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The French Revolution 1789. France 1789. French Society: 18 th Century. French Society: 18 th Century. The 3 Estates. Late 18th Century, French Society divided into 3 Estates (classes) 1 st Estate Church (owned 10% of the land) paid no taxes 2 nd Estate

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The 3 estates
The 3 Estates

  • Late 18th Century, French Society divided into 3 Estates (classes)

  • 1st Estate

  • Church (owned 10% of the land) paid no taxes

  • 2nd Estate

  • Nobles (owned 20% of the Land) paid no taxes

  • 3rd Estate

  • Everybody Else paid all taxes

Who s above all the estates king louis xvi 16 th
Who’s Above All the Estates?King Louis XVI (16th)

King louis xvi
King Louis XVI

  • 1780’s French King was Louis XVI, great grandson of King Louis XIV “Sun King”

  • Lived in the Palace of Versailles

Enlightenment ideas
Enlightenment Ideas

  • Enlightenment:

    New views about the nature of political power and the role of


    people began to see government role to help the people be

    Happy and harmonious, not oppressive

    people began to see themselves as the source of governments’

    power, not God (reject Divine Right)

Enlightenment ideas con t
Enlightenment Ideas (con’t)

  • Economic Problems

    France population was expanding rapidly in the late 1700’s

    heavy taxes made it impossible for people to make any profits

    King Louis XVI kept taxing the people to pay

    for his debts and elaborate lifestyle

Enlightenment ideas con t1
Enlightenment Ideas (con’t)

Weak Leadership

King Louis XVI allowed problems to linger: He paid no attention to

his advisors

Louis put off dealing with France’s economic problems

until France became bankrupt

Queen marie antoinette con t
Queen Marie Antoinette (con’t)

  • Louis’ wife Marie Antoinette was hated by the French people:

    because she was Austrian (France’s enemy at the time)

    because she spent so much money on jewels and gifts

Estates general
Estates General

  • Not until it was too late did Louis finally do something

  • May 5, 1789 King Louis XVI called for the Estates General

  • a meeting of representatives from all three estates to discuss tax reform and getting France out of debt

  • This was the first such meeting in France in over 175 years!

The national assembly
The National Assembly

Estates General meeting the first two estates sided with the King: tried to silence members of the third estate (the majority of French society)

  • On June 17, 1789 members of the third estate voted to establish the National Assembly



This vote was the first step of revolution against King Louis XVI and the first two estates

Tennis court oath con t1
Tennis Court Oath (con’t)

  • June 20, 1789:

  • third estate representatives were locked out of their meeting room at the Estates General: they broke down the door to an in-door tennis court

They pledged to stay there until they drew up a new constitution for France

This pledge is called the Tennis Court Oath

Bastille day july 14 1789
Bastille Day: July 14, 1789

Bastille day july 14 17891
Bastille Day: July 14, 1789

Bastille day july 14 17892
Bastille Day: July 14, 1789

Bastille day july 14 17893
Bastille Day: July 14, 1789

Treated as France’s Independence Day (Like 4th of July in America)

Members of the Third Estate were still upset about being locked out of the Estates General Meeting

Bastille: A Prison in Paris where political prisoners were held: people jailed for speaking out against the King

Weapons for the French army were also stored in the Bastille

Storming of the bastille july 14 1789
Storming of the Bastille: July 14, 1789

  • Hundreds of members of the Third Estate storm the prison, free prisoners, and steal weapons: They’re armed now!!

  • The French army was unprepared and unable to stop them

  • Storming was the symbolic beginning of the French Revolution against the King

Declaration of the rights of man
Declaration of the Rights of Man

  • August 27, 1789 the National Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man

    Guaranteed equal justice, freedom of religion and speech

    Influenced by English Bill of Rights

    Next step in the French Revolution

Bread riots 1789
Bread Riots 1789

October 1789 6,000 women in Paris rioted over the price of bread

They then marched on the palace of Versailles and killed two guards

They demanded the King and Queen leave their palace of Versailles and return to Paris (13 miles)

  • This signaled

    the change of power from the King to the people

The emigres
The Emigres

Nobles and clergymen who fled France during the peasant uprisings.

They hoped to undo the Revolution and restore the old regime

The sans culottes
The Sans-Culottes

  • wage laborers and small shop-keepers from Paris

  • They wanted a greater voice in government, lower food prices, and an end to food shortages

    did not get a voice in government but they found a way to exert their will in government: by influencing a political party that later seized control of France (the Jacobins)

The jacobins
The Jacobins

  • Formed an alliance with the Sans-Culottes

  • Jacobins: extreme radical revolutionaries, wanted to end the monarchy and establish representative democracy(The people vote for elected officials to establish laws)

  • They eventually do take over the Legislative Assembly and the whole government

The reign of terror
The Reign of Terror

  • The Guillotine

Maximilien robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre

  • Maniac leader of the Committee of Public Safety: responsible for tens of thousands of deaths

The reign of terror1
The Reign of Terror

July 1793-July 1794

A Group of 15 Jacobins take over the French Government:

The Committee of Public Safety

Led By Maximilien Robespierre

Publicly Executed anyone they deemed an enemy of the revolution (no trials)

Reign of terror con t
Reign of Terror (con’t)

  • Impact

  • Over 40,000 people killed in one year

    75%+ of those killed from 3rd Estate! (The Revolution was supposed to be for them!

Reign of terror con t1
Reign of Terror (con’t)

  • Death of King Louis XVI

  • January 21, 1793 Louis publicly executed by the Jacobins; Marie Antoinette executed 10/16/1793

Death of robespierre
Death of Robespierre

  • Eventually the public withdrew support of Robespierre: too many senseless killings

  • Other members of the Committee of Public Safety wanted to kill him before he killed them

  • July 28, 1794 Robespierre publicly executed in Paris

  • His death signals the end of the Reign of Terror

The directory
The Directory

  • After the Reign of Terror a new group of 5 Moderates take over the government: The Directory

  • The people wanted new less violent leadership

  • The Directory rules France from November 1795-November 1799

  • The Directory was ineffective and

    corrupt: allowed for

    ________to eventually take over……