The Old Regime – France by jizhen1947


									The Old Regime – France

   Notion of Privilege in govt.
           27 million
           3 Estates
        1st Estate – Clergy
• 130,000 /27 mil.
• 10% land
• Exempt from taxes
        2nd Estate – Nobility
• 400,000 / 27 mil.
• 25-30% land
• Control industry
• Highest govt. positions (military / law /
• Exempt from taille and most other taxes
• Nobility of Robe
• Nobility of Sword
      3rd Estate - Commoners
• Peasants alone =75-80% of pop
• 35-40% of land
• Over ½ own no land and still owe feudal dues
• Skilled artisans and craftspeople
• Bourgeoisie – 2.3 million
• 20-25% of land
• Merchants / bankers / industrialists /doctors /
  public office/ lawyers etc.
• Excluded from social and political privileges
  enjoyed by nobles
• Bourgeois and nobles mix and discuss
  Enlightenment ideas
• Bourgeois and Aristocracy compete for
  power in govt.
18th Century Problems
  1. Prices and Unemployment
• Prices rise faster than wages (65% - 22%)
• Rents rise 140%
• Bread prices rise – ½ salary (3/4 of diet)
  – Bad harvests
• Manufacturing depression
  – Unemployment in cities
  – 1/3 of population is below poverty level
• Lords try to revive long forgotten taxes on
   2. Ideas of
noble privileged
and absolutism
   face harsh
 and American
 War veterans
    3. French Governments Debts
• Wars – Louis XIV’s
   American
  Revolution aid
• Extravagance
  (parties/ luxuries)
• Loans  huge
  interest payments
  (1/2 govt. spending)
• 25% pays army
• Calonne – director of finances – urges
  Louis XVI to reform tax system
• -dismissed
• Jacques Necker – urged paring down
  spending on extravagances - dismissed
• Parlements (Provincial Bodies) and
  Assembly of Notables (Nobles /
  Magistrates) refuse to cooperate with
  govt.s attempts at tax reform
   1789 - The Estates General
• Last meeting 1614
• Each Estate has one collective vote
  – 1st – 300 delegates
  – 2nd – 300 delegates
  – 3rd – 600 delegates
                 May 5th 1789
• 3rd Estate demands a
  vote by head not by
  – Lovers of Liberty
  – Society of 30
  – Lower clergy
• 1st and 2nd Estates
  declare voting by estate
• A few members from
  each join the 3rd estate
• Abbe Sieyes – “What is
  the 3rd Estate?”
        Step 1 of Revolution
• June 17th 1789 – 3rd
  Estate declares a
  “National Assembly”
• June 20th – locked out
  by king
• Move to a nearby Tennis
• Tennis Court Oath to
  create a Constitution
          Kings Response
• Fears a 3rd estate constitution
• Sends delegates from 1st and 2nd estates
  to National Assembly
• Orders 18,000 soldiers into Paris to keep
        People’s Response
“First Wave” of Revolution
  – Bastille
  – Great Fear
    1. The Storming of the Bastille
• July 14th – mobs of Paris attack the Bastille
  9prison, armory, symbol of tyranny)
• Raid weapons
• Kill local officials
             2. The Great Fear

• July 20th – Aug. 6th
• Rumors spread that
  noble will kill
  peasants and seize
• Citizen militias
• Refuse feudal dues
• Break into manors
• Drive nobles/
  landlords from land
• Destroy feudal
• Grievances written by the 3rd Estate that
  they wanted reformed
Art. 11. Personal liberty, proprietary rights
  and the security of citizens shall be
  established in a clear, precise and
  irrevocable manner. All lettres de cachet
  shall be abolished forever, subject to
  certain modifications which the States
  General may see fit to impose.
               lettre de cachet
• (l´tr d käsh´) (KEY) , formerly in French law, private,
  sealed document, issued as a communication from the
  king. Such a letter could order imprisonment or exile for
  an individual without recourse to courts of law. Of very
  early origin, the lettre de cachet came into common use
  in the 17th cent. as an instrument of the new monarchy.
  Although its actual use was restrained, the issuance to
  local officials of lettres de cachet with the space for the
  name left blank inspired great fear. The occasional
  invocation of them against leaders of opinion, including
  Voltaire, became a symbol of arbitrary royal power and
• The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05.
• Art. 12. And to remove forever the possibility of injury to the
  personal and proprietary rights of Frenchmen, the jury system
  shall be introduced in all criminal cases, and in civil cases for
  the determination of fact, in all the courts of the realm.
• Art. 15. A wider liberty of the press shall be accorded, with
  this provision alone: that all manuscripts sent to the printer shall
  be signed by the author, who shall be obliged to disclose
  his identity and bear the responsibility of his work;
• Art. 21. No tax shall be legal unless accepted by the
  representatives of the people and sanctioned by the king.
• Art. 22. Since all Frenchmen receive the same advantage from
  the government, and are equally interested in its maintenance,
  they ought to be placed upon the same footing in the
  matter of taxation.
• Art. 23. All taxes now in operation are contrary to these
  principles and for the most part vexatious, oppressive and
  humiliating to the people. They ought to be abolished as
  soon as possible, and replaced by others common to the
  three orders and to all classes of citizens, without exception.
 National Assembly 1789-1791
• Meets at Versailles
Votes to end:
• seigniorial dues
• noble and clerical
Declaration of the Rights of Man and
  of the Citizen – August 26th 1789
 •   Access to govt. office based on talent
 •   Equality for men under law
 •   Restriction of king’s powers
 •   Freedom of speech
 •   Citizen participation in govt.
 •   Leaves out the ladies
 •   Olympe de Gouge write DoRoW &FC – ignored
     by NA

