I. The French Monarchy In Crisis Structure of the Old Regime * The King is an Absolute Monarch * Society was divided into 3 Estates The First Estate .5% The High Clergy Parish Priests These people were nobles These people were commoners Many parish priests criticized the luxury that High Clergy lived in They managed church affairs, ran schools, kept birth and death records and
cared for the poor Collected a tithe which was a 10% income tax - to fund these activities The Second Estate 1.5% The Nobility Enjoyed great wealth and privilege (Not all were wealthy but the defended their traditional rights) Only nobles could become officers in the military or fill high church office Nobles were exempt from most taxes When Louis XIV died in 1715 French nobles tried to take back power that they had lost during his reign led by nobles of the robe who were mostly judges in the
parliament or high courts. Had to approve the kings orders before they became law and often they didnt, especially if they limited their power The Third Estate 98% This literally included everyone else Bourgeoisie - Wealthy middle class These are the wealthiest and most outspoken Included successful merchants Manufacturers Lawyers And Doctors
Small storekeepers and artisans They resented the privilege of the Nobles and Enlightenment ideas of equality and social justice believed in the These people called for the reform because the 3rd estate paid most of the taxes These people made up the largest percentage of the 3rd estate Peasants They were a bit better off than peasants in the rest of Europe Serfdom was mostly gone though there were some feudal dues such as fixing roads etc.
Peasants paid heavy taxes, the tithe, and rent to their landlords Only the nobility could hunt, so peasants were not allowed to destroy animals that ate their crops City Workers Thousands of French people worked as servants, maids, apprentices, and day laborers Food prices grew faster than wages The Growing Economic Crisis HISTORY:
During most of the 1700s the French economy prospered The population grew from 18 million in 1715 to 25 million in 1789 Food surpluses and Mercantilist policies helped support the growing population and industry In the 1770s however, economic activity slowed Internal customs duties and toll roads kept business from expanding There was huge debt from the wars of Louis XIV Louis XV and Louis XVI kept borrowing money instead of paying off the debt Support of the American Revolution doubled the national debt Poor harvests , and poorly stored surpluses lead to famine Louis Attempts at Reform
Louis saw the need for Economic Reform when he became king in 1774 But he wasnt really interested in doing anything about it Robert Turgot Was Louis finance minister He eased the economic crisis by reducing spending Doing away with internal tariffs Suggested that the nobles pay taxes They said nothe lower classes alone should pay taxes Louis fired him in 1776 because he didnt want to deal with unhappy nobles Poor harvests in 1787-8 deepened the crisis and Louis went to Paris to try to pass a new tax law I n fa l l o f 1 7 8 8 Lo u i s ca l l e d t h e E state s G e n e ra l to m e e t i n M ay 1 7 8 9
II. A Moderate Start to the Revolution THE ESTATES GENERAL Each estate elected their own deputies When the estates met in May of 1789 the 3rd Estate demanded that they all meet together and That all deputies have equal vote instead of meeting separately and voting as groups The 3rd Estate was ALWAYS out voted. Louis XVI said NO!
Deputies from the 3rd Estate declared themselves the National Assembly They wanted to write a Constitution for France Louis Banished Them THE TENNIS COURT OATH Nobles and deputies of the other estates joined the Third Estate at a nearby Tennis Court Swore that they would not disband until a Constitution was written for France Oath was taken on June 20, 1789 At first Louis didnt want them to, but then ordered the 1st and 2nd Estates to join the 3rd There were some problems however, because there were deep divisions in the individual estates Some nobles and clergy and most commoners wanted a limited constitutional
monarchy like Great Britain Radicals Were people who wanted drastic change They wanted to do away with titles, feudal obligations, and the monarchy The Storming of the Bastille French peasants wanted quick change but they didnt get it Louis brought troops in to Versailles for protection But People thought that he wanted to crush the National Assembly
July 14 1789 th Peasants stormed a prison called the Bastille looking for weapons and gunpowder This was a political prison that many saw as a symbol of all that was wrong with France THE GREAT FEAR Soon Peasants began to hear rumors that bandits were destroying crops and homes When no bandits showed up, the peasants rioted against their landlords
Between June and the beginning of August 1789, there were riots in the countryside. Peasants burned their nobles' chateaux, monasteries and buildings which housed public records. They particularly targeted documents which contained records of their feudal obligations. The August Decrees AUGUST 4TH, 1789 Deputies arose to make speeches in support of reform They proposed taxing the nobility, ending the tithe, and doing away with hunting rights Abolished serfdom, ended tax-exemption, made all male citizens eligible for church and government positions ADOPTED THE DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN AND CITIZEN
This stated that all are equal under the law Stated that democratic principles would be the basis for the French Government Protected personal property The March on Versailles October 5, 1789 A crowd of mostly women, protesting high food prices marched on Versailles They demanded that the King and Queen return with them to Paris Louis and his family returned to Paris with them Louis was forced to wear the tricolor This is the symbol that the revolutionaries had adopted Showed that they were in charge!
