The French Revolution

The French Revolution - The French Revolution The coming of...

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The French Revolution The coming of the French revolution Multiple causes o Causes Political—the kings finances, wars money loans (debt) taxation There is a deep problem of debt and infrastructure. Needed to get money back in the treasury from all the louis’ extravagance and wars. Economic—crisis (harvest/prices) 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 revolution. 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. o Political, economic, social, cultural Social revolution o Two key developments o 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. o A widening involvement: aristocracy, bourgeoisie, urban workers, peasants, women Bourgeoisie are the leading Urban workers, peasants, women are not leading but are still involved. Looting. Bastille. Aristocratic revolution (1787-1788) o 1787: Assembly of Notables meets
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The king and his ministers, their idea of how to get a summit together for the solving of France’s problems was to get the assembly of notables together, instead of calling the estates- general. Back to stalemate. o 1788: calling of the estates-general (to meet in Versailles in may 1789) Finally, the king agrees to call the estates-general. Representative body. Wasn’t called since 1614 because it was the king’s job to call it, and they didn’t. Why a victory for the aristocracy? How the estates-general worked back in 1614 and in 1789? 1614—number of reps 300 and vote =1 1789—number of reps 300 600 and vote 1 per estate 1 st and 2 nd estates= 200,000 people—nobility, clergy- o Enjoyed exemption from taxes, privileges Privileges—taxes—taille, gabelle Corvee—labor service Tithe Seigneur=lord Key privileged groups in France Did not really want to talk about reforms about taxes because of the privileges. Some wanted to join with the third estate but most didn’t. 3
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The French Revolution - The French Revolution The coming of...

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