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FRENCH REVOLUTION. Unrest in France. April 28, 1789- Unrest exploded at a Paris wallpaper factory Workers upset because rumors spread that factory owner was going to cut wages Bread prices were soaring Workers vandalized owner’s home Nobles were not worry about the riots

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unrest in france
Unrest in France
  • April 28, 1789- Unrest exploded at a Paris wallpaper factory
    • Workers upset because rumors spread that factory owner was going to cut wages
    • Bread prices were soaring
    • Workers vandalized owner’s home
  • Nobles were not worry about the riots
    • Knew that France had severe economic problems
    • Believed financial reforms would ease the problem
french society divided
French Society Divided
  • Ancien Regime (old order), everyone in France were divided into three estates (social classes)
  • Three estates
    • First Estate was the clergy
    • Second Estate was the nobles
    • Third Estate was everybody else (this class was the majority of the people)
  • Enjoy wealth
    • The church owned 10% of the land
    • Collected tithes
    • Paid no direct taxes to the state
    • Bishops and abbot lived well
    • Parish priest might be as poor as a peasant
  • Provided social services
    • Nuns, monks, and priests ran schools, hospitals, and orphanages
  • Many clergy condemned Enlightenment for undermining religion and moral order
  • Top jobs in government, the army, the courts, and the church
  • Many nobles owned land, but received little financial income
  • Hated absolutism and resented royal bureaucracy that employed middle-class men in positions that once was reserved for them
  • Fear losing their privileges and freedom from paying taxes
everyone else
Everyone else
  • At the top sat the bourgeoisie (middle class)
    • Bankers, merchants, manufacturers, lawyers, doctors, journalists, professors
  • The bulk of the third estate was the rural peasants
    • Some were prosperous landowners who hired laborers to work for them
  • The poorest members of the third estate were the urban workers.
    • Apprentices, journeymen
    • Industries such as printing and cloth making
    • Servants, stable hands, construction workers, street sellers
  • From rich to poor- resented privileges enjoyed by the “social betters”
  • Who paid the taxes?
financial troubles
Financial Troubles
  • France spent more money than it took in
  • France’s National Debt Soars
    • Louis XIV had left France in Debt
    • Seven Years War and American Revolution strained the treasury
    • Costs had risen in the 1700’s
    • French government borrowed more and more money
    • Late 1780’s- Bad harvest sent food prices soaring and brought hunger to poorer peasants and city dwellers
financial troubles1
Financial Troubles
  • Economic Reform Fails-
    • Louis XIV heirs did not solve the economic crisis
      • Louis XV (ruled from 1715-1774)- Ran up more debts
      • Louis XVI- Weak and indecisive
        • Chose Jacques Necker as an advisor
        • Dismissed him because the nobles and clergy for him due to Necker wanted to tax the first and second estates
  • Pressure to reform mounted
    • Wealthy and powerful classes wanted the king to summon the Estates-General
      • A king had not done this for 175 years due to being scared of losing power
estates general is called
Estates-General is called
  • At the end of 1788 it did not look good in France
    • Riots were spreading
    • Nobles fearing taxes were denouncing royal tyranny
  • Louis XVI did not know what to do so he finally summoned the Estates-General to meet at Versailles the following year
    • King had a three estates prepare grievance notebooks (cahiers)
  • Convened in May 1789
    • Deadlock over the issue of voting
      • Each estate got one vote so estate one and two always outvoted estate three
estates general is called1
Estates-General is called
  • Estate number three wanted all three estates to meet in a single body, with votes counted “by head”
    • This caused a stalemate
    • June 1789- claiming to represent the people of France the third estate claimed themselves to be the National Assembly
      • National Assembly found their meeting hall locked and guarded
      • Moved to a tennis court
        • Took the Tennis Court Oath- They swore “never to separate and to meet wherever the circumstances might require until we have establish a sound and just constitution”.
