The revolution in politics, 1775-1815 AP European History – Eastview High School Ch21 Section 3 – The French Revolution, 1789-1791 (McKay, et al., 8th ed.)
Essential Questions • To what extent is the French Revolution an attempt to create a government based on Enlightenment ideals? • What are the major long- and short-term causes of the French Revolution?
Anatomy of a Revolution • There is a theory about how and why revolutions take place, and much of it is based on the French Revolution. • Crane Brinton, Anatomy of Revolution: He uses the analogy of a fever to explain revolutions: • SYMPTOMS (Causes) • CRISIS (The Escalation) • DELIRIUM/HIGH POINT (Radical Phase) • RELAPSE/THERMIDOR (Reactionary Phase) • Revolutions occur when: pressure groups organize for reform, allegiance of the intellectuals switches, class antagonisms increase, governments are short of money, governments are inefficient and the governed are impatient.
Causes of the French Revolution • A. Intellectual: Enlightenment ideas about liberty and equality influence the upper classes • B. Social: Society is still organized based on feudal concepts, no longer matching reality » resentments
Causes of the French Revolution • C. Political: Bourgeoisie (3rd estate) demands a say in the government; nobles want to retain or increase their power • D. Economic: • Government unable to pay national debt • 1780’s are a time of bad harvests, rising unemployment, rising prices, and poverty »restlessness of the masses
Causes of the French Revolution • E. Development of a public sphere of political debate
Causes of the French Revolution Marie Antoinette – Queen of France Louis XVI – King of France
Beginnings of the French Revolution • A. 1787 “Assembly of Notables” - Louis XVI wants to introduce new taxes, but the nobles refuse approval • B. The attempt to reduce/abolish the parlements’ power leads to a noble revolt -- The only way to raise new taxes is to get them approved by the Estates General
Beginnings of the French Revolution • C. The Estates General is summoned in 1789- delegates are chosen, and asked to list their grievances (cahiers) • 1. Both the nobility and the bourgeoisie want liberal changes: constitution, individual liberties, limited powers of the king, a representative body
Beginnings of the French Revolution • 2. But the problem is voting- the meeting is deadlocked for 6 weeks because the 3rd estate demands that voting go by individuals, not estate
Beginnings of the French Revolution • 3. Abbe Sieyes: What is the Third Estate? - the 3rd estate is the only politically significant group; nobles are obsolete • 1st What is the Third Estate? Everything! • 2nd What has it been heretofore in the political order? Nothing! • 3rd What does it demand? To become something!
Key Events Leading to Revolution • D. Louis XVI closes the hall of the 3rd estate • E. June 17, 1789: • Third Estate declares themselves the National Assembly, and three days later, takes the Oath of the Tennis Court • F. Louis summons an army at Versailles (sides with the nobility)
Rising Tension & Mob Mentality • G. This incites the “angry mob” reaction • A crowd gathers outside the Invalides to obtain weapons
The Storming of the Bastille • Bastille Day - July 14, 1789-the Parisian mob storms the Bastille to get gun powder • 2. 98 attackers are killed, kill 6 of the guards, and the commander • symbolic attack on the king’s authority
The Storming of the Bastille Death of DeLaunay, governor of the Bastille
Rural Responses • H. “The Great Fear” - peasant rebellions in the country against feudal lords(summer 1789) • I. Louis forces the 1st and 2nd Estates to join the National Assembly- The Revolution has begun!!
Questions to check your understanding • What characteristics of the American Revolution influenced the French Revolution? • In the 1780s, what percent of France’s budget was spent on interest payments on the debt? • How do you define classical liberalism? How is it manifested in the American and French revolutions? • Does 18th century liberalism call for economic equality? Explain. • What did the grievance petitions from all three estates call for? • What is the Third Estate according to Abbe Sieyes? • Who were the primary representatives of the Third Estate? • What was the “Tennis Court Oath”? • Why was the National Assembly driven toward more “radical action” in the summer of 1789? • How did common Parisian women play key roles in the early years of the Revolution? • What was the “Great Fear”? • How did the National Assembly (1789-1791) broaden women’s rights? • What did the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen” specifically guarantee? • What were the specific accomplishments of the National Assembly?