The French Revolution
The coming of the French revolution
Political—the kings finances, wars
There is a deep problem of debt and infrastructure. Needed
to get money back in the treasury from all the louis’
extravagance and wars.
Availability and price of grain for the vast majority of
French people in april, may, june.
Social—divisions, frustrations, nobility under attack, bourgeoisie
on the rise
People “on guard” against the king. Nobility that was
willing to assert itself against the king.
People who were affecting the events at the time were not
getting their share of power.
The fight between the two classes somehow started to spill
over from just these groups onto others, leading to the
Cultural—enlightenment ideas, rise of a “critical power”,
institutions (salons, etc.), print (pamphlets, etc)
Censored books, lack of public freedom, growing
commitment by the educated public which were only about
10-20% of the population, compilation of ideas going
against the king.
Political, economic, social, cultural
Two key developments
A shift of power, from aristocracy to bourgeoisie
1788—begins as an aristocratic revolt, somehow the people
expected to come out as the winners. From 88 to 89 the aristocracy
lost control of the events enough for the bourgeoisie to become the
leading group in the revolution. The aristocracy stopped being able
to contain the revolt.
A widening involvement: aristocracy, bourgeoisie, urban workers,
Bourgeoisie are the leading
Urban workers, peasants, women are not leading but are still
involved. Looting. Bastille.
Aristocratic revolution (1787-1788)
1787: Assembly of Notables meets