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From Revolution to Napoleon… Europe won’t be the same. . Le French Revolution. “Chapter 7 – French Revolution”. Social inequality & economic problems led to the French Revolution. Marks a major change in Europe. French Revolution The BIG Idea. Louis XVI (16 th )

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from revolution to napoleon europe won t be the same

From Revolution to Napoleon… Europe won’t be the same.




“Chapter 7 – French Revolution”

Social inequality & economic problems led to the French Revolution.

Marks a major change in Europe

French Revolution

The BIG Idea


Louis XVI (16th)

Grandson of Louis XV (15th) (Ruled – 1774-1793)

Louis XV (15th)

Great Grandson of Louis XIV (14th) (Ruled – 1715-1774)


Social Order – 3 Estates (Classes)

1stEstate – clergy, church officials

-paid no taxes

2nd Estate – nobles

-paid no taxes

3rd Estate – commoners (peasants and bourgeoisie)

-paid the taxes

bourgeoisie– middle class that includes educated professionals: doctors, lawyers, businessmen, etc.

2nd Estate

1st Estate

The King

3rd Estate


France - A Nation Divided


Land Ownership



3 causes of revolution

1st– poor economic condition (too much debt, not enough taxes)

2nd – rising prices (especially bread due to several years of bad harvests)

3rd – Enlightenment ideals - the bourgeoisie (middle class) are led to question the social structure/power


An unpopular king

  • Louis XVI could not address the worsening conditions
    • His wife, Marie Antoinette, was Austrian (hated)
  • People blame their expensive lifestyle
estates general
Estates General
  • What is the Estates General?
  • When do they meet?

Estates General

1789 – Estates General – (French Parliament or Congress) meeting of all 3 estates. Each estate is represented by members of their estate.

Louis XVI is forced to convene (meet) for the first time since 1614!

The 3rd Estate demanded a constitutional government, the abolition of tax exemptions for the nobility & clergy, and a guarantee of basic rights for all.


The 3rd Estate also demanded that each deputy representative have a vote but Louis XVI refused. Instead, each estate voted as a group, so the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd each got 1 vote. How do you think that went?

  • The 3rd Estate declared itself a National Assembly & chose to create a constitutional government. They are taking it to The Man!

National Assembly

  • Louis XVI tried to kick out the Third Estate.
  • Renaming themselves NationalAssembly, the representatives refused to disband & met in a nearby tennis court.
  • They swore the Tennis Court Oath; (seen to the right) It was a promise to continue meeting there until a constitution was written.
  • This drawing was done by one of the revolutionary members of the National Assembly, Jacques Louis David
revolt the fall of the bastille 14 july 1789
Revolt!The Fall of the Bastille14 July 1789
  • People begin to show signs of revolt
  • The Fall of the Bastille(pictured) July 14th 1789– (see page 328) a mob in Paris overrun state armory/prison.
  • Kill guards, free prisoners.
  • marks their opposition to big government. Underlines the seriousness of what is going on.

What does the National Assembly Accomplish?

  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizen is drafted
  • Similar to ‘Declaration of Independence’ or ‘English Bill of Rights’
  • Reestablishes equality among all men through the eyes of the law
  • King Louis and family are “escorted” back to Paris. They are on lockdown.

National Assembly

  • 1791 - A new constitutional monarchy is the first of several government changes

The new government’s first problem?

  • Their monarch attempts to flee…

Their second major problem?

  • War with Austria in 1792.

The National Assembly’s final problem?

  • The Paris Commune (The sans-culottes).

Paris Commune

  • Angry citizens form mobs – seize King Louis
  • These sans-culottes (ordinary citizens without fine clothes) take control away from the National Assembly…
  • The revolution is about to get violent…

The Fate of the King…

  • 1792 - King Louis XVI is held for trial and executed
  • In order to maintain control, anyone opposed to the revolution is… taken care of. It’s the Reign of Terror.
do now
Do Now
  • Summarize the events of the Reign of Terror.
  • Committee of Public Safety – Robespierre take control 1793
  • Terror reigns to keep the revolution moving til 1794 and Robespierre’s death
reign of terror
Reign of Terror
  • “The order of the day is Terror”…so says the Committee of Public Safety
  • Maximilien Robespierre leads the Reign… but by mid 1794, the Great Fear ends as does Robespierre’s body’s relationship to his head – they are separated under the guillotine.
  • A new system is put in place to rule called the Directory. After 5 years (1794-1799) of a struggle for control, control is taken…

