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The Age of the French Revolution, 1789-1815. The West CHAPTER 18. The Beginning of the Revolution. Financial crisis led to a constitutional breakdown Formation of the National Assembly by the Third Estate, and lower nobility and clergy

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The beginning of the revolution
The Beginning of the Revolution

  • Financial crisis led to a constitutional breakdown

  • Formation of the National Assembly by the Third Estate, and lower nobility and clergy

  • Breakdown of public order, caused by high price of bread, fueled public paranoia

  • National Assembly began to legislate the Old Regime out of existence

The creation of a new political society
The Creation of a New Political Society

  • Abolition of noble, clerical, provincial and urban privileges

  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, August 26 1789

  • Reorganization of the church into a government department

  • Promulgation of a new constitution formally ended the absolute monarchy

Responses to the french revolution
Responses to the French Revolution

  • Opposition within France from certain priests, nobles and Catholic extremists

  • Welcomed by political reformers in other European states

  • Vehemently opposed by conservative politicians and absolute monarchs across Europe, and by the papacy

The establishment of the republic 1792
The Establishment of the Republic, 1792

  • Growth of the radical Jacobin party

  • Attempt by Louis XVI and his family to flee France

  • Military defeats by Austria and Prussia fueled paranoia and led to social disorder and the imprisonment of the royal family

  • September 22, 1792 - abolition of the monarchy

The jacobins and the revolution
The Jacobins and the Revolution

  • Jacobins became the major political force after the establishment of the republic

  • Split within the Jacobins, between the radical Mountain and the Girondins

  • Execution of Louis XVI and growing foreign opposition to the Revolution deepened the political divide

  • Purge of Girondins from government

The reign of terror 1793 1794
The Reign of Terror, 1793-1794

  • Formation of special courts and legal procedures to try enemies of the Revolution

  • The Committee of Public Safety became a revolutionary dictatorship

  • Ca. 37, 000 people were executed or killed without any trial

  • Indiscriminate state terrorism has become closely identified with the Revolution

The directory 1795 1799
The Directory, 1795-1799

  • The end of the Terror resulted in a new constitution

  • Executive power was granted to a five-man directory

  • Widespread social discontent caused by economic crisis and military defeats

  • Coup d’état, 1799, established a military dictatorship under Napoleon Bonaparte

The transformation of cultural institutions
The Transformation of Cultural Institutions

  • Collapse of educational system, due to reorganization of the Church

  • Abolition of scientific and artistic academies

  • Formation of the National Library

  • Establishment of a museum at the Louvre

  • Destruction of royal tombs and monuments

Creation of a new political culture
Creation of a New Political Culture

  • All forms of cultural expression were subordinated to revolutionary goals

  • Significant linguistic and symbolic changes

  • Emphatically secular, even anti-Christian, in sentiment

  • Belief that the popular sovereignty should permeate all aspects of daily life

  • Concern for standardization and national uniformity

Napoleon and the revolution
Napoleon and the Revolution

  • Used the language and institutions of the Revolution to conceal his dictatorial rule

  • Supported and confirmed legal equality of all men, but not women

  • Continued the centralization, rationalization and expansion of state power

  • Continued the military mission of the Revolution

Napoleon and the french state
Napoleon and the French State

  • Achieved a resolution with the Catholic Church, via the Concordat of 1801

  • Promulgated six new law codes; most importantly, the Civil Code of 1804

  • Laid the foundations of a modern, meritocratic, hierarchical civil administration

  • Established a new, non-hereditary nobility

Napoleon the empire and europe
Napoleon, the Empire and Europe

  • Created a massive European empire, via a huge and well-disciplined army

  • Napoleon’s status as a military genius is controversial, despite his success

  • Formation of the Empire fueled nationalist ideologies, especially in Italy and Germany, against French rule

The downfall of napoleon
The Downfall of Napoleon

  • Dissent within France increased after the birth of a son and heir to the imperial throne

  • Catastrophic failure of the invasion of Russia

  • Military defeat led to Napoleon’s abdication and exile, and restoration of the monarchy

  • Congress of Vienna redrew European borders to preserve the balance of power

The legacy of the french revolution
The Legacy of the French Revolution

  • Huge economic and demographic cost, in Europe, from the revolutionary wars

  • Delayed industrialization of France and retarded economic growth

  • Drove an enormous growth in the competence and power of the state

  • Promoted the concept of popular sovereignty and the practice of active political participation by all citizens

The french revolution and western civilization
The French Revolution and Western Civilization

  • Development of a new, secular political culture that challenged established authorities and traditions

  • Export of revolutionary culture prompted legal, political and social changes across Europe and the Americas