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St. John Fisher School


St. John Fisher School Main Campus

Camella Springville, Bacoor, Cavite

School Year 2012-2013

Third Year High School

The French Revolution and Napoleon (1789-1815)

Lesson 7

Unit 3: Revolutions that Shaped the Modern World

Pacing Recommendation: 5 sessions

Essential Question

What are some of the lessons we can learn from the French Revolution?


  • Describe the divisions of France’s old order.

  • Explain the reasons for the French Revolution.

  • Discuss the important events of the French Revolution.

  • Understand how and why the radicals of the revolution abolished the monarchy.

  • Explain the Reign of Terror.

  • Analyze how the French Revolution changed the lives of the French people.

  • Understand how Napoleon rose to power.

  • Explain how Napoleon built an empire what challenges his empire faced.

  • Analyze the events that led to Napoleon’s downfall.

  • Outline how the Congress of Vienna tried to create a lasting peace.

Lesson Outline

  • The Causes of the French Revolution

  • From the National Assembly to the Directory

  • The French Empire under Napoleon

Needed Materials and Equipments

  • Lesson plan content

  • Progress record

Textbook Support

Radford, J.L. (1986). World History. Quezon City, Philippines: Phoenix Publishing House.

  • Lesson 20: The French Revolution (pp. 123-128)


Terms Bank

On your WH Lecture Notebook, write the definition of the following words and use them in a sentence.

  1. ancien régime

  2. estate

  3. bourgeoisie

  4. Louis XVI

  5. Estates-General

  6. Tennis Court Oath

  7. Bastille

  8. Marie Antoinette

  9. émigré

  10. sans-culotte

  11. republic

  12. Jacobins

  13. suffrage

  14. Robespierre

  15. Reign of Terror

  16. guillotine

  17. Napoleon

  18. Continental System

  19. scorched-earth policy

  20. Congress of Vienna

Recitation Help Discussion Questions

Copy the questions and write your answers on your WH Lecture Notebook. Answer the following questions in 3 sentences or less. You may find the answers on your WH textbook. This homework is optional; however these are also the sort of questions that can earn you big points (+2) in recitation. You ought to do this if you want to improve your knowledge and grade in World History.

  1. What was the social structure of the old regime in France?

  2. What actions did delegates of the Third Estate take when the Estates-General met in 1789?

  3. What occurred after radicals took control of the French National Assembly?

  4. Why did Robespierre think the Terror was necessary to achieve the goals of the Revolution?

  5. What changes occurred in France because of the French Revolution?

  6. How did Napoleon come to dominate most of Europe by 1812?

  7. What challenges threatened Napoleon’s empire and what led to disaster in Russia?

  8. Explain the chief goal and outcome of the Congress of Vienna?

Extra Credit Essay

Copy the questions and write your answers on a sheet of green pad paper. You only need to write one essay.

  1. The French Revolution brought about waves of nationalism that spread throughout France. Under Napoleon, nationalism spurred French armies to success. The tricolor flag, the song La Marseillaise, and the words Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity all helped unite the French people in a cause to defend their nation. What spurred nationalism in the 1896 Philippine Revolution? Think about the symbols our ancestors used and their common goals.

  2. In the French Revolution, the Third Estate revolted to topple the Old Regime. The Communists of China caused a similar upheaval when the peasants of the country united to end their oppression by the landed and moneyed class. Research the Chinese Civil War of 1945-1949. How does it compare to the French Revolution? Compare their causes, effects, and goals.

  3. Research about the battles of Napoleon, from Marengo to Waterloo. Select at least 5 important battles. Summarize how Napoleon won or lost each battle. What strategies or tactics did Napoleon use? What strategies or tactics did his enemies use? What were the keys to military success then?

Previewing the Lesson

Build Background Knowledge

  • Making it clear: A revolt and a revolution are similar in that they cause change and often involve violence. However, they don’t exactly mean the same.

  • Developing a stand: What is the difference between a “revolt” and a “revolution”?

