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Appendix 2.4.13

The Road To the Terror & The Fall of The Bastille

  • From the moment of the creation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen by the National Assembly, King Louis XVI was stripped of most of his political power with the exception of suspensive vetoes that delayed legislation for up to four years.

  • However, this was the beginning of the end for King Louis XVI as the radical elements of the French Revolution began to grow:

  • October 5, 1789 (The Day of the Market Square Women)

  • An organized march by women to the Palace of Versailles to protest a bread shortage; King Louis XVI was forced to leave this place for the Tuilieres Palace in Paris, in order to restore order, not knowing that he would never again see the Palace of Versailles

  • November 2, 1789 (The Nationalization of Church Lands)

  • The National Assembly confiscates the clergy’s landholdings and compensates the clergy after the clergy refuses to sell their land to reduce France’s debt

  • The elections of the National Assembly saw the more radical Jacobin bourgeoisie representatives and the more conservative Girondin bourgeoisie take the political arena

  • France is taking its first steps away from a constitutional monarchy and towards a republic

  • August 20, 1792 (War With Austria)

  • Austria and Prussia issue the Declaration of Pillnitz warning against action taken by France against King Louis XVI

  • The Girondins saw this document as open declaration of war against France and urged King Louis XVI to go to war

  • Meanwhile, the Jacobins gain the support of the Sans Culottes (meaning “those without breeches on their pants”), the organizers of the Parisian mob

  • On August 3, 1792, Austria and Prussia release the Brunswick Manifesto, stating that if any harm came to King Louis XVI, then France would be punished

  • The Jacobins see this as King Louis XVI conspiring against the people of France

  • The National Assembly can’t execute King Louis XVI because of the Brunswick Manifesto, so they disband as a political party and agree to meet on September 21, 1792 for the elections of the National Convention

  • The first act of the National Convention is to abolish the monarchy and declare France to be a republic

  • The Jacobins and Girondins vied for the most votes in this election; the former getting their support from the city and the latter getting their support from the countryside

  • 700,000 vote in favour of a republic

  • The Jacobins believe that the French Revolution has not gone far enough

  • They put the former King Louis XVI (now just Louis Capet) on trial in December 1792; the verdict is guilty; the Jacobins vote for execution by guillotine, while the Girondins vote for life imprisonment; the Jacobins succeed and on January 21, 1793, Louis Capet is decapitated

  • How did it all come to this? Absolutism ended after the Fall of the Bastille, so this must be the pivotal moment in this first phase of the French Revolution

  • On July 14, 1789, the citizens of Paris stormed the old fortress prison, the Bastille, seen as a symbol of oppression of the monarchy (as King Louis XVI wrote “lettres de cachet” to imprison people); the governor of the Bastille, the Count de Launay met with the mob who wanted to free the prisoners

  • Our next activity will illustrate what it was like to be in the middle of it all!

