French Revolution France…. Background • Buildup of autocracy in 15th-16th centuries • Largely Catholic – Huguenots (Protestant) a sizeable minority – Fighting b/t Catholic and Protestant – 1598- Edict of Nantes: promoted religious tolerance Strengthening the Crown • Cardinal Richelieu- advisor to French monarch – Goal: strengthen the monarchy • Louis XIV: inherited throne at 4 yrs. Old – Reign 1643-1715 – “Sun King”, “Most Christian King”, divine right – Palace of Versailles – Revoke Edict of Nantes Strengthening the Crown • Louis XIV – Appoints Jean Baptiste Colbert as economic advisor • Mercantilism= need for empire • Increase empire= more resources= more wealth – Numerous wars= debt French Revolution • Economic problems: – War debts – Poor taxation policies – Poor harvests – Lavish lifestyle of monarchy • 1789- Louis XVI summoned Estates General – governing body with members from each estate – Had not met in 175 years (absolutism) French Revolution • Conflict between the estates at the meeting • June 17, 1789- Third Estate declares themselves the National Assembly • July 14, 1789- storming of Bastille • August, 1789- Declaration of Rights of Man French Revolution • 1791- new Constitution ratified – Created Constitutional Monarchy; King retains executive power • Austrians and Prussians invade France to restore monarchy – Marie Antionette was sister of Austrian Emperor – Unsuccessful French Revolution • Continued unrest= another new Constitution – Declares France a republic – Established the Convention as the new ruling body • 1793: behead king and queen French Revolution • Reign of Terror: – Constitution once again thrown out – Very Violent stage of revolution – Maximilien Robespierre and Jacobins – Thousands beheaded – Eventually, Robespierre too was beheaded • 1795: yet another government established Rise of Napoleon • Directory created strong military – Napoleon Bonaparte popular military man • 24 at the time – 1799: overthrows Directory and declares himself First Consul Napoleon • Popular ruler – Many domestic reforms – Napoleonic Codes (1804)- implemented some Enlightenment ideas and equality for men • Begins to build a French empire in Europe – Conquers Austria, Prussia, Spain, Portugal, and parts of Italy – 1804- crowns himself emperor Napoleon • 1810: empire at its height • 1812: attacks Russia= mistake • Conquered areas use this as opportunity to defeat and overthrow Napoleon – Exiled – But, disagreements about how to restore order Napoleon • 1813- Napoleon returns, tries to regain power • Defeated at Waterloo and permanently exiled to St. Helena, later dies there. • Other nations meet to restore balance of power Congress of Vienna • 1815: Congress of Vienna – French territory return to pre-Napoleonic borders – Returned rulers of areas conquered by Napoleon – French monarchy restored, but with Constitutional limits France…. Continued • 1830: another republic created, lasts until Revolutions of 1848 • 1852: Louis Napoleon established a second French empire • 1870: Louis-Napoleon overthrown and yet another republic created • How is all that for confusing?????
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