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French Revolution

French Revolution

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French Revolution

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  1. French Revolution The Reign of Terror and the Age of Napoleon

  2. Reign of Terror • The revolution was in crisis • France was under attack from Austria, Great Britain, Prussia and others • Many peasants, upset about attacks on the church and the call for a military draft, begin counterrevolutionary activity • Radicals (Jacobins) seek to eliminate all internal opponents through terror

  3. The Terror • Robespierre is major force behind the terror • Targets are all opponents of revolutionary government • 15,000-20,000 are executed • Terror ends with execution of Robespierre

  4. Victims of the Terror • All classes of society were victimized • The wealthiest (Marie Antoinette) and the most humble were all subject to execution • Moderate Girondists and followers of Danton (who merely wanted to end the terror) • Ultimate expression of “equality”

  5. After the Terror • New, moderate government, called the Directory, takes over • Government is weak due to corruption and poor leadership • People in France, fearing return to monarchy, look for strong leader............

  6. Rise of Napoleon • Napoleon has military success in France and in France’s war during the Revolution • During the weak, ineffective rule of the Directory, Napoleon returns to France • He seizes power with the help of the army in a coup d’etat (forced transfer of power) • Napoleon at first is known as first consul

  7. Napoleon as Emperor • Ceremony usually has Pope crowning the emperor • Napoleon takes crown- puts it on his own head • Message- supremacy of the Emperor • http:/

  8. Napoleonic Wars • Napoleon has many military successes • At his peak, his empire includes almost all of Europe • Major opponent is Great Britain- he tries to defeat them by Continental System (naval blockade and other trade restrictions)

  9. Military Conquests • Peninsular war- Napoleon fights to gain control of Portugal who refused to comply with Continental System • He also becomes bogged down in Spain- enforcing his rule against guerrilla opposition • Other conquests include Holland and several Italian and German states

  10. Growth of Empire

  11. Napoleon as Political Leader • Preserves many of the ideals of the French Revolution- equality before the law, limitations on influence of church and nobility • In other ways, he goes against revolutionary ideals- limited personal freedom, no freedom of press, discrimination against women

  12. Major Reforms • Agreement with the Pope (concordat) satisfies those who resented anti-church bias of Revolution • Efficient tax system, better financial system • Napoleonic code of Law- laws apply to all equally • Improved educational system

  13. Legacy of Napoleon • Gave permanence to many ideas of the French Revolution • Responsible for rising influence of nationalism in Europe- French people have intense pride in their nation while other European nations develop national pride in resisting conquest