The French Revolution 1789-1815
Historiography: French Revolution • R. R. Palmer • The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800 (1959 & 1964) • Fr. Rev. just one of many Atlantic Revolutions of era. • Age of revs. began in Low Countries (late 16th c.) • Eric Hobsbawm • The Age of Revolution: Europe, 1789-1848 (1962) • “dual revolution” Fr. & Industrial Rev. • Twin events which propelled bourgeoisie into lead class; reshaped social & econ. institutions • Simon Schama • Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (1989) • Focuses on how aristocrats were seeking dramatic change prior to 1789 & played key part in initiation of the rev. • Emphasizes the violence from its early stages
Crane Brinton’s Anatomy of a Revolution • American political scientist • Written in 1938 • Compared a revolution to a disease: • Revolutionary “fever” begins w/ appearance of “symptoms” • Proceeds to a crisis stage – “delirium” • Crisis ends when “fever” breaks • Period of recovery follows w/ a relapse or two before it is complete
Crane Brinton: Stages of a Revolution • Fall of the Old Order • Ruler becomes weak • Weakness results in problems (starvation, heavy taxes, etc.) • Anger builds; people see need for change • Rule by Moderates • Reform gov’t established; people relax • Original problems persist • Foreign or Civil War results • Radicalization of the Revolution • Fear creates divisions among revolutionaries • Radicals take control; push for extreme changes • Violence & repression
Crane Brinton: Stages of Rev. (cont.) • Turn from Radical Rule • Threat of war or war itself turns/ends • Violence sickens people; terror ends • Former radicals adopt gradual plan for change • Military Rule • People begin to doubt revolutionary ideals • Power vacuum exists; most effective rulers are dead • Military leader grabs power; becomes dictator • Restoration • Dictatorship ends; power vacuum reemerges • Old order (one that existed before the rev.) is restored
The French Monarchy:1775 - 1793 Marie Antoinette & Louis XVI
The Old Regime in France Clergy 1st Estate 0.5% of pop. Nobility 2nd Estate 1.5% of pop. Commoners 3rd Estate 98% of pop. Louis XIV insisted that the ancient distinction of the three orders be conserved in its entirety.
Financial Crisis of 1789 • French gov’t went bankrupt ($ 4 billion in debt) due to uncontrolled spending on wars & luxuries • Queen Marie Antoinette (“Madame Deficit”) spent millions each year on gowns, jewels, gambling & gifts. • King Louis XVI was a weak leader; ignored problem until it was too late
Louis XVI’s Response: RAISE TAXES !!!!
Convening the Estates General May 5, 1789 Last time it was called into session was 1614!
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
French Social Order: Political Cartoon What message does this cartoon send about the causes of the French Revolution?
Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes 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
“The Tennis Court Oath”by Jacques Louis David June 20, 1789
Storming the Bastille, July 14, 1789 • A rumor that the king was planning a military coup against the National Assembly. • Royal armory • Attacked by Parisian mob in search of weapons • Force prison governor & royal garrison to surrender
The Great Fear: Peasant Revolt(July 20 – August 4, 1789) • Rumors that the feudal aristocracy [the aristos] were sending hired brigands to attack peasants and pillage their land.
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!)
The Tricolor (1789) The WHITE of the Bourbons + the RED & BLUE of Paris. Citizen!
The Tricolor is the Fashion! Bonne Rouge: “Liberty Cap” Revolutionary Playing Cards
Revolutionary Symbols Cockade Liberté La Republic Revolutionary Clock
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.
Olympe de Gouges (1745-1793) • Women played a vital role in the Revolution. • But, The Declaration of the Rights of Man did NOT extend the rights and protections of citizenship to women. Declaration of the Rights of Womanand of the Citizen (1791)
Women’s March on Versailles,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!
The “October Days” (1789) The king was thought to be surrounded by evil advisors at Versailles so he was forced to move to Paris and reside at the Tuileries Palace.
The French Constitution of 1791: A Bourgeois Government • Established a Constitutional Monarchy • King is just head of state • Permanent, elected, single chamber National Assembly • Elected by Active Citizens (50% of male pop.) • Power over taxation • Reorganized France into 83 depts. • Standardized weights & measures • Banned guilds, workers’ organizations & monopolies • A newly elected LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. GOAL Make sure that the country was not turned over to the mob!
Louis XVI “Accepts” the Constitution & the National Assembly. 1791
How to Finance the New Govt.?1.Confiscate Church Lands (1790) One of the most controversial decisions of the entire revolutionary period.
The Civil Constitution of the Clergy July 12,1790 Juryingvs.Non-Jurying[refractory]Clergy The oath of allegiance permanently divided the Catholic population!
2. Print Assignats • Issued by the National Constituent Assembly. • Interest-bearing notes which had the church lands as security.
The Royal Family Attempts to Flee • June, 1791 • Helped by the Swedish Count Hans Axel von Fusen [Marie Antoinette’s lover]. • Headed toward the Luxembourgborder. • The King wasrecognized atVarennes, nearthe border
Opposition from Abroad • Other kings & nobles from other countries tried to intervene to protect the French monarchs • Declaration of Pillnitz (August 27, 1791) • Austria & Prussia join forces and threaten to invade France • Invited other monarchs to join them • Legislative Assembly declares war on Austria (April 20, 1792) • “War of People vs. Kings!”
French Soldiers & the Tricolor:ViveLe Patrie! • The French armies were ill-prepared for the conflict. • ½ of the officer corps had emigrated. • Many men disserted. • New recruits were enthusiastic, butill-trained. • French troops often broke ranks and fled in disorder.
Attitudes & actions of monarchy& court Fear ofCounter-Revolution Religiousdivisions The Causes of Instability in France1792 - 1795 Politicaldivisions EconomicCrises War w/ Austria (later the 1st Coalition)
The “Second” French Revolution • The National Convention: • GirondistRule: 1792-1793 • Jacobin Rule: 1793-1794[“Reign of Terror”] • ThermidorianReaction: 1794-1795 • The Directory 1795-1799
The Jacobins Jacobin Meeting House • They held their meetings in the library of a former Jacobin monastery in Paris. • Membership mostly middle class. • Created a vast network of clubs
The Sans-Culottes:The Parisian Working Class • Small shopkeepers. • Tradesmen. • Artisans. Fighting for economic revolution, making demands that would benefit the urban poor!
The Storming of the Tuilieres:August 9-10, 1792 This was triggered in part by the publication in Paris of the August 3 Brunswick Manifesto, which confirmed popular suspicions concerning the king’s treason.
The September Massacres, 1792(The dark side of the Revolution!) • Rumors that the anti-revolutionary political prisoners were plotting to break out & attack the French army from the rear, while the Prussians attacked from the front. • Buveurs de sang [“drinkers of blood.”] over 1000 killed! • It discredited the Revolution among its remaining sympathizers abroad.
The National Convention(September, 1792) • Its first act was the formal abolition of the monarchy on September 22, 1792. • The Year I of the French Republic. • Members elected by universal manhood suffrage • The Decree of Fraternity • it offered French assistance to any subject peoples who wished to overthrow their governments. When France sneezes, all of Europe catches cold!