    • A revolt is an uprising or a rebellion.

    • A revolution is the overthrow of a government or a social system.


  • Finding parallels in life: What kind of revolution do you want to experience or take part in?

  • Setting a tone. What does it mean to have a revolution? Do the changes you want require bloodshed or are they achievable through peaceful means?

Lesson Content and Discussion Questions

The Causes of the French Revolution

  • By 1789, France was suffering a severe economic, social, and political crisis that would lead to a revolution.

    • Corrupt and inconsistent leadership

    • Resentment against the privileged classes

    • Spread of Enlightenment ideas

    • Huge government debt

    • Poor harvests and rising prices of bread

How was French society like before the French Revolution?

  • In 1789, France, like the rest of Europe, clung to an outdated social system that emerged in the medieval ages.

    • Under the ancien régime or old order, everyone in France belonged to any of the three social classes or estates.

    • The First Estate was made up of the clergy, the Second Estate was made up of the nobility, and the Third Estate comprised the vast majority of the population.

  • The First and Second Estates enjoyed great privileges.

    • The clergy was very rich.

      • They owned 10% of the land, collected tithes, and paid no direct taxes to the state.

      • High clergy (bishops and abbots) usually came from the nobility and lived well; lower clergy, however, were not much above the people they served.

      • The clergy ran schools, hospitals, and orphanages, but Enlightenment thinkers targeted them because they were religiously intolerant and continued to meddle in politics.

    • The nobility hold top government jobs.

      • In the past the nobility also held military power, but they were taken away by Richelieu and Louis XIV.

      • The royalty held the high nobility in check by giving them top jobs in the army, the government, the courts, and by endorsing their Church posts. Courtiers in Paris and Versailles were plied endless amusements.

      • The lesser nobility or country gentry suffered as their lands provided little income in a time of rising prices.

    • The most diverse class was the Third Estate or the bourgeoisie (middle class).

      • The bourgeoisie included bankers, merchants, manufacturers, lawyers, doctors, journalists, professors, rural peasants, and urban workers. They were the largest class in France.

      • Rural peasants formed the bulk of the bourgeoisie but the poorest were the urban workers, who were often unemployed or earned very little.

      • The bourgeoisie resented the privileges of the First and Second Estates, especially with their freedom from taxation.

  • France suffered from financial troubles primarily caused by the government’s deficit spending or spending more than it takes in.

    • Louis XIV, the Seven Years’ War, and France’s participation in the American Revolution dried the treasury.

    • The lavish court spent millions of francs in idle amusements.

    • The government resorted to borrowing money, increasing the national debt.

    • To resolve this problem, the government needed to raise taxes and reduce expenses. The First and Second Estates fiercely resisted any attempt to tax them.

  • As the crisis deepened, the wealthy classes demanded that the king convene the Estates-General, the legislative body of France, to deliberate on the matter.

    • The First and Second Estates thought to use the Estates-General to protect their privileges.

    • The king was afraid to convene the Estates-General because the nobles might use it to assert their feudal rights, which would weaken absolute monarchy.

How did the French Revolution start?

  • Louis XVI finally allowed the Estates-General to convene in Versailles in 1789.

    • The Estates were made to prepare cahiers or grievance notebooks.

      • Many cahiers called for reforms such as fairer taxes, freedom of the press, and regular meetings of the Estates-General.

      • The cahiers testified to the resentment of the Third Estate against the two other Estates.

    • The delegates to the Estates-General were deadlocked over the issue of voting.

      • Traditionally, each Estate met and voted separately. This meant that the First and Second Estates would always outvote the Third.

      • The Third Estate argued for reforms in voting; they wanted that all met as a single body and votes counted by head.

    • After weeks of stalemate, the bourgeoisie of the Third Estate declared themselves to be the National Assembly and the real representatives of the people of France.

      • The National Assembly was barred from meeting again so they went to a nearby indoor tennis court and took there the famous Tennis Court Oath.

