The French Revolution-Review

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The French Revolution—Review

    1. The Reign of King Louis XVI

Phase I-Constitutional Monarch (1791)

Constitutional Monarchy abolished (1792)

King Louis XVI is executed 1793

1789 Mob storms the Bastille

Declaration of the Rights of Man approved

1793-94 Phase 2- Radical Phase- Reign of Terror

1795-99 Phase 3- A Thermidorian period of reaction against extremism- The Directory

1799-1815- Phase 4- The Age of Napoleon

Terms to define

  • Three Estates-

    • Frances class system

    • All French people belonged to one of the three estates or levels of society

    • Determined a person’s legal rights and status

  • 1st Estate

    • French clergy

    • Owned 10% land, collected tithes

    • Paid no direct taxes to the state

    • Usually nobles who lived very well

    • Provided schools, hospitals, orphanages

  • 2nd Estate

    • Titled nobility of French society

  • 3rd Estate

    • 27 million or 98% of population

      • Top were bourgeoisie or middle class

      • Bulk were rural peasants

      • Poorest were city workers

  • Coup d’etat

    • Military revolution against government

  • Bourgeoisies

    • Bankers, merchants, manufacturers

    • Included royal bureaucracy

      • Lawyers, doctors, journalists


  • Louis XVI

    • In 1789, weak and confused summoned the Estate General to Versailles

      • Had social classes prepare a list of grievances

      • Estate was rarely consulted

        • Transformed to the National Assembly

        • Invited other estates to help shape a constitution

  • Lafayette

  • National Assembly

    • Formed from the Estate General

    • Group of middle-class men chosen by Louis IVI to solve France’s problems

    • Wanted sweeping reforms of government

    • King did not want to meet with them

    • Group met at near by tennis court

    • Known as the Tennis Court Oath

      • Began the French revolution

  • Jacobins

    • Radical leaders in the Legislative Assembly

    • Mostly middle class lawyers of intellectuals

    • Set out to erase all traces of old order

    • Seized lands of nobles and abolished titles of mobility

    • All men and women were called “Citizen”

  • Girondist

    • More moderate group

    • Felt revolution had gone far enough

    • Wanted to protect the wealthy middle class from radical attchs

    • Resisted growing strength of the Mountain

  • Robespierre

    • Chief architect of the I Reign of Terror

      • Courts conducted hasty trials

      • 40,000 executed

    • Eventually turned upon, executed

    • With his death, Jacobins lost power and reign of terror came to an end.

  • Sans-culottes

    • Working-class men and women

      • Pushed for revolution by more radical action

      • Demanded a republic

      • Wanted government to guarantee living wage

      • Found support among radical leaders in Legislative Assemble

        • Jacobins

  • Directory

    • Five members of the Council of 500 chosen by the Council of Elders to act as the executive committee.

    • Ruled with the legislature

    • Period of revolution under the government of the Directory was an era of corruption

    • Many grew rich by taking advantage of the Government’s money problems

    • Many political enemies

    • Directory could not find solution to country’s continuing economic problems

    • Toppled in 1799 in revolt lead by Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Committee of Public Safety

    • 12 member committee with almost absolute power as it battled to save the revolution

      • Required all men between the ages of 18-45 to serve in the ‘peoples’ army

      • Prepared France for all-out war

      • Ordered all citizens to join war effort

      • Crushed peasant revolts

  • National Convention

    • 1792- abolished the monarchy and established the French Republic

    • Could not agree, split into two factions-both were members of Jacobin club

      • Girondins

      • The Mountain

  • The Mountain

    • Group formed by Jacobins

    • Saw itself as the defender of the revolution, voice of people

  • List 5 causes of the French Revolution

    • Hugh government debt

    • Poor harvests & the rising price of bread

    • Failure of Louis XVI to accept financial reform

    • Spread of enlightenment ideas

    • Resentment of the privileges of the first and second estate

    • Formation of the National Assemble and storming of the Bastille

    • List the four major ‘phases’ of the French revolution

    • Violence of Great Fear

      • Culminated in a constitutional monarchy (1789-93)

    • A Radical Phase-The Reign of Terror (1793-99)

    • A Thermidorian period

      • Reaction against extremism

      • Brought in the Directory 1795-1799

    • The Age of Napoleon Bonaparte (1799-1815)

  • Why did the Parisians storm the Bastille? When? Today, how is this event remembered

    • The hungry, unemployed people of Paris took up arms

    • July 14, 1789-800 assembled outside the Bastille

    • Demanded weapons and gunpowder stored there

    • Commander refused, fired on crowd

    • Told king it was a revolution

    • Bastille became the symbol of the French Revolution

      • Peasants swore never to pay feudal dues and drove some landlords off property-

        • First phase of revolutions

    • Celebrated today as independence day in France

  • What was the result of the women’s march on Versailles?

    • The royal family attempted to escape

    • Were “re-arrested

    • Louis XVI agreed to constitution an limited monarchy

  • Why were the other monarchies of Europe concerned about the violence during the French revolution?

    • They were afraid revolution would spread to their country

  • Identify two ideas or reforms contained within the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.

    • All male citizens were equal before the law

    • Asserted freedom or religion

    • Called for taxes to be levied according to ability to pay

    • “Liberty, Equality & Fraternity”

  • Identify two ideas or reforms contained in the Constitution of 1791.

  • List four countries that were at war with France in 1793?

    • Austria

    • Prussia

    • Britain

    • Sardinia

  • What was the Committee of Public Safety and approximately how many French were executed during its rule?

    • 12 member committee with almost absolute power as it battled to save the revolution

      • Responsible for “Reign of Terror”

    • 40,000 people were killed

      • Most were peasants

      • Guillotine was instrument of execution

  • What was the Thermidorian reaction? Where does this term come from?

    • 9 Thermidorian, year II (July 27, 1794)

    • The reaction to the Reign of terror

    • Caused fall of Robespierre

    • Collapse of revolutionary fervor

  • What was the Directory? How was it brought to power? Why did the Directory fail and to who did its members eventually turn to? Why?

    • The Constitution of 1795 set up a five-man Directory and two-house legislature elected by male citizens of Property

    • Held power from 1795-1799

    • Weak but dictatorial

    • Leaders lined pockets but failed to solve pressing problems

    • As chaos threatened, politicians turned to Napoleon Bonaparte

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