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Unformatted text preview: The French
Revolution General Causes of the French
Revolution Large gap between the rich and the poor. Heavy tax burden on the Third Estate (including the
poor). Large number of poor and unemployed in the cities. Growth of a strong middle class (Bourgeoisie) in
Growth France. The middle class had wealth but lacked the
political and legal rights of the nobility.
political Refusal of the nobility to share in the tax burden. Development of Enlightenment ideas of; freedom,
Development natural rights, social contract and democracy.
natural General Causes of the
continued. Weak leadership of
Weak Louis XVI
Louis Lavish lifestyle of
Louis XVI and Maria
Antoinette. She was
longtime French Government
was deeply in debt.
Louis XVI had
borrowed to help
Revolutionaries. Specific Events Leading to the French
Revolution Louis XVI calls a meeting of the Estates- General to raise money. Louis XVI sided with the first and second
Louis Estates and said that each Estate would
meet by itself and then have one vote.
meet The Third Estate declares itself to be the
The National Assembly. In effect declaring an
end to absolute monarchy and the
beginning of representative government.
This was the first deliberate act of
revolution. Specific Events Leading to the
French Revolution cont.
Louis XVI orders Swiss
Louis mercenaries (soldiers for hire) to
march on Paris.
Storming of the Bastille.
Storming Parisians wanted the gun
powder in the Bastille to defend
the National Assembly against
the Swiss troops.
the Storming of the Bastille Symbolic
beginning of the French Revolution
beginning Phases of the French
1789-92 Establishment of a Constitutional Monarchy
1792-93 Jacobin Revolt and Establishment of a
1793-95 Reign of Terror
1795-1799 Establishment of the Conservative Directory. Phase one of the French Revolution
Establishment of a Constitutional Monarchy 1789Establishment
92 In France at the end of the 18th century
In there were three estates or Social Classes.
there Because France needed money Louis XVI
Because called a meeting of the Estates-General in
1789. The Estates-General had not met
since All three estates were represented by
All delegates in the Estates-General.
delegates The upper two estates wanted each estate
The to have one vote, giving them power over
the Third Estate. The Third Estate wanted
to each delegate to have a vote giving
them the power. (they had more When Louis XVI refused the Third
Estate’s request for a mass meeting
(voting as delegates). The Third Estate
declared themselves to be the National
Assembly Members of the National Assembly swore that
National they would remain in session until a constitution
was completed. This was called the Tennis Court
Oath Tennis Court Oath
Tennis Louis XVI ordered all three estates to
negotiate together in the National
Assembly. Because of mob violence and the threat of
Because anarchy the clergy and the nobility joined the
Third Estate to produce significant reforms.
Third The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the
The Citizen guaranteed freedom of speech, press and
religion. (no mention was made of the rights of
women). Many people were unhappy with the
constitution. Some thought it went
too far, some thought it did not go
1. Extreme Radicals who
1. demanded “true democracy”
were called Jacobins.
Jacobins The National Assembly
declared war on Austria in
1792. Austria is joined by
Prussia and Sardinia
Prussia 1. At first the French fought
1. poorly but as the enemy
forces approached Paris they
rallied around the cry Liberty,
2. They halted the enemy
advance. Phase Two of the Revolution; Jacobin
Revolt and the Establishment of a Republic
1792-93 Because of the war the Jacobins (Radicals) were
Because able to seize control of the assembly and remove
the King from office.
the Jacobins killed over 1000 people they claimed were counter-revolutionaries.
counter-revolutionaries Radicals called for the National Convention to
National rewrite the Constitution.
rewrite The National Convention abolished Monarchy and
The declared France a Republic.
Republic The National Convention convicted Louis
XVI of treason and executed him in 1793.
XVI Phase Three of the French Revolution;
The Reign of Terror; 1793-1795
The Britain, Spain, and Portugal joined
Britain, Prussia and Austria in an alliance
against France (The First Coalition)
1. These countries feared the
democratic revolution might
spread to their countries.
2. France suffered a string of
defeats. Counter-Revolutionaries also plotted
against the National Convention
against 1. Peasants were upset by the
1. beheading of the King.
2. Priests would not accept
2. control of the church by the
government. The National Convention
formed the Committee of
Public 1. Because of threats from without and within (First
1. Coalition & counter revolutionaries)
Coalition 2. The Committee of Public Safety formed an
2. emergency government with the power of
dictatorship. 3.Maximilian Robespierre a Jacobin became head of the committee.
the Maximilian Robespierre
Maximilian 4. To stop the counter-revolution the
committee began the Reign of Terror.
