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French Revolution. Chapter 3 Section 1 On the Eve of Revolution. Video. Paste this link into your Internet browser and watch the 17 minute video: Take notes during the video.

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french revolution

French Revolution

Chapter 3

Section 1

On the Eve of Revolution

  • Paste this link into your Internet browser and watch the 17 minute video:
  • Take notes during the video.
old political structure in france 1700s
Old Political Structure in France1700s
  • Three social classes, or estates, in France
  • First Estate = Clergy (enjoyed great wealth and privilege)
  • Second Estate = Nobility
  • Third Estate = majority of the population (included the bourgeoisie, or middle class, and rural peasants and poor city workers)
  • Note: if you were not part of the clergy (priests) or the nobility, you fell within the Third Estate
  • Members of Third Estate resented privileges held by First and Second Estates
  • First and Second Estates did not have to pay most taxes while peasants paid taxes on many items, such as necessities of life (milk, bread, salt, etc.)
  • Enlightenment ideas led people to “question” the inequalities of the old, medieval social/economic structure in France
  • Third Estate demanded that privileged classes pay their fair share in taxes
economic troubles in france
Economic Troubles in France
  • Economic troubles led to great social unrest
  • Monarchs spent more money than they were bringing in with taxes, or deficit spending
  • France was heavily in debt for supporting the American Revolution
  • Bad harvests sent food prices soaring (inflation skyrocketed)
  • King Louis XVI chose Jacques Necker to be the king’s economic adviser
  • To solve the economic crisis, Necker proposed taxing the First and Second Estates
jacque necker
Jacque Necker

Economic adviser to King Louis XVI.

starvation of french citizens
Starvation of French Citizens

French citizens suffered starvation while King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette lived a life of luxury inside their palace.

economic troubles in france1
Economic Troubles in France
  • First and Second Estates strongly opposed the king’s plan to increase any taxes
  • The economic crisis worsened with time
  • Powerful nobles and clergy called for a meeting of the Estates-General, an ancient lawmaking body, to try to halt the government’s plans to raise revenue
  • Louis XVI finally scheduled a meeting at Versailles, his grand and luxurious palace 10 miles from Paris
  • The king asked all three estates to prepare a list of complaints called cahiers
  • The complaints addressed the resentment toward the monarchy and the First and Second Estates
estates general
  • Met in 1789
  • All three estates did not cooperate and could not agree on reforms, creating a stalemate
  • After three weeks, members of the Third Estate walked out and formed their own government called the National Assembly
  • Later, the delegates of the Third Estate were locked out of their meeting room (probably by the king)
  • They broke into an indoor tennis court and pledged to remain until a new constitution was written that applied to all citizens of France (Tennis Court Oath)
july 14 1789
July 14, 1789
  • Paris buzzed with rumors that royal troops were planning to occupy the city
  • To protect themselves, angry citizens stormed the ancient Bastille Prison to seize weapons and gunpowder
  • The commander of the Bastille refused their entry and the enraged mob forced their way inside and executed several guards
  • The French Revolution began
powerpoint questions
Powerpoint Questions
  • 1. Name the three estates (social classes) in France in the 18th century. Indicate what people belonged to each estate. (3 points)
  • 2. What was the name of the old order in France?
  • 3. What caused France to run out of money?
  • 4. Define deficit spending.
  • 5. Why did members of the Third Estates resent the First and Second estates?
  • 6. What was the Estates-General? How long had it been since it had last met?
powerpoint questions1
Powerpoint Questions
  • 7. What were the cahiers?
  • 8. What did delegates of the Third Estate form?
  • 9. Why did the delegates of the Third Estate find themselves meeting on a Tennis Court?
  • 10. What was the pledge behind the Tennis Court Oath?
  • 11. Name the medieval prison that Parisans stormed on July 14, 1789.
  • 12. Finally, from where did the French revolutionaries get their ideas to revolt?