Hist (2)-Origins of the French Revolution - HIST 1020...

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HIST 1020 January 21, 2015 Origins of the French Revolution I. Introduction A. 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 consent ii. 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 power a. Sends shockwaves over the entire world b. Most at this time associate freedom and democracy with France B. France’s Troubled Absolute Monarchy: initially seen as a country that will succeed in this new era—most wealthiest and powerful in Europe i. Kings set up ideal absolute monarchy ii. Louis XIV: the Sun King—reigned in France in early 1700s 1. Absolute monarch iii. “Amphibious” foreign policy 1. 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 power 2. France tries to capture land and make a naval power a. Wanted control also over world trade which put a huge strain on France’s resources 3. France begins losing a bunch of wars iv. Mississippi Bubble Crisis (1720)—John Law 1. Absolute monarchy problem because they consecrate all the power into one person—making the quality of that person extremely important 2. Kings of France are not good at finances—begin going into debt and try new ways to get new wealth 3. 1720—Mississippi Bubble Crisis a. Louis the Fourteenth hires John Law—outlaw who flees to France i. Idea of setting up banks that will gather money from investors and solve financial problems b. Crash in stock market that ruins French economy and banks v. 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 position 2. Everyone has different rights and privileges given by birth HIST 1020, Lecture 2: Origins of the French Revolution 1
HIST 1020 January 21, 2015 vi. Bourgeoisie (middle class): new group of people that grow in France as a result of increase trade and royal government 1. Government grows—lead to bourgeoisie a. Educated and form opinions on things b.

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