Ch. 18 The French Revolution 18.1 On The Eve Of Revolution
French Society Divided • In 1789 France still clung to the Old Order, or the Ancien Regime, in which everyone was divided into one of three different social classes or Estates. • First Estate: Clergy • Second Estate: Nobles • Third Estate: Ordinary People • Only the Third Estate paid taxes, the 1st and 2nd estates were both wealthy.
Third Estate • Was the most diverse social class. • At the TOP of the Third Estate were the Bourgeoisie, also referred to as the middle class. • This included doctors, bankers, lawyers, journalists and professors. • The majority of the Third Estate however were rural peasants. • Everyone in the third estate was unhappy with the old regime, in large part because they were forced to pay taxes while the 1st & 2nd estates were not.
Financial Troubles • France was in debt because of the extravagant lifestyle of Louis XIV, the French and Indian war and the American Revolution. • Adding to the troubles the 1780’s were bad for crops which increased the price of food. • Louis XVI did attempt to address the problem but failed. He appointed a wise financial advisor but when he suggested lifting the ban on taxing the 1st and 2nd estates, the nobles and high clergy forced the king to dismiss him.
Economic Crisis Continues • The wealthy insisted the king call the Estates General, which had not been essembled for 175 yrs. • Estates General: Legislative body consisting of representatives of the three estates. • The Nobles were hoping for an outcome similar to that from the Glorious Revolution in England, in which they could bring the monarch under control and guarantee their own privileges.
Louis XVI Calls the Estates General • In the end of 1788 France was on the verge of bankruptcy, bread riots were spreading, and nobles afraid of taxes were denouncing royal tyranny. • Louis asked all 3 estates to prepare Cahiers: Notebooks outlining their grievances. • Delegates for the 3rd estate were elected but only land owners could vote, and therefore the delegates were mostly bourgeoisie and were educated in the writings of the philosophes.
Estates General Convenes • In May 1789 The Estates General Convened. • It was almost an immediate stale mate because traditionally the 3 estates met and voted separately each having 1 vote overall, but this meant the 1st and 2nd always out voted the 3rd. • The 3rd estate wanted all 3 to meet together and for votes to be counted “by head”.
National Assembly & Tennis Court Oath • In June after weeks of stalemate the 3rd estate declared themselves a National Assembly and claimed to represent the people of France. • They soon found the door to their meeting hall locked and guarded, so they moved to a nearby indoor tennis court. • Here they took the Tennis Court Oath in which they swore “Never to separate and to meet wherever the circumstances might require until we established a sound and just constitution.” • Reform minded Clergy and Nobles joined the assembly forcing King Louis XVI to accept it.
The Storming of the Bastille • July 14, 1789 • The Bastille was a symbol to the French people representing years of abuse by the Monarchy. • More than 800 Paris citizens assembled outside of the Bastille demanding weapons they believed were stored there. • The Commander refused and opened fire, a battle ensued, and eventually the mob broke through the defenses. • They killed the Commander and 5 guards and released the few prisoners being held there, but found no weapons.
French Version of the 4th of July? • Since 1880 the French have celebrated Bastille Day (July 14th) as their national independence day.
Ch. 18 The French Revolution 18.2 The French Revolution Unfolds
Political Crisis Leads to Revolt • The political crisis of 1789 coincided with a terrible famine. • Many were unemployed and bread prices soared to such a price that even those with jobs often had to spend 80% of their pay on bread. • Rumors spread creating “the great fear”, rumors of attacks on peasant villages and of troops taking crops from peasants. • This led peasants to rebel against nobles by stealing grain and setting fires.
Declaration of the Rights of Man • Was the first step towards writing a constitution. • Was modeled in part on the American Declaration of Independence. • Stated All men were “born and remain free and equal in rights” and enjoyed the natural rights to “liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression”.
