HIST 126 Notes on Merriman - HIST 126 Notes Reading Assignments from Merriman The French RevolutionChapter 12(Week of 9\/11 mounted first effective

HIST 126 Notes on Merriman - HIST 126 Notes Reading...

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HIST 126 Notes, Reading Assignments from Merriman The French Revolution—Chapter 12 (Week of 9/11) mounted first effective challenge to monarchial sovereignty on behalf of popular sovereignty o influenced the evolution of European political life o most important issues addressed rights of the people role of the state in society values of democratic society notions of “left” and “right” in political life concept of “nation at arms” place of religion in modern society and politics question of economic freedom sanctity of property Old Regime in Crisis difficult economic conditions combined with growing popularity of Philosophes’ ideas (stressed freedom in the face of entrenched economic and social privileges) issue of Louis XVI acting despotically o exiled Parlement of Paris in 1771 and tried to establish new law courts; forced to relent people of means resented noble privileges o bourgeoisie didn’t make the revolution, but their dissatisfaction helped created a litany of demands for reform resistance to reform o noble and professional groups (guilds, tax farmers) contested any plans to eliminate privileges o the poorer nobility relied on privileges and resented the fact that provincial parlements had filled up with new nobles who had purchased offices economic hardship o rising prices and rents of the 1770s and 1780s o series of bad harvests o growing population put more pressure on scarce resources short term cause of French Revolution—financial crisis of the 1780s o ¾-s of state expenses went to maintaining the military and paying off debts accumulated during the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War o financial crisis of the monarchy was closely tied to the very nature of its fiscal system no central bank; had to depend on private interests collected taxes inefficiently o In 1787, Assembly of Notables would not endorse the crown’s tax reform proposals because such a move would put the privilege based nature of French society at stake
First Stages of the Revolution King was in a difficult position following failure to sway Assembly of Notables o needed to reduce privileges of the nobles to solve the financial crisis, but to do so without their approval would lead to accusations of tyranny o on the other hand, capitulating to the demands of the privileged classes in return for new taxes would compromise the king’s absolute authority and suggest his word was subject to the approval of the nation, or at least the nobility in response to the refuse to pass taxes, Louis XVI exiled the members of the Parlement of Paris o revolt of the nobility, marking the start of the revolution, occurred as a result of the monarchy’s attempt to force taxes on nobles o Louis XVI recalled the Parlement of Paris in Nov 1787, but ordered new loan edicts to be registered without giving Parlement a chance to voice its opinion with this move, Louis XVI crossed the line between absolutism

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