      • The National Assembly swore “never to separate and to meet wherever the circumstances might require until we have established a sound and just constitution.”

    • Reform-minded clergy and nobles joined the Assembly and the king accepted it. But as royal troops gathered in Paris, rumors spread that the king planned to dissolve the Assembly.

  • On 14 July 1789, the people of Paris stormed the Bastille, a medieval fortress used as a prison for political and other prisoners.

    • The people thought that royal troops were to occupy Paris; they went to the Bastille demanded that the Bastille yield its gunpowder and weapons.

    • The commander refused to open the Bastille and opened fire on the crowd. The crowd turned into an angry mob and stormed the prison. The Bastille fell but after many have died.

    • The people found no weapons but they freed the few prisoners they found there.

    • The Bastille was a symbol of absolute monarchy and tyranny in France. Its fall was a symbol not just of a short-lived riot but of an attempt by the people to end the regime.

    • Since 1880, Bastille Day is celebrated annually in France as its independence day.

Lesson Objectives

  • Describe the divisions of France’s old order.

  • Explain the reasons for the French Revolution.

  • Discuss the important events of the French Revolution.

Check-Up, Comprehension & Critical Thinking Questions

  1. Explain the words of Abbé Emmanuel Sieyès, a clergyman who joined the Third Estate in the Revolution: “What is the Third Estate? Everything. What has it been until now in the political order? Nothing. What does it want to be? Something.”

  2. What was the social structure of the old regime in France?

  3. What economic troubles did France face in 1789?

  4. What issues arose when Louis XVI called the Estates-General in 1789?

  5. What is the significance of the storming of the Bastille?

Historical Trivia and Curiosities

  • Indecisive and easily influenced, Louis XVI was ill-prepared to lead France during turbulent times. When he was born he was fourth in line to the throne, but by 10 he was direct heir. Although the young prince tried to accustom himself to kingship, he was more drawn to the woods and making locks. He became king at age 20, he apparently said “I am the unhappiest of men.”

From National Assembly to the Directory

  • Historians divide the French Revolution into 4 phases:

    • Moderate / National Assembly – 1789-1791

    • Radical / Reign of Terror – 1792-1794

    • Moderate / Directory – 1795-1799

    • Imperial / Napoleon – 1799-1815

What revolutionary acts did the National Assembly make?

  • The political crisis in France leads to revolt among peasants and urban workers. Their revolt was called the Great Fear and inspired the National Assembly to grant peasants certain freedoms and benefits.

    • The French Revolution occurred after a great famine. Grain and bread were in short supply and many people were starving.

    • Peasants revolted against the government and their noble masters. Many stole grain from warehouses and set fire to old manor records.

    • In Paris, a radical group that argued for the end of monarchy came to power. It was eventually called the Paris Commune.

    • In the face of the storming of Bastille and the revolts of the peasants and urban workers, the National Assembly acted.

  • On 2 A.M. of 4 August 1789, the members of the National Assembly declared that “feudalism is abolished.” The declaration met a key Enlightenment goal – to make everyone equal before the law.

  • The National Assembly issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.

    • The Declaration insisted on Enlightenment ideas like “all men are born free and equal”, men had natural rights, and it is the government’s duty to protect these rights.

    • The Declaration proclaimed that all men were equal and had equal right to hold public office, that people had religious freedom and taxes were to be levied based on the ability to pay.

  • The Church is placed under state control.

    • In 1790, the clergy became salaried employees of the state.

    • To pay off the debt, the government sequestered Church property and sold it, sparking a rift between the Roman Catholic Church and the peasants.

  • The National Assembly gave all tax-paying men aged 25 above the right to vote for members of the Legislative Assembly.

  • All the duchies and counties were dissolved and replaced by a centralized system of departments or provinces.

  • The Constitution of 1791 reformed the government by making it a constitutional monarchy; the king loses power and the support of his people.

    • A demonstration by Parisian women forced the royal family to go back to Paris and deal with the food crisis.

