By: Osbaldo Alcantara & Brock Spicer
France Pre Revolution
(The Three Estates)
The First Estate consisted of the Clergy. They were
divided into the higher and the lower clergy. The
higher clergy were wealthy and powerful, while
the lower clergy related more to the lower estates
The Second Estate consisted of The French Nobility
and Royalty. They were traditional divided up into
the nobility of the robe and the nobility of the
The Third Estate was the generality or the
statement of people which were not part of the
other estates. They were divided into two groups,
the urban and the rural, the Bourgeoisie and the
Economic Troubles
 Throughout
1756-1783, The French were in
major debt by participating in the Seven
Year’s War and the American Revolution.
 In 1783, November 2; Louis XVI appoints
Charles de Calonne to be controller of
the General Finance.
 In 1783, February 22; The Assembly of
Notables Convenes, rejects Calonne’s
debt-relief proposals.
Societal Problems
There was a Food Crisis taking place during 1791.
Louis XVI and his family attempt to Flee to the
Austrian Border and arrange an attack on the
The Declaration of Pillnitz was issued on August 27,
1791. The Declaration of Pillnitz was issued to force
the French Revolutionaries to think twice about
their actions and make them aware that other
countries were watching the Revolution closely.
In September, 1791; The National Assembly issued
the Constitution of 1791. This created a
constitutional monarchy or limited monarchy, for
Societal Problems(Continued)
This move allowed King Louis XVI to maintain control of the
The constitution also succeeded in eliminating the nobility
as a legal order and struck down monopolies and guilds.
It established a poll tax and barred servants from voting,
ensuring that control of the country stayed firmly in the
hands of the middle class.
Divisions quickly formed throughout the new Legislative
Assembly, The Jacobins and The Girondins.
The Jacobins found Louis’s actions contemptible and
wanted to forgo the constitutional monarchy and declare
France a republic.
The Girondins on the other hand wanted Monarchy.
Societal Problems(Continued)
 Brissot,
the Commander of the Girondins
felt threatened by the Declaration of
Pillnitz and rallied the Legislative Assembly
to declare war on Austria on April 20,
 Austria and Prussia had already
anticipated this and had their troops
aligned along the French border. The
French were defeated and Brissot was
thrown out of command.
The tennis court oath was an important even that occurred during the first
days of the French Revolution.
The Oath was a pledge signed by 576 out of the 577 members from the Third
Estate who were locked out of a meeting of the Estates-General on 20 June
1789 in a tennis court.
The Tennis Court Oath was an assertion that the sovereignty of the people
did not reside with King, but in the people themselves, and their
The Storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris on the night of July 14, 1789.
The Bastille was an old prison on the River Seine.
Rumors spread that caused the people to storm the Bastille.
The King too was suspected for planning and preparing for a violent
suppression of the French Public through the use of the military.
The final straw was when the King stripped the Necker of his ministry as he
was popular amongst the people. This was done on the 12th of July and from
here on the public was colored with the spirit of rebellion.
The Great Fear occurred from July 20 to August 5, 1789.
The grain supplies were guarded by militias, due to the cause of the grain
shortages in the Spring.
There were rumors of Bands of Armed men roaming the countryside. This
caused fearful peasants to arm themselves.
Soon the peasants would attack manor houses and burned their nobles'
chateaux, monasteries and buildings which housed public records.
Both the King and Queen were dragged back to their homeland(France), after
being captured of fleeing.
King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were both condemned and
Things were not looking good for King Louis XVI.
The economy spiraled downward (unemployment in Paris in 1788 was estimated at
Crops failed, the price of bread and other food soared.
To top it all off, He married a foreigner of Austria, Queen Marie Antoinette which the
people despised.
In 1792, the newly elected National Convention declared France a republic and
brought Louis to trial for crimes against the people and was eventually executed.
The Reign of Terror began right after the Death of King Louis XVI in 1793.
The Terror was designed to fight the enemies of the revolution, to prevent counterrevolution from gaining around. But it was really the time period which many
persons were ruthlessly executed by the ruling faction.
The guillotine, the new instrument of egalitarian justice, was put to work; This caused
30,000 people lost their lives across France.
Maximilien Robespierre was the mastermind behind the reign of terror
He was the leader of the Committee of Public Safety, the executive committee of the
National Convention, and the most powerful man in France.
He claimed that Terror would lead Republic into Virtue.
Danton rose to convention calling for an end of Terror. The Convention was scared of
Danton so they passed a law that would get rid of him.
Robespierre called for a new purge in 1794 that seemed to threatened other
members of the Committee of Public Safety.
The Jacobins had had enough.
Cambon rose in the Convention and stated "It is time to tell the whole truth. One man
alone is paralyzing the will of the Convention. And that man is Robespierre.“
Others quickly rallied to his support. Robespierre was arrested and sent to the
guillotine the next day, the last victim of the Reign of Terror.
• The Constitution of 1795 was ratified by the National
Convention on August 22, 1795.
• It was more conservative than the abortive
democratic French Constitution of 1793.
