Study Terms and Questions

Definitions and IDs
Calling of Estates General
Tennis Court Oath
Bourbon King Louis XVI
“It was a time when the revolution began to
devour its own children”
Questions and Imperatives
• Discuss the 4 phases of the French Revolution
with regard to success, leadership,
international relationships…
• Can political change occur without social and
economic upheaval? Explain and give
examples. (Class discussion)
French Revolution, Background
• Feudalism
• growth of towns, increased commerce, entrepreneurs,
growth of merchants, colonization,...helped to break up
the feudal system
• nobility exercised great power at this time
• During the reign of Louis XIV, there was an attempt to build
up the power of the King by taking away power from the
• Louis XIV died 1715, left the treasury bankrupt
• Louis XIV succeeded by his 5 yr old great-grandson, Louis XV
• Louis XV not dedicated to work, not too bright...a weak King
• Louis XV died in 1774 and was succeeded by his grandson
Louis XVI
• 1714-1789...emergence of Bourgeoisie
(made up of commerce merchants,
bankers, bureaucrats, government
employees, small town lawyers...gave rise to
capitalism...came from the serfs and the
• by 1789 it was the most powerful economic class
of the country (saved money for capital to, science...)...worked the Protestant work ethic
Bourgeoisie & Nobility
Bourgeoisie - hard working, save money
wealthiest class of France
envious of the nobility
Imitated nobles
bourgeoisie fathers would be willing to marry off daughters
buy commissions into the military
Noblemen - leisure class, display largess, spend money now, arrogance,
haughty attitude toward lower-class
did not think highly of bourgeoisie (didn’t even know a good vintage wine)
becomes shaky with the rise of the bourgeoisie class
marry their younger sons off to bourgeoisie class
nobility still monopolized cultural life
Who is a threat?
• Nobility and Aristocracy (Crown) eyed each
• they considered each as a threat
• they didn’t see the bourgeoisie class as a
• not necessarily a political philosophy, but a set of attitudes
concerned w/ social & political justice,
& commitment to economic progress
• Jacobin clubs,
• literacy soared in the 18th century...people became increasingly vocal
• Monarchy sometimes put down these people but did have a respect for
• King still had absolutism on his mind with the noblemen and churches wielding
great power, but the king was inefficient and didn’t pay attention to
events around him
• Jacobins had outright hatred of the monarchy
• revolutionary ground was being laid
• Rousseau would be asked to speak at the salons to the nobility
• American Revolution
Early phase 1789-1792
Radical phase 1793-1794
Thermidor (WEAK) 1795-1799
Bonaparte (1799-1815)
• Estates General
• King wanted a new tax bill and asked them for it
• expectation was that financial relief for the royal
government would be granted in return for the
redress of grievances
• Third Estate had been granted double
representation and they had many
sympathizers in the other two estates
• June 17, the Third Estate invited the other two to
join them and they declared themselves to be
the “National Assembly”
Tennis Court Oath
• 3 days later on June 20 later they found
themselves physically locked out of their
meeting hall,
• “Tennis Court Oath:” never to disband until
France was given a Constitution
• glamorous, devoid of morality, alcoholic, drugs,
gambling, womanizer...but a good leader
• chased out of France in 1786 (to England)
• people naturally liked him
• he was dynamic with cutting
edge ideas
• a moderate
• wise
• a thinker
• he knew that Rousseau’s
ideas would produce
revolution or fail
King Louis XVI
• June 23: National Assembly
annulled by the King
• June 24: troops began to mutiny
• June 27: the King backed down
& instructed the nobles and
clergy to join the 3rd Estate
• The forming of the National Assembly was the
moderate beginning of revolution
• food shortages from bad harvests and the
poor could not afford tax payments to the
Nobility and Church
• peasants vs nobility...panic erupted
• riots in Paris...demonstrations
• July 14: storming of the Bastille
in search for
weapons &
to free prisoners
(King traumatized)
Declaration of the Rights of Man
• On August 26, 1789 the National Assembly
issued the “Declaration of the Rights of Man”
• Men are born and remain free and equal in rights!
• it negated the monarchy and feudal laws, the
• natural rights were liberty, property, security, and
resistance to oppression
• Mirabeau tried to nurse the King to these ideas
through secret correspondences
The Players
• Revolutionaries...a mass movement of people who want
to overthrow the corrupt government...they have
utopian ideas or visions to make reality
fit their vision…
• Liberals...fall short of the revolutionaries...they use
persuasion, since in outright revolution, one doesn’t
know where he will be taken
• Conservatives...they accept society as it is...believe in
slight changes but see the world as an organic unity
of generations connected…
• Reactionary...looks nostalgically to the past...wants to
restore the past...most often the Monarchists...want
the old feudal regime
The Right and the Left
Early on the revolution was non-violent
setting up the National Assembly as a legislative body
”Declaration of Rights”
until 1789, Jacobins wanted far reaching reforms and
thought the King could be persuaded (recall
• Jacobins became the radical revolutionaries led by
Robespierre...Jacobins also known as “the
Mountain” because they sat high in the chamber at
the convention
• Girondists
Early Phase
• it was the sans-culottes (people without breeches),
the common people whose actions started
radicalization of revolution
• August 1789 great fear...panic began over the lack of
• 1789-1791
– restructuring of France
– power vested in the rich and educated
– principles of rationality, efficiency, and humanity
applied (values of middle class dominated)
– reformed the Catholic Church
– suffrage based on property and wealth for men
Who controls revolution?
• King and Queen in hot water
• when the King returned to Paris in disgrace, he
signed the first Constitution as prepared by
the National Assembly
• two camps of revolutionaries
• National Assembly changed name to the
Legislative Assembly
• the king was brought to trial for treason
• Queen, Marie-Antoinette
• the son, Louis XVII (10 years old)
Conciergerie (Paris prison)
“It was a time when the revolution
began to eat its own children.”
• Robespierre led the nation from July 1793 to
July 1794
– formed the Committee of Public safety
– mobilized the country to fight the wars
– universal male suffrage enacted
– wanted to create a “Republic of Virtue,” no king but
representative government
– a fanatic, could not tolerate others’ visions
• “Reign of terror” = second phase
• French tired of him
WEAK WEAK (third phase)
– want to bring the revolution to an end
– restore internal peace, put the country back together
– returned to male suffrage based on property and wealth
– things became too relaxed,
– corruption, crime, lawlessness, chaos
– still fighting wars
– Committee of Public Safety stripped of much of its
– there was an emphasis on morality
– freedom of worship restored
– revenge was taken against Jacobins and their supporters
– establishment of the Directory
The Directory
• two chamber legislature was
• Council of Elders and
Council of Five Hundred
• creation of 5 person directory to act as executive branch
• Directory sought to reestablish political consensus by
assuming a moderate’s goal was
• Directory’s rule proved unstable with plots and coups (one
put down by Bonaparte)
• 4 members of the directory were replaced in the spring
1799 elections
• these new 4 members were led by Sieyès (a fan of
the commonalities and differences
between the French Revolution
and today’s revolutions in the
Middle East and in North Africa?