    • The royal family was transferred from Versailles to Paris, where they would remain virtual prisoners.

    • In 1791 they tried to escape, but the king was recognized by guards along the Belgian border.

    • The people were especially angry against the Austrian Marie Antoinette, to whom the line “Let them eat cake!” is attributed to.

  • The metric system is adopted all over France.

What was the Reign of Terror?

  • The National Assembly was dominated by the wealthier bourgeoisie. In 1792, power shifted to the poorer segments of society, which led bloody campaigns to continue the revolution. This period is called the Reign of Terror.

  • Mobs endangered the lives of nobles and churchmen.

    • City-dwellers, especially Parisians, were led by great orators like Maximilien Robespierre, who believed that every adult man had the right to vote regardless of property, and that the government should guarantee the commoners food and shelter.

    • For the wealthier bourgeoisie, Robespierre’s ideas were impossible to set in practice.

    • Mobs seized grain supplies and attacked churches as well as the manors of their landlords.

    • Émigrés, people who fled France, told stories of attacks against them by the people.

    • Radicals seized control of the National Assembly and called it the National Convention.

  • The National Convention added to the domestic chaos the threat of war by declaring war against Austria and Prussia.

    • This happened in 1791 after the royal family tried escaping; the people believed that Marie Antoinette was involved in an attempt by Austria to invade France.

    • In 1793, the National Convention voted to execute by guillotine the royal couple for treason.

  • To prevent France from crumbling to its enemies, the National Convention created the Committee of Public Safety to find and execute the “enemies of the people.”

    • It was created at the initiation of the sans-culotte, the small shopkeepers and workers of Paris, and the Jacobins, a political club based in Paris.

      • They were very radical and influential groups.

      • The Jacobins were led by Georges Danton, Jean-Paul Marat, and Robespierre.

      • The more moderate faction of the Convention were called the Girondists and most of them came from other parts of France.

    • As the combined armies of the First Coalition (Prussia, Austria, Hanover, Saxony, Britain, the Netherlands, and Spain) threatened to crush France, the Committee prepared for an all-out war by issuing a levée en-masse or mass levy.

      • This was the first military draft in history and involved the whole population in war.

      • The new French army, though lacking in officers (most of the officers were nobles) had 800,000 determined men.

      • The army easily swept the First Coalition from France and pursued them to their homelands, turning the tables and spreading the “revolution fever.”

    • Robespierre assumed control of the government and oversaw sweeping changes in the country.

      • All adult men, regardless of property, were given suffrage or the right to vote.

      • He promoted religious toleration and wanted to abolish slavery, but he had a very cold sense of justice; he believed that France could only become a “republic of virtue” if “criminals will lose their heads.”

      • From 1793 to 1794, the guillotine, an invention by Dr. Joseph Guillotin, killed 40,000 people all over France accused of “treason” and being against the revolution. Many became victims because of mistaken identity or false accusations from their sans-culotte enemies.

    • The members of the National Convention, fearing for their own lives, turned on the Committee and had Robespierre and other radical leaders executed.

      • Robespierre had Danton and Marat executed for attempting to stop the Terror.

What happened after the end of the Reign of Terror?

  • The National Convention was dissolved and replaced by the Directory.

    • The Directory was a five-man executive council that presided over a two-house legislature.

    • It was dominated by the wealthy bourgeoisie.

  • The Directory was dictatorial and corrupt.

    • It made peace with Prussia and Spain but continued the war against Britain and Austria.

    • Corrupt leaders lined up their own pockets and grew rich.

    • The Directory suppressed the rioting sans-culotte and the royalists, people who welcomed the émigrés back and wanted to restore the monarchy. They only benefitted the rich bourgeoisie.

  • The Directory tries to save itself by turning to Napoleon Bonaparte.

    • Napoleon was an ambitious minor officer who became a military hero in the Italian campaigns.

    • The Directory wanted to use Napoleon to distract the people and make them continue supporting the revolution.

What are the legacies of the French Revolution?