Appendix 2.4.14

Having assembled at the traditional protest place in front of the City Hall, known as place des greves (meaning sandbar, which it was, but which has come to mean “strike”), the crowd set off in search of ammunition. Eventually arriving at the Bastille, the crowd demanded that the few guardians of the fortress surrender. One participant, Keversau, here describes in heroic terms the event that came to symbolize the outbreak of the Revolution – the “taking of the Bastille.”
Veteran armies inured to War have never performed greater prodigies of valour than this leaderless multitude of persons belonging to every class, workmen of all trades who, mostly ill-equipped and unused to arms, boldly affronted the fire from the ramparts and seemed to mock the thunderbolts the enemy hurled at them. The guns were equally well served. Cholat, the owner of a wine shop, who was in charge of a cannon installed in the garden of the Arsenal was deservedly praised, as was Georges a gunner who arrived from Brest that same morning and was wounded in the thigh.
The attackers having demolished the first drawbridge and brought their guns into position against the second could not fail to capture the fort. The Marquis de Launay (Governor of the Bastille) could doubtless have resisted the capture of the first bridge more vigorously, but this base agent of the despots, better fitted to be a gaoler, than the military commander of a fortress lost his head as soon as he saw himself hemmed in by the enraged people and hastened to take refuge behind his massive bastions….
The people infuriated by the treachery of the Governor, who had fired on their representatives, took these offers of peace for another trap and continued to advance, firing as they went up to the drawbridge leading to the interior of the fort. A Swiss officer addressing the attackers through a sort of loop-hole near the drawbridge asked permission to leave the fort with the honours of war. “No, no,” they cried. He then passed through the same opening a piece of paper, which those outside could not read because, if they promised not to massacre his troops….
The French Guards, who kept their heads in the hour of danger, formed a human barrier on the other side of the bridge to prevent the crowd of attackers from getting on to it. This prudent maneuver saved the lives of thousands of persons who would have fallen into the fosse.
About two minutes later one of the Invalides opened the gate behind the drawbridge and asked what we wanted. “The surrender of the Bastille,” was the answer, on which he let us in….
The Invalides were drawn up in line on the right and the Swiss on the left. They had stood their arms up against the wall. They clapped their hands and cried “bravo” to the besiegers, who came crowding into the fortress. Those who came in first treated the conquered enemy humanely and embraced the staff officers to show there was no ill-feeling. But a few soldiers posted on the platforms and unaware that the fortress had surrendered, discharged their muskets whereupon the people, transported with rage, threw themselves on the Invalides and used them with the utmost violence. One of them was massacred, the unfortunate Bequart, the brave soldier who had deserved so well of the town of Paris, when he stayed the hand of the Governor at the moment when he was on the point of blowing up the Bastille. Bequart, who had not fired a single shot throughout the day suffered two sword thrusts and had his hand cut off at the wrist by the stroke of a saber. Afterwards they carried in triumph round the streets this very hand to which so many citizens owed their safety. Bequart himself was dragged from the fortress and brought to la Greve. The blind mob mistaking him for an artilleryman bound him to a gibbet where he died along with Asselin, the victim, like him, of a fatal mistake. All the officers were seized and their quarters were invaded by the mob, who smashed the furniture, the doors and the windows. In the general turmoil the people in the courtyard fired on those who were in the private quarters and on the platforms. Several were killed. The gallant Humbert received a musket ball as he stood on the platform and one of his comrades was killed in his arms. Then Arne, a brave fellow, fixed his grenadier’s headdress on the point of his bayonet and showed himself over the top of the parapet, risking his life in order to stop the firing…
In the intoxication of victory the unfortunate inmates of the dungeons of the Bastille had been forgotten. All the keys had been carried off in triumph and it was necessary to force the doors of the cells. Seven prisoners were found and brought to the Palais Royal. These poor fellows were in transports of pleasure and could scarcely realize they were not the dupes of a dream, soon to be dispelled. But soon they perceived the dripping head of their tormentor stuck up on the point of a pike, above which was a placard bearing the words: “de Launay, Governor of the Bastille, disloyal and treacherous enemy of the people.” At this sight tears of joy flowed from their eyes and they raised their hands to the skies to bless their first moments of liberty.
The keys were handed to M. Brissot de warville, who, a few years before, had been thrown into these caverns of despotism. Three thousand men were sent to guard these hated towers pending the issue of a decree ordering their destruction in accordance with the will of the people.

Appendix 2.4.15

The soldiers stationed at the fortress did not see themselves as resisting the Revolution so much as keeping on a rather insignificant outpost that had nothing at all to do with the major events transpiring in Versailles. In this passage, a Swiss officer named Louis de Flue describes how his contingent was overrun and how he was brought back to the City Hall where, to his surprise, he found himself accused of having used force against the people. Only in retrospect could he be seen as opposing “the Revolution” since in the uncertain moments of 14 July, some people – especially royal officers – believed that the event transpiring was little more than meaningless violence.


