French Revolution Causes-Events-Effects-Results

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French Revolution


The French Revolution 1789

France 1789


Based on Enlightenment thought

Ideas and principles


Popular sovereignty

Challenging the existing power structure

Enlightenment Ideas (con’t)

Economic Problems

France population was expanding rapidly in the late 1700’s

heavy taxes made it impossible for people to make any profits

King Louis XVI kept taxing the people to pay

for his debts and elaborate lifestyle

Enlightenment Ideas (con’t)

Weak Leadership

King Louis XVI allowed problems to linger: He paid no attention to

his advisors

Louis put off dealing with France’s economic problems

until France became bankrupt

Enlightenment Ideas


New views about the nature of political power and the role of


people began to see government role to help the people be

Happy and harmonious, not oppressive

people began to see themselves as the source of governments’

power, not God (reject Divine Right)


Louis XIV –Sun King –great leader

Louis XV-poor leader

Louis XVI –poorer leader

Who’s Above All the Estates?

King Louis XVI (16th)

King Louis XVI

1780’s French King was Louis XVI, great grandson of King Louis XIV “Sun King”

Lived in the Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles


Tax revenues


Poor leadership

Excessive spending

7 Years War

American Revolution


Louis XV hires financial consultant Maupeou

Maupeou’s plan-tax nobility

Louis XV dies

Louis XVI fires Maupeou(public opinion)

Jacques Necker

Fired as finance minister

Necker’s plan-limit favors to nobility

Nobles unhappy

Necker fired


New minister

Calonne’s plan

Internal trade

Lower taxes(salt)

$ for work

Govt regulation

Calonne contd

Property tax for all

Local taxes

Tax the Church’s property

Calonne fired

Necker back for now

Deadlock and Estates General

New minister-deBrianne-Archbishop

Estates General summoned by King to solve the problem

Estates General

Not until it was too late did Louis finally do something

May 5, 1789 King Louis XVI called for the Estates General

a meeting of representatives from all three estates to discuss tax reform and getting France out of debt

This was the first such meeting in France in over 175 years!

Estates General (con’t)

The Revolution of 1789

Estates General→National Assembly


The National Assembly

Estates General meeting the first two estates sided with the King: tried to silence members of the third estate (the majority of French society)

On June 17, 1789 members of the third estate voted to establish the National Assembly



This vote was the first step of revolution against King Louis XVI and the first two estates

French Society: 18th Century

French Society: 18th Century

Abbe Seiyes

What is the Third Estate?

Voting Rules of Estates

Breakdown of the 3rd Estate

The 3 Estates

Late 18th Century, French Society divided into 3 Estates (classes)

1st Estate

Church (owned 10% of the land) paid no taxes

2nd Estate

Nobles (owned 20% of the Land) paid no taxes

3rd Estate

Everybody Else paid all taxes

The 3 Estates (con’t)

Doubling the Third Estate

Big mistake-why?

Consequence it doubled the size of the 3rd estate


Govt waste



Hunting privileges

What do they want?

Periodic meeting of estates general

Equality in taxation

Local control

Unified weights and measures

Free press

Equality of rights


National Assembly How?

3rd estate and 2nd estate join =National Assembly

King makes mistakes

Locks them out

Effect =they have a meeting of their own

Tennis Court Oath

Oath to make a constitutional govt(written)

Vote by head rather than estate

National Assembly renames itself National Constitutional Assembly

Tennis Court Oath (con’t)

Tennis Court Oath (con’t)

June 20, 1789:

third estate representatives were locked out of their meeting room at the Estates General: they broke down the door to an in-door tennis court

They pledged to stay there until they drew up a new constitution for France

This pledge is called the Tennis Court Oath

Tennis Court Oath

Shared Ideas

Written constitution

All estates treated equally

Liberal Goals-political, social, and economic reform


Cause –effect/Event- Result

King brings in 600,000 troops to Paris

Famine-no bread

3rd estate collects arms

July 14, 1789-Parisians storm the Bastille looking for arms

Bastille Day: July 14, 1789

Bastille Day: July 14, 1789

Bastille Day: July 14, 1789

Treated as France’s Independence Day (Like 4th of July in America)

Members of the Third Estate were still upset about being locked out of the Estates General Meeting

Bastille: A Prison in Paris where political prisoners were held: people jailed for speaking out against the King

Weapons for the French army were also stored in the Bastille

Bastille Day: July 14, 1789

Storming of the Bastille: July 14, 1789

Hundreds of members of the Third Estate storm the prison, free prisoners, and steal weapons: They’re armed now!!

The French army was unprepared and unable to stop them

Storming was the symbolic beginning of the French Revolution against the King

July 15

Marquis de Layfayette-liberal general-fought in American Revolution

Public support

Louis XVI bows down

The Great Fear 1789

The “Great Fear”


Who is afraid?