Reforms of the National Assembly Religious Reforms Freedom of Worship No more special privileges for the Catholic Church 1790 Civil Constitution of the Clergy Gave the French government control of the Church Allowed citizens to elect bishops and priests Government took land away from the Church and began to sell it to raise money Catholics who had supported the Revolution to this point now condemned it The Constitution of 1791 Made France a limited monarchy
Set up a system of separation of powers King is the Executive Courts guarantee equal rights under the law Legislature can override the veto Legislature
makes laws King can veto laws Did away with the feudal system, and erased the boundaries between estates Problems with the new Constitution Very few people were happy with the new constitution Radicals wanted to do away with the monarchy altogether Nobles thought it went to far when it did away with privileges and title
Some nobles fled France They became known as migrs migrs are political exiles They encouraged monarchs all over Europe to condemn the French Revolution Even the king tried to get help Marie Antoinette Asked her brother, the emperor of Austria, for help
Flight to Varennes June 20-21 1791 Louis decided to try to flee Paris with his family on the night of June 20th They disguised themselves as Russian servants and headed to Montmedy It didnt work though, the king was recognized and they were all arrested Louis is now a prisoner of the Assembly and forced to accept the Constitution in September of 1791 October 1791 The newly elected Legislative Assembly met for the first time Radicals Sat on the Left
Moderates Sat in the Middle Royalists/Conservatives sat on the Right The Kings attempt to flee made divisions among the revolutionaries worse Moderates still wanted a limited monarchy Radicals demand a republic The Radicals are split The really radical radicals are the Jacobins
Led by Maximillien Robespierre Wanted full democracy and universal male suffrage The Revolution Deepens France at War April 1792 France declared war on Austria Prussia joins Austria against France France does very badly at first because many nobles left, and they were the officers August 1792 Austrian and Prussian forces surround Paris The Brunswick Manifesto
The Duke of Brunswick warned that if Paris didnt surrender hed burn it to the ground and torture its leaders September 1792 The French defeat the Prussians at Valmy August 10, 1792 Radical revolutionaries take over the Paris city government Set up the Paris Commune They attacked the palace, killed many of the kings guards, and arrested the King and Queen They then demanded a new Constitution
The National Convention Met in late September 1792 * First act was to do away with the Monarchy and make France a Republic * Then had to decide what to do with the King Radicals want him tried for treason and executed Moderates want him imprisoned until the end of the war November 1792: A trunk full of Letters saying that Louis wanted to crush the revolution were found and used as evidence against him Execution of The King and Queen
Louis is convicted by a 1 vote majority He is executed on January 21, 1793 Marie Antoinette is convicted of treason and executed in October of 1793 Louis execution spread fear throughout Europe Monarchs started to fear the spread of Revolution in their own countries The French Army started doing much better March 1793 Great Britain, The Dutch Netherlands, and Spain join the war against Fr
People in France began to think the war went too far and there are revolts against the revolution Robespierre put aside the Constitution of 1793 and created The Committee of Public Safety Waged a war against enemies of the Revolution Called the Reign of Terror The point was to create a Republic of Virtue
The Law of Suspects Allowed the Committee to imprison and condemn citizens for treason on little evidence The Committee did do good things for the revolution as well Created and trained a new Army Used a draft to make every French Man eligible for the Army French Army starts winning again in 1794 Set limits on Prices and Wages Rationed Food, especially White Flour Encouraged Equality Bread
Impact of the Revolution The Monarchy is gone All titles and nobility are done away with All feudal customs are now gone Clothing is changed to simple dresses and long trousers The Metric system was established Called for Free Public Schools
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