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French Revolution. Section 1. Causes of the Revolution. Inequality in the social order estates – social classes Old Order or ancien regime King on top 1 st estate 2 nd estate 3 rd estate. King Louis XVI Shy and indecisive Marie-Antoinette Austrian Frivolous and self-indulgent.

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causes of the revolution
Causes of the Revolution
  • Inequality in the social order
      • estates – social classes
    • Old Order or ancien regime
      • King on top
      • 1st estate
      • 2nd estate
      • 3rd estate

King Louis XVI

    • Shy and indecisive
  • Marie-Antoinette
    • Austrian
    • Frivolous and self-indulgent

First Estate

  • Roman Catholic Clergy
  • 1% of population
  • Owned 10% of land
  • Divided
    • Higher were nobility
    • Lower were poor
  • Did not have to pay the taille

Second Estate

  • Nobility
  • <2%
  • Owned 20-30% of land
  • Wealthy
  • Did not have to pay the taille
  • Held Government and military positions
  • Grand estates
    • Peasants worked

Third Estate

  • 97%
  • 65% of land
  • Bourgeoisie
    • Many educated and rich
    • Merchants
    • Factory owners
    • Professionals (lawyers, doctors)
  • Artisans or sans culottes - workers
    • Shoemakers
    • Carpenters,
    • Bricklayers
    • Dressmakers
  • Peasants
    • Paid rents and fees to first and second estates


Sans- culottes (artisans)


causes of the revolution1
Causes of the Revolution
  • Inequality in the social order
  • Enlightenment ideas
    • Bourgeoisie educated
    • American Revolution
  • Financial Crisis
    • Debt from war
    • Tax 2nd Estate to make up for it
    • Natural forces
  • Lack of leadership from Louis XVI
meeting of the estates general
Meeting of the Estates General
  • Met due to financial crisis
  • Had not met since 1614
  • Each Estate had one vote
    • 3rd estate = 97% of population, 600 reps…1 vote
    • 2nd estate = 2% of population, 300 reps … 1 vote
    • 1st estate = <1% of population, 300 reps…1vote
  • The 3rd estate was always outvoted by the other two.
  • They wanted the votes counted by number of people.
the tennis court oath
The Tennis Court Oath
  • Locked out of the Estates-General meeting
  • Moved to a nearby tennis court
  • Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly
  • Tennis Court Oath – swore to meet until a new constitution was drafted
storming the bastille
Storming the Bastille
  • Rumors circulate through Paris that Louis wants to suppress the National Assembly
  • Looking to seize weapons and ammo, but none there
  • Mob attacks and seizes Bastille killing guards on July 14, 1789
end of the old regime
End of the Old Regime
  • Rumors and panic spread throughout France that they would be stopped by foreign armies.
  • Great Fear: attacks by peasants taking place across France upon the nobility
the national assembly reforms
The National Assembly Reforms
  • National Assembly adopts the Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen
  • Modeled on U.S. Declaration of Independence and English Bill of Rights

REMEMBER !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ideas borrowed from which Enlightenment thinker?


end of the old regime1
End of the Old Regime

The King Concedes

  • King Louis refused to accept the National Assembly’s decrees.
  • Women stormed Versailles
  • They forced him to accept the new decrees
end of the old regime2
End of the Old Regime

Church Reforms

  • The Catholic church had been a pillar for the social and political systems
  • France needed money, so sold off church lands (10%)
  • The Church was brought under the control of the state
    • Civil Constitution of Clergy
      • Bishops and priests were elected by the people
      • State would pay the salary
  • Catholics became enemies of the revolution
end of the old regime3
End of the Old Regime

New Constitution

  • Set up a limited monarchy
    • King still there
    • Legislative Assembly makes the laws
  • “active” citizens could vote (25 or older men who paid taxes)
  • “passive” citizens had equal rights but no votes
  • The method for electing deputies meant that only relatively wealthy people could be elected.
end of the old regime4
End of the Old Regime

War with Austria

  • Foreign countries felt threatened
    • Austria and Prussia threatened to use force against the revolutionaries.
  • Legislative Assembly decided to declare war first
  • Because of the French loss, they placed all the blame on the king
end of the old regime5
End of the Old Regime

Paris Commune

  • Demonstrations arose due to losses in war and food shortages.
  • Radicals declared themselves a commune, and organized an attack
    • took the king captive and called for an end to the monarchy
    • Called a National Convention
    • Sans-culottes – “without breeches”
  • Entering a more radical phase in the French Revolution
new factions
New Factions
  • All members of the National Convention supported the Revolution
  • 3 political factions
    • The Mountain
    • The Girondins
    • The Plain
  • Not formal organizations – strong personal rivalries
the terror grips france
The Terror Grips France
  • France is divided: Not all people support all the changes of the Revolution
  • Uprisings occur in southern France
  • Britain, Spain, & Netherlands join forces against France
  • Many external and domestic threats to the Revolution
new authority
New Authority
  • Committee of Public Safety formed by the National Convention to deal with these threats
  • Maximilien Robespierre and George Danton
  • “Liberty cannot be secured unless criminals lose their heads!” – Robespierre
reign of terror
Reign of Terror
  • Robespierre’s rule in which thousands of people are killed becomes known as the Reign of Terror
  • 85% killed were middle or lower class
  • 15% clergy and nobility
  • former revolutionaries and allies of Robespierre
the reign of terror
The Reign of Terror
  • Guillotine- started as a weapon of mercy; became a weapon of fear
  • anyone and everyone can be denounced as a traitor to the Revolution and beheaded
  • People start denouncing anyone
  • Rebellious cities in the countryside were mass executed as an example
    • Nantes
    • Lyon
republic of virtue
Republic of Virtue