  • Red liberty caps

  • Guillotine

  • Tricolor flag and the national motto of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”

  • Practical clothes and simple fashions

  • Nationalism – a strong feeling or pride in and devotion to one’s country.

  • La Marseillaise, French national anthem

  • Religious toleration and loss of dominance by the clergy

  • Social support for education, the poor, war veterans, and widows


  • Discuss the important events of the French Revolution.

  • Understand how and why the radicals of the revolution abolished the monarchy.

  • Explain the Reign of Terror.

  • Analyze how the French Revolution changed the lives of the French people.

Check-Up, Comprehension & Critical Thinking Questions

  1. What occurred after the Radicals took control of the Assembly?

  2. What did Robespierre think was necessary to deal with the enemies of the revolution?

  3. What changes occurred after the Reign of Terror came to an end?

  4. What changes occurred in France because of the French Revolution?

  5. How do you think French nationalism affected the war between France and the powers of Europe?

Historical Trivia and Curiosities

  • Joseph Guillotin, who invented the guillotine to make it more humane and faster to execute people, fell victim to his own invention.

  • According to some authorities, even after the head had been severed, the victim could remain conscious up to 30 seconds.

The French Empire under Napoleon

  • From 1799 to 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte would dominate France and Europe. He gave his name to the final phase of the French Revolution and carried the revolution farther than before.

How did Napoleon rise to power?

  • When the revolution broke out, Napoleon was an ambitious 20-year old lieutenant in the French army.

    • He came from Corsica, an island governed by France. To most French, Corsica was a backward country.

    • Napoleon favored the Jacobins and the republic, but he had to shift alliance as the revolution changed to the Directory. “Since one must take sides, one might was well choose the side that is victorious, the side which devastates, loots, and burns… it is better to eat than to be eaten.”

  • Napoleon became famous for his daring battles and his improvisation of the mobile artillery.

    • He drove the British out from Toulon (S. France) in 1793 and won several battles in Northern Italy against the Austrians. His first major victory was the Battle of Marengo.

    • His favorite strategy was to load cannons on horse-drawn wagons and fire at will.

    • In 1798, hoping to disrupt British trade with India, he launched an invasion of Egypt.

      • The Battle of the Pyramids, as it was called, was a disaster but his excellent spy network prevented bad news from coming to France.

      • Because of the Battle of the Pyramids, French archaeologists rekindled the study of ancient Egypt. The French also found the Rosetta Stone.

  • Napoleon took power from the Directory and established a democratic despotism.

    • Taking lessons from the Romans, Napoleon established a three-man Consulate with him as First Consul. In 1802 he named himself Consul for life.

    • In 1804 he crowned himself Emperor of the French. He invited the Pope for the coronation ceremonies in Paris, but rather than have the Pope put the crown on his head, he took the crown from the Pope and put it on himself.

    • At each step of his rise to power, Napoleon would call a plebiscite or popular vote by ballot.

      • Although the people theoretically had the power to remove Napoleon, they voted for him all the time because he won the support of the bourgeoisie, the workers, and the peasants.

      • He was known for setting up government-supported education that ensured the best talents and minds of France a chance to shine regardless of their class.

    • Despite his bad reputation among other Europeans, the French until today love Napoleon; his remains now lie in the Pantheon, the national heroes’ tomb in Paris.

How did Napoleon build an empire?

  • From 1804 to 1812, Napoleon battled the combined forces of the greatest European powers of his time to create a continental empire that only Hitler’s Third Reich could match.

    • By 1812, his empire has reached its greatest extent, reaching from Madrid in Spain to Moscow in Russia. It is called the Grand Empire of France.

    • As a military leader, Napoleon favored rapid movements of large armies and new tactics and strategies that always surprised his enemy generals.

  • Napoleon’s military might destroyed the power of Prussia, Austria, Spain, and Russia.

    • In the battles of Jena, Ulm, Austerlitz, and Wagram, Napoleon’s new tactics crushed the traditional armies of Prussia and Austria.

