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Revolutions/Independence Movements. Aim: How did the ideals of the Enlightenment act as a catalyst to revolutions?. North America. Seven Years War. Britain’s empire in America seemed secure after its victory over France in 1763, but the cost of the war had been high.

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revolutions independence movements

Revolutions/Independence Movements

Aim: How did the ideals of the Enlightenment act as a catalyst to revolutions?

seven years war
Seven Years War

Britain’s empire in America seemed secure after its victory over France in 1763, but the cost of the war had been high.

Dealing with this debt started a chain of events that led to deteriorating relations between the crown in London and its subjects in North America.

no taxation without representation
“No Taxation without Representation”

1774: Continental Congress organized and coordinated colonial resistance.

1775: Battle of Lexington

1776:*Declaration of Independence – inspired by Enlightenment ideas – justified independence.

*It listed a long list of abuses by the British crown amid a declaration that all men were created equal.

“As for me, I believe in no taxation, with or without representation.”

peace of paris 1783
Peace of Paris 1783
  • 1781: The British surrender to George Washington but American Independence was not formally recognized for 2 more years.
  • The colonies created a federal republic with 13 states and a written constitution that guaranteed freedom of speech and religion.
  • There was no legal and political equality.
  • Only men of property enjoyed full rights and the landless men, women, slaves and indigenous people did not have access to this new freedom.
  • Yet this was an important step in the development of a government responsible to its people.



Wanted to replace the “Old Regime” with completely new political, social and cultural structures.

  • Wanted the right to self-govern.

Can you think of any other differences these two revolutions had?

the estates general
The Estates General

The three estates consisted of:

1st estate: 100,000 clergy

2nd estate: 400,000 nobles

3rd estate: 24 million serfs, free peasants, and bourgeoisie

calling the estates general
Calling the Estates General
  • Each estate had one vote.
  • 3rd estate demanded political and social reform, the other two estates mostly resisted.
  • 1789 Storming of the Bastille.
  • The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen declared equality of all men.
  • Created a constitutional monarchy in France.
execution of louis xvi
Execution of Louis XVI
  • As in England a century earlier, the king was executed on public.

(Charles I – Civil War)

  • Later, the queen and many other aristocrats were beheaded as the revolution sought to stamp out the old elite.
the committee of public safety
The Committee of Public Safety
  • Led by Maximilien Robespierre.
  • Governed France and instigated the “Reign of Terror”
  • Revolution thrust France into war with the powers of Europe.
  • The kingdoms of Austria, Britain, and Russia combined in a coalition that was meant to defeat France and undo the revolution.
napoleon bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte
  • The creation of a large revolutionary army to defend France helped catapult Napoleon Bonaparte to power.
  • He named himself First Consul, the Consul for Life, and finally Emperor.
  • 1804: Napoleon issued his moderate Civil Code, which affirmed the political and legal equality of all adult men, established a merit-based society, and protected private property.
  • However, it also limited free speech and allowed censorship of the newspapers.
napoleonic era1
Napoleonic Era
  • Napoleon and his army defeated many of the powers of Europe and took control of much of the continent.
  • The era lasted from 1803 to 1814, as warfare raged from Europe to North Africa and the Middle East.
  • At times, France found itself faced with multiple enemies.
  • Taking on Russia in 1812 proved to be fatal as the French army did not survive the winter campaign.
congress of vienna
Congress of Vienna
  • The victors met at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to restore the French monarchy and protect the old regimes. This is known as “balance power”
  • Attempted revolutions (1830 and 1848) continued to shake the old monarchies throughout the 1800’s.
  • Meanwhile, the experiment in democracy in North America continued as the United States survived a bloody civil war and industrialized rapidly in the late 1800’s.


Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Italian States

Confederation of German states

Some countries disappear to give Austria, Prussia, and Russia land


All former monarchs that Napoleon replaced will return to their thrones

Congress of Vienna

Conservative Europe:

Austria, Prussia and Russia form Holy Alliance - Spread Christian ideals

Concert of Europe:

Agreement that if a revolution breaks out, all countries will help stop it.

legacy of the congress of vienna
Legacy of the Congress of Vienna

No major full continent wars for almost 90 years.

However, smaller war and many nationalistic revolutions will shortly break out due to people being controlled by a foreign ruler

People like democracy, willing to fight for it.

haiti the island of hispaniola
Haiti/The Island of Hispaniola
  • Major center of sugar production.
  • The Spanish controlled the east (Santo Domingo)
  • The French controlled the west (Saint Domingue), one of the richest of all the European colonies.
saint domingue s population
Saint Domingue’s Population
  • Consisted of:
  • 40,000 white French settlers.
  • 300,000 gens de couleur (free people of color)
  • 500,000 black slaves, most born in Africa.
  • These slaves worked under brutal conditions and the mortality rate was very high.
  • There was also a large community of escaped slaves, known as maroons.
the american revolution
The American Revolution
  • 800 gens de couleur fought in the American Revolution.
  • Ideas of reforming society spread.
  • White settlers sought the right to govern themselves, but opposed extending political and legal equality to the gens de couleur.
  • The led to a civil war
a slave revolt toussaint l ouverture
A Slave Revolt: Toussaint L’Ouverture
  • August of 1791
  • Whites, gens, and slaves battled each other
  • French, British and Spanish troops invaded the island in hopes of gaining control
  • L’Ouverture built a strong and disciplined army and by 1797, controlled most of Saint Domingue
  • 1801 a constitution was written that granted equality and citizenship to all
  • 1803 independence was declared
  • 1804 Haiti was the second independent republic in the western hemisphere and the first republic to abolish slavery
  • Great economic difficulty followed independence
  • Many nations refused to recognize or conduct trade with Haiti because of slave emancipation
  • A new nation of small farmers wad not as productive as the former larger-scale plantation economy
haiti today
Haiti Today
  • 30,000 Peninsulares
  • 3.5 million Creoles
  • 10 million less-privileged classes including black slaves, indigenous people, and those of mixed racial background
  • Wealthy class from plantation economy and trade
  • Had grievances about the administrative control and economic regulations of the colonies
  • They did not seek social reform but rather sought to displace the powerful Peninsulares.
napoleon s invasion of spain and portugal in 1807
Napoleon’s Invasion of Spain and Portugal in 1807
  • Weakened the authority of those countries in the colonies
  • 1810 revolts were occurring in Argentina, Venezuela, and Mexico
mexico father miguel de hildalgo
Mexico: Father Miguel de Hildalgo
  • led a peasant rebellion
simon bolivar
Simon Bolivar
  • Led revolts in South America
  • By 1824 deposed the Spanish armies
  • Goal: to achieve a United States of Latin America
brazil pedro i
Brazil: Pedro I
  • In 1807 Portuguese royal family had fled to Brazil when Napoleon invaded
  • When the king returned in 1821 he left his son Pedro to rule as regent
  • Pedro agreed to the demands of the Creoles and declared Brazil independent
results of latin american independence movements
Results of Latin American Independence Movements
  • Creoles became the dominant class and many of the Peninsulares returned to Europe
  • Society remained quiet stratified and slavery continued
  • Wealth and power of the Roman Catholic Church remained and the lower classes continued to be repressed.
comparative question
Comparative Question
  • Analyze similarities and differences in approaches to social and political reform and resistance to reform for TWO of the following countries for the 19th century.
  • France
  • Haiti
  • Latin America