Having received orders from the baron de Bezenval, I left on 7 July at 2 in the morning with a detachment of 32 men … we crossed Paris without difficulty and arrived at the Bastille where I entered with my troops….During my next few days there, the Governor showed me around the place, the spots he thought the strongest and those the weakest. He showed me all the precautions that he had taken….He complained of the small size of his garrison and of the impossibility of guarding the place if attacked. I told him his fears were unfounded, that the place was well fortified and that the garrison was sufficient if each would do his duty to defend it….
The 12th of July we learned in the Bastille that there was the possibility of an attack on the gunpowder in the Arsenal….Consequently, that night a detachment transported the powder to the Bastille where it was placed in the wells, poorly covered. That same night the governor ordered the troops to remain inside the chateau, not wanting to have to defend the exterior in case of an attack.
During the day of the 13th, from the high towers of the Bastille, various fires were seen burning around the city, and we feared something similar near us, which would endanger the powder in the Bastille….We learned the same day from some of the citizenry of the neighbourhood that they were alarmed to see cannons trained on the city and we learned at the same time that the National Guard was being mobilized to defend the city. Hearing this news, the Governor ordered….the fortress be sealed off.
….About three o’clock in the afternoon, a troop of armed citizens mixed with some soldiers came to attack from the Arsenal. They entered without difficulty into the courtyard….They cut the chains holding the drawbridge, and it fell open; this operation was easily carried out because the Governor had ordered his troops not to fire before having warned them to leave, which we could not do while they were still at such a distance [from the fortress]. Nevertheless, the besiegers fired first on the high towers.…
After having easily dropped the bridge, they easily knocked down the door with axes and entered into the courtyard, where the governor went to meet them. He asked them what wanted…and the general cry went up to “Lower the bridges!”…The governor responded he could not and withdrew, ordering his troops to take up defensive positions….The sieging forces brought their cannons to the gates….I stationed my men to the left of the gate….
I waited for the moment when the governor [was] to execute his threat and I was very surprised to see him send four veterans to the gates to open them and to lower the bridges. The crowd entered right away and disarmed us in an instant…in the castle, archives were thrown from the windows and everything was pillaged. The soldiers, including myself, who had left our packs in the castle had their personal effects taken. However, at that moment, this was not the mistreatment which worried us; we were menaced with being massacred in all manner possible. Finally, the furor…calmed a bit and along with part of my troupe was conducted to the City Hall.
During the trip, the streets and the houses, even the roofs, were full of crowds who insulted me and cursed me. I was continually subject to swords, bayonets, and pistols pressed against my body. I did not know how I was going to die but I was sure I was at my final moment. Those without arms threw stones at me, and women grimaced their teeth at me and menaced me with their fists. Already two of my soldiers had been assassinated behind me by the furious people….
I arrived finally to general cries that I should be hung and at several hundred paces from the City Hall, when a head on a pike was brought before me to consider and I was told that it was M. de Launay [governor of the Bastille]. Crossing the place de Greve, I was passed before the body of M. de Lorme [guardian of City Hall] who was on the ground in a bath of his own blood….
I was brought inside the City Hall and presented to a committee seated there. I was accused of being one of those who had put up resistance at the Bastille and that I was also the cause of blood being spilled. I justified myself better then I thought possible, saying that I had been under orders….Not seeing any other means of saving myself and…what remained of my troops, I declared my willingness to serve the City and the Nation….This appeared to them convincing; there was applause and a general cry of “bravo!” which I hoped would grant me a pardon. Instantly, I was brought wine and we had to drink to the health of the City and the Nation.
….We were taken to the Palais Royal and toured around the gardens to show to the people….At that moment there arrived a prisoner freshly released from the Bastille, and we were taken equally for freed prisoners, so that the crowd showed great compassion for us. Some even claimed to be able to see the marks on our hands of the irons from which we had just been freed. Finally…an orator approached us and showed us to the people, to whom he spoke and explained that we had…been imprisoned by our officers…because we had refused to fire upon citizens and that we deserved the esteem of the people…and a basket was passed around to take up a collection for us.
[That night] I believed myself saved…and still in that belief, I was resting on a bench, having not slept for several nights [when I learned of the testimony of some of the soldiers at the Bastille] that I had ordered them to fire and that I had been the cause of the resistance…and that without me, they would have doubtlessly surrendered the place without firing….This renewed the opposition to me such that…I was menaced and insulted again, and told that the affair was not yet over for me and my destiny would be settled the next day.
The next morning, M. Ricart [secretary of the royal troops] procured for me a laisser-passer and I was advised by M. de La Fayette to wear civilian clothing, which allowed me to go freely throughout Paris….
As for the story that was told and which has been generally received that M. de Launay [the governor] had ordered the bridges lowered to let in the crowd and that after, he had ordered them raised and ordered to fire on those who had entered [the courtyard], this story has no need to be refuted. Anyone who knows what a drawbridge is knows that having lowered one enough to let a crowd enter can no longer raise it again at will. Moreover, it is impossible that the garrison fired on those who had entered the courtyard because as soon as the crowd entered, we were all disarmed.

