French Revolution 1789-1791 France…Progressive or Regressive? • 1770s France • System of feudalism left over from the Middle Ages • People were still divided into three large social classes. • Estate: French social class before the revolution The Three Estates (Part A) • First Estate (<1%) • Clergy • Owned 10 percent of land, contributed 2 percent of income to government • Second Estate (2%) • Nobles, Gov’t Officials • Owned 20 percent of land, paid no taxes These two estates criticized Enlightenment ideas; radical ideas that threatened their status, power, and wealth. The Three Estates (Part B) • Third Estate (98%) • Peasants • Paid high taxes to government, tithes to church, dues to nobles • Wages varied • Embraced Enlightenment ideas, pushed for changes Inspired by Ideas and Actions • Third estate questioned traditional societal structure • Pushed ideas like equality, liberty, and democracy • Inspired by Rousseau and Voltaire • Inspired by success of American Revolution Economic Woes • Economic woes confounded the problems of the third estate • Cost of living was rising • Bad weather caused crop failures, resulted in grain shortage • Price of bread doubled and people faced starvation A Weak Leader • Louis XVI came to power in 1774 • Known as indecisive • Knew little about government • Inherited debt • Incurred debt to help Americans beat British • Wife, Marie Antoinette spent money frivolously The Estates-General (1789) • Louis put off dealing with economic crisis until France was near bankruptcy • Tried to tax the second estate • They called for a meeting of the Estates-General; assembly of representatives from all three estates • Under medieval rules, each estate’s delegates met in a separate hall, voted on an issue • Each estate had one vote, despite their size differences • Top two estates always had control • Pushed for one meeting, each delegate with a vote • Turned down The National Assembly • The Third Estate decided to break away from Estates-General • Formed their own delegation known as the National Assembly • French Congress started in 1789 made up of members of the Third Estate, focused on helping peasants Tennis Court Oath • Three days after starting their own assembly, third estate found themselves locked out of their meeting hall • Third estate broke down door to an indoor tennis court, pledged to stay until they had a new constitution Storming of the Bastille • Louis tried to make peace with the Third Estate • Forced nobles and clergy to join third estate in the national assembly • Sensing trouble, Louis placed Swiss troops in Paris, no longer trusting loyalty of French troops • Rumors flew about foreign troops coming to massacre citizens • People gathered weapons to defend Paris against foreigners • Mob tried to get gunpowder from Bastille • Crowd overwhelmed soldiers, citizens took control (symbolic) Great Fear Sets In • Rebellion quickly spread • Women’s Riot • 6,000 women rioted • Wave of senseless panic over rising bread known as the Great Fear prices spread • Mob kidnapped king • Peasants attacked and queen in nobles homes Versailles, took them back to Paris • Signaled a change in power; top two estates and aristocracy would soon be overrun Create a Pyramid • Similar to our Feudalism Pyramid, this time create a pyramid of the French social structure during the revolution. • Include the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Estates, a brief summary of each, and a picture of each French Revolution Part 2 Third Estate’s Declaration • Declaration of the Rights of Man • A statement of revolutionary ideals, including equality and liberty, adopted by the National Assembly • Did not apply to women Constructing a New Constitution • From 1789 to 1791, the debate about a new constitution raged in the National Assembly • The end result was a limited constitutional monarchy • 1st new constitution did two major things • 1 – stripped the king of much of his power • 2 – established the Legislative Assembly; had the power to create laws War with Austria and Prussia • French radicals hoped to spread their revolution to the rest of Europe • Monarchs and nobles in other countries feared that the peasant revolts in France would spark similar ones in their nations • Austria and Prussia proposed that France restore Louis to the throne • France responded by declaring war • Began poorly for France • Had issues in Paris also • One key victory held off invaders Government Change Again • Faced with threat of angry mobs in Paris, Constitution of 1791 is set aside • France gives up on limited monarchy • National Convention is elected as new governing body The King is Killed • Jean Paul Marat: editor of a radical newspaper • Called for beheadings of hundreds who opposed revolution • Led by the writings of Marat, radicals called for the execution of King Louis XVI • Sentenced to death on the charge of treason • Killed by the blade of the guillotine • Guillotine: a beheading machine used for executions during French Revolution Beheading of Louis XVI Robespierre Takes Control • Maximilien Robespierre • Became leader of rose to power in France Committee of Public Safety; decided who • Tried to wipe out any remains of monarchy and would be considered enemies of government church • Family names changed • Playing cards changed • Changed calendar • Closed churches Reign of Terror • As dictator, Robespierre began killing at astronomical rates • Said the killing ensured that France would stick to its revolutionary ideals • Reign of Terror: killing of thousands of politicians and citizens under Robespierre’s rule • Reasons for death • Selling sour wine • Chopping down trees • By the numbers • 3,000 killed in Paris • 40,000 in France total • 85 percent peasants The Terror Ends • Fearful of endless killing, citizens called for Robespierre to be executed • After his death, a new constitution was drawn • Placed power in hands of upper middle class • Two-house legislature • Executive body of five directors • Despite corruption, directory restored order and appointed Napoleon as general of army Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte (17691821) came from a family of lower nobility but was sympathetic to the ideals of the French Revolution. Power • Napoleon came to power at the end of the Revolution, when France was still at war. • Napoleon was a gifted general. Under his command, French armies defeated many enemies. • In 1799, Napoleon became a dictator of France and eventually crowned himself emperor. Napoleon had defeated all of the other European powers except England, and had created a French empire covering much of Europe. Napoleon Bonaparte tried to combine the social reforms of the French Revolution with his own absolute power. United Against Napoleon • Napoleon’s ambition united Europe against him. • In 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia with an army of half a million men. • The Russians burned their own crops and buildings as they retreated, depriving the invaders of food and shelter. By the time Napoleon reached Moscow, he found the city in ruins, set on fire by the Russians. In bitter winter weather, Napoleon’s army retreated. Less than one in ten men survived the homeward march. The Downfall of Napoleon • After Napoleon’s defeat in Russia, the other European powers combined to overthrow him. • After invading France, the foreign powers brought the old French royal family back to power in 1814. Napoleon tried to recapture the French throne in 1815. However, he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. Although Napoleon had ruled France for only fifteen years, he had an enormous impact on France and the rest of the world. Napoleon’s Impact • The Code of Napoleon, a law code, favored social equality, religious tolerance, and trial by jury. • Napoleon introduced the ideas of the French Revolution to the lands he seized. • French rule encouraged nationalism. Spain lost its Latin American empire. Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States in 1803. He also weakened Spain.