Bread Riots 1789

October 1789 6,000 women in Paris rioted over the price of bread

They then marched on the palace of Versailles and killed two guards

They demanded the King and Queen leave their palace of Versailles and return to Paris (13 miles)

This signaled

the change of power from the King to the people

Declaration of the Rights of Man

Declaration of the Rights of Man

August 27, 1789 the National Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man

Guaranteed equal justice, freedom of religion and speech

Influenced by English Bill of Rights

Next step in the French Revolution

Declaration of the Rights of Man

What rights were given pg 555

Parisian Women March on Versailles

Why ?

When does a mother get mad?.....

Result –King comes back to Paris with….

Queen Marie Antoinette

Queen Marie Antoinette (con’t)

Louis’ wife Marie Antoinette was hated by the French people:

because she was Austrian (France’s enemy at the time)

because she spent so much money on jewels and gifts

The Legislative Assembly

The Reconstruction of France

P=Constitutional Monarchy

E= Rationalism

S=Unregulated freedom

Protect property rights

Coalition 1st 2nd and 3rd estates

Constitution 1791

P=Power in the hands of unicameral Legislative Assembly

King could veto

Legislature-power to declare war and make treaties

+/- Who can play

Only 50k of 25m can play

Women 

+ propertied wealthy

Hereditary wealth

Olympe de Gouge

Women’s rights, radical

Declaration of the Rights of Women








Local Districts


Court reform

Cruel and unusual punishment gone

E=Guilds power reduced

Liberated grain trade

Metric system

Chapelier Law

Unions banned

Peasants and workers lose


Assignates=bonds=loans to the govt

Result =inflation


Reduced Church officials

State pays Church officials that are elected

Dissolved religious orders

Mistake-oath to the state

Pope involved condemns Dec of Man and Civil Constitution

Church vs. revolution

Counterevolutionary Response

Enemies of rev

Pope and his followers



King’s brother Artois

Kings joins and gets caughts

Foreign support

Declaration of Pillintz

Austria-Leopold II –Marie bro

Prussia-Frederick William

Britain –noninvolvement

The End of The Monarchy Revolution Part Deux

Jacobins-Church radical Dominicans

Favored republic

Ex Rouseau-equality, popular sovereignty, civic virtue

Factionalism(splintering,divisions)-radicals, Girondists

Opposed counterevolutionaries

Emigres return or forfeit land

King vetoes

Declare war on Austria and Prussia

Goal-preserve the revolution

Women will fight

Paris Commune

Radical working class

Radicals vs. Swiss guard

King put in jail

San Culottes

Paris Commune kills 1200 Nobility, Church, and common criminals

Public Opinion down

Universal male suffrage

France declared a republic

Who are the San Culottes

Shopkeepers, artisans, wage earners, factory workers,

San Culottes goals

Relief from

Food shortages

Increased prices

Social equality

Right to subsistance

Hate aristocracy and king

 republic-people centered

Policies of Jacobins

Jacobins less radical than san culottes

Jacobins merge with san culottes

End of Louis XVI

Put on trial

Girondists try to save him

Convicted as a traitor


Revolutionaries next move

Declare war on European monarchies

Britain, Holland, and Spain

Enemies-Austria and Prussia

Who controls the military?

Who is the military?

The Emigres

Nobles and clergymen who fled France during the peasant uprisings.

They hoped to undo the Revolution and restore the old regime

The Sans-Culottes

wage laborers and small shop-keepers from Paris

They wanted a greater voice in government, lower food prices, and an end to food shortages

did not get a voice in government but they found a way to exert their will in government: by influencing a political party that later seized control of France (the Jacobins)

The Jacobins

Formed an alliance with the Sans-Culottes

Jacobins: extreme radical revolutionaries, wanted to end the monarchy and establish representative democracy (The people vote for elected officials to establish laws)

They eventually do take over the Legislative Assembly and the whole government

The Reign of Terror

The Guillotine

Maximilien Robespierre

Maniac leader of the Committee of Public Safety: responsible for tens of thousands of deaths

Committee of Public Safety

The Reign of Terror

July 1793-July 1794

A Group of 15 Jacobins take over the French Government:

The Committee of Public Safety

Led By Maximilien Robespierre

Publicly Executed anyone they deemed an enemy of the revolution (no trials)

Reign of Terror (con’t)


Over 40,000 people killed in one year

75%+ of those killed from 3rd Estate! (The Revolution was supposed to be for them!

Reign of Terror (con’t)

Death of King Louis XVI

January 21, 1793 Louis publicly executed by the Jacobins; Marie Antoinette executed 10/16/1793

Death of Robespierre

Eventually the public withdrew support of Robespierre: too many senseless killings

Other members of the Committee of Public Safety wanted to kill him before he killed them

July 28, 1794 Robespierre publicly executed in Paris

His death signals the end of the Reign of Terror

The Directory

After the Reign of Terror a new group of 5 Moderates take over the government: The Directory

The people wanted new less violent leadership

The Directory rules France from November 1795-November 1799

The Directory was ineffective and

corrupt: allowed for

________to eventually take over……

Napoleon Bonaparte

Bread Riots

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