 King ignores all changes by NA
               The Bread Riot
• October 5th 1789
• Women lead
• Becomes armed gathering
• 12 mile march to Versailles
• King promises bread from Paris – forced to go with the
  demonstrators to Paris
• In Paris king is guarded by revolutionaries
  Civil Constitution of the Clergy-
             July 1790
• Bishops elected &
  paid by govt.
• 46% of clergy refuse
  oath to Constitution
  (Pope’s orders)
• Good Catholics vs.
  Good Revolutionaries
• King Louis tries to flee France
• Arrested June 1791
             1791- France declared a
             Constitutional Monarchy
• 1st election of Legislative
  Assembly October 1791

•   Voting Men vote for
     – Electors who vote for
        • Deputies who
          make up the new

• Not all men can vote (based
  on taxes)
• Most of those who gained
  office were bourgeoisie
          Foreign Relations
• Declaration of Pillnitz – Aug 1791
  – Count of Artois (later Charles X)
  – Emperor Leopold of Aus.
  – King Frederick II of Prus.
  – Called for monarchies of Europe to help the
    king of France strengthen the monarchy
• Legislative Assembly declares war on
  Austria 1792
• Other nations follow
         La Marseillaise
• Listen!

Let us go, children of the fatherland   Sacred love of the fatherland
Our day of Glory has arrived.           Guide and support our vengeful arms.
Against us stands tyranny,              Liberty, beloved liberty,
The bloody flag is raised,              Fight with your defenders;
The bloody flag is raised.              Fight with your defenders.
Do you hear in the countryside          Under our flags, so that victory
The roar of these savage soldiers       Will rush to your manly strains;
They come right into our arms           That your dying enemies
To cut the throats of your sons,        Should see your triumph and glory
your country.
    To arms, citizens!                    To arms, citizens!
    Form up your battalions               Form up your battalions
    Let us march, Let us march!           Let us march, Let us march!
    That their impure blood               That their impure blood
    Should water our fields               Should water our fields
Interested Factions
• Political club led by
  Robespierre and
  followed by Jean-
  Paul Marat (Moniteur
  patriote )
• Want radical change
  to the government
• Republic
• Want to abolish
• Want war to spread
  Revolution to Europe
• Moderates
• Favor compromise / parliamentary
  democracy with a constitutional monarchy
• Tend to come from country sides
• Nobles who have fled France
• Hope the war will bring back old regime
                   Paris Commune
• Represented workers, trades
  people, and radical bourgeois
• Sans-culottes (without knee
• Radical Paris mobs
• August 1792 Attack palace and
  Assembly – call for a National
  Convention based on universal
  male suffrage to create a govt.
• Called for execution of “traitors
  and Prisoners”
• Georges Danton, Jacques
• Became a temporary local
  government of Paris during parts
  of the Revolution
  National Convention September
• Mostly bourgeoisie, some
  lower middle class
• Abolished monarchy
  September 21st 1792
• Declare France a Republic

• Problem: What to do with
  the king?
The Mountain and the Plain
• Groupings of the deputies
• benches in front of the convention president,
  were known as the Plain and occupied by
• Benches on his left were ranked more steeply
  The Jacobins took these seats - resembling a
• Mountain acknowledged Robespierre as its
     Louis’ trial and execution
• January 21st 1793
              June 1793
• Paris Commune invades convention and
  arrests / executes leading Girondins
• Many in countryside revolt (Vendee in

• Countries in arms against France: Aus.
  Prus. Sp. Port. Brit. Neth.
  The Committee of Public Safety
      (Danton / Robespierre)
• 1793-94
• Goal1 : fight enemies without and within
   – Conscription, anonymous spies  largest army in
• Goal 2: Create a “republic of virtue”
   – Virtuous citizens, universal education, slavery
• Goal 3: Wipe out old French traditions based on
  Church and Monarchy
   – Republican Calendar
   – Temples of Reason
           Revolutionary Calendar
• Vendémiaire, the month of
• Brumaire, the month of fog
  Frimaire, the month of frost
  Nivôse, the month of snow
  Pluviôse, the month of rain
  Ventôse, the month of wind
• Germinal, the month of
• Floréal, the month of flowers
• Prairial, the month of
• Messidor, the month of
• Thermidor, the month of heat
• Fructidor, the month of fruit
                 Reign of Terror
• CoPS runs revolutionary
  courts to try those suspected
  of treason:
  – Royalists
  – Girondists
  – Anyone at odds with Paris
• Secret informers,
  anonymous tips
• 16,000 in 9 months executed
• 50,000 total
• Olympe de Gouge
• Robespierre “on terror”
•   8% nobles
•   25% middle class
•   6 % clergy
•   60% peasants
             End of Terror
• Danton calls for end to
  the Terror  execution
  by CoPS
• Robespierre ties to
  purge NC of all but
  most radical
• National Convention
  sentences Robespierre
  to death July 1794
    Thermidorean Reaction - 1795
• Jacobin clubs closed
• CoPS disbanded
• Churches reopened
• Freedom of worship
• Laissez –faire
• New Constitution &
  government – The
• White Terror
• Gracchus Babeuff –
  leader of the “Conspiracy
  of Equals” executed 1797
        Constitution of 1795
• 2 Houses
• Council of 500 - initiate legislation
• Elders (250) accept or reject and elect the
  5 Directors

• These reps are chosen by Electors
  (30,000) who are chosen by male
  taxpayers over 21
• Perceived as decadent by radicals
• Not reactionary enough by royalists
• Rebellion against it put down by Napoleon
  Bonaparte 1795
• Continues war
• Unable to solve economic problems in France

• Napoleon overthrows Directory 1799
• “I am the revolution!” “The revolution is over!”
The Consulate!

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