The French Revolution July 14, 1789 – August 10, 1792 Amanda Zhao Period 5
Timeline of France Fall of Bastille -> Storming of Tuileries
July 14, 1789 Parisian crowds overtake old feudal fortress – the Bastille – for weapons and ammunition Massacre soldiers (governor – de Launay – head displayed on pike) and replace royal officials of Paris with revolutionary municipality Organize citizens’ militia Saved National Assembly and example of popular support of French Revolution July 17: Louis XVI dons tricolor ribbon The Bastille • Dismissal of Necker on July 11 • Fear of counterrevolution • …leads to…
The “Great Fear” • Movement of fear and suspicion towards nobles and anti-patriotic threats • Rumor that “brigands” in pay of nobles come to villages to destroy harvests -> force peasants into submission • Caused: Greater hatred and suspicion of peasants towards nobles, prompted armed mobilizations in villages, new attacks on manor houses • Little subsistence, limited economic advancement, seigneurial and church dues place stress on peasants • Now suspicion that nobles hoarding grain to hamper revolutionary cause -> peasant insurgency • …contribute to…
August 4 Decree • Night of August 4, particular deputies of the nobility and clergy give up past privileges • Led to: • Decree of the French National Assembly Abolishing the Feudal System (1789) • Abolishment of church tithe, sale of royal offices, tax and social privileges (ex. hunting rights) • Allowed construction of new regime
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789) • Indicated intentions of new constitution • Affirmed individual liberties and natural rights • Ex. freedom of expression, religious conscience • But, introduced obedience to legitimate law • Outlined representation and the separation of powers • Principles based on reason, rather than tradition (liberal) • “The aim of every political association is the preservation of the natural…rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression” (The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen).
Edmund Burke Mary Wollstonecraft Thomas Paine Opinions on the French Revolution • Edmund Burke • Reflections on the Revolution in France • Conservative view; government should be based on traditional, well-tested institutions • Mary Wollstonecraft • A Vindication of the Rights of Man (arguing against Burke; supporting republicanism) • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (argues for more female equality) • Thomas Paine • The Rights of Man (1792) – refutes Burke
The New Constitution • Created a limited monarchy with clear separation of powers • Sovereignty in the people • Single-house legislature (elected through indirect voting) • King had limited power; can choose ministers but can only use delaying veto on legislation • Equal civil rights and transfer of power from the privileged to the propertied citizens • Ex. 1790: nobles lose titles • Tax-paying males can vote, excluded women
Festival of Federation Political Culture • Revolution generated new political culture in French population: • Great number of uncensored newspapers (ex. The People’s Friend) • Political clubs (ex. Jacobin Club) • Public ceremonies: planting “trees of liberty,” celebrating anniversary of Bastille in Festival of Federation
Olympe de Gouges The Debate Over Women’s Rights • Revolution brought women’s political rights into debate (ex. pamphlets, petitions for women suffrage, education) • Advocators: • Olympe de Gouges: “Declaration of the Rights of Women” (1791) • Marquis de Condorcet: Published newspaper article advocating for woman political rights (July 1790), women rights proponents form Cercle Social (social circle) • Etta Palm d'Aelders: argued for equal rights in education and marriage • But opposed: • Notion of gender difference popularized by Rousseau (ex. Emile) • Belief feminine wiles will negatively influence public policy • Women should have maternal roles in the domestic sphere • Nevertheless, the revolution promoted greater female rights in: • Political involvement through political clubs; writing political pamphlets • 1789-1794: legislation curbed paternal powers over children, lowering age of majority, more equal property rights, both spouses have right to divorce, daughters able to inherit property “Woman is born free and lives equal to man in her rights” (Declaration of the Rights of Woman)
Women in the Revolution • October 1789: • Parisian women led large demonstration to Versailles, marching twelve miles from Paris in rain • Forced king and queen to return to Paris • Result of concerns over food scarcities, anti-aristocratic views prompted by revolution, rumors of royals trampling revolutionary tricolor (counterrevolution) • Also participated in political writings, clubs (ex. Paris Jacobin Club), societies, gatherings • Example of women society: Society of Revolutionary Republican Women, established May 1793 in Paris
