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France pre-revolution The Old Regime (Ancien Regime)

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Presentation on theme: "France pre-revolution The Old Regime (Ancien Regime)"— Presentation transcript:


2 France pre-revolution The Old Regime (Ancien Regime)
Old Regime – socio-political system which existed in most of Europe during the 18th century Countries were ruled by absolutism – the monarch had absolute control over the government Classes of people – privileged and unprivileged Unprivileged people – paid taxes and treated badly Privileged people – did not pay taxes and treated well Economy relied on agriculture. Taxes came from those least able to pay.

3 In Pre-revolution France, people were divided into three estates:
First Estate High-ranking members of the Church Privileged class Second Estate Nobility Third Estate Everyone else – from peasants in the countryside to wealthy bourgeoisie (merchants) in the cities Unprivileged class


5 What does this contemporary political cartoon say about conditions in France under the Old Regime?
Apply CCTF to the graphic to analyse how it portrays the social system in France prior to the French Revolution AND how this may have contributed to the revolution. Refer to the previous slide for contextual information to support your analysis.

6 The French Royalty King Louis XVI – viewed as weak by the people, did not want to be King. Marie Antoinette – Louis’ Queen, an Austrian by birth, was viewed as a foreigner and disliked/distrusted by her people. The King and Queen of France lived in luxury and splendor at the magnificent Palace of Versailles outside of Paris. Seen as extravagant spenders when the majority of the French people were suffering.

7 France is bankrupt! The government of France was facing a serious financial crisis. WHY? An inefficient and unfair tax structure, which placed the burden of taxation on those least able to pay, the third estate. Poor harvests meant that peasants were suffering under the weight of increased taxation. Outdated medieval bureaucratic institutions A drained treasury which was the result of: Aiding the Americans during the American Revolution Long wars with England Overspending by the Royal family

8 What impression does this cartoon give of the King? Nobles?
In this cartoon from the time, Louis is looking at the chests and asks “Where is the tax money?“. The financial minister, Necker, looks on and says “The money was there last time I looked." The nobles and clergy are sneaking out the door carrying sacks of money, saying "We have it." Explain what this means? What impression does this cartoon give of the King? Nobles?

9 Summary: Causes of the French Revolution

10 Calling the Estates General
The King attempted to solve the financial crisis by removing some of the nobles' tax exemptions. This was not well received. The Parliament, a judicial organization controlled by the nobility, invoked its powers to block the King's move. He was forced reluctantly to call a meeting of the Estates General in The Estates-General met on May 5, 1789. Voting was conducted by estate Each estate had one vote First and Second Estates could operate as a bloc to stop the Third Estate from having its way The delegates of the third estate insisted that the three orders meet together and that the vote be taken by head, rather than by order. Since there were far more delegates from the third estate, this plan would give them a majority. The King refused to grant their request but the third estate refused to budge.

11 The Tennis Court Oath The next day they found their meeting hall locked. At the suggestion of one of the delegates they moved to a nearby indoor tennis court. The delegates agreed and all but one of the 578 delegates signed it. Their oath is known as the Tennis Court Oath.  It said: "The National Assembly, considering that it has been summoned to establish the constitution of the kingdom... decrees that all members of this assembly shall immediately take a solemn oath not to separate... until the constitution of the kingdom is established on firm foundations..."  June 20, 1789

12 The Tennis Court Oath by Jacques Louis David

13 Review Questions 3. Describe the size, privileges, exemptions, and burdens of the three estates. 4. What is deficit spending? How was this a feature of pre-revolution France? 5. What were the immediate (short-term) causes of the French Revolution? 7. How were the King and Queen viewed by their subjects? What reasons were there to support this view? 8. Explain the debate over voting which occurred in the Estates-General. 9. What was the Tennis Court Oath? Explain it’s significance in terms of the revolution.

14 The National Assembly The new National Assembly created the historic and influential document “The Declaration of the Rights of Man”, which stated the principle that all men had equal rights under the law (equality). This document has remained the basis for all subsequent declarations of human rights.

15 The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen
Men are born free and equal in their rights....These rights are liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression. The fundamental source of all sovereignty resides in the nation. The law is the expression of the general will. All citizens have the right to take part personally, or through representatives, in the making of the law." The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen

16 The Civil Constitution of the Clergy
The National Assembly resolved the immediate financial crisis by seizing church lands and putting the church under the control of the State. Clergymen were required to swear an oath to the new constitution.  Many refused to swear the oath and were placed under arrest causing controversy amongst many of the peasantry who were staunchly catholic. Cartoon representation of the confiscation of church lands – note the portly figure of the “rich” clergy.

17 Revolution Spreads to Common People
Conditions were poor in Paris for the common people. The price of bread was high and supplies were short due to harvest failures. Rumors spread that the King and Queen were responsible for the shortages When French troops marched into Paris rumors spread quickly among the already restless mobs that the King was intending to use them against the people. The final straw was the dismissal of the Finance Minister Necker, who was popular with the third estate, igniting the people’s revolution.

18 The Storming of the Bastille
July 14, 1789

19 Short clips

20 The Court Returns to Paris
Mounting unemployment and hunger in Paris in 1789 “October Days” -- “The point is that we want bread!” A group of women attacked the Royal House at Versailles on October 5, 1789 and nearly killed the Queen The Royal Family returns to Paris on October 6, 1789

21 The People’s Revolution- Growing radicalism
Revolutionary Talk and Oath of Loyalty -- “Liberte, Equalite, Fraternite!” Reasons: --Snowball Effect --Unsatisfied Expectations --Outbreak of War Results: --Increasing Violence --Change in Political Leadership

22 Abolishment of the Monarchy
As long as the royal family lived, the monarchy could be restored so the royal couple were tried for treason Louis XVI was guillotined on January 21, 1793 Marie Antoinette was guillotined on October 16, 1793 Daughter Marie-Thérèse was allowed to go to Vienna in 1795 (She could not become queen because of Salic law, which did not allow females to succeed to the throne) Son Louis-Charles, a.k.a. Louis XVII (lived ) was beaten and mistreated until he died in prison The Monarchy was dead.



25 Review Questions 1. What human rights were established in France by the Declaration of the Rights of Man? 2. What Paris building was stormed on July 14, 1789? 3. Is it true to say that Feudalism in France was defeated in a day? Explain your answer. 4. What were émigrés, and why did French revolutionaries view them as a threat? 5. Name and describe the two political parties that competed for power in revolutionary France. 6. Why were the King and Queen executed? 7. Describe “The Terror” and explain how it eventually came to an end. 8. How did “The Great Fear” and “The Terror” differ? 9. Who was Maximilien Robospierre?

26 Why was the French Revolution important?
The French Revolution was the inaugural (first) European revolution. France was one of the most powerful and populous states in Europe at the time. The French Revolution challenged the century old social structure of the European states and together with the Industrial Revolution lead to the transformation of Europe – politically, socially and economically. The French Revolution was a part of a whole series of revolutions which took place during the late 18th century -Political agitation in England, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Poland and the American colonies changed the power balance and introduced the ideals of liberty and equality.

27 “The Modern Era was the product of revolution.” Discuss.
P – E- A- R-

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