Reign A. 500,000
the 5. The Committee used Mass
Mobilization (the whole society
helps defeat the enemy) to deal
with invading armies.
with A. France drives out its
B. By 1794 France is
taking the offensive.
taking Fall of Robespierre and the
Committee of Public Safety.
1. When the Republic seemed
1. out of danger some members of
the convention called for an end
to the bloodshed.
A. Robespierre had those
members sent to the guillotine.
members 2. Other members of the
National Convention began
to fear for their own safety.
A. They turned on
A. Robespierre, he and many
of his followers were
guillotined. 3. Jacobins lost
control and the
Reign of Terror
came to an end.
came Members of the
took control of the
National Phase four of the French
Revolution; Establishment of
the Conservative Directory;
In 1795 the National
In Convention was
controlled by the
Bourgeoisie. The Convention put into
effect the Constitution Year
III. 1. The Constitution gave the middle and upper
1. classes control of the government.
classes 2. Voters (had to own property and be taxpayers)
2. selected electors. Electors selected the
legislative assembly. The legislative assembly
selected the Directory.
selected A. The Directory was 5 man executive body. The Napoleonic Revolution
The The Directory faced many problems and became
unpopular. Napoleon Bonaparte a successful general became
Napoleon very popular.
very French suffered defeats in Germany & Italy 1. The Directory faced threats of a coup d’ etat (quick
1. overthrow of government by a small group).
overthrow Napoleon Seized power in
France by a Coup d’ etat
France 1. Napoleon had
1. offered his help to
those seeking to
directory. 2. He and 500 of his
troops occupied one
chamber of the
legislative 3. The second
chamber voted an end
to the directory.
to The Constitution of the Year
VII The new government was called a republic but was
The actually a dictatorship.
actually The executive Branch had three Consuls. Napoleon
The was First Consul.
was A. As First Consul Napoleon assumed dictatorial
powers. Bonaparte decides to make
himself 1. The French people vote their approval of
Napoleon as emperor. Emperor of the French 1804.
1804. 2. Napoleon’s soldiers brought order to France. 3. The Catholic Church had opposed the French
Revolution, but Napoleon was able to get the
backing of the French Catholics and the Pope.
backing Napoleon still kept the church under state control. Napoleonic Code
Napoleonic Made the law
Made clear and
consistent. Napoleon expands the empire.
Napoleon Within a few years Napoleon had expanded his
Within empire to include most of Europe.
empire After the British under Horatio Nelson defeated the
After French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar, in
1805, Napoleon gave up on invading Britain.
1805, Napoleon turned to economic warfare. Napoleon tried to keep British goods out of European
Napoleon ports with a blockade (Continental System).
ports Napoleon’s fortunes start to
turn In 1812 Russia refused to go along with the blockade
In of British goods.
of Napoleon felt that if he did not subdue Russia other
Napoleon countries might revolt.
countries Napoleon invades Russia in 1812. (Big Mistake) The Russians burned everything as they retreated.
The (scorched earth)
(scorched The French got to Moscow but it was burned. Winter set in and the French were forced to retreat. The Russians attacked the French troops as they
retreated. Napoleon lost 4/5ths of his troops in the retreat. Napoleon was forced to retreat almost to France. Allied armies, the Grand Alliance defeated Napoleon
Allied at Leipzig, Saxony (a German state) in 1813 in the
Battle of Nations.
Battle In 1814 the allies (Grand Alliance) were in Paris. The victors restored the
French Throne to the Bourbon
family (Louis XVIII)
family Napoleon was
Napoleon exiled to Elba an
island off the coast
of Napoleon’s brief comeback(The 100 days)
(The Napoleon returned from exile in 1815 and won
Napoleon widespread support.
widespread The king’s soldiers deserted to Napoleon and he took
Paris. To avoid war Napoleon announced that France wanted no
To more territory.
more The European allies (Prussia, Britain, and the
The Netherlands) didn’t buy it and advanced toward France.
Netherlands) Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo in the Austrian
Napoleon Netherlands in 1815.
Netherlands Napoleon was placed under house arrest on the island of
Napoleon St. Helena. He died there in 1821.
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