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The French Revolution Begins
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  1. The French Revolution Begins Motto of the French Revolution: “United in a Republic: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity or Death”

  2. King Louis XVI had a Problem . . . • NO MONEY!!! • No more taxes on peasants because they‘d revolt • Besides, they didn’t have more money! • Called Estates General to meet • Convention of 3 estates, to advise king • Last called in 1614 • King told estates what to talk about • Majority of estates vote = binding Louis XVI

  3. Meeting of the Estates-General 1st and 2nd Estates riding On the back Of the 3rd Estate • Since 1614, bourgeoisie had gained power, $$$ • Instead of considering new tax demand of king, the 3rd Estate challenged the way decisions were made at the meetings • Wanted one big meeting, each delegate with 1 vote • King rejected idea • Third estate declared itself the National Assembly, took Tennis Court Oath

  4. Storming of the Bastille, July 14, 1789 • Louis XVI sent troops to disperse National Assembly • Parisian poor reacted by attacking Bastille prison • Prison a symbol of king’s authority • 7 prisoners released • Nobles across the country FLED!!!

  5. National Assembly Reforms • August 1789: NA abolished feudalism • Published Declaration of Rights of Man • Defined rights of all estates • Transition to constitutional monarchy • 1790: Confiscated church lands

  6. Establishment of Constitutional Monarchy • King Louis XVI, family attempted to escape France • Captured at eastern border of France • Returned to Paris and forced to sign a new Constitution in Sept. 1791, sharing power with Nat’l Assembly Louis XVI and family are returned to Paris

  7. Wars of Revolution • Jacobins (radical revolutionaries) take over NA • King, moderate NA declared war on Austria and Prussia • King figured war would make him popular, get rid of power sharing • NA wanted to export revolution

  8. End of Monarchy (and Louis XVI) • French forces got beat, badly (lost parts of France!) • August 1792: Jacobins arrest king • Sept. 21, 1792 – monarchy abolished, republic declared • Legislative power to NA • Executive power to “Committee of Public Safety” • January 21, 1793: King Louis XVI sentenced to death (361-360) King’s execution led to more wars with European countries, appalled at execution of King

  9. The Revolution Goes Radical • France, on the brink • Execution of Louis XVI led to war between France and rest of Europe (Austria, HRE, Great Britain, Prussia, Spain, Portugal, French Royalists, Italian states) • Massive inflation • Sans culottes (poor laborers), Jacobins riot • Anti-revolution movements start

  10. Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety • Jacobins seize power, led by Robespierre • Follower of Rousseau • Bourgeoisie lawyer • Head of CPS • Unleashed “the Terror” • About 40,000 people were executed under the guillotine for “counter-revolutionary activities” • Effort by Jacobins to replace French traditions w/ revolutionary ones • CPS “saved” revolution • Levee en masse • Internal repression

  11. Rise of the Directoire • Eventually, Robespierre ordered most radical and moderate Jacobins executed (no legislative, popular support) • July 27, 1794: Robespierre arrested by moderates, tried, and executed July 28 • 1795: New constitution written (Directory – 5 person executive)

  12. Rise of Napoleon • Army suppressed serious royalist coup attempt, 1795 • Napoleon led troops vs. royalists, in Paris • “Whiff of grapeshot” dispersed royalists (1400 dead) • Napoleon promoted, hailed as hero of Rev.

  13. Successes of the Directory • 1795: French armies conquered Netherlands • 1796-98: Napoleon conquered Italy, the Papal States • 1798: Imprisoned pope • Confiscated church lands in Italy • Attempted invasion of Ireland