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Unit 2: Enlightenment and French revolution. What were some of the ideas/Themes of the enlightenment? Based on what we learned yesterday, does an absolute monarchy support these beliefs? . absolutism. Absolutism

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What were some of the ideas/Themes of the enlightenment? Based on what we learned yesterday, does an absolute monarchy support these beliefs?



    • 17th and 18th Century political theory that suited the absolute monarchs of the time and justified the ABSOLUTE and ORGANIC rule of all aspects of society through a monarchy
  • Absolute Monarchy
    • Kings or queens who believed that all power within their state’s boundaries rested in their hands
    • Justified through idea of DIVINE RIGHT—idea that God created the monarchy and the monarch acted as God’s representative on earth

Principles of Absolutism

    • Basic Principle:
      • Ruler has complete power over all aspects of an individual citizen’s life
    • Political Principle:
      • King/Queen creates and executes all laws and decisions involved in governing their nation
    • Social Principle:
      • Ruler oversees nobility that oversees general population
      • King/Queen & Nobility on topeveryone else on the bottom

Principles of Absolutism (cont.)

    • Economic Principle:
      • King/Queen and Nobility oversee the flow and distribution of money
      • Heavy taxation
      • Wealth heavily consolidated in the upper class
    • Cultural Principle:
      • King/Queen dictate cultural trends and religion
      • Heavy use of CENSORSHIP

Rise of Absolutism in France

    • 17th Century France
      • Pinnacle (height) of power, wealth, and prestige
      • Oversees exploration and expansion
      • Cultural and intellectual world leader
    • Forms of Authority
      • Monarchy
      • Estates General
      • Local Governments

“L’etat c’est moi”

    • (“I am the State”)
  • The “Absolute” Louis XVI
    • Almost single-handedly decided all fates of France during his reign
    • Heavily taxed his people to build his Palace of Versailles and instigate costly wars
    • Declining economy due to high expenses
    • Limited power of nobility by promoting positions of upper-middle class

The “Absolute” Louis XVI

    • Not religiously tolerant
      • Revoked Edict of Nantes (1685)granted greater religious freedom to French protestants (Huguenots)
palace at versailles or ch teau de versailles

The court of Versailles was the centre of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime.

Palace at Versailles or Château de Versailles
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Absolutism’s Challenges

    • All nations in Europe (not) England ruled by Absolutism
    • People began to resent total control and question DIVINE RIGHT
    • Renaissance ideals bred discussions of DEMOCRACY
    • Success of England’s Parliament intrigued many in surrounding nations
    • Emerging studies in Social Sciences such as psychology and political science generated discussion of how to better rule people

The popular French magazine “Louis Life” has chosen you to be its new investigative journalist. Your job is to go undercover and get a sneak peek at the life of Louis XIV at the Palace of Versailles. To do this, you must use the following sources: the video clip we watch in class today; the article we read, and the notes we took in class. Your article will be a series of illustrations (after all, not everyone can read in France).


This would be a serious shortcoming for anybody else in the world, but fortunately you can draw very well. You are your group will create a series of sketches that indicate what life is like at the palace. You will create five different drawings, each one outlining a characteristic of Louis XIV (daily procedure, personality, surroundings, etc.) For each sketch you should include:

    • A sketch showing who is involved and what is going on
    • Your cartoon’s feelings about the subject (Silly? Useful? Necessary?)
    • A two-sentence summary explaining each sketch
basic understandings

Old Regime

    • Three Estates (social classes) in France
    • First Estate
      • Catholic Church Clergy (Bishops, abbots, priests)
      • 1-2% of population
      • Did not pay taxes
      • Paid “free gift” of 2% of income to the king
Basic understandings
basic understandings35

Old Regime (cont.)

    • Second Estate
      • Nobility (Military officials
      • Court officers)
      • What % of population?
      • 2% of the population
    • Did not pay taxes
Basic understandings
basic understandings36

Old Regime (cont.)

    • Third Estate
    • 97% of the population
    • Paid all of France’s taxes
    • Bourgeoisie (doctors, lawyers, bankers, merchants)
    • Urban Working Class (blacksmith, baker, servant, peddler
    • Peasants (farmers, homeless and poor, paid “corvee”working tax)
Basic understandings
the estates social classes
The Estates (social classes)
  • The Queen needs “taxes” to be paid…
  • Group #1 - give 2 pieces
  • Group #3 – give half of food
  • Group #2 – give nothing
  • Group 1 – has good amount of food – smallest group (1 person)
  • Group 2 – has the most food- small group (2 people)
  • Group 3 – has least food – biggest group
let s take a vote on paying taxes

Each group gets only one vote…

Who votes that the third group should pay the most taxes ? Raise your hand.

Why is this unfair?

What would you do if you were in group 3 and were asked to pay the majority of the taxes?