Appendix 2.4.16

Symbolism and Current Events
As has been previously mentioned, the Bastille was seen as a symbol of King Louis XVI’s absolute authority and absolutism in general, but what was it like to be there on July 14, 1789 as a member of the Parisian mob laying siege to the prison and a soldier attempting to defend it?
Read “A Conqueror of the Bastille Speaks” and “A Defender of the Bastille Explains His Role”. As an estate, discuss the following items:

1) Tone is the overall manner or expression in a piece of writing. What is the tone of each perspective? Explain to your peers by giving examples from the two perspectives.


2) Find the similarities and differences in the accounts of Keversau and Louis de Flue. In terms of the differences, which ones do you believe to be overly exaggerated? Explain to your peers by giving examples from the two perspectives.


3)A symbol is something physical representing a concept (i.e. thumbs up is a symbol for understanding). “The Bastille represented King Louis XVI’s absolute authority.” In the two perspectives, find all of the evidence to support this to discuss with your peers.



Imagine that it July of 1789 and that you are reading a local Parisian newspaper with these two accounts of the events that transpired at the Bastille. Based on your notes on Questions 1), 2), and 3), select the account that you believe to be more accurate in terms of description and compose a letter to the editor outlining your opinion. This part of the activity is to be done individually.

Here are some tips and a template for the letter to the editor:

  • Begin your letter by stating its purpose in one or two sentences.

  • Accompany this with 2-3 follow-up sentences providing examples that support your purpose.

  • Insert some of your personal opinion

  • In 1-2 sentences, attempt to persuade readers of your opinion

  • Address the letter as “Dear Editor” and close the letter by providing your name

  • Peruse the “letters to the editor” examples provided by the teacher

  • For more info see: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-format.html

14th July, 1789
The Editor,

The Paris Times,

Paris, France
Dear Editor,
Yours sincerely,

Student Name

Secondary School Name,

Street Address,

Province, Canada

Select a current event from a newspaper, magazine, or the internet that showcases the use of symbolism (i.e. The September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center; this symbolised the terrorists’ hatred of America). Provide a brief summary of the event in the first paragraph, and explain how your current event uses symbolism in the second paragraph. Please photocopy or print out the source and attach it to your two paragraph analysis. This part of the activity is to be done individually.


Appendix 2.4.17

Symbolism and Current Events Rubric










Analyzes the two perspectives on the “Fall of the Bastille”




  • The analysis of historical perspective in terms of tone and comparison is highly effective

  • The analysis of historical perspective in terms of tone and comparison is effective

  • The analysis of historical perspective in terms of tone and comparison is somewhat effective

  • The analysis of historical perspective in terms of tone and comparison is not effective

10 9.5 9 8.5 8

7.9 7.5 7

6.9 6.5 6

5.9 5.5 5


Constructs a letter to the editor using the tips and template provided




  • The letter to the editor is very clear in terms of organization of ideas

  • The letter to the editor is clear in terms of organization of ideas

  • The letter to the editor is somewhat clear in terms of organization of ideas

  • The letter to the editor is not clear in terms of organization of ideas

10 9.5 9 8.5 8

7.9 7.5 7

6.9 6.5 6

5.9 5.5 5


Identifies and explains a current event where symbolism is present




  • The selection and explanation of the current event displays a skilled comprehension of symbolism

  • The selection and explanation of the current event displays an adequate comprehension of symbolism

  • The selection and explanation of the current event displays a limited comprehension of symbolism

10 9.5 9 8.5 8

7.9 7.5 7

6.9 6.5 6

5.9 5.5 5

Appendix 2.4.18

  1. ESTATE: One of three social classes that a person in France could belong to. They included the clergy, the nobility, and the bourgeoisie and peasantry.

  2. CLERGY: Those tasked with religious duties.

  3. NOBILITY: Those who could hold high offices or positions within the administration.

  4. BOURGEOISIE: Large landowners who aspired to the rank of the nobility.

  5. TITHE: Tax collected by the clergy.

  6. TAILLE: Property tax collected by King Louis XVI.

  7. GRIEVANCE: cause or issue of complaint and/or wrongdoing.

  8. CONSTITUTION: a body of basic principles by which a country is governed.

  9. PARISIAN: citizens of Paris.

  10. FEUDALISM: medieval system of land owning whereby the peasantry owe services to the nobility.

  11. GUILLOTINE: an executionary device whereby a large blade decapitates the person judged guilty.


  1. King Louis XVI (later Louis Capet)

  2. Jacques Necker

  3. Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes

  4. “What is the Third Estate?” Pamphlet

  5. The Tennis Court Oath

  6. The National Assembly

  7. The Fall of the Bastille

  8. The Great Fear

  9. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

  10. Jacobins

  11. Girondins

Activity 2.5:

Was the Reign of Terror a Necessary Stop Between the Monarchy and the Napoleonic Era?

