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The French Revolution. Mrs. D’Errico World History. Definition.

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the french revolution

The French Revolution

Mrs. D’Errico

World History

  • Enlightenment ideas such as natural rights of life, liberty and property, along with the idea that governments should allow freedoms of speech, religions, and the press flowed through Europe and influenced all that read its ideas.
  • The ideas of the enlightenment had reached the American colonies leading to a revolution against British rule and influenced England to transform into a tolerant constitutional monarchy.
  • The people of France, however, continued to live under the absolute monarchy of Louis XVI. The majority of the people were poor, unprivileged, and obeyed the dictated laws of the monarch.
structure of french society
Structure of French Society

1% of population

1st Estate


2nd Estate

2% of population


This estate included Bourgeoisie, artisans, and peasants

97% of population

3rd Estate

timeline the flame is ignited
Timeline: The Flame Is Ignited
  • On May 5, 1789, King Louis XVI was forced to call the Estates-General because of the enormous financial trouble he was in.
  • The Estates-General, a group of delegates representing each estate and voting as a single estate, was called for the first time since 1614.
timeline national assembly formed
Timeline: National Assembly Formed
  • Members of the Third Estate that wanted more freedom and the right to VOTE as separate INDIVIDUALS and not as ESTATES.
  • On June 17, 1789: members of the Third Estate form the NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  • The Tennis Court Oath creates a pledge that the National Assembly will write a constitution for all French citizens

Tennis Court Oath by Jacques Louis David

timeline storming of the bastille
Timeline: Storming of the Bastille
  • On July 14, 1789 a Paris mob stormed the Bastille; a prison in Paris. This prison represented all that they hated about the monarchy and the oppressive government.
  • The French rioters overtook the prison and killed the guards working there.

“Liberty, equality, fraternity”

timeline declaration of rights of man
Timeline:Declaration of Rights of Man
  • On August 27, 1789 the National Assembly adopts the Declaration of Rights of Man, giving all French citizens equal rights before the law.
  • Between 1789-1791 the National Assembly passes laws and reforms to set up a government and adopts a constitution.
timeline napoleon
Timeline: Napoleon
  • Napoleon Bonaparte comes to power in November, 1799. He claims himself dictator ending the government formed by the Directory.
  • The French Revolution is officially ended.
marie antoinette
Marie Antoinette

“Courage! I have shown it for years; think you I shall lose it at the moment when my sufferings are to end?”

causes long and short term
Causes Long and Short term
  • Enlightenment Ideas
  • Liberty and Equality
  • Example of the American Revolution
  • Social and Economic Injustices of the Old Regime
  • Economic crisis- famine and government debt
  • Weak leadership
  • Discontent of the Third Estate
effects long and short term
Effects: Long and Short Term
  • End of the Old Regime
  • Execution of monarchs
  • War with Austria
  • Reign of Terror
  • Conservative Reaction
  • Decline in French Power
  • Spread of Enlightenment ideas
  • Growth of Nationalism
  • Why were the major members of the Third Estate unhappy with their way of life under the Old Regime?
  • Who was the leader of France at the beginning of the Revolution?
  • What was the name of the government formed by the Third Estate, that worked for a French Constitution?
  • What was the Reign of Terror and how did it end?
  • Discuss which Enlightenment impacted the citizens of France and how the country incorporated those ideals in their constitution.