The Big Man cometh… okay, little man – Big Attitude. Napoleon seizes power

  • Napoleon Bonaparte – a French military leader – leads a successful coup d'état – 1799
  • Reorganized government into a “consulate”
  • Napoleon is named First Consul (and later Consul for Life… and by 1804, let’s just call him Emperor)
early life background
Early Life/Background

born in 1769 in Corsica – Napoleone di Buonaparte

sent to military school at age 10

commissioned as a lieutenant in the French army at 16

initially not well-liked by his men

military successes
Military Successes

supreme confidence in himself

brigadier general and eventually commander of French armies in Italy


returns to France a conquering hero

napoleon s coup d etat
Napoleon’s coup d’etat
  • Napoleon returns to France, launches a coup d’etat – overthrow of the government (The Directory) by force, and forms the consulate (name he gives to his rule)
  • Has himself elected Emperor Napoleon I by using a plebiscite (direct vote of people) and wins overwhelmingly
  • Through a series of victories, France controls almost all of Western Europe

Official Titles He Held…

Consul of France

First Consul

First Consul for Life

Emperor of the French

King of Italy

think about it

Even after all they had fought for in the French Revolution, why do you think many French people did not have a problem with Napoleon having so much power?

do now1
Do Now
  • What is Napoleon’s Continental System? (p350)

Europe in 1811.Colors indicate (from dark blue to light blue) :- Dark blue - French Empire,- Light Blue - French Satellite States,- Blue grey - Countries submitted into applying the Continental System

napoleon s domination of europe
Napoleon’s Domination of Europe

Establishes peace with Catholic Church

Catholicism - religion of the majority of the French people

Pope agreed not to ask for the return of lands seized during the revolution

Spreads religious toleration through empire

codification of the laws
Codification of the Laws

Civil Code – Napoleonic Code

Single law code for the entire nation

Preserved some gains of revolution, however lost some others.

Women were now “less equal than men”

feud with britain continental plan
Feud with Britain:Continental Plan

He cut off all trade between Britain and the rest of Europe.

Napoleon thought that this would cripple Britain.

However, the plan backfired when the British formed a blockade to stop all French imports.

This hurt France and angered Napoleon’s Allies

it ain t easy
It Ain’t Easy…

Napoleon misjudged the power of nationalism

French were hated oppressors, aroused nationalism

The spread of the principles of nationalism showed conquered nations what a nation in arms could do.

France lost over 300,000 men trying to wipe out the guerillas of Spain and Germany.

do now2
Do Now
  • What are some ways Napoleon loses control in France? (p350ish)
beginning of the end for the grand army
Beginning of the End for the Grand Army

Napoleon invaded Russia because the Tsar refused to stop selling grain to Britain.

He expected his Grand Army to destroy the smaller Russian force.

However, the Russians retreated towards Moscow and burned everything as they went to keep the army from finding food.

from russia with love
From Russia With Love

The worst winter in one hundred years hit Russia.

The Russians completely burned Moscow.

Napoleon lost over 400,000 of 600,000 men in his retreat.

fall of napoleon
Fall of Napoleon

Britain forms a Grand Alliance to retake all the land of the French empire

Within a year the allies defeat Napoleon

exile Napoleon to the island of Elba

The old monarchy was restored to France in the person of Louis XVIII, brother of Louis XVI.

the end of his reign
The End of His Reign

In 1815, Napoleon slips back into France from Elba.

thousands rejoined Napoleon’s army.

British and Prussian armies rushed towards France, Napoleon met them at Waterloo.


After a long battle, Napoleon’s troops retreated

This ended Napoleon’s last bid for power

The British exiled Napoleon to the island of St. Helena and Napoleon died six years later.

domination of europe
Domination of Europe

Napoleon Recap

  • Establishes peace with Catholic Church
  • Spreads religious toleration through empire
  • Napoleonic Code in France offers a unified set of laws in France and the ability for anyone to rise to any occupation.
fall of napoleon1
Fall of Napoleon
  • Attempted to cut off trade between Britain and the rest of Europe.
  • Napoleon thought this “Continental Plan” would cripple Britain.
  • Plan backfires – after all, people want their freedom – many people are angered.
  • Chasing Russian armies will wear out the fighting force led by Napoleon
  • After exile and resurgence, Waterloo is the last hoorah.
So what is left of the French Revolution by 1815 following Napoleon’s rule?
  • Following the Enlightenment, the French Revolution is the first to take place in Europe where an existing government is completely changed.
  • Ideas of democracy and a stronger, better represented middle class spread… absolutism in Europe is a dying way.
  • Military tactics are changed – nations now have massive armies rather than smaller individual groups or mercenaries

With Love,


aka “LeRevolution”

Napoleon: Dynamite?

When Napoleon escapes from the island of Elba and tries to regain power, the people of France must decide follow him again or to stick with the new king.

Set up a chart in your notebook:

Good things about Napoleon’s rule Bad things about Napoleon’s rule


List at least four examples under each column.

Underneath your chart,

finish one of the sentences in a short paragraph:

I would support Napoleon’s return to power because…

I would not support Napoleon’s return to power because…


Neighboring monarchies (the other countries in Europe) fear the French Revolution will spread and that their people will want the same freedoms

  • Napoleon takes it upon himself to spread his own brand of freedom and revolution… he conquers Europe.