Robespierre wanted a republic of “good citizens”

  • “citizen” and “citizeness” replaced formal “miseur” and “madame”
  • Controlled the economic prices
  • Reflect Roman Republic style of dress and culture
  • De-Christianization
    • “saint” removed from streets and public buildings
    • Churches destroyed and converted into “temples of reason”
    • Christian calendar replaced with revolutionary calendar
    • Cult of the Supreme Being
  • The National Convention orders emergency draft of 300,000 French citizens to reinforce army.
  • By 1794 it is over 1 million strong
  • Pushed back foreign armies
  • Conquered the Austrian Netherlands
end of the terror
End of the Terror
  • Another change in government
    • In July 1794, Robespierre arrested and executed
    • Terror results in public opinion shifting away from radicals
the directory
The Directory
  • New constitution after the terror ceased.
  • 2 legislative house
    • Council of 500
    • Council of Elders
  • electors- qualified voters
  • Executive, or Directory, made up of a committee of 5
  • Chosen by Council of Elders
rise of napoleon
Rise of Napoleon
  • Italian family (noble but not rich)
  • Attended military school in France
  • Studied philosophy as well as military strategy
  • French Revolution created opportunity
early military career
Early Military Career
  • Rose quickly within French Military ranks
    • Series of battles in Italy
    • Beat Austrian army
    • Conquered territory for France
  • Wanted to take Egypt – British colony
  • Failed to defeat British navy
  • Kept defeat out of papers – became a hero
napoleon the emperor
Napoleon the Emperor
  • Lead a coup d’etat against the Directory
  • Set up a consulate
    • Three consuls
    • Napoleon elected First Consul
  • Eventually made Emperor
changes under napoleon chart
Changes Under Napoleon Chart

1st Column – Explain what changes Napoleon made (include and define any vocab terms)

2nd Column – Explain how these changed helped or hurt Napoleon’s control over the empire.

3rd Column – What effects did these changes have on France?

peace with the church
Peace with the Church
  • Napoleon made peace with the Catholic Church
  • Gained popularity since most of the French people were Catholic
  • Support from Rome and gained new allies with those who got to keep church land
  • French Revolution got rid of the Church, however let those who gained the land keep it
codification of the laws
Codification of the Laws
  • Condensed laws from the French Revolution into seven main law codes, the most important being the Civil Code/Napoleonic Code
  • Did not protect women’s rights, therefore not popular with women
  • Helped promote stability throughout the empire. Lasted for years to come throughout the world
  • Reflected many of the ideas of the French Revolution
a new bureaucracy
A New Bureaucracy
  • Created a new aristocracy class. Based on ability, not birth or family.
  • Allowed more people to work their way up the social system
  • Created a strong centralized administration, family ruled various parts of the empire.
  • Brought back some of the old order while still reflecting French Revolution ideas of equality
building the empire
Building the Empire
  • Attempted to pause the war that began during the French Revolution
  • As the empire grew, gained more support from the French people but more resentment from the conquered.
  • More land = more power (maybe a bit too much has trouble keeping control)
  • Created the stability France sought during the French Revolution
preserver of the revolution
Preserver of the Revolution
  • Kept some of the policies while changing others
    • Mainly limited freedom of speech though censorship
    • Promoted equality
  • Created more following, people were willing to give up some liberties for stability
  • Giving up some liberties gave Napoleon more power (limiting media control)
  • Protected some ideas but limited other
two problems
Two Problems

Great Britain’s resistance

  • Strong naval power
  • Napoleon attempted the Continental System
    • Weaken economically
  • Failed due to other nation’s resistance


  • Nationalism – a unique identity of a people based on a common language, religion, or national symbols
  • Conquered peoples
    • United in hatred of invaders
    • Saw power in their strength of national feelings
disaster in russia
Disaster in Russia
  • Russia refused to remain in the Continental System, so Napoleon decides to attack
  • Marched into Russia, Russian army retreats
  • Russian army destroys supplies and food along the way.
  • Finally meet and battle, but Napoleon’s forces weakened
  • Forced to march back to Poland, encountered harsh winter
exile and final defeat
Exile and Final Defeat
  • Napoleon faced foreign armies and lost
  • Paris captured and Napoleon forced into exile on the island of Elba
  • Monarchy restored in France (Louis XVIII)
  • Louis XVIII had little support
  • Napoleon escapes and returned to France
  • Receives much support from the French people
  • Austria, Prussia, Russia and G.B. form army against Napoleon
  • Battle of Waterloo (Napoleon vs Duke of Wellington)
  • Napoleon defeated and sent into final exile on St. Helena Island.