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French Revolution: Causes, Course, and Effects by cYevV8B


									French Revolution: Causes, Course, and Effects

   Intellectual origins, philosophies
   Louis XVI and the monarcy, ancient regime
   Political, fiscal and economic problems
   Constitutional experiments, radicals, terror
   Robespierre, Jacobins, Girondins
   Revolutionary wars, reaction, the Directory, rise of Napoleon I

Sketch of Events

1788-1789 – Revolution in politics, society, thinking. Calling of Estates General was the
1789-1792 – Liberal Revolution
1792-1794 – Radicalization of the Revolution
1795-1799 – Ineffective Revolution
1799-1815 - Napoleon

    1. Intellectual
    2. Social
    3. Political

        Enlightenment had popularized ideas that will later be called Liberalism.
    Liberty: Natural Rights
    Sovereignty of the people. People are the SOURCE of the power
    Equality – equal legal rights
    Freedom from state-controlled economy

Remember France’s role in the US revolution . . .


First Estate: Clergy – 1% Population
Second Estate: Nobility 2-5% Population
Third Estate: Everyone Else – 97%

Subdivisions of the 3rd Estate – Bourgeoisie: Variety – Educated Had Money
Peasants: Massive growth – farmed the land and regarded it as their own.
Urban Poor of Paris – Changed the map of the revolution

Political Causes

Louis XV 1715-1774, age 5 to throne, not well educated,
Louis XIV 1774-1792 – Not interested in government, shy, retiring, conflicts with
parlements over taxation. Revived parlement in 1774. Move was fatal, brought financial
crisis to the forefront of debate.

State Finances

Economic Weaknesses – Edict of Nantes revoked in 1685 problematic. Problem for
French commerce
Taxation Problems- not equal, not money
Dependence on loans
Cost of Wars (7 years War, American Revolution)
Cost of Versailles
Bankruptcy of the State. Half of gov. income going to service the interest on the debt.
Government could not service the debt.

There were efforts to fix problems. Jacques Necker – hid the debts. Charles Alexander
de Calonne – raised more loans to pay debts.

Calling of Estates General

Not called since 1614
Problem of representation and voting
Radical quick spread of ideas
Sieyes: What is the 3rd Estate?
Ideas Radicalize and spread

Cahiers des Doleances – complaint list

Estates Meet. 3rd Estate mad, doesn’t want to sit alone. Walk out. Declares the National
Assembly. Want a constitutional monarchy. Tennis Court Oath to form one. June 1789,
King gives in and allows the National Constituent Assembly. July 1789-1791

Creates a Liberal Revolution

King splits with the bourgeoisie, supports monarchy.
Poor revolts in Paris (bread riots)
Bastille Day July 14, 1789
Militias = National Guard: Tricolor Flag
Great Fear – fear of royal troops, peasant throughout France rebel and burn chalets,
documents, books, etc.

August 4th Laws – seignurial dues are abolished
Declaration of the Rights of Man August 1789 – PROPAGANDA important

King and Government shift to Paris. October 6th (Poor women force royal family to
move). Relative peace for 3 years

Reforms of National Constituent Government: Provinces, uniform law, tariffs, cure state
debt through sale of church property = assignats.
Civil Constitution of the Clergy July 1790 – oath of loyalty to the state, church a
department of the state – created problems in parts of France that remained loyal to

Constitution of 1791 – Liberal Constitution. One chamber house, male tax payers vote,
very small electorate.

King destabilized the revolution – king’s attitude was poor. No strong executive. Then
king flees in 1791, summer. Finishes the destabilization.

Now Legislative Assembly: constitutional monarchy, war promoted, state church

Rx Abroad. Most conservatives opposed it, upset over monarchies Declaration of
Pilnitz: starts role April 1792. Declare war on Austria in April 1792

RADICAL REVOLUTION begins the wars.

     Monarchist – Layfayette
     Jacobins –
     Girondins –
Prussian Army pushed into France, v. close to Paris. Girondists blame the monarchy.
Press whipped up the crowd . . . Marat and Friend of the People, Paris organized into a

People of Paris/guards attack the Tuileries Palace. King flees to Legislative Assembly,
attack on prisons – 1200 people murdered as counter-revolutionaries

Sans-Culottes – artisans, shopkeepers, wage earners, factory workers, active crowd that
shows up and shapes the actions of the government

Convention formed as Legislative Assembly falls apart. First act was to declare France a
Republic. Jacobins prepared to work with Sans-cullottes. Robespierre was one of the
leaders of the Jacobins.


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