Let’s take a vote on paying taxes
in france

Group 1 – The clergy – paid only low taxes

Group 2 – The Rich Nobles – paid almost no taxes

Group 3 – The Bourgeoisie (merchants, artisans), cooks, servants and peasants – paid the most taxes

Where were most people? Third Estate

In France…
the result

The social class inequities in France in the 1700’s led to unrest among the Third Estate.

This ultimately led to REVOLUTION!

The Result
french revolution

Causes of Revolution

    • The Enlightenment Ideas
      • Liberty
      • Reason
      • Equality
      • Progress
      • Happiness
    • Philosophe Ideology
      • Locke defended private property, limited sovereignty, and fair government
      • Voltaire attacked noble privileges and Church authority
French Revolution
french revolution47

Causes of the Revolution (cont.)

    • The American Revolution
      • Exhibited (showed) ideas of Enlightenment in action
      • French soldiers (i.e. Lafayette) that fought were instrumental (key) to inspiring lower-class French citizens
      • Placed Louis XIV in great debt
French Revolution
french revolution48

Causes of the Revolution (cont.)

    • Failing French Economy
      • National debt was 4 billion livres
      • 50 percent of government’s income went to interest on debt
      • No central bank or paper currency
      • Inefficient and uneven taxation system (varied by region and estate)
French revolution
french revolution49

Causes of the Revolution (cont.)

    • Feudal System
      • Estate system outdated
      • Posed (presented) many difficulties to rising middle class of Third Estate
      • Difficult to move upward in society (unless very rich)
      • Less well-off commoners resented the inequality of the three estates
French revolution
french revolution50

Causes of the Revolution (cont.)

    • Louis XVI
      • Good intentions
      • Weak-willed
      • Indecisive
      • Marie-Antoinette allowed to “dispense patronage amongst friends”
French Revolution
french revolution51

Causes of Revolution (cont.)

    • Peasants’ situation unbearable
      • ‘Web of obligations’
      • Obviously unfairly overtaxed
      • Noble hunting privileges
      • Land-starved
      • Subsistence farmers
French Revolution
french revolution52

Causes of the Revolution (cont.)

    • Harvest Failures in 1787 & 88
      • Less food
      • Higher prices
      • Businesses failed
      • Unemployment in cities
French Revolution
stages of the revolution

Stages 1

    • Fiscal crisis forced Louis XXVI to call the Estates-General (summer 1788; first time since 1614)
      • The Three Estates elected delegates:
        • First Estate represented about 100,000 clergymen
        • Second Estate represented about 400,000 noble men and women
        • Third Estate represented about 24.5 million people
Stages of the Revolution
stages of the revolution56

Stages 1 (cont.)

    • Main disagreement was representation
      • Should the estates vote by estate or by individual?
        • Third Estate argued that all delegates should sit together and vote as individuals
        • Third Estate demanded as many delegates as the First and Second Estates combined “Doubling the Third”
Stages of the Revolution
who were the third estate delegates

Represented the outlook of the elite

25 percent lawyers

43 percent governmental officials

Strong sense of common grievance and common purpose

Who were the Third Estate Delegates?
stages of the revolution58

Stage 1 (cont.)

    • Storming of the Bastille (July 14, 1789)
      • Bastille was a symbol of royal authority
      • Its fall symbolized of the people’s role in revolutionary change
Stages of the revolution
stages of the revolution60

Stage 1 (cont.)

    • The Great Fear (July 20—Aug. 5 1789)
        • Rumors that the King’s armies were on their way circulated
        • Peasants attacked and burned manor houses and destroyed manor records
Stages of the revolution
your task
On the front…

On the back…

Create a colorful French Revolution Image

Postcard images may include

Drawings of events

Slogans or themes

Your art is not the key…your factual accuracy and effort are!

Write a short postcard message to a friend NOT in France during this time.

Explain what you have seen or experienced since the start of the Revolution.

Identify your perspective – 1st, 2nd, 3rd Estate?

Your Task
stages of the revolution64

Stage 2

    • May 5, 1789 the Estates General convened at Versailles
    • June 17, 1789 the Delegates of the Third Estate declared themselves to be the National Assembly
      • Voted to end absolute monarch
      • Intent on creating a representative government
      • Signed their pact on June 20, 1789Tennis Court Oath
Stages of the Revolution
stages of the revolution66

The Oath of the Tennis Court (June 20, 1789)

The deputies of Versailles were shocked to discover the doors to their chamber were locked and guarded by soldiers. Fearing an attack by King Louis, the deputies congregated in a nearby indoor, real tennis court where they took an oath “not to separate, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the kingdom is established”

Stages of the Revolution
stages of the revolution67

Stage 2

    • The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (August 26, 1789—Issued in Sept.)
      • Declared Natural Rights
        • Private property
        • Liberty, security, and resistance to oppression
      • Declared freedom of speech, religious toleration, and liberty of the press to be inviolable
      • Equality before the law
Stages of the revolution
events of the revolution

Stage 2 (cont.)

