French Revolution Key Terms


Name ______________________________ French Revolution Key Terms and Definitions









Estates – social classes of France

Clergy – leaders of the church in France (1 st


Nobles – members of the elite born into their status in society (2 nd


Bourgeois – middle class (top class of the (3 rd


Bastille – armory and prison that was stormed by peasants in order to arm themselves against the kings army

Tennis Court Oath – 3 rd

Estate members who formed pledge to work together

National Assembly – 3 rd

Estate members who formed together against the Estates General

Estates General – special meeting of the 1 st

, 2 nd

, and 3 rd

Estates due to the taxation of the 2 nd



Women’s March on Versailles – October 5 th

, women march to Versailles to bring the king and queen into France in Paris to prevent them from leaving the country

10) Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen – document written by the National Assembly declaring the need for equality, right to a fair trial, and freedom of religion

11) Liberty – freedom from tyranny and oppression

12) Equality – achieve equal rights

13) Fraternity – to work with others in their own nation and other nations to achieve justice

14) Napoleon Bonaparte – military leader and eventually emperor of France

15) Jean Paul Marat – journalist whose writings were used by the Jacobin Club

16) Jacobin Club – group led by Robespierre during the Reign of Terror

17) Maxim lien Robespierre – Revolutionary leader of the Jacobin Club

18) Girondins – opposition to the Jacobins within the Convention

19) Committee of Public Safety – powerful committee responsible for the death of thousands during the Reign of Terror

20) Reign of Terror – 1794, lasting one year, a period of time when suspicious actions led to the death of 40,000

21) Coup d’ etat – a sudden overtaking of government by a group, usually backed by the military

22) Jacques – Louis David – founder of Neoclassicism in painting in the 1780’s and was the official artist of the French Revolution, his most famous / successful painting was the “Death of Marat”

23) Abdicate – to relinquish power to another person

24) Elba – island off the coast of France where Napoleon is an exile

25) Exile – forced removal of a person from a country due to political reasons or situations

26) Battle of Waterloo – final battle where Napoleon is defeated by the English and German Armies

27) Wellington – Duke in charge of English Army at the Battle of Waterloo

28) Constitution of 1791 – France’s new constitution after the French Revolution

29) Napoleonic Code – system of laws set up under Napoleon’s rule

30) Versailles – Castle built by Louis XIV that was grander in size and artistry also a city in France