The French Revolution Unfolds
Cornell Notes
Political Crisis Leads to Revolt
• Famine – 80% of income to buy bread!
• National Assembly created in June 1789 at
the Estates-General
• Gave power to the Bourgeoisie
Great Fear
• Set off by RUMORS
• Government troops attacking Peasants
• Crops DESTROYED
• Peasants react violently
Paris Commune
• Factions competed for power
• Marquis de Lafayette leads National Guard
• Paris Commune  Radical
The National Assembly Acts
• Peasant actions cause reaction
• Met in all-nighter
End of Special Privileges
Declaration of the Rights of
Man
– Nobles agreed to get rid of manorial dues,
hunting rights, and tax exemptions
– “Feudalism is abolished”
– Equality?
• “All men born and remain free and equal in
rights”
• Government’s job is to PROTECT the
citizens
• Freedom of Religion and tax based on
ability to pay
• Louis didn’t want to accept
• Nobles still feasting!
Women March on Versailles
• October 5, 1789
• 6,000 women marched 13 miles
• Demanded to see King & his return to Paris
– Angry at Queen Marie Antoinette
• Luxury while people were starving
• Compassionate but against reforms
• Forced royal family back to Paris
Church Under State Control
• National Assembly took control and issued
– Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790)
• Bishops and Priests became elected &
salaried
• Ended Papal authority
– Pope condemned
– Peasants also rejected
Constitution of 1791
• Created a limited monarchy
• Legislative Assembly
– Made laws, collected taxes, made war decisions
– Elected by tax paying males over 25
• Reflected Enlightenment
– Put power in hands of the wealthy
Louis Attempts Escape
• June 1791
– King dressed as servant, Queen dressed as
governess, and royal children traveled by coach
– Caught in the act
– Seen as a traitor
Radicals Take Over
Rulers fear Revolution
Threats from Abroad
• Border Patrols to keep out the “French
Plague”
• Émigrés told horror stories
• Catherine the Great burned Voltaire's
letters
• Declaration of Pilnitz
– Austria and Prussia threatened to protect the
monarchy
Radicals Declare WAR
• October 1791 – Legislative Assembly takes
office
– Lasts less than 1 year
– Inflation leads to hoarding and shortages
• Sans-Culottes
– Demand a republic
– Supported by Jacobins
National Assembly’s War on
Tyranny
• April 1792
– Legislative Assembly declares war on Austria,
Prussia, Britain, and other states
– Supposed to be quick
– Lasts until 1815

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