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HIST 1020January 21, 2015Origins of the French RevolutionI.IntroductionA.Why the French Revolution?i.Many historians see the FR as a key political event from a pre-modern system of weak government and the transition to a much for powerful system of government with new ideas—people are sovereign and have the right to rule and no one can rule over a group of people without their consentii.Introduce human rights—rights of individual iii.Big deal—partly because of the position of society (US wasn’t a great world power at this time, more frontier)1.France in 1700s was one of the largest kingdoms in Europe, world powera.Sends shockwaves over the entire worldb.Most at this time associate freedom and democracy with FranceB.France’s Troubled Absolute Monarchy: initially seen as a country that will succeed in this new era—most wealthiest and powerful in Europei.Kings set up ideal absolute monarchyii.Louis XIV: the Sun King—reigned in France in early 1700s1.Absolute monarch iii.“Amphibious” foreign policy1.France failed in dominating trade—due to geography and other a.Kings of France are overly ambitious in trying to capture and conquer land or try to become a great naval power2.France tries to capture land and make a naval powera.Wanted control also over world trade which put a huge strain on France’s resources3.France begins losing a bunch of warsiv.Mississippi Bubble Crisis (1720)—John Law1.Absolute monarchy problem because they consecrate all the powerinto one person—making the quality of that person extremely important2.Kings of France are not good at finances—begin going into debt and try new ways to get new wealth3.1720—Mississippi Bubble Crisisa.Louis the Fourteenth hires John Law—outlaw who flees to Francei.Idea of setting up banks that will gather money from investors and solve financial problemsb.Crash in stock market that ruins French economy and banksv.Class society: social status derived from wealth and relationship to economy (working class, unskilled laborer, middle class, etc.)1.Social change—society of orders of position2.Everyone has different rights and privileges given by birth HIST 1020, Lecture 2: Origins of the French Revolution1
HIST 1020January 21, 2015vi.Bourgeoisie (middle class): new group of people that grow in France as a result of increase trade and royal government1.Government grows—lead to bourgeoisiea.Educated and form opinions on thingsb.