Activity 2.5: King to Conqueror: Was the Reign of Terror necessary between the Monarchy and the Napoleonic Era?

Time: 225 Minutes

This activity will explore the second half of the French Revolution, focusing on the Reign of Terror, the Committee for Public Safety, Maximilien Robespierre, Dechristianization, the social history, and the Directory. Students will use both primary and secondary sources to examine the political, social, and cultural history from the death of King Louis XVI to the 1799 coup d’état by Napoleon Bonaparte. Using a variety of teaching methods and activities the students will work together and alone to determine the lasting effects of this time period. Throughout this activity students will be taught the instructional strategy of Media Literacy and how to properly use credible sources. The students will use this skill when finding credible resources and detecting bias in the research they conduct for the “Century in Review” culminating activity.

Strand(s) and Learning Expectations
Strand(s): Communities: Local, National, and Global; Change and Continuity; Citizenship and Heritage; Methods of Historical Inquiry
Overall Expectations

COV.03 evaluate the key factors that have led to conflict and war or to cooperation and peace.

CCV.01 demonstrate an understanding of how the historical concept of change is used to analyse developments in the West and throughout the world since the sixteenth century;

CHV.04 demonstrate an understanding of the range and diversity of concepts of citizenship and human rights that have developed since the sixteenth century.

HIV.02 critically analyse historical evidence, events, and interpretations;

HIV.03 communicate opinions and ideas based on effective research clearly and concisely;
Specific Expectations

CO3.01 demonstrate an understanding of the key factors that have led to conflict and war (e.g., demographic pressures, as seen in the Bantu, Chinese, Indian, and European migrations and related conflicts; personal, religious, cultural, and racial issues, as see in the Napoleonic Wars, the Russian pogroms, the American Civil War, the Mahdist insurrections, World War II, and genocides, including the Holocaust; national and imperial rivalries, as seen in the Seven Years’ War, World War I, and the Cold War);

CO3.02 demonstrate an understanding of the consequences of war (e.g., destruction of human life and property, changes in power balances and regimes, entrenchment of attitudes of superiority and resistance, changes in social structure and in gender relations and expectations, technological and medical advances);

CC1.02 identify forces that have facilitated the process of change (e.g., increase in literacy, humanism and liberalism, scientific revolutions) and those that have tended to impede it (e.g., rigid class or caste systems, reactionary and conservative philosophies, traditional customs);

CC1.03 assess the influence of key individuals and groups who helped shape Western attitudes to change (e.g., Luther, Montesquieu, Wollstonecraft, Marx, Darwin, Einstein, de Beauvoir, Hawking; explorers and innovators, Luddites, Fabians, Futurists, environmentalists);

CH4.02 describe the efforts of individuals and groups who facilitated the advancement of individual and collective human rights (e.g., Locke, Rousseau, Kropotkin, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Rigoberta Menchú; suffragists, Amnesty International);

CH4.03 demonstrate an understanding of key factors that have slowed or blocked the advancement of human rights (e.g., poverty, religious intolerance, racial bias, imperial exploitation, authoritarian governments);

HI2.03 identify and describe relationships and connections in the data studied (e.g., chronological ties, cause and effect, similarities and differences);

HI3.01 communicate effectively, using a variety of styles and forms (e.g., essays, debates, role playing, group presentations);
Planning Notes:

  • The teacher must have reserved the proper resources needed to complete these lessons. They require a computer and projector as well as the necessary handouts.

  • The teacher must have Appendix 2.5.1 on a flash drive for quick access in class.

  • Chart paper and markers are needed for the think-pair-share.

  • The teacher will locate the YouTube clips from the History Channel entitled, The French Revolution #7-10 and show them. The students will be given a graphic organizer to complete before, during, and after the clips.

  • The teacher determines the section of the textbook Legacy: The West and the World relevant to the activity.

