The French Revolution Discontent, New Ideas & Weak Leadership 1789-1792
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity… -- Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities
The people of France were divided into 3 large social classes, or ESTATES First estate: Roman Catholic Church Second estate: rich nobles Third estate:everyone else (bourgeoisie, workers, peasants) The Old Regime
2nd Estate= Nobles Inlcuding The French Monarchy Marie Antoinette & Louis XVI
First Estate—Clergy =2% of pop. 0% of income paid in taxes Second Estate—Nobles=less than 1% of pop. 2% of income paid in taxes Third Estate—Everybody Else= 97-98% of pop. -50% of income paid in taxes Facts of the Three Estates
The Necklace Scandal 1,600,000 livres[$100 million today] • Cardinal Louis René Édouard de Rohan • The Countess de LaMotte
Let Them Eat Cake! • Marie Antoinette NEVER said that! • “Madame Deficit” • “The Austrian Whore”
The Suggested Voting Pattern:Voting by Estates Clergy 1st Estate 1 Aristocracy 2nd Estate 1 1 Commoners 3rd Estate Louis XIV insisted that the ancient distinction of the three orders be conserved in its entirety.
The Number of Representativesin the Estates General: Vote by Head! Clergy 1st Estate 300 Aristocracy 2nd Estate 300 648 Commoners 3rd Estate
Attitudes of the Lower Classes (the 3rd Estate) The representation of the peasant as a pack-animal was a common motif for portraying the oppressed status of the Third Estate. This cartoon is critical of the monarchy, nobility, and clergy for their unjust treatment of the peasantry.
Enlightenment Ideas New views about power and government were spreading among the Third Estate RousseauVoltaire The Forces of Change: NEW IDEAS
Economic Woes ($$$$$$$$) -France’s economy was failing. -France’s government sank deeply into debt. Desperation -Starvation -Bad Weather The Forces of Change
A Weak Leader Louis XVI was indecisive and allowed economic, political & social problems to drift Louis XVI married Marie Antoinette (an Austrian) The Forces of Change cont.’d
Lettres de Cachet: abuses of Power • The French king could warrantimprisonment or death in asigned letter under his seal. • A carte-blanche warrant. • Cardinal Fleury issued 80,000during the reign of Louis XV! • Eliminated in 1790.
Financial Problemsin France, 1789 • Urban Commoner’sBudget: • Food 80% • Rent 25% • Tithe 10% • Taxes 35% • Clothing 20% • TOTAL 170% • King’s Budget: • Interest 50% • Army 25% • Versailles 25% • Coronation 10% • Loans 25% • Admin. 25% • TOTAL 160%
Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes: Changes in ways of thinking 1stWhat is the Third Estate?Everything! 2nd What has it been heretofore in the political order? Nothing! 3rd What does it demand? To become something therein! Abbé Sieyès1748-1836
Fears of the Upper Classes this image represents the legitimate fear the upper classes held of revolt among the lower classes, and the violence that would ensue. (Note the weapons in the foreground and the anger on the face of the figure in red.)
Convening the Estates General May, 1789 Last time it was called into session was 1614!
“The Tennis Court Oath”by Jacques Louis David June 20, 1789
Fears of the Upper Classes “The Third Estate Awakens” • The commoners finally presented their credentials not as delegates of the Third Estate, but as “representatives of the nation.” this image represents the legitimate fear the upper classes held of revolt among the lower classes, and the violence that would ensue. (Note the weapons in the foreground and the anger on the face of the figure in red.) They proclaimed themselves the “National Assembly” of France.
Storming the Bastille, July 14, 1789 • A rumor that the king was planning a military coup against the National Assembly. • 18 died. • 73 wounded. • 7 guards killed. • It held 7 prisoners [5 ordinary criminals & 2 madmen].
The Great Fear: Peasant Revolt(July 20, 1789) • Rumors that the feudal aristocracy [the aristos] were sending hired brigands to attack peasants & pillage their land.
Revolt in the Countryside: The Great Fear & its Impact Inspired by the example of the Bastille, peasants in rural France seized, ransacked, and pillaged the property of the nobility. Here flames spew from the windows of a manor house, noble families are seen on the road to a safer area, and peasants in the foreground batter their way through a lord’s door.
Night Session of August 4, 1789 • Before the night was over: • The feudal regime in France had been abolished. • All Frenchmen were, at least in principle, subject to the same laws and the same taxes and eligible for the same offices. Equality & Meritocracy!
National Constituent Assembly1789 - 1791 Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité! August DecreesAugust 4-11, 1789 (A renunciation of aristocratic privileges!)
Old Problems Still Exist For the New Government. HUGE DEBT!! STARVATION!!!! How would this new government solve them? The New Government
The Problems. . . • Feudal dues were not ended outright [this had been too strong a threat to the principle of private property!] • Peasants would compensate their landlords through a series of direct payments for obligations from which they had supposedly been freed (sort of like rent). • Therefore, the National Assembly made revolutionary gestures, but remained essentially moderate. Their Goal Safeguard the right of private property!!
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen August 26, 1789 • Liberty! • Property! • Resistance to oppression! • Thomas Jefferson was in Paris at this time.
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen The National Assembly issued its statement of belief on August 27, 1789. This document embodied liberal Enlightenment ideals. Here it is represented on two tablets, to look like the the Ten Commandments, although the God looking down is not Jehovah but the deist Masonic eye.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen Posed New Problems Did women have equal rights with men? What about free blacks in the colonies? How could slavery be justified if all men were born free? Did religious toleration of Protestants and Jews include equal political rights?
March of the Women,October 5-6, 1789 A spontaneous demonstration of Parisian women for bread. We want the baker, the baker’s wife and the baker’s boy!
A Bread Revolt and the Capture of the Royal Family October 5, 1789, a group of Parisian women formed a mob & marched on Versailles to take their complaints to the queen. The “women” captured the royal family from the Palace & entered Paris amidst a large procession.
The “October Days” (1789) The king was thought to be surrounded by evil advisors at Versailles so he was forced to move to Paris & reside at the Tuileries Palace (closer to Paris).
The Tricolor (1789) The WHITE of the Bourbons + the RED & BLUE of Paris. Citizen!
Revolutionary Symbols Cockade Liberté La Republic Revolutionary Clock
Old Problems Still Exist For this New Government. How would they solve them? New Government