6,000 women march 13 miles in the pouring rain from Paris to Versailles. They shouted “Bread!” and demanded the king return to Paris. They were also very upset with Marie Antoinette for her lavish lifestyle. The following 3 yrs the royal family were virtual prisoners in their home in Paris. Women March on Versailles
Mark these locations on your map and take notes like those here - Indicating the importance of each location and what occurred there.
National Assembly Presses On • They put the Catholic church under state control • In 1971 they produce a Constitution which: • sets up a limited monarchy. • Set up a new legislative assembly • Ended Church interference in government • Ensured equality for all male citizens • To moderate reformers it seemed to complete the Revolution.
Wrapping up 18.2 • Other European rulers and nobles feared the spread of the French Revolution. • They wanted to stop the spread of the “French Plague” and many closed their borders. • Radicals take over the National Assembly and declare war on other European countries in an attempt to spread their ideas and destroy tyranny abroad.
Ch. 18 The French Revolution 18.3 Radical Days of the Revolution
Culottes are “Knee-breeches” often worn by gentlemen of the upper classes. During the French Revolution, working revolutionaries became known as sans-culottes because they rejected the apparel of the upper class. Culottes, Culottes and sans-culottes
Tension Leads to Violence • On 8/10/1792 Revolutionaries stormed the royal palace killing some of the kings guards, but the royal family escaped. • September Massacre: citizens attacked prisons that held nobles and priests and killed 1,200 people. • Radicals take control of the Assembly. • Called for the election of a new legislative body called the National Convention they abolished the monarch and created a Republic. • Suffrage (the right to vote) was to be extended to all male citizens not just property owners.
Many believed King Louis XVI was in league with the enemy (Prussia, Austria and Brittan). Louis XVI tried and convicted (by a single vote) as a traitor to France. The King was beheaded in January 1793 “Frenchmen, I die innocent. I pardon the authors of my death. I pray God that the blood about to be spilt will never fall upon the head of France…” Execution of the Royal Family
Committee of Public Safety • A 12 member committee was created by the National Convention to deal with the threats to France. • The Committee has almost absolute power and was in charge of trials, convictions and executions. • The Committee was led by Robespierre, who was nicknamed “the incorruptible”, for his selfless dedication to the Revolution, however his enemies called him a Tyrant. • Believed France could achieve a “Republic of Virtue” only through the use of terror, which he defined as “prompt, severe, inflexible justice.
Reign of Terror • September 1793-July 1794 • Robespierre was one of the chief architects. • During this time period the Committee of Public safety tried and convicted 300,000 people as traitors to the revolution. • 17,000 were executed. • In July of 1794 members of the National Convention turned on the Committee of Public Safety and arrested and executed Robespierre as well as some other members of the Committee. • Executions slowed after the fall of the Committee • The engine of the Terror was the Guillotine.
Named after Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, who suggested to the National Assembly in 1789 that all crimes of the same nature be punished with the same method regardless of social status and any death sentence should result in decapitation using a simple mechanism. Previously those in the lower class sentenced to death would be hung, while the nobles would be beheaded using a sword. Both methods often resulted in a slower more painful death. Guillotine
Nationalism Spreads • Nationalism: Strong feeling of pride in and devotion to one’s country. • Before the Revolution loyalty was held to local authorities and the Monarch. • With the fall of the monarch and a call to arms to defend the country from both internal and external threats, a strong sense of Nationalism swept across France.
After the Reign of Terror • In the years following the reign of terror a third constitution was drawn up. • The Constitution of 1795 set up a 5 man Directory and a two house legislature. • Peace was made with Prussia and Spain but war continued with Austria and Great Britian. • Discontent stirred again as bread priced began to rise again. • As Chaos threatened politicians turned to a popular military hero named Napoleon Bonaparte.