• The Constitution of 1795 established a liberal
republic with a franchise based on the payment of
taxes, a bicameral legislature, (Council of Elders,
Council of 500) to slow down the legislative process;
and a five-man Directory.
• The central government retained great power,
including emergency powers to curb freedom of
the press and freedom of association.
• The Constitution divided power between the King
and The Legislative Assembly.
• It gave the right to vote to men over 25, it also
gave the king power of “suspensive veto”, and it
gave the officials responsibility to assemble.
• During this liberal phase they set up a development
of public schools.
• The Constitution of 1795 also established an
executive Directory, two assemblies, and a property
owners' franchise.
• The women had no rights whatsoever. Rights were
granted only to citizens that were male.
• The March on Versailles was a spark for women
getting closer of gaining rights.
• The Women’s Petition to the National Assembly took
action which gave women equality.
• The women’s hard work paid off in the end and
lead Olympe de Gouges to publish the Declaration
of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen in
September 1791.(Gave Women Equality and rights)
• Annual elections would be held to keep the new
government in check.
• In theory, the new government closely resembled
that of the United States.
• Checks-and-Balances system.
• The new government’s priorities became its
downfall: rather than address the deteriorating
economic situation in the country, the legislature
instead focused on keeping progressive members
• Ultimately, paranoia and attempts at
overprotection weakened the group.
Napoleon Takes Charge
(Napoleon Becomes a Dictator)
 After having control of the military and winning many fierce
battles, Napoleon was admired and became a Hero to the
French people.
 After seeing that the French people were Dissatisfied with
the job the Directory was doing, Napoleon with the help of
his army overthrew the Government.
 Napoleon then established a new Constitution, he became
the first consul under the new government.
Napoleon Becomes a Dictator
 Napoleon became the Virtual Dictator by age 30, in1799.
 Three years later in 1802, an election took place that decided
Napoleon would be the First consul for the rest of his life.
 Two Years later in 1804, Napoleon proclaimed himself as the
“Emperor of France”.
 Napoleon was able to become the Dictator of France because
he was loved by the French people because of his Loyalty,
Successful Victories, and Leadrership.
Napoleon Changes France
 Napoleon established a new Constitution under his rule.
 He became a successful dictator and ran the country how he
 The Napoleonic Code was the French Civil Code, established by
Napoleon in 1804.
 The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of
religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most
 The Napoleonic Code was the first modern legal code to be
adopted with a pan-European scope and it strongly influenced the
law of many of the countries formed during and after the
Napoleonic Wars.
Napoleon Built an Empire
 Napoleon built an Empire as soon as he became the dictator
of France.
 He established the fourth new Constitution.
 People loved him and followed every move he made.
 The empire was built as he became the first consul of the
new constitution for the rest of his life.
Napoleon and France were disliked in Europe
because Napoleon had control pretty much all
over Europe.
 Napoleon started the Continental System. The
Continental System was a blockade aimed at
denying the British any trading access to ports in
Europe, theoretically destroying British trade
and denying them the money they needed to
fund Napoleons enemies on mainland Europe.
 The Continental System was disliked by Europe
because they needed goods from Britain.
 In
1812, Napoleon decided to invade Russia
because they decided to abandon the
Continental System.
 When Napoleon and his Army reached Russia
they found out that the Russians had
retreated and along their way, they torched
the city into flames leaving no resources.
 Napoleon after reaching Moscow, hoped to
find food and shelter but instead found
everything in flames.
Napoleon decided to retreat back to France.
 Napoleon had started with about 500,000
soldiers and ended out with 20,000 soldiers.
 Many of the soldiers had died because of the
cold and having no food.
 That last incident was the Three Day Battle of
The Nations.
 The allied countries which were Russia, Austria,
England, Prussia fought the French.
 The French were captured in March 30, 1814 and
had given up.
 Napoleon was forced to give up the throne on
April 6, 1814 and was exiled from France.
 Napoleon
was beyond doubt one of the
greatest leaders in history.
 Napoleon’s domination in Europe between
1800 and 1815, was known as the Napoleonic
 Napoleon promoted the growth of the
modern state through his administrative and
regal reforms, and his changes of the map of
Europe stimulated movements for national
After Napoleon’s first abdication in April
1814, representatives of all states of Europe
met in Vienna in order to decide what do
now that the Napoleonic threat was gone.
 They had three main priorities:
 To reduce the size of France to it’s frontiers
before the revolutionary war of 1792.
 To ensure that France would never again
pose a threat to the rest of Europe,
especially to the east.
To reward those countries that had been
“Anti-Napoleon” and punish those that
had been “Pro-Napoleon”.
 The main goal of Congress of Vienna
was to settle issues that had risen due to
the cause of France’s aggressive policy
under Napoleon.
The Great Powers reorganized European
boundaries in hopes of creating a stable
Europe where coalitions of nations could
always ally to defeat one nation that got out of
Louis XVIII, granted amnesties, hoping to start
over in France
When Louis XVIII died, Charles X took his place.
Charles believed himself being a monarch
appointed by god and trampled on basic
elements of liberalism like the French

The French Revolution