    • August 4 1789 the National Assembly voted to abolish all noble and other privileges
      • Church tithe
      • The corvee
      • Hunting privileges
      • Tax exemptions and monopolies
      • Obliterated the remnants of feudalism
Events of the revolution
stages of revolution

Stage 3

    • Legislative Assembly is plagued with disagreements the Assembly splits into 3 political groups:
      • Radicals
      • Moderates
      • Conservatives
Stages of Revolution
stages of the revolution72

Stages 3 (cont.)

    • Monarchies around Europe feared revolutionary ideas may spread
    • Austria states support for Louis XVI and threatened to invade
    • Legislative Assembly declared war on Austria
    • France now has domestic and foreign conflicts
Stages of the Revolution
stages of the revolution73
Stages of the Revolution
  • Stage 3 (cont.)
    • Radicals begin to dominate Legislative Assembly
    • July 25, 1792: Radicals capture Louis XVI and family and put in a stone tower in Paris
    • Radicals take over Legislative Assembly
    • Ends limited monarchy and Constitution of 1791
      • Louis XVI deposed as king
      • Legislative Assembly dissolved
stages of the revolution74

Stage 3 (cont.)

    • September Massacre (September 1792)
      • French troops leaving Paris to fight Austrians
      • Parisians fear less troops will allow captured nobles to escape and regain control
      • Radicals lead raid on imprisoned nobles and clergy and kill 1000’s
Stages of the Revolution
stage s of revolution

Stage 4

    • Takes over after Legislative Assembly-September 21, 1792
    • Made up of radical leaders from the Jacobin Club
      • Supported a REPUBLIC
    • 3 Main Leaders
Stages of Revolution
stages of the revolution78

Stage 4 (cont.)

    • Abolished monarchy and declared France a REPUBLIC based on “LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY”
      • All adult males could vote and hold office & Louis XVI common citizen
    • Citizen Army
      • 1793- First Coalition takes on France
      • GB, Holland, Spain, Austria and Prussia
      • National Convention holds a draft
      • By 1794, 800,000 men and WOMEN fighting to protect France
Stages of the Revolution
stages of the revolution79

Stage 4 (cont.)

    • Robespierre Reign of Terror
      • Goal: use terror to enforce the Republic’s virtues
      • Committee of Public Safety
        • Created and lead by Robespierre
        • Seek out enemies of the Republic
        • Try and execute enemies of the Republic in an equal manner using guillotine
Stages of the Revolution
infamous executions

Louis XVI-King of France

Marie Antoinette-Queen of France

George Danton-a leader of National Convention

InFamous executions
stages of the revolution81
Stages of the revolution
  • Guillotine
    • Device created by Dr. Guillotin as a means to an enlightened execution without prejudice
    • How might the guillotine be an enlightened form of execution?
execution of louis xvi
Execution of Louis XVI
  • Louis XVI-King of France
    • Executed January 21, 1793
    • Said to have cried like a baby as he climbed the scaffolding
    • Symbolic event signifying the emergence of a true radical republic
execution of george danton
Execution of George Danton
  • George Danton
    • A leader of National Convention and close friend and confidant of Robespierre
    • Executed by guillotine in spring of 1794
    • Considered not RADICAL enough!
execution of marie antoinette
Execution of Marie Antoinette
  • Marie Antoinette- Queen of France
    • Executed on Oct. 16, 1793
    • Was never liked by the people of France
    • Was executed as a traitor for conspiring against France with her brother the Emperor of Austria
murder of jean paul marat
Murder of Jean Paul Marat
  • Jean Paul Marat
    • Writer and publisher of “The Friend of the People”
    • Murdered in his bath tub on July 13, 1793
    • Murdered by woman that feared his ideas too radical
    • Wanted an end to unnecessary violence
radicals too radical
Radicals Too Radical?
  • How does this cartoon depict the “arms” of the radicals?
  • By the people represented in the cartoon…what might be the cartoonist’s opinion of the “radicals”?
stages of the revolution87
Stages of the Revolution
  • Stage 4 (cont.)
    • Even the Radicals had enough
    • National Convention leaders secretly organize the arrest and execution of Robespierre
    • July 24, 1794-Thermodorian Reaction
end of national convention

After Robespierre’s execution, National Convention leaders rally to create a more “moderate” government structure.

Convention remains in place until the new structure is created and new members elected

This will become the 5th and final stage…


End of National Convention
stages of the revolution90

Stage 5

    • 1795- members of defunct National Convention create new “moderate” government
    • Still have many economic and social problems to tackle
    • Made up of MODERATES, mostly bourgeoisie
    • Corrupted; enriched themselves at the public’s expense
    • Structure:
      • 2 House Legislature
      • 5 Executive members
Stages of the Revolution
stages of the revolution91
Stages of the revolution
  • Stage 5 (cont.)
    • Somewhat successful
      • Created sense of order and stability throughout France
    • Responsible for the rise of France’s greatest military mastermind…


Napoleon will overthrow the Directory in

November of 1799