France Lecture 1

Even many french moderates ended up supporting this

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Unformatted text preview: r •In 1791, French moderates wrote a new constitution limiting the monarchy and setting up a representative assembly that in many ways resembled Britain’s constitutional monarchy. •Led by a militant faction known as the Jacobins, the radicals seized power and launched a class war known as the Reign of Terror, in which all who stood in the way of this radical vision of republicanism risked losing their head • As in other revolutions terror bred turmoil and paranoia until the very perpetrators became potential suspects and ultimately the victims. The Jacobins’ ruthless leader, Robespierre, became the guillotine’s final victim in 1794 Although the violence ended, the ideological and cultural division between two poles—conservative, Catholic, and rural versus progressive, secular, and urban— would resonate in French politics for centuries and in some ways persists today ! ! •In 1799, Napoléon Bonaparte seized power in a coup d’état that brought the decade of revolutionary turmoil to an end. •Unlike the revolution that had swept away the former social and political institutions, Napoléon’s coup retained and indeed codified key elements of the revolution. •This Napoleonic Code documented the principles that all men are equal before the law; that the people, not a monarch, are sovereign; and that the church and state are separate domains ! Return to the tyranny of the monarch •Napoléon proclaimed himself em...
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This document was uploaded on 02/24/2014.

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