Race and Slavery • Debate on which groups are entitled to “the rights of man” • Ex. Eastern France’s Jews, free Mulattoes and Negroes in France’s Caribbean colonies • Assembly extended equality to Jews, but hesitated for Negroes and Mulattoes when white planters argued against equality • Argument: Limited liberties of colored people = maintenance of slavery • Led to mulattoes rebelling and later, slave rebellion under Toussaint-L’Ouverture • Formed independent colony of Haiti • (In 1794, French government abolished slavery in all French colonies)
French Revolution Departments Reorganization of France • Assembly reorganized France’s territory into eighty-three departments: same size and institutions • Further divided into districts, cantons, and communes • Promoted local autonomy (local elections) • But local govt. still subordinate to national Paris legislature • Local govt. – promote national integration and uniformity • New judicial system: • Replace old regime’s parlements and law courts with a justice of the peace per canton, civil courts, criminal courts, elected tribunal judges • Criminal defendants gain right to counsel • Wanted to make administration of justice faster and more accessible
Economic Reforms • Removed internal tariffs and chartered trading monopolies • Laissez-faire ideology • Abolished merchants’ and artisans’ guilds; allowed right of citizens to enter any trade • No more government regulation • Individual freedom to cultivate fields for peasants and landlords in countryside • > Greater economic individualism
The Revolution and the Church • Removed independence of church from state: • Nationalized Church property (about 10% of land in France) • “National lands” were then used to back paper notes called assignats • Caused: purchasers of land have interest in the revolution, assignats become national currency after war with Austria and Prussia begin -> severe inflation) • Attempt to remove the privileges of the Church • Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790) • Caused tear of clergy between the Pope or the National Assembly • Result in schism of French Catholicism; polarized nation • Link revolution with impiety and Church with counterrevolution
Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790) • Reduced number of bishops from 130 to 83 • Reshaped diocesan boundaries to match new departments • Bishops and parish priests were to be elected and be paid as specified by a uniform salary scale • Must take oath of loyalty to constitution • Clergy believed selection of bishops and priests belonged with the Pope or a Nation Church Council, however • November 1790: Assembly demanded all clergy take loyalty oath; or will lose positions • Seven bishops and 54% of parish clergy took oath -> division of French Catholics
Louis XVI The King Flees • After July 14, multiple king’s relatives, nobles, royal army’s officer corps leave country (Émigrés) • June 1791: King Louis XVI and family flee from Paris • Want to cross Belgian frontier into Austria for help • Stopped at village of Varennes and returned to Paris • King’s flight angered public • King would abandon his people • Journalist Jean-Paul Marat criticizes treachery of king (ex. in newspaper The People’s Friend)
Start of War • Legislative Assembly convened on October 1, 1791; wanting war • Royalists: discredit new regime and restore monarchy • Jacobins: stop foreign supporters of Émigrés and domestic counterrevolutionaries • Francis II ascend Habsburg throne March 1792; wants war with France • 1792: France war with coalition between Austria, Prussia, and the Émigrés • France is soon invaded • Louis XVI vetoes Assembly’s order for arrest of refractory clergy and additional guardsmen to protect Paris • Legislature calls for one hundred thousand volunteers for French army
End of the Old Regime • As Prussian forces near Paris, commander – Duke of Brunswick – threatens city if it resisted or injured royal family • Made Louis XVI seem in alliance with enemy • Parisian militants cause an insurrection… • August 10, 1792: Armed Parisians storm royal palace at the Tuileries • King taken off throne • Old regime destroyed
Beginning to End • Fall of the Bastille adds popular dimension to French Revolution • > Various reforms in France (ex. Declaration of the Rights of Man) • > Debates on rights of man and women • Led to…. • > Austrian and Prussian coalition vs. France • > Fall of monarchy, death of old regime
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