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The French Revolution Begins

The French Revolution Begins

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The French Revolution Begins

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  1. The French Revolution Begins Chapter 18.1

  2. Background to the Revolution • French Revolution more complex, violent and radical than American Revolution • Causes: long-range problems of the inequality of the French society

  3. Three Estates of French Society • First Estate – clergy • 130,000 people • Owned 10% of the land • Exempt from the taille (tax) • Second Estate – nobility • 350,000 people • Owned 25-30% of the land • Held many government positions, military and courts of law • Exempt from the taille (tax) • Third Estate – commoners of society • 75-80% of total population • Owned 35 – 40% of the land

  4. Three Estates of French Society

  5. Three Estates Population Graph

  6. Financial Crisis • Immediate cause – near collapse of government finances • Bad harvests, food shortages, rising prices for food and unemployment all contributed • Number of poor skyrocketed • Spending of monarchy on pleasures as well as wars drain treasury

  7. Louis XVI • Calls for meeting of the Estates-General to raise new taxes (this French Parliament had not met since 1614) – May 5, 1789 • Estates-General composed of representatives from the Three Estates. First and Second Estate had about 300 delegates each and the Third Estate had about 600. • The Third Estate wanted to set up a constitutional government that would abolish the tax exemption of the clergy and nobility.

  8. The Vote • Traditionally, the Estates each had one vote. This allowed the First and Second Estate to team up and outvote the Third Estate. • The Third Estate demands for each deputy (representative) to have a vote. • King declared he was in favor of each Estate having one vote

  9. Third Estate Reacts • On June 17, 1789, the Third Estate calls for a National Assembly and drafts a constitution. • June 20, 1789 Third Estate arrives to find they are locked out. They move to an indoor tennis court. • They pledged to continue to meet until they drafted a French constitution. • This is known as the TENNIS COURT OATH

  10. People React • King decides he is going to use force against the Third Estate. • On July 14, 1789 the Parisians stormed the Bastille armory and prison in Paris. • Dismantled the prison brick by brick • King Louis XVI informed he could no longer trust his troops

  11. Great Fear • Peasant rebellions occurred • Vast panic spread quickly through France summer of 1789 • Citizens form militias fearing invasion by foreign troops • Assembly destroyed relics of feudalism and aristocratic privileges

  12. Declaration of the Rights of Man • adopted August 26, 1789 • Inspired by Declaration of Independence, Constitution and English Bill of Rights • Charter of basic liberties • “the natural and imprescriptible rights of man” to “liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.” • Reflected Enlightenment thought

  13. Declaration of Rights of Man, cont. • Proclaimed freedom and equal rights for all men, access to public office based on talent, and end to tax exemptions of 1st two estates • All citizens have right to take part in making laws • Freedom of speech and the press affirmed • Olympe de Gouges – woman who wrote a Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen • Insisted in writings that women have same rights as man

  14. Women March to Versailles • October 5, 1789, women march to Versailles • Delegation meets with King Louis XVI • Describes starvation, living conditions to King • October 6 – royal family goes to Paris with food as a goodwill gesture

  15. Church Reforms • Catholic Church holds some authority in old order • Authority changes under new reform • National Assembly seized and sold church lands • Church secularized – new Civil Constitution of the Clergy established. Both bishops and priests were elected by the people and paid by the state • The French government now controlled the Church. Many Catholics became enemies of the Revolution.

  16. New Constitution Formed • National Assembly completes a new constitution, the Constitution of 1791 • Sets up a limited monarchy • Legislative assembly makes laws, not the King • 745 representatives • Voting restrictions as only affluent members of society could be elected • Only men over 25 who paid a certain amount of taxes could vote

  17. New Fears • Several did not like the new constitution • Catholic Priests • Nobles • Lower classes (hurt by rise in cost of living) • Radicals who wanted more solutions • King Louis XVI tries to flee France in June 1791 • Was captured and brought back to Paris • New Assembly holds first session October 1791

  18. War with Austria • Austria and Prussia feared revolution would spread to their countries • Threatened to restore King Louis XVI back to power • Insulted by this threat, the Legislative Assembly declares war on Austria spring of 1792 • War did not go well for France

  19. Demonstrations in Paris • Defeats in war, economic shortages lead to political demonstrations in Paris. • August 1792, a mob attacks the royal palace and the Legislative Assembly • King is taken captive • Force Legislative Assembly to suspend monarchy and calls for a National Convention • French Revolution enters a more radical and violent stage

  20. French Revolution Timeline

  21. Works Cited • French Revolution graph • http://www.thecorner.org/hist/maps/imagepages/image17.html • Quick facts and pictures of French Revolution • http://mcknight-cardinalpoints.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html • Causes of French Revolution • http://www.flatrock.org.nz/topics/history/humans_can_be_so_revolting.htm