The French Revolution The Old Regime Louis XVI Storming the Bastille The Great Fear Reign of Terror
Old Regime • Old Regime – social/political system of France in the 1770s, people divided into three estates: • First Estate – clergy • Second Estate – rich nobles • Third Estate (97% of France’s people) made up of three groups: • Bourgeoisie aka middle class (richest of the three) • Urban workers • Peasants (largest group) The Third Estate
Blame the Enlightenment….. • The Third Estate had a growing resentment towards the First and Second • However, on top of that, new ideas about government, rulers, and revolution inspired members of the Third Estate 1st Estate: Clergy 2nd Estate: Nobles 3rd Estate: Middle-class workers
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette • Problems got worse in France from the extravagant spending of Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, a greedy Austrian (France’s enemy)
The Second Estate demanded a meeting of the Estates General to approve a tax that Louis XVI planned to impose to pay of some of France’s debt • Estates General • One delegate from each Estate • Met in separate halls • First and Second could always outvote the Third
Storming of the Bastille • The Third Estate changed their name to the National Assembly (N.A.) • A rumor that the king was planning a coup against the N.A. led to the storming of the Bastille, a Paris prison, on July 14, 1789
The Great Fear • Fear and chaos swept through France after peasants heard that nobles were hiring outlaws to terrorize them • The Great Fear had begun • Riots ensued in Paris - rioting women marched on Versailles
The Night of August 4, 1789 • More and more noblemen jumped on the National Assembly bandwagon • By the morning of August 5, the Old Regime was dead • The N.A. adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité! The slogan of the revolution
Other reforms • The N.A. tried to restructure the relationship between church and state • The assembly took over church lands and sold them for profit to pay off the French debt • During this time, Louis XVI and his family tried to escape France. They were caught and later….
….were executed using a new invention called the guillotine.
Legislative Assembly • Before his death, Louis XVI approved a limited constitutional monarchy • The legislative body under this form of government was called the Legislative Assembly • This body was split by three factions Radicals Moderates Conservatives
Factions outside the Legislative Assembly wanted changes too: • Emigres were nobles who wanted to restore the Old Regime • Sans-culottes (“those without knee britches”) were middle-class workers who also wanted reforms
National Convention • France went to war with Prussia in 1792 because Prussia wanted France to restore the monarchy • After the war, Louis and Marie were imprisoned and the Legislative Assembly was dissolved • The National Convention took office. • France was now a republic in which all male citizens were granted the right to vote.
Jacobins • A radical political group, the Jacobin Club, were responsible for many changes in France • Their leader was Jean-Paul Marat and he called for the death of anyone who still supported the king
Reign of Terror • One Jacobin leader, Maximillien Robespierre gained power and became leader of the Committee of Public Safety • Goal was to wipe out every trace of France’s past • Ruled as a dictator and guillotined anyone who he suspected of not supporting the Revolution
Robespierre himself was executed • After the Reign of Terror, a new form of government was drafted: • Two-house legislature • Executive body of 5 men known as the Directory • New general for French army – Napoleon Bonaparte