      • Louis XVI accepted the assembly when reform-minded clergy and nobles joined
  • July 14, 1789- Over 800 Parisians assembled outside Bastille
    • People thought royal troops were going to occupy the capital
    • Crowd demanded weapons and gunpowder
    • Commander refused to open the gates and then open fire on the crowd
      • Enraged mob broke through the defenses, killed the commander, and five guards
      • Released a handful of prisoners
      • Found no weapons
    • Bastille was a symbol to the people of France representing years of abuse by the monarchy
    • Since 1880- French celebrated Bastille Day annually as their independence day

phases of the french revolution
Phases of the French Revolution
  • The moderate phase of the National Assembly (1789-1791)
    • Turned France into a constitutional monarchy
  • Radical Phase (1792-1794)
    • Escalating violence led to the end of the monarchy and a Reign of Terror
  • Directory (1795-1799)
    • A period of reaction against extremism
  • Age of Napoleon (1799-1815)
    • Consolidated many revolutionary changes
political crisis leads to revolt
Political Crisis Leads to Revolt
  • Political crisis and the worst famine coincided in 1789
    • People were spending as much as 80% of their income on bread
  • “Great Fear”
    • Rumors about attacks on towns and villages
    • Rumors about government troops seizing peasant crops
    • Peasants unleased their fury on nobles
      • Set fire to old manor records and stole grain
  • Center of the Revolution
  • Factions competed to gain power
  • Marqius de Lafayette
    • Headed the national guard- a largely middle-class militia
  • Paris Commune
    • More Radical Group
    • Replaced the royalist government in the city
    • Mobilize who neighborhoods for protests or violent action
national assembly acts
National Assembly Acts
  • August 4, 1789
    • Nobles in the National Assembly voted to end their privileges
      • Gave up old manorial dues, exclusive hunting rights, special legal status, and exemption from taxes
  • National Assembly would eventually turn these reforms into laws
  • Issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen
    • late August 1789
    • Document modeled in part on the American Declaration of Independence
    • All men were born and remain free and equal in rights
    • Natural rights of liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression
    • All male citizens were equal before the law
    • Freedom of Religion
    • Taxes be levied according to the ability to pay
french revolution slogan
French Revolution Slogan
  • Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
women upset
Women Upset
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man did not grant equal citizenship to women
  • Olympe de Gouges (Female Journalist)
    • 1791 demanded equal rights in her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Female Citizen
  • Later in the Revolution women met resistance expressing their ideas, many were imprisoned and executed
women march on versailles
Women March on Versailles
  • October 5, 1789- About 6,000 women marched from Paris to Versailles
  • Anger directed toward Marie Antoinette
    • Queen lived a life of extravagance
    • Against reforms
  • The women wanted King Louis XVI to return to Paris with them
    • The next three years the royal family would live in Paris as a virtual prisoner
national assembly moves forward
National Assembly Moves Forward
  • Largely Bourgeoisie members worked to draft a constitution and to solve the financial crisis
  • Assembly voted to take over and sell church lands
  • Placed the church under state control
    • 1790 issued the Civil Constitution of the Clergy
      • Bishops and Priests became elected, salaried officials
      • Ended papal authority over the French Church
      • Dissolved convents and monasteries
  • Reaction to the church takeover was not good
    • Bishops and priests refused to accept it
    • Pope condemned it
    • Large number of French peasants did not accept the reform
    • A huge gape open between Paris and the provinces
constitution of 1791
Constitution of 1791
  • 1791 established a new government
    • Set up a limited monarchy
    • Legislative Assembly had the power to make laws, collect taxes, and decide on issues of war and peace
      • Could be elected by tax-paying male citizens over age 25
    • Replaced old provinces with 83 departments of roughly equal size
  • Moderate reformers thought the Constitution of 1791 seemed to complete the revolution
king escapes
King Escapes
  • King Louis XVI and royal family escapes from Paris in June 1791
  • Got caught and sent back to Paris
  • To many people this escape by the king showed he was a traitor to the revolution
radicals take over
Radicals take over
  • European rulers fear the spread of the revolution
    • Increase border patrols
    • Fueling the fears were stories told by the emigres (nobles, clergy, and others who had fled France)
  • Enlightened Rulers turn against France
    • Catherine the Great burned Voltaire’s letters and locked up her critics
  • Threats come from different countries
    • 1791- Prussia and Austria issued the Declaration of Pilnitz- in this document the two monarchs threatened to intervene to protect the French monarchy
radicals fight for power and declare war
Radicals fight for power and declare war
  • October 1791- newly elected Legislative Assembly took office.
    • It survived for less than a year
    • Economic problems fed renewed turmoil
  • Sans-culottes- working class men and women in Paris and other cities
    • Pushed the revolution in more radical action
    • Demanded a republic
  • Within the Legislative Assembly, factions compete for power
    • Jacobins (middle class lawyers and intellectuals) supported the San-culottes to advance the republic cause
    • Opposing the radials were moderate reformers and political officials who wanted no more reforms
national assembly declares war
National Assembly Declares War
  • April 1792- Legislative Assembly declares war first on Austria, and then Prussia, Britain, and other states
  • Would last on and off until 1815