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

  • The students will have in depth knowledge of the political, social, and cultural changes brought about by the Enlightenment, including Women's rights and political philosophy.

  • A general understanding of the relationships between Monarchies (Austria-France) and the political implications of those relationships.

  • The causes of the French Revolution and the impacts it had on France leading up to the execution of Louis XVI.

  • They will be familiar with people and terms such as: J.J. Rousseau, the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the American Revolution, and Maximilien Robespierre, among others.

Teaching/ Learning Strategies:

  • The teacher will begin by reviewing the main points of the French Revolution so far, using a PowerPoint Presentation of art from the time period (Appendix 2.5.1). In the middle of the presentation there is a short clip from the TV show Family Guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-959_FqO9c ) depicting the death of Louis XVI. This will be shown followed by more paintings from the time period. The pictures will be analyzed and discussed as they are shown and the students will make inferences about the time period from the sources provided. This activity is a part of the Media Literacy instructional strategy. It teaches students to analyze art and political cartoons to make inferences on the atmosphere of society and the goals of the artist.

  • A discussion will follow the slideshow about the implications of the decapitation of a King. Some of the main discussion points are: repercussions from former allied nations, the symbolic nature of the act, and the message it sends to the people of France.

End of Minds On Activity

  • The teacher will hand out Appendix 2.5.2 for the students to fill out during the next three classes. It is a graphic organizer of some of the main ideas, people, places, things, and organization of the time period. The students will fill this out over the course of the next few days and it will act as both an assessment of learning and a guide for the Culminating Activity. This will help organize the information so the students can consult it during their “Century in Review” activity.

  • The teacher will then conduct a student-centered lecture on the radicalization of the Revolution. The class will look at how the fears of internal unrest, foreign invasion, and a return to the Monarchy guided the Republic to a totalitarian regime of terror. Along the way public figures like Marat, Robespierre, and Danton will be discussed. The class will focus on the complete reversal of the ideals of the revolution during this time period, including the shelving of the Constitution and the Declaration of Rights of Man. The increase in violence and oppression will be shown to contradict Human Rights. The main idea of this lecture is for the students to see the extreme radicalization from the death of Louis XVI to the death of Robespierre.

  • Once the students have a solid foundation of the politics of the Reign of Terror there will follow Think-Pair-Share activity. Each student will spend 2 minutes deciding whether or not the Reign of Terror was necessary to establish power and stability in France. After 2 minutes the students will gather into groups of three where they will discuss and analyse whether or not the Reign was effective and necessary or not. The groups will use chart paper and markers to create an organizer outlining their main points and arguments. The last portion of the class will be spent taking up these organizers and discussing it as a class.

  • In addition to the above the students will be given the primary document Levee en Masse (Activity 2.5.3). They will take a copy of this document home for homework and read it. It is the call for soldiers in 1793. The next class period will begin with a discussion of how the students would react to this notice.

End of Day One

  • The students will watch 4 videos off of YouTube that span the years from Louis XVI's death to the end of the Directory http://www.youtube.com/resultssearch_query=history+channel+french+revolution&aq=f. The students will be given a graphic organizer (Appendix 2.5.4) for them to complete during and after the clips.

  • After the videos another clip will be shown that outlines the French Revolution (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF4lPWU_qxY ). This clip, unlike the previous ones which were History Channel Documentaries, will be a YouTube user created video. The students will be given a handout on Media Literacy (Appendix 2.5.5). The handout will contain information on how to pick credible sources and how to detect bias in media.

  • A discussion will follow steps 7 and 8 to outline the importance of media literacy and how to detect bias and credibility. The students will analyze the two videos and discuss which they believe to be more credible. Some of the questions the teacher should ask are:

a) Which one is more credible and why?

b) Why is the second video less credible? Who made it?

c) Did you notice the spelling mistakes, lack of explanation for events, and wrong dates?

The teacher should start lecturing on the importance of media literacy for detecting bias and finding credible sources. The students will be told that this is important for the C.A. and that the handout should be used when completing the task.

  • Following the discussion the teacher will lecture on Dechristianization and the Cult of the Supreme Being. The class will discuss the video and go deeper in depth about the removal of the Church from public life. They will discuss the renaming of streets and public areas, the change in the Calendar, the annexing of Church property and the pillaging of their belongings, the elections for higher Church members, etc. The students will look at the move towards humanism and away from religion.

