every 5 years in taxes; church levied a tax (tithe) on landowners of about 10%. 2nd estate: 400,000 (2%) noblemen and women who owned 25% of land; taxed lightly or not at all; had many manorial privileges – taxed the peasants, fishing and hunting rights. 3rd estate: commoners: few: lawyers, merchants, officials (educated and wealthy) bourgeoisie – middle class more: artisans and unskilled day laborers majority: peasants and agricultural workers

10 The Suggested Voting Pattern: Voting by Estates
Clergy 1st Estate 1 Aristocracy 2nd Estate 1 1 Commoners 3rd Estate Louis XIV insisted that the ancient distinction of the three orders be conserved in its entirety.

11 The Number of Representatives in the Estates General: Vote by Head!
Clergy 1st Estate 300 Aristocracy 2nd Estate 300 648 Commoners 3rd Estate

12 Out With the Old Old Regime no longer corresponded to social reality
social system still based on feudal times now society was based on wealth and education; emerging elite (aristocracy and bourgeoisie) that was frustrated with bureaucratic/absolute monarchy

13 Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes
1st What is the Third Estate? Everything! 2nd What has it been heretofore in the political order? Nothing! 3rd What does it demand? To become something therein! Abbé Sieyès

14 Political Causes Weak King: Louis XVI
careless, heartless, foolish; wrong man at the wrong time most hated for his Austrian wife, Marie Antoinette lived extravagantly depleted the French treasury

15 Marie Antoinette & Louis XVI
The French Monarchy: Marie Antoinette & Louis XVI

16 Let Them Eat Cake! Marie Antoinette NEVER said that! “Madame Deficit”
“The Austrian Whore”

17 Stage 1 of Revolution Moderate Stage: 1789 – 1792

18 Louis calls Estate General (Congress)
Estates General had not been summoned in over 200 years! 1st and 2nd estate dominate the talks; given uneven vote 3rd estate urges reform, relief for the poor, & equal voice Weeks of arguing; 3rd estate leaves meets on the King’s Tennis Court

19 Convening the Estates General May, 1789
Last time it was called into session was 1614!

20 Tennis Court Oath: a vow to save France from ruin
Conservatives gather on the right, liberals on the left Call themselves “National Assembly” and start making laws (Does this have some precedent in the American Revolution?)

21 “The Tennis Court Oath” by Jacques Louis David
June 20, 1789

22 Bastille Day (July 14, 1789) Rioting throughout Paris; mob showed up at the King’s prison (the Bastille) looking for weapons Sparked the Great Fear; countryside peasants attacked landlords for food stores

23 Storming the Bastille, July 14, 1789
A rumor that the king was planning a military coup against the National Assembly. 18 died. 73 wounded. 7 guards killed. It held 7 prisoners [5 ordinary criminals & 2 madmen].

24 August 4, 1789: National Assembly meets
Ends serfdom, feudalism and all class privilege Liberte, Egalite and Fraternite Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen Called for the creation of a limited monarchy

25 National Assembly 1789 - 1791 August Decrees August 4-11, 1789
Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité! August Decrees August 4-11, 1789 (A renunciation of aristocratic privileges!)

26 The WHITE of the Bourbons + the RED & BLUE of Paris.
The Tricolor (1789) The WHITE of the Bourbons + the RED & BLUE of Paris. Citizen!

27 The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen Posed New Dilemmas
Did women have equal rights with men? What about free blacks in the colonies? How could slavery be justified if all men were born free? Did religious toleration of Protestants and Jews include equal political rights?

28 National Assembly (1789 – 1792) Reform France: church lands are confiscated; sold to pay debt Radicals called for the death of the King and nobles (King tried to escape 1790 to Austria) émigrés: nobles fled France for more friendly countries Upper class targeted by mobs and killed Eventually dissolves monarchy and declares France  a republic

29 Stage 2 of Revolution Reign of Terror 1793 – 1794)

30 Reign of Terror Time of crisis: England and Spain join Austria and Prussia in opposing the revolution; food shortages and counterrevolution in western France Power struggle between Radicals (Jacobins) and moderates Girondins Jacobins take control of the legislature and install an emergency government Committee for Public Safety headed by Robespierre

31 The Political Spectrum
TODAY: 1790s: The Plain (swing votes) Montagnards (“The Mountain”) Girondists Monarchíen (Royalists) Jacobins

32 Reign of Terror Planned economy and Levee en masse (national conscription) and reign of terror: round up nobles for execution; thousands sent to “national razor’ (guillotine). Jan. 21, 1793: Radicals execute Louis XVI and his family Wanted a republic of virtue Changed the names of months; abolished Sunday

33 Louis XVI’s Head (January 21, 1793)
The trial of the king was hastened by the discovery in a secret cupboard in the Tuilieres of a cache of documents. They proved conclusively Louis’ knowledge and encouragement of foreign intervention. The National Convention voted 387 to 334 to execute the monarchs.

34 The Death of “Citizen” Louis Capet
Matter for reflection for the crowned jugglers. So impure blood doesn’t soil our land!

35 Marie Antoinette on the Way to the Guillotine

36 Maximilien Robespierre
Orders 1,000 of executions Uses spies; put people to death if they disagreed with the Revolution Killed famous revolutionary leaders that he saw as a threat (Danton, DesMoulins) 40 – 50,000 killed in all including peasants for ridiculous reasons; bartender was killed for serving sour wine

37 Committee for Public Safety Revolutionary Tribunals.
300,000 arrested. 16,000 – 50,000 executed.

38 Maximillian Robespierre (1758 – 1794)

39 Different Social Classes Executed
7% 8% 28% 25% 31%

40 The last guillotine execution in France was in 1939!
The National Razor The last guillotine execution in France was in 1939!

41 No God! No Religion! No King! No Constitution!
The Radical’s Arms: No God! No Religion! No King! No Constitution!

42 Reaction Stage (1794 – 1798) Moderates react; former members of National Assembly turn on Robespierre; he’s executed (1794) Girondins readmitted People are sick of the killing and the chaos; terror did not help advance the revolution

43 The Arrest of Robespierre

44 The Revolution Consumes Its Own Children!
Danton Awaits Execution, 1793 Robespierre Lies Wounded Before the Revolutionary Tribunal that will order him to be guillotined, 1794.

45 (1795) National Assembly meets and writes new constitution
Power given to intellectuals Five man directory formed (executive branch) Controlled by wealthy merchants that wanted to expand their wealth; overturned planned economy upset the sanscoullote

46 Resources Susan Pojer, Howrace Greeley High School. Censer, J.R., & Hunt, L. (2001). Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution. University Park, PA (The Pennsylvania State University Press).


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