    • He directly annexed the Netherlands, Belgium, parts of western Germany, and parts of Italy.

    • He abolished the Holy Roman Empire and incorporated the remaining German states into the Confederation of the Rhine under French protection.

    • He unseated the king of Spain and put his brother, Joseph, as king.

    • He divided Prussia into half and created the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, a Polish state allied with France.

    • He forced Prussia, Austria, and Russia to sign peace and alliance treaties with France or risk total incorporation to the Grand Empire.

  • Of all Napoleon’s enemies, only Britain remained outside of the French army’s reach.

    • Britain had a small army but a powerful navy that checked any French attempt to cross the English Channel.

    • In 1805, before the French navy can launch an invasion of Britain, the British fleet under Admiral Horatio Nelson smashed the French navy at the Battle of Trafalgar, off Gibraltar.

    • To weaken Britain, Napoleon enforced the Continental System, a blockade meant to stop the movement of people and trade to Britain.

      • The blockade was ineffective because the British continued to trade with the Americas and Asia.

      • The blockade made many goods scarce in Europe. Inflation occurred and many conquered people grew angry at the French.

      • The Russians, part of the Quadruple Alliance against Napoleon, secretly traded with the British to weaken the Continental System.

  • The ideas of the French Revolution took hold in the conquered areas and in Latin America.

    • liberal reforms

    • revolutionary governments

    • end of feudalism and Church dominance

    • actual practice of Enlightenment ideas

    • spread of nationalism

What ended the French Grand Empire?

  • Nationalism

    • The conquered people wanted to end the French occupation of their lands.

    • Nationalist revolts against France were worst in Spain where Spanish nationalists organized guerillas, hit-and-run tactics that aimed to make it difficult to rule an area.

      • Many Spaniards were loyal to their king and to the Spanish Catholic Church, which Napoleon tried to undermine.

      • Spanish patriots attacked French supply trains or ambushed small groups of soldiers. Napoleon had to tie a large portion of his army at Spain just to control it.

  • The Russian Campaign

    • Tsar Alexander I of Russia became an ally of France after Napoleon promised him peace and half of Europe in support of the Continental System but in 1812 he shifted sides.

    • To punish Russia, Napoleon assembled a large army of 600,000 men from 20 nations and 50,000 horses and cannons. Called the Grand Armée, it was the largest army assembled yet in history.

    • Russia responded to the invasion with a scorched-earth policy.

      • The Russian general, Kutuzov, believed that the only way Russia’s outmoded army can stand to the French invasion was to use the power of Russia’s geography and climate.

      • Millions of Russians retreated to the east, burning everything so that the French could not live off the land. Millions of acres of Russia was laid waste.

      • The French eventually reached Moscow, but it was abandoned when they came there. Winter came, and thousands of French soldiers died from hunger and cold.

      • Napoleon ordered a retreat to Germany, but as his army retreated, Russian Cossacks attacked them.

      • Of his 600,000 or so men, only 20,000 got back to France.

    • After hearing Napoleon’s losses, the Quadruple Alliance resumed hostilities and defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Nations, in Leipzig, Germany in 1813.

    • Napoleon abdicated and was exiled to Elba, an island off Italy.

      • The Quadruple Alliance reinstalled the monarchy, with Louis XVIII as the new king of France.

      • Many people felt that the old regime was coming back. They wanted Napoleon to return.

  • The Battle of Waterloo

    • In 1815, as the victorious allies assembled at Vienna to dictate the terms of peace, Napoleon escaped from Elba. The people and the army welcomed Napoleon. For 100 days, Napoleon roused the French people to his side.

    • The Quadruple Alliance reassembled their forces in Belgium to prevent France from overrunning Germany.

    • On 18 June 1815, the French forces met the Alliance at Waterloo, Belgium. The tactical advantage of the Alliance and the fortunate weather (it rained) caused the defeat of France. The Duke of Wellington (Arthur Wellesley) became the British hero and Marshal Gebhard von Blucher the Prussian hero.

