The French Revolution & Napoleon 1789-1815. The Old Regime. 1 st Estate. 2 nd Estate. 3 rd Estate. The Old Regime. Three Estates or Classes. < 1%. 10%. 2%. 25%. 97%. 65%. Inspiration of Amer. Rev. Causes of the French Revolution. Enlightenment Ideas. Crop failures
Three Estates or Classes
Causes of the
Inequalities of Estates System
Frustration with the Government
Efforts at Reform Failed
1st and 2nd Estates paid no Taxes
War & Versailles
Lavish Royal Court
Support for Amer. Rev.
II. Initial Stages 1789-1791 moderate period
III. 1791-1794 --- radical period
IV. 1794-1799 --- period of conservative backlash
1. Attempts at reform are suggested by royal advisors:
a. Limit royal expenses
b. Taxes on the First and the Second Estates
Advisors who suggest this are dismissed
Louis XVI called for a meeting of the Estates General to deal with the crisis
Hoped to gain support for additional taxes
It had not met in 175 years
Each group hoped to use the
meeting as a chance address their individual concerns.
What problem existed with this system?
Want all three Estates to meet together with each delegate getting an individual vote.
However, no progress was made and frustration grew when Louis rejected these demands.
1. Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly.
b. Claimed the right to create a constitution for France.
2. Third Estate was locked out of their meeting hall.
Members of the Third Estate along with supporter from other estates swore to continue to meet until France had a new constitution
Who do these figures represent ?
What appears to be happening among these figures?
- Louis XVI ordered all three Estates to meet together.
But food shortages and rumors of soldiers massing near Paris raised fears among citizens.
The Bastille = fortress used as aprison for political opposition.
Fearing the king was going to take action against the reforms, mobs of people attacked the Bastille in Paris.
*Shows common people were willing to support revolutionary changes
a. Peasants hungry from famine and frightened by rumors of government intervention take action:
1. Attacked nobles and burn their homes
2. Stole grain from storehouses
a. Peasant uprisings and the storming of the Bastille push the National Assembly to act:
b. Assembly ended the privileges of the nobility.
c. Assembly issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man.
2. Guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, and protection against unfair arrest and punishment.
d. National Assembly adopts the Civil Constitution of the Clergy which:
2. Bishops and priests became elected and paid official
8. People feared Louis XVI would take action to stop the reforms.
Women demanding bread march to the palace at Versailles.
Women refused to leave and demanded Louis XVI return to Paris with them.
The Royal family will remain in Paris as virtual prisoners
1. Made France a limited monarchy.
Legislative Assembly was elected by all tax paying male citizens
The Middle class generally favored the new government and it reflected their desires.
Other groups felt the reforms had not gone far enough or had gone much to far.
Growing factions within France
The royal family is captured and returned to Paris.
Increased the people’s distrust of Louis XVI and the new limited monarchy.
Influenced election of the Legislative Assembly.
Delegates tended to be more radical than members of the National Assembly had been.
1. Emigres – nobles who had fled France, sought to convince other rulers to intervene and stop revolution.
2. Austria and Prussia threatened to intervene to protect French monarchy
Delegates were seated based on political views.
Today we include two additional groups.
Sans-culottes, working class men and women, pushed for radical actions.
Jacobins, revolutionary group of middle class lawyers and intellectuals.
Eventually radical views gained greater influence.
France goes to war
1. Feared Austria’s intervention.
2. Desired to spread revolution.
Mobs attacked the palace and the royal family is forced to flee.
Radicals voted to imprison the royal family.
September Massacre – Paris mobs attacked prisons killing many nobles.
Radicals controlled the Assembly and called for a new legislative body.
French forces turned back foreign invasion that threatened Paris. (Sept. 20, 1792)
By 1793, French armies had taken the offensive against Austria and Prussia
In January 1793, Louis XVI is executed by the guillotine before crowds of Parisians.
Months later Marie Antoinette was also executed by the guillotine.
Committee of Public Safety ruled France.
Maximilien Robespierre controlled Committee.
Believed in the use of “prompt swift and severe justice”.
Robespierre had other members of the Committee arrested and executed.
Members of the Committee turned on Robespierre and he is executed.
Jacobins lost power.
What comes to mind when you think of Napoleon?
a. Egyptian campaign is a disaster.
b. Napoleon hid information of disaster and was welcomed home as a hero.
a. French people approved each step in a plebiscite.
4. Napoleon promised order, security and efficiency.
5. In 1804, Napoleon is crowned Emperor of France.
1. Improved education establishing schools Lycees – secondary schools
2. Napoleonic Code – system of laws based in part on Enlightenment ideas.
3. Economic reforms restored prosperity.
1. Napoleon will defeat most of the nations allied against France.
2. By 1812, most of Western Europe was under his control or influence.
3. Britain, with its strong navy, remained outside of Napoleon’s control.
Battle of Trafalgar – French fleet defeated by British under Admiral Nelson. (1805)
a. In Spain, Spanish forces used guerrilla warfare against the French.
Guerrilla warfare – hit and run attacks
b. Nationalism – pride in one’s own country or desire for independence.
a. Unable invade Britain, Napoleon turned to economic warfare with the Continental system.
(1) The Continental System – closed European ports under Napoleon’s control to British trade.
b. Economies in European countries suffer and resentment of France and Napoleon grows.
In 1811, Russia withdraws from Continental System
1. The Invasion of Russia
a. In 1812, Napoleon invadedRussia.
b. The massive Grand Army included over 500,000 men.
c. Russians withdraw to the east, avoid battle and use a “scorched earth policy”.
In September 1812, Napoleon captures Moscow but fires destroy much of city.
e. Without a decisive victory and short of supplies Napoleon is forced to retreat.
f. Harsh Russian winter and lack of supplies takes a heavy toll on French.
(1.) Harassed by Russian troops the retreat eventually became a rout.
Only a fraction of the Grand Army will survive.
a. Napoleon is later forced to abdicate.
b. Louis XVIII is placed on French throne.
a. Napoleon is exiled to island of Elba.
b. He will escape and return to France in what is known as the Hundred Days.
1. Napoleon faces an allied army of British and Prussian forces
3. Napoleon is forced to abdicate again and is exiled to St. Helene.
1. Spread ideas of French revolution.