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The Age of Revolutions

The Age of Revolutions

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The Age of Revolutions

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  1. The Age of Revolutions The French Revolution

  2. Remember? • Louis XV • “The Beloved” • Corrupt morals • Overspending, bankrupting his country • Not reforming his government – allowing the bluebloods to do whatever they wanted.

  3. Louis XV • Died of smallpox in 1774. • Last words: “After me, comes the flood.”

  4. Louis XVI: The last “real” king of France • The wrong king for the wrong time. • Became king when only 14. • Well educated • Indecisive • Wanted to keep the old absolutism • Ancien Regime • Honest, but not up to the tasks needed to be done. • Not willing to rule like an absolute king, but not willing to share the power.

  5. Louis le Denier (the Last) • Had a very sheltered childhood with his grandmother. • Kept away from the “corrupting influences” of his grandfather at Versailles. • Parents neglected the younger son. • Raised until he was eleven years old to be a Catholic priest. • Preferred working on locks and had an interest in astronomy.

  6. Louis the Last • Didn’t participate in the Las Vegas-like atmosphere of Versailles. • But didn’t try to stop or control any of the “activities” at Versailles. • No efforts to reform.

  7. Louis XVI’s Wife: • Marie-Antoinette • The last born of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (Hapsburg). • After 16 children, her parents were not that active in her life.

  8. Marie Antoinette: Growing Up • Didn’t get that good of an education. • Didn’t have that much supervision. • Wasn’t really encouraged to “grow up.” • Watched over by her mother’s “vice police” and letters from her mother about how a princess should behave. • Gave Marie Antoinette a dislike for older and wiser women.

  9. Marie Antoinette • Grew up knowing she’d be married to the King of France.

  10. Louis and Marie Antoinette: Disaster in the Making • Imagine turning a 14 year old girl loose as a queen in a place like Versailles. • Imagine that girl without a lot of intelligence and sense. • Imagine that girl who had had a very restrictive upbringing now loose in Versailles. • Imagine a husband that doesn’t really know how to handle her.

  11. Does this sound like someone we know?

  12. Louis and Marie Antoinette • NOT a good marriage. • Married in 1770 • No children until 1778.

  13. Marie Antoinette • She was failing in her primary duty of being a queen. • No children! • A Hapsburg who didn’t have children? • NEVER!

  14. Marie Antoinette’s Reaction to her “failure” • More excessive living! • Three day gambling sprees. • More elaborate clothes • More costume parties • More opera performances • More $$$$$$$$$$ that France didn’t have. • Scenes from the 2006 movie Marie Antoinette

  15. Louis was unable and unwilling to stop Marie Antoinette’s spending • He didn’t particularly like her. • He retreated more into doing things away from his wife’s party scene. • Studying languages • Making locks • Looking at the stars • Raising more taxes to pay for his wife’s “pleasures.”

  16. Marie Antoinette’s worst “folly” • Petit Trianon • Her “farmhouse” away from Versailles. • She took this getaway and tried to make it mimic how she thought peasant people lived.

  17. While people in France starved: • A grown up play house. • Marie Antoinette would have her ladies in waiting dressing up like milkmaids. • Brought peasants in to be a “village” for her. • Had it so servants weren’t seen in the house. • Trap doors would open and tables loaded with food would “appear.”

  18. Intervention comes in 1777 • Marie Antoinette’s second brother Maximilian comes to visit. • Offered marriage counseling to both Louis and his sister. • Letters between Maximilian and his oldest brother Joseph II of Austria tell us what the problems were between Marie Antoinette and Louis.

  19. 1778: Motherhood • Marie Antoinette and Louis had four children – only one survived childhood and the coming Revolution. • Marie Antoinette became a model of motherhood. • But her reputation was too fixed with people. • While she tamed down some of her wild ways – the merry-go-round of Versailles continued.

  20. Can you imagine what John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson thought about France when they arrived in 1777 to get France to support our Revolution? … or Abigail?

  21. Financial Troubles for Louis XVI • DEFICIT SPENDING = government spending more than it takes in. • By Louis XVI – France was BROKE. • Too many wars • Too much spending on the good life • Bad harvests and not spending any money on the people had no improvements happening.

  22. Any leader’s choices when debt is too much … • Raise Taxes • Reduce Spending • Or both. • But the nobles and Church don’t want to pay taxes! • Marie Antoinette doesn’t want to trim her spending either!

  23. King Louis’ “lifeline” • Jacques Necker • Became finance minister. • Proposed reducing extravagant spending at Versailles. • Reforms of government to help people. • Make the First and Second Estate pay taxes.

  24. 1788: Necker is dismissed! • The nobles and Church screamed against royal “tyranny” that wanted them to pay taxes. • Bad harvests, high prices, and high taxes meant the peasants didn’t have enough food. • Food riots start happening

  25. On the Eve of Revolution1789 • France was divided into three social classes (estates) during the Middle Ages. • First Estate • Second Estate • Third Estate

  26. First Estate: The Clergy • The Catholic Church enjoyed enormous wealth and privilege. • Owned 10% of France and collected taxes from the people. • Paid no taxes to the king. • Upper churchmen lived like princes. • Lower churchmen did offer some social services: • Schools, hospitals, orphanages.