End of Day Two.

  • Day three will discuss social history of the time period. The class will conduct a jigsaw activity. The students will be numbered from one to four and each one of them will get together in a group with the other students with the same number. Once there the students will be given a subject from the textbook to read.

a) Group 1 will read Revolutionary Names and Symbols on pages 189- 190.

b) Group 2 will read Women and the Revolution on pages 191-193.

c) Group 3 will read Private Life and the Revolution on pages 201-202.

d) Group 4 will read Religion and the Revolution on pages 202-203.

  • Once all the groups are together they will read the sections and make notes about their subject. The groups will briefly discuss the implications of what they have read and they will connect it to the information they already know. After a short period the teacher will divide the class up so they there are new groups that contain one member from each of the old groups. The students will then be the “expert” on the subject they read about and discuss it with the other students. Once every member has presented to their group the teacher will conduct a class discussion on the importance and impact of each of the sections.

  • The teacher will lecture on the creation of the Directory and the relative period of stagnation that occurred during its rule. They will look at the Council of 500 and the Council of Elders, the makeup of the Directory (demographics), civil unrest, corruption, and the return of pre-revolutionary trends (Churches, elaborate clothing, etc.). The main focus of this portion will be the rising star in the military known as Napoleon Bonaparte. The Activity will end right before Napoleon comes to power in 1799 with a coup d’état.

  • As a final activity the class will conduct a four corners exercise. The guiding question will be in reference to the Activity title. The question will be: “The Reign of Terror was a necessary step between the Monarchy and Napoleon. Without it the conditions would not have been right for Napoleon to come to power.” The corners will be marked Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree. The class will have an organized debate on whether or not they agree with the statement and why.

End of Day Three.

Assessment and Evaluation Techniques:

Note: Numbers refer to the Teaching/ Learning Strategies

1/2 Assessment as and assessment for learning will take place as the teacher reviews the previous activity and discusses the art. The teacher will determine how much they already know of the subject and will use the pictures to draw the students into using critical thinking. A discussion will ensue.

5 Assessment as and for learning will take place using a think-pair-share activity. The teacher will use it to gauge where the students are in terms of understanding and knowledge and will use it as an opportunity to have discussions on their organizers.

8 Assessment as learning will take place with a discussion of Media Literacy and the importance of detecting bias and establishing credibility.

9/11 Assessment as learning will take place with group discussions.

13 Assessment of learning will take place with the Four Corners Activity used to draw out people's opinion and assess the depth of their understanding.


  1. For visual and auditory learners, students will have the opportunity for physical, auditory and visual accommodations by allowing students to move closer to the front of the room.

  2. During Teaching/ Learning Strategy 6 students who are unable to write and pay attention to the film have the option to obtain a filled in graphic organizer (Appendix 2).

  3. Think-pair-share strategy (#5) will allow for a buddy system to help learners with reading, writing, or physical disabilities.

  4. Class discussions, video presentations, pictures, and lectures will accommodate for all learning styles.

  5. Any necessary accommodations will be made for those with behavioural disorders.



Newman, Garfield, Usha James, Tom Cohen, Jennifer Watt, and Michael Butler, eds. Legacy: The West and The World. Toronto, ON: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 2002.

Palmer, R.R., Twelve Who Ruled: The Year of the Terror in the French Revolution. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.
Spielvogel, Jackson J.,eds. 5. Western Civilization. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/ Thomson Learning Inc., 2003.

David, Jacques-Louis. The Tennis Court Oath at Versailles. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution. American Social History Productions. http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/633/

Delacroix, Eugene. Liberty Leading the People. The French Revolution. http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/french/french.html

Encyclopædia Britannica Online, s.v. “Louis XVI: execution by guillotine.” http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/71602/Print-depicting-the-execution-ofLouis-XVI-in-1793. (accessed February 2, 2011)
Execution of Louis XVI, January 21, 1793, 10:22 in the Morning. Imaging the French Revolution. American Historical Review. http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/imaging/imagesnoflash/15.html
Executioner of King Louis XVI shows the head of the King of France to Crowd. The French Revolution. http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/french/french.html
Family Guy. Brian Goes Back to College. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-959_FqO9c
French Democrats Surprising the Royal Runaways. Imaging the French Revolution. American Historical Review. http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/imaging/images1--14.html
History Channel. “The French Revolution”(2005), Retrieved February 2, 2011, from http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=history+channel+french+revolution&aq=f
The Levée en Masse, Modern History Sourcebook. Fordham University. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1793levee.html

People Under the Old Regime. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution. American Social History Productions. http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/215/

Appendix 2.5.1- PowerPoint Presentation Teacher’s Guide

Appendix 2.5.2- Graphic Organizer

Appendix 2.5.3- Levee en Masse, 1793

Appendix 2.5.4- During and After Viewing Organizer

Appendix 2.5.5- Media Literacy Handout

Appendix 2.5.1- Teacher Copy

1. 2.




