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The Road to The French Revolution. 1789. France Under The Old Regime. Form of government/division of society in France for centuries Society basically divided into rich or poor Taxes? Absolute monarch Misused power --> angered poor

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france under the old regime
France Under The Old Regime
  • Form of government/division of society in France for centuries
  • Society basically divided into rich or poor
  • Taxes?
  • Absolute monarch
    • Misused power --> angered poor
    • Louis XIV – created Versailles, France strongest nation
    • Louis XV (1714-1775) – engaged in costly wars, national debt soars
    • Louis XVI (1774-1789) - weak and indecisive, but spent $
the three estates french society

Old Regime







The Three Estates(French Society)
the first estate
The First Estate
  • Religious leaders – Clergy
  • Less than 1% of 25 million
  • Owned 1/5 (20%) of land
the second estate
The Second Estate
  • Nobility – 2% of population
  • Many privileges & land ownership (30%)
  • Paid few taxes  collected them from peasants
  • High government positions  influence over Louis XVI
the third estate
The Third Estate
  • 97% of population (24 million+)
  • Serfs & peasants
  • Bourgeoisie – middle class
    • Merchants, manufacturers, professionals
  • Provided most if not all taxes
  • Little voice in government decisions
crying out for change
Crying Out For Change
  • France’s population on the rise
  • Discontent among 3rd Estate
    • Peasants forced to pay higher taxes
    • Bourgeoisie resented the nobles
    • Peasants blamed Louis XVI
  • 1st & 2nd Estate – continue freedom from taxation
  • 3rd Estate – gain equality/freedom
financial crisis
Financial Crisis
  • Deficit spending - government spends more money than it takes in
  • King Louis XIV - lavish lifestyle
  • Lent $ to support American colonists - American Revolution against English
  • Spent $ on 7 Years War
  • Tried to tax 1st & 2nd Estates
    • Jacques Necker - financial advisor - bad idea!
  • By 1787 – banks refused to loan $
  • Aug 1788 – Louis XVI calls for meeting of Estates General to approve new taxes









view of the 3 rd estate
View of the 3rd Estate

“What is the Third Estate? Everything.

What has it been until now in the political order? Nothing.

What does it want to be? Something.”

~Abbe Emmanuel Sieyes - a revolutionary clergyman

According to the quote, why was the Third Estate ready to revolt?

the revolution begins
The Revolution Begins
  • Meeting of Estates General – May 1789
  • Upset with old voting methods, 3rd Estate became National Assembly
  • National Assembly locked out of meeting
  • Refused to disband until a constitution was signed
  • Louis XVI refused
welcome work
Welcome Work
  • Open YOUR book to page 573.
  • Complete “Analyzing Political Cartoons”
    • Answer #1 & 2
  • Which king’s policies helped lead to the French Revolution?
  • What is the term for a social class in France?
  • How many were there?
  • What types of people made up the first two estates?
more review
More Review
  • What types of people made up the third estate?
  • What is the French term for middle class?
  • What did the third estate do in response to Louis XVI calling a meeting of the Estates General?
last but not least
Last But Not Least
  • What is seen as the symbol of the French Revolution?
  • What day is considered France’s Independence Day?
the causes of the revolution
The Causes of the Revolution
  • Ideas of Enlightenment
  • Easy distribution of written word
  • Middle class with little political power
  • Large gap between wealthy and poor
  • Excessive reign of monarchs - Louis XIV, X, XVI
  • Depression of 1789 – shortage of food, high prices, unemployment, over-population
the revolution unfolds

The Revolution Unfolds

What political and social reforms did the National Assembly institute in the first stage of the French Revolution?

the great fear political crisis famine revolt
The “Great Fear”Political Crisis + Famine = Revolt
  • Famine
  • Fear
  • Rumors
  • Attacks against


who is marquis de lafayette
Who is Marquis de Lafayette?
  • Fought with George Washington
  • Leader of National Guard
  • Wrote first draft of Declaration of the Rights of Man & the Citizen
  • Followed by many moderates
national assembly acts
National Assembly Acts
  • Nobles vote to end privileges
    • Key to goal of equality of all male citizens before the law
declaration of the rights of man
Declaration of the Rights of Man
  • Modeled after Declaration of Independence
    • Natural rights
    • Government protection
    • All male citizens are equal
    • Taxes based on ability to pay & freedom of religion
women march on versailles
Women march on Versailles
  • October 5, 1789
  • Thousands of women – starving!
  • Marched 13 miles from Paris
  • Demand royals return to Paris
how to solve the economic crisis money from the church
How to solve the economic crisis???Money from the CHURCH!
  • National Assembly drafts a constitution
    • Vote to sell Church lands to pay off debt
  • Church moved under state control!!
    • Priests & bishops elected officials
    • Ends Pope’s authority over French church
  • Refractory priests – refused constitution
  • Caused huge divide between peasants & revolutionaries in Paris
constitution of 1791 p 581 582
Constitution of 1791 (p. 581-582)
  • What are parts of this constitution?
  • How did Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette respond to the constitution?
radicals take over
Radicals Take Over
  • European rulers responded
  • King of Prussia & Emperor of Austria threaten to defend French monarchy
    • Revolutionaries prepare for war!
  • April 1792 – Legislative Assembly declare war on Prussia, Austria & Britain
  • 1792 - 1815

What POLITICAL and SOCIAL reforms did the National Assembly institute in the first stage of the French Revolution?