French Revolution Key Terms

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French Revolution Key Terms and Definitions
Estates – social classes of France
Clergy – leaders of the church in France (1st Estate)
Nobles – members of the elite born into their status in society (2nd Estate)
Bourgeois – middle class (top class of the (3rd Estate)
Bastille – armory and prison that was stormed by peasants in order to arm themselves against
the kings army
Tennis Court Oath – 3rd Estate members who formed pledge to work together
National Assembly – 3rd Estate members who formed together against the Estates General
Estates General – special meeting of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Estates due to the taxation of the 2nd
Estate
Women’s March on Versailles – October 5th, women march to Versailles to bring the king and
queen into France in Paris to prevent them from leaving the country
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
Liberty – freedom from tyranny and oppression
Equality – achieve equal rights
Fraternity – to work with others in their own nation and other nations to achieve justice
Napoleon Bonaparte – military leader and eventually emperor of France
Jean Paul Marat – journalist whose writings were used by the Jacobin Club
Jacobin Club – group led by Robespierre during the Reign of Terror
Maxim lien Robespierre – Revolutionary leader of the Jacobin Club
Girondins – opposition to the Jacobins within the Convention
Committee of Public Safety – powerful committee responsible for the death of thousands
during the Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror – 1794, lasting one year, a period of time when suspicious actions led to the
death of 40,000
Coup d’ etat – a sudden overtaking of government by a group, usually backed by the military
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”
Abdicate – to relinquish power to another person
Elba – island off the coast of France where Napoleon is an exile
Exile – forced removal of a person from a country due to political reasons or situations
Battle of Waterloo – final battle where Napoleon is defeated by the English and German Armies
Wellington – Duke in charge of English Army at the Battle of Waterloo
Constitution of 1791 – France’s new constitution after the French Revolution
Napoleonic Code – system of laws set up under Napoleon’s rule
Versailles – Castle built by Louis XIV that was grander in size and artistry also a city in France
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