  27. The Second Estate • The Nobility • Paid no taxes • Some competed for royal appointments while others were idle aristocrats. • Were still collecting rents from the lands many hadn’t seen for three generations.

  28. The Third Estate • Everyone else in France. • Didn’t matter if you were a successful merchant, shopkeeper, sailor, farmer, peasant, doctor, beggar. • You paid the taxes for everyone else. • BOURGEOISIE: the upper class of the Third Estate. • Bankers, lawyers, doctors, etc.

  29. The Three Estates used to advise kings • Kind of a “parliament” – where they would all talk. • Louis XIII had abolished the Estates General and they had not met for 175 years. • But now King Louis XVI needed to know how to get more money.

  30. The Estates General: 1789 • King Louis XVI was truly shocked and mystified by all the rage that people had when they came to the Assembly. • He just wanted more money.

  31. The First Estate Wants • Keep their tax-free status. • Some reform-minded clerics wanted the government to give them money to help their projects for the poor.

  32. The Second Estate Wants: • Nobles who had been influenced by the Enlightenment and the American Revolution wanted to end absolute monarchy and put the monarch under their control. • The Marquis de Lafayette, a Frenchman who served with our American Revolution, who now wanted reforms in France

  33. The Third Estates Wants: • Came with Cahiers (kah YAYZ) – notebooks with all their grievances. • Fairer taxes • Freedom of the press • Regular meetings of the Estates General

  34. Third Estate Wants: • Take taxes off leather so shoemakers could afford leather. • Servants wanting the right to leave service of an unfair employer. • If the servants stayed – they wanted some sort of social security for their old age. • Get rid of the “vampires” and “Bloodsuckers”? • Who? • TAX COLLECTORS!

  35. Delegates arrive • Armed with lessons from the PHILOSOPHES of the Enlightenment – they wanted more than the end of the financial crisis. • They wanted reform!

  36. Louis XVI: Wrong Move • Decided that only propertied men could vote.

  37. How to Vote? • Usually the Estates met separately and voted and then the three came together to share their votes. • 2-1 splits usually. Those would probably favor the king’s wants. • But the Third Estate said that since they were the largest population – their votes should count for 95% of France.

  38. June 1789: The Tennis Court Oath • Louis locked the doors of the meeting hall and posted guards. • The reform-minded nobles, clergy and Third Estate went to the nearest big place – a tennis court – to meet.

  39. The Tennis Court Oath • They all agreed to never separate and meet whenever circumstances might require until they had established a sound and just constitution.

  40. 1789: The Rights of Man • Modeled on the Declaration of Independence and the English Bill of Rights. • Called for freedom and equality of all males before the law.

  41. Louis XVI’s reaction? • Reluctantly accepted it. • Still didn’t get how mad people were. • Didn’t know what to do – and let others take the lead. • BIG MISTAKE!

  42. Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams in 1776: • My Dear Friend, • “Either you ride the horse of this revolution, or it will ride you.”

  43. The Storming of the Bastille • July 14, 1789 • Rumors that the king was going to take over Paris and turn the guns on the people. • 800 Parisians went to the Bastille – a prison and where they thought weapons were kept. • Meant to take the weapons, so they couldn’t be used against them.

  44. The Storming of the Bastille • The Captain of the fortress refused to let the crowd in and ordered his men to fire on them. • They broke through the defenses and killed the captain and five guards. • No weapons were found and only a few prisoners. • And they deserved to be in prison!

  45. Bastille Day • French Liberation Day, celebrated every July 14. • The Bastille was everything the French hated about royal abuse. • This is where the French Revolution starts.

  46. The French Revolution Unfolds:THE GREAT FEAR • Rumors that French troops were attacking villages and towns. • Rumors of French troops taking food from the poor during the terrible famine in 1789. • Rumors that the nobles meant to reimpose old taxes on the poor peasants. • None were true!

  47. Inflamed by famine and fear the peasants react! • Burned chateaus • Burned records so there were no tax records to go on. • Murders of unjust nobles started. • Murders of unjust clergy began as well.

  48. The Rise of the Commune • Paris was also in turmoil. • A Guard of troops loyal to the National Assembly are put together by the Marquis de Lafayette. • First to wear the “tricolor” • Became the symbol of France.

  49. Estates General is now called the National Assembly • Vote out the nobility on August 4, 1789 • The Church is placed under State Control • Abolished papal control. • Priests served the state, not the church. • Constitution in 1791 establishes a new government.

  50. Where are Louis and Marie Antoinette in all this? • October 5, 1789: Angry and hungry women in Paris marched 13 miles in the pouring rain to Versailles demanding to see the king. • They wanted bread.