    1. It shows the monarchy, the clergy and the nobles riding on the back of a member of the Third Estate. It symbolizes the uses and abuses of the lower class

    2. Tennis Court Oath. It shows a proud and hopeful new society. The beginning of the revolution.

    3. The spirit of the revolution. Lady Liberty charging over those who opposed.

    4. The capture of the royal family. Shown in a British cartoon. Over dramatized and over accentuated features. It was a satire.

    5. Show the Family Guy clip.

  1. 7.




6. A postcard of the execution of Louis XVI. Drab, bleak, and the King looks normal and disheveled.

7. Another portrait of the King. Here it is bright, there is a man in a red cap behind him, and the King looks slightly more elegant and proud.

8. The King has been decapitated and his head is shown to the 80,000 people in attendance.
Appendix 2.5.2- Teacher Copy

Important person, idea, event, institution, etc.

Details and general facts.

Why is it important and relevant? What was its impact?

Maximilien Robespierre

Death- July 27, 1794. Was a radical member and later key figure of the Jacobins and the figurehead of the Reign of Terror. He led the Committee for Public Safety and was the driving force behind radicalization and the terror. He implemented government policies that would later become the basis of Totalitarian governments.

Georges Danton

Another figurehead for the Jacobins. He was a driving force behind the radicalization and the call for the Reign of Terror. Was executed under suspicions of treason (by the order of his friend Robespierre) in April of 1794.

Committee for Public Safety

The Committee undertook the ruling of the city of Paris and dealt with matters such as food shortages, treason, public safety, executions, civil tribunals, and political subversion. It was the tribunal that sent many people to their death by the Guillotine.


The act of moving away from religion and towards a secular humanist Republic. The Church land was taken, the buildings pillaged and renamed (Notre Dame Cathedral---Temple of Reason), and Christian officials were to be voted upon. Street names with Saint in them or Royal names were renamed and the calendar was no longer from the birth of Jesus but rather from Sept. 21, 1792. Days and months are renamed and the Cult of the Supreme Being is started. Reverted back to normal steadily between the end of the terror and the end of Napoleon.


The political group who were radical leftists. They supported the rights of the middle class and wanted equality for all. They became more radical as time went on and were the driving force behind the Reign of Terror. Eradicated any opposition both foreign and local.


The more moderate group who did not want to give power to the middle class or Sans-culottes. They were in opposition to the Jacobins but were overpowered and many were put to death.


The lower class that did not wear the standard culottes. Were a main part of the Revolutionary Army and wore a symbolic red cap of liberty.

Foreign Threat

The countries that were opposed to the Republic of France. This included being attacked and barricaded by Great Britain, and attacked by Austria and Prussia. Russia, Turkey and Spain were also enemies of France. Links between Monarchies was one of the main reasons for opposition but also they saw opportunity in a weakened France.


An invention that came out of the Revolution and was later to be a symbol of death and oppression during the Reign of Terror. It was a quick way to publicly execute people. During the reign of Terror it was used to execute around 17,000-50,000 people. The most accepted number is 40,000.

Reign Of Terror

The Reign of Terror was the period between September 1793 and July 1794 when the ruling committees used fear to crush internal opposition to new policies in an attempt to provide national stability. Between 17000 and 50,000 people are thought to be executed, including the royal family and, in the end, those that perpetrated the terror (Robespierre and Danton, among others). Was the basis for most Totalitarian regimes since then. Followed the philosophies of Rousseau.

Appendix 2.5.2- Student Copy

Important person, idea, event, institution, etc.

Details and general facts.

Why is it important and relevant? What was its impact?

Maximilien Robespierre

Georges Danton

Committee for Public Safety





Foreign Threat


Reign Of Terror

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