The Division of French Society Before The French Revolution
Roman Catholic clergy One percent of the population Free from taxes Owned 10 percent of the land – Collected rents – Became wealthy Roman Catholic clergy One percent of the population Free from taxes Owned 10 percent of the land – Collected rents – Became wealthy First Estate Nobility Less than 2 percent of the population Paid few taxes Controlled much wealth Held key positions – Government – Military Lived on country estates Nobility Less than 2 percent of the population Paid few taxes Controlled much wealth Held key positions – Government – Military Lived on country estates Second Estate Largest group—97% of the population Bourgeoisie—city- dwelling merchants, factory owners, and professionals Sans culottes—artisans and workers Peasants—poor with little hope, paid rents and fees Largest group—97% of the population Bourgeoisie—city- dwelling merchants, factory owners, and professionals Sans culottes—artisans and workers Peasants—poor with little hope, paid rents and fees Third Estate The Three Estates
Causes of the Revolution New Ideas Economic ProblemsSocial Inequality
Causes of the Revolution Long-standing resentments against the monarchy Inequalities in society ◦ Existing social and political structure ◦ Called the Old Order, or ancient régime King at the top and estates under him ◦ King Louis XVI, shy and indecisive ◦ Unpopular, self-indulgent queen, Marie- Antoinette ◦ Rest of French society divided into three classes, called estates
Severe economic problems affected much of the country France in debt, spending lavishly, borrowing money, and facing bankruptcy Hailstorm and drought ruined harvest; harsh winter limited flour production People hungry and angry; clergy and nobility no help A Financial Crisis Inspiring new ideas from Enlightenment philosophers such as Rousseau and Thomas Paine. Great Britain’s government had limited the king’s power American colonists rebelled successfully against British king Enlightenment Ideas Further Causes
Louis Calls the Estates-General Estates General – Similar to Parliament – Representatives from each of the 3 classes of French society 1 st Estate - Clergy 2nd Estate - Nobles 3rd Estate – Everyone else - bourgeoisie - artists, farmers, Peasants, city workers etc
Estates General 1 st Estate has 300 members and one vote 2 nd Estate has 300 members and one vote 3 rd Estate has 600 members and one vote – How do you feel about this if you are in the 3 rd Estate??? – WHY?
Demand for Change 3 rd Estate wants to change voting procedures. – Want to establish a National Assembly where EACH representative has an equal vote. Louis XVI refused completely.
King Louis XVI’s Response Get the idea?? NADA!!! No!!, No Way!!! Aint gonna happen!!!, Forgetaboutit!!! Nope!!! Uh-uh!!! Not on my watch!!! Not here, not now, not ever!!!
3 rd Estate Response May 1788 -Representatives meet on an indoor tennis court and pledged that they would not leave until the king agrees to their demands – “The Tennis Court Oath” Embarrassing situation for the king King finally agrees Establishment of The National Assembly
Bastille Day July 1788 French farmers, peasants do not have enough to eat and are paying high taxes – Nobles out of touch (“Let them eat cake”) – People can not afford food – Peasants getting a bit rowdy Louis XVI starts assembling troops at Versailles People fear he is planning to attack the new National Assembly and arrest members
Bastille Day continued People in Paris hear about the troops – Begin to riot. – July 14, 1789 - Attack the Bastille – fortress prison in Paris. Seen as a symbol of Kings power People storm the prison, free the prisoners, take guns and ammo.
Revolution gets out of hand Riots soon spread to countryside – Peasants attack nobles in their houses. Kill many nobles – Nobles and Clergy living in fear “A Tale of Two Cities” is set in this time period
Declaration of the Rights of Man National Assembly votes to eliminate all classes, titles, nobility. – Say nobles and clergy must pay taxes too Serves as a basis for French Constitution “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”
Revolution Getting out of Control King Louis XVI attempts to flee the country with his wife Marie Antoinette Captured and brought back Radicals (Jacobins) getting more say in how the government should be run
We better stop this This is getting out of hand The killed their King!!! This is not good 1792-1793 Other nations of Europe worry that revolution in France will spread to their countries.
Other nations invade France 1792-1793: Other nations of Europe worry that revolution in France will spread to their countries. Austria, Prussia (Germany), Spain, Britain, wage war on France. French fight them off and a young army officer called Napoleon Bonaparte becomes a war hero. Radicals in France gain even more power
Radicals Gain Control Maxmilian Robespierre and the “Committee for Public Safety” – Begin hunting down all those seen as a threat to the Revolution – 1793 Louis and Marie sent to the guillotine for promoting revolt.
“Reign of Terror” – “Reign of Terror” Begins Around 30,000 people eventually sent to the guillotine. Guillotine seen as a humane way to kill people. Nobles, peasants, workers - anyone Robespierre saw as a threat to the revolution
Different Social Classes Executed 28% 31% 25% 8% 7%
End of Reign of Terror 1794 – National Convention feels Robespierre has gone over the line – He is arrested, tried, convicted and executed
Results of the Revolution Monarchy is gone, French Republic declared Old feudal customs are gone Slavery in French colonies abolished France becomes democratic country France has LARGE, experienced army – Rising young star in that army; Napoleon Bonaparte Next; Napoleon’s domination of Europe!!