Ch. 18 The French Revolution 18.4 The Age of Napoleon
Wrote to his brother in 1793 “Since one must take sides, one might as well choose the side that is victorious, the side which devastates, loots and burns. Considering the alternative, it is better to eat than be eaten.” Who was the side that was doing the devastating, looting and burning at this time? Napoleon Bonaparte1769-1821
Born in Corsica and spoke French with an Italian accent. Sent to military school in France at the age of 9. Showed sings of skill in military strategy from a young age. When the Revolution began he was a 20 yr old Lieutenant. Napoleon Background
Napoleon the Politician • In 1799 Napoleon helped overthrow the Directory (Set up in the constitution of 1795), and set up a 3 man governing board called the Consulate. • Napoleon took the title First Consul and in 1802 named himself Consul for life. • In 1804 he assumed the title Emperor of France. • Along each step he held a plebiscite and had the overwhelming support of the French people. • Plebiscite: or popular vote by ballot.
Napoleonic Code • New code of laws that are among Napoleons most lasting reforms. • It embodied Enlightenment principles such as the equality of all citizens before the law, religious toleration, and the abolition of feudalism. • It also undid some of the reforms of the French Revolution, for example women lost rights and men regained complete authority over their wives and children.
Napoleon the Conqueror • From 1804-1812 Napoleon battled the greatest powers of Europe and gained land for France. • “I grew up on the field of battle and a man such as I am cares little for the life of a million men.” • He was a brilliant military strategist, favoring rapid movements and catering each battle plan so opposing generals could not anticipate his next move.
Map of Europe Redrawn • He incorporated into his empire the Netherlands, Belgium and parts of both Prussia and Germany. • He controlled most of Europe through forceful diplomacy and placed friends and relatives on the thrones of Europe. • Britain alone remained outside Napoleons reach. • Britain had a small army but relied on their sea power. • Unable to defeat Britain at sea Napoleon waged economic warfare through the Continental System. • Closed European ports to British goods.
Invading Russia • Russia’s Tsar Alexander I had intially supported Napoleon and the continental system, but he withdrew his support. • In 1812 Napoleon assembled the Grand Army consisting of soldiers from 20 nations, 600,000 strong and invaded Russia. • To avoid Napoleon the Russians retreated East and along the way burned crops and villiages. • This Scorched Earth policy left the French hungry and cold as winter came.
Underestimating the Cold! • Napoleon entered Moscow in September but realizing he could not last the winter he headed home in October. • The trek home was miserable and a battle in itself for survival. • The harsh Russian winter combined with attacks from Russian forces took out most of Napoleons forces. • Less than 20,000 soldiers survived (20,000/600,000= 3%) • This Shattered Napoleons reputation for success.
Napoleon Falls • The disaster in Russia brought a new alliance to the enemies of France and Napoleon. (Russia, Austria, Prussia and Great Britain.) • The new alliance defeated Napoleon in 1813, after which he abdicated (stepped down) and was exiled to Elba.
Ask and ye shall receive • Louis XVIII (Brother of Louis XVI) was then placed back on the thrown but did not receive a warm welcome. • Fear of a return to the old ways along with an economic depression made the people of France wish for the return of Napoleon. • Napoleon hearing the news of the people desiring his return, escapes from Elba and returns to France. (Louis XVII flees).
A short lived homecomeing • The allies reassembled their forces and on 7/18/1815 they met Napoleons forces near Waterloo in Belgium. • The French forces were crushed at Waterloo (Napoleons final battle) and Napoleon was again forced into exile this time to St. Helena a lonely island in the South Atlantic.
Napoleons Legacy • In 1803 he sold the Louisiana Territory to the U.S., doubling the size of the country and kicking off the age of American expansion. • His conquests spread the idea of revolution. • The abolition of the Holy Roman Empire would later help in creating a new Germany. • The Napoleonic code implemented many of the changes of the revolution even though it also removed some of the rights gained by women.
Congress of Vienna • Met for 10 months and set out to create a lasting peace by establishing a balance of power and protecting the system of monarchy. • Prevent revolutionary uprisings. • Their method of action was to promote the principle of legitimacy, which restored the hereditary monarchs that the revolution and Napoleon had unseated.