Background • The French Revolution became the most momentous upheaval of the revolutionary age. • Replaced the “Old Regime” with a “modern society” • It profoundly influenced future revolutions. • Grew out of problems that characterized most 18th century nations monarchies found themselves lacking adequate revenues and provoked aristocratic and popular resistance and resentment.
Overview • THE REAL problem lay with the inability of the royal government to tap the wealth of the French nation through taxes to service and repay the debt • France was a rich nation with an impoverished government • Rene Mapeou, Jacques Necker, Charles Colonne served in the courts of Louis XV and XVI. They attempted to stunt the growing power of the nobility and parlements. They also attempted to deal with the growing financial crisis.
Overview— France in 1789 • France was in many ways the most advanced country of the 18th century. • Population of nearly 25 million made it the largest country in the world. • Wealthiest country in Europe (but not per capita). • Productive economy: French exports larger than Britain’s to the European continent.
Overview – France in 1789 • French culture dominated the continent. • French was the language of official diplomacy and also spoken in most European courts. • France was the center of the 18th century Enlightenment. • French science led the world. • Most powerful military in Europe.
Causes • Varying historical interpretations (historiography). • 1st group –bourgeoisie vs. aristocracy. • 2nd group - (king vs. bourgeoisie/nobles) the 2 groups had much in common and that members of both groups resented the absolutist monarchy • 3rd Group – (near anarchy – peasants, bourgeoisie, clergy, nobility all fighting) The Fr. Rev. was a result of a faltering monarchy. • 4th Group – The Fr. Rev. was political restructuring in FR.
Key Ideas and People of the 1st Revolution • Convening of the Estates General (May 1789) • Creation of National Assembly by 3rd Estate (June 1789) • Tennis Court Oath (June 1789) • Fall of the Bastille (July 14, 1789) • Great Fear (July – August 1789) • Night of August 4th (nobles surrender rights) (1789) • Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (August 1789) • Parisian women march on Versailles (October 1789) • Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790) • Constitution of 1791 • Chapelier Law (1791) • Olympe de Gouges – Declaration of Rights of Women (1791) • Louis and family attempt to flee (1791) • Declaration of Pillnitz (1791)