    • Napoleon was exiled to St. Helena, an island in the South Atlantic, where he died in 1821.

What happened after the end of Napoleon?

  • The spread of nationalism

    • Napoleon failed to make Europe a French Empire. He sparked nationalist revolutions that would later cause the emergence of the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy.

    • The dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire gradually led the German states to unification.

    • His decision to sell the Louisiana Territory to the USA helped the development of the American nation.

  • The Congress of Vienna (1814-1815)

    • Diplomats of the Quadruple Alliance and France, led by the Austrian diplomat Clemens von Metternich, strived to balance power in Europe.

      • The diplomats restored the former kings that Napoleon unseated.

      • Powerful countries were arrayed against France: a new United Kingdom of the Netherlands, Prussia-dominated Germany, and Austria-dominated Italy.

      • Russia received Finland from Sweden while Sweden absorbed Norway and Denmark.

    • The diplomats also vowed to prevent any revolution like the French from happening again and endangering the monarchies of other countries.

    • Although defeated, France was accepted was an equal partner in the Congress because of its clever diplomat, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand.

    • The Congress of Vienna was successful in keeping the peace in Europe for 100 years; it was not until 1914 when wars greater than the Napoleonic Wars would tear Europe apart.

    • The Napoleonic Wars were the last wars in which France and Britain would be against each other. Since then, France and Britain became powerful and inseparable allies.

Check-Up, Comprehension & Critical Thinking Questions

  1. How did Napoleon rise to power so quickly in France?

  2. How did geography both help and hurt Britain during its war with France?

  3. What challenges threatened Napoleon’s empire?

  4. How did geography play a role in Napoleon’s disastrous invasion of Russia and the Battle of Waterloo?

  5. Was Napoleon “the revolution on horseback” or a traitor to the French Revolution? Explain.

Historical Trivia and Curiosities

  • Was Napoleon’s penis really removed and preserved in a jar? Probably. According to Napoleon’s servant Ali, he and a priest named Vignali removed unspecified pieces of Napoleon’s body during his autopsy in 1821. Later Vignali’s descendants sold his various Napoleon souvenirs, including the Little Corporal’s little corporal, described as “one inch long and resembling a grape.” In 1977, a Columbia University urologist, John K. Lattimer, bought it for $3,000.

Lesson Assessment

Synthesizing Information: Revolution Comics [Conquer the World activity]

  • Create a full-page comic strip on a sheet of short bond paper. Your comic strip should contain 6-10 panels telling various aspects of the French Revolution from the perspective of the following:

    • Team France: The Reign of Terror from the bourgeoisie point of view

    • Team Netherlands: The Execution of Louis XVI from a royalist’s point of view

    • Team USA: The National Assembly from an American congressman’s point of view

    • Team Spain: The French Occupation of Spain from the Spanish point of view

    • Team Italy: The Battle of Marengo from an Italian noble’s point of view

    • Team Britain: The Battle of Waterloo from the British point of view

    • Team Germany: The Battle of Jena from the Prussian point of view

    • Team Russia: The Invasion of Russia from the Russian point of view

    • Team Austria: The Congress of Vienna from the Austrian point of view

  • Any media can be used for the comic strips.

  • Teams that will comply satisfactorily will get a point or a flag, but the best team will get three points or flags. The best comics will also be posted on the classroom’s bulletin board and get a chance to be used for the exam.


Ellis, E. G. & Esler, A. (2008). World History. Boston: Pearson Prentice-Hall.

Harrison, J. B. et al. (1990). A Short History of Western Civilization (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Perry, M. (1988). A History of the World (Revised ed.). Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.

Quirante-Radford, J. L. (1986). World History. Quezon City: Phoenix Publishing Company.

Sass, E. & Wiegand, S. (2008). The Mental Floss History of the World. New York: HarperCollins.

Zaide, S. M. (2000). World History (4th ed.). Quezon City: All-Nations Publishing Company.

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