Chapter 23, Section 1 World History / French Revolution

Chapter 23
The French Revolution and Napoleon
Section 1
Section 1--Objectives
• List the three estates of the Old Regime.
• Summarize the factors that led to the French
• Describe the creation of the National Assembly and
the storming of the Bastille.
• Explain the importance of the Great Fear and the
women’s march on Versailles.
Quick Discussion
What determines a person’s class in the United states
• In the 1700s France was the center for the
Enlightenment thinkers. France had a large
population and a thriving foreign trade business.
• France on the outside appeared to be successful, but
it was all a façade. In France there had been multiple
bad harvests, high taxes, high prices, and the
Enlightenment thinkers raising questions and ideas
from Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire.
The Old Order
• Old Regime: In the 1770s the people of France were
divided into three large social classes or also known
as Estates.
• The Privileged Estates:
– First Estate: Roman Catholic Church in
which the clergy owned 10 percent of the land in
France. The church provided education and relief
services to the poor. The church contributed 2
percent of income to the government.
– Second Estate:
Rich nobles made up
two percent of the population. The nobles owned 20
percent of the land in France and paid no taxes.
Notes: These two estates did not like the
Enlightenment ideas they threatened their status.
The Old Order
• The Third Estate: made up 97 percent of the
population. This estate was made up of three diverse
• First Group-Bourgeoisie or middle class: this group
was bankers, factory owners, merchants, and
professionals. Well educated and believed in the
Enlightenment ideals. This group paid high taxes and
lacked privileges. Some thought they deserved more
status and political power.
• Second Group-Workers and poorest: urban workers
which included tradespeople, apprentices, laborers
and domestic servants. This group received low
wages and frequently out of work and unfortunately
The Old Order
• Third Group—Peasants: largest group within the
Third Estate. This group was 80 percent of France’s
population. This group paid half of their income to
the nobles, tithes to the Church, and taxes to the
king’s agents.
• The Third Estate resented the clergy and nobles.
They were a group that was ready for change.
The Forces of Change
• Enlightenment Ideas: The Third Estate was
discussing the Enlightenment ideas and the
American Revolution. Many were quoting the
• Economic Troubles: Merchants, bankers, factory
owners were concerned about the economy. The
surface the economy was growing rapidly through
production and trade. The taxes were growing within
France and it made hard to conduct business.
• Monarchy: Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
were spending extravagantly. Louis XVI inherited
debt from previous monarchies and borrowed
to support the American Revolution.
The Forces of Change
• In 1786, the bankers refused to lend the government
any money. This put Louis XVI into serious problems.
• A Weak Leader: He was indecisive and would not
face problems or issues. Would not listen to his
advisors. The queen was a problem and interfered in
government matters. She spent a large amount of
money on material goods.
• Estates-General: an assembly of representatives
from all three estates. This is the first meeting in
175 years, held at Versailles on May 5, 1789. The
Second Estate forced a
meeting with nobles, because he wanted to tax
the nobles as a way of finding a solution to his
Dawn of the Revolution
• Clergy and nobles controlled the Estates-General.
The medieval rules, had each estate meeting in a
separate hall to vote. The two privileged estates
would always outvote the Third Estate.
• The National Assembly: Named themselves. The
Third Estate rebelled and came together to over rule
the nobles and clergy.
• Emmanuel –Joseph Sieyes: a clergy man would
supported the cause and wanted the group to
• name themselves National Assembly and would pass
laws and reforms.
• Tennis Court Oath: The Third Estate found
Themselves locked out of the meeting room, so
they broke down a door to an indoor tennis court
they pledged to write a new constitution.
• Louis XVI placed military army of Swiss guards
around Versailles.
• Storming the Bastille: So in Paris rumors were flying
on what was going to happen. Some thought that
Louis XVI was going to use the military to put down
the National Assembly. Many proposed that foreign
militaries were coming to kill French citizens. People
started to stock pile weapons to defend Paris.
People started to search for gunpowder and weapons
so they raided the Bastille prison. The group
Seized control of the prison. The angry group
killed and stabbed the prison commander and
guards to death and then paraded their heads
Around the streets of Paris.
Great Fear
• July 14, 1789: Is known as Bastille Day –symbolic
day for the French, very similar to our Fourth of July.
• A Great Fear Sweeps France:
• Great Fear: Senseless panic. Peasants thought the
nobles were hiring outlaws to terrorize. Soon
peasants became outlaws themselves. Peasants
armed themselves with pitchforks and other farm
tools, breaking into noble’s manor homes and
destroying old legal papers, binding them to old
feudal ways. Many peasants simply burnt down
the manor homes.
Great Fear
• October 1789: The women of Paris started rioting
Paris over the high cost of bread. The women
marched to Versailles and demanded that the
National Assembly provide bread. The women
stormed the palace and demanded that the king and
queen return to Paris. The king agreed to their
demands and a few hours later the king and his
family left the palace never to return. This was a sign
that change of power and radical reforms were
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