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What to know about the French Revolution…

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Presentation on theme: "What to know about the French Revolution…"— Presentation transcript:

1 What to know about the French Revolution…
What were the Three Estates? How did each feel about the Enlightenment? Why did the Third Estate resent the other two? How did the Enlightenment inspire the Third Estate? What was bad about the economy? How did Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette make things worse? What was the National Assembly? What was the Tennis Court Oath? What was the storming of the Bastille? What was the Great Fear?

2 The French Revolution

3 The Three Estates

4 First Estate Roman Catholic clergy Anti-Enlightenment
Less than 1% of population Owned 10% of the land

5 Second Estate Rich nobles High government offices Anti-Enlightenment
2% of population Owned 20% of the land Paid few taxes

6 Third Estate Bourgeoisie – wealthy middle class who paid high taxes; well-educated (bankers, merchants) Urban lower class – laborers who were often out of work Peasants – Paid high taxes No power to influence government Embraced the Enlightenment Resented wealthy upper classes 97% of population

7 Spread of Enlightenment
Members of Third Estate inspired by American Revolution Influenced by Enlightenment ideals

8 Economic Trouble Taxes too much of a burden High cost of living
Bad weather had caused crop failure Price of bread doubled in 1789 Government in debt Borrowed money to fight Britain

9 Weak Leadership Louis XVI indecisive, lack of interest in governing
Wasteful spending

10 Marie Antoinette Queen Unpopular because she was Austrian
Interfered in gov’t affairs Spent money on luxuries for herself Known as “Madame Deficit”

11 Meeting of Estates-General
May 5, Versailles Louis XVI calls meeting of representatives from all three estates to get approval for a new tax First meeting in 175 years Members of each estate meet and vote separately – one vote per estate First two estates usually outvote the Third


13 National Assembly Third Estate demands more power
Name themselves the National Assembly and pass laws of reform Locked out of meeting room Break down door to indoor tennis court Refuse to leave until a new constitution is drawn – Tennis Court Oath Joined by nobles and clergy who want reform

14 Tennis Court Oath

15 Storming the Bastille July 14, 1789 – Mob storms the Bastille, a prison, overwhelming the guards Hacked the prison commander and guards to death Parade through streets with heads on pikes Becomes known as Bastille Day, the start of the revolution


17 The Great Fear Panic grows as rebellion spreads through France; peasants fear retribution by nobles Peasants destroy nobles’ homes Mob of women march on Versailles, killing guards King, family, and servants leave their palace


19 War Monarchs of Austria and Prussia urge France to restore monarch
Legislative Assembly declares war Prussian commander threatens to destroy Paris if royal family is harmed Royal guards killed, royal family taken prisoner Paris troops sent to reinforce army Nobles, priests and royalist sympathizers being held prisoner are killed because of fear of counter-revolution

20 The National Convention
Constitution of 1791 set aside King deposed Assembly broken up; new elections to be held Abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic Adult male citizens given right to vote and hold office

21 Jacobins Radical political organization Jean-Paul Marat Georges Danton
Edited newspaper Called for the death of royal supporters Georges Danton Skillful orator Supporter of the poor

22 Robespierre Robespierre, Jacobin leader, gains power
Tries to establish “republic of virtue” Eliminate anything from France’s past Changed calendar; eliminated Sunday

23 Trial of Louis XVI National Convention puts Louis XVI on trial for treason - Sentenced to death

24 War (cont’d) French achieve victory against Prussia and Austria at Battle of Valmy Great Britain, Holland, Spain join against France Jacobins draft 300,000 French citizens

25 The Reign of Terror Robespierre establishes Committee of Public Safety to protect revolution from its enemies Troubled by fellow radicals who challenged his leadership 1794 – Danton and Marie Antoinette executed 40,000 executed; 85% from lower class


27 End of Terror July 1794 – Robespierre arrested
Executed on July 28, 1794 New plan of government Two-house legislature The Directory – executive body of 5 men Established sense of order

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