Origins of the French Revolution - PowerPoint by linzhengnd


									  Origins of the
French Revolution
 I. The Estates
First Estate = Clergy
Second Estate = Nobility
Third Estate = Everyone Else
II. The King and his Entourage
• Louis XVI did not know much about
• He was given to fits of enthusiasm,
  followed by timidity, weakness, indecision,
  and retreat.
• From his queen he could expect nothing
  but trouble.
 II. The King and his Entourage
• Marie-Antoinette was obsessed
  with her appearance and busied
  herself with feasts, balls and
• She liked to spend money
  without a thought in the world
  on her own pleasures and that
  of her friends.
• Her infrequent intervention in
  government affairs resembled
  whims and were often made at
  inopportune moments.
      III. The Financial Crisis
• By the time Louis had reached the middle
  of his reign France was deep in debt.
• Nevertheless, excellent ministers worked
  on the reforms they felt were necessary to
  save France from financial ruin.
       III. The Financial Crisis
• Jacques Necker:
• Swiss banker
• Argued that the problem was not that bad. (if
  American debt was taken away)
• In 1781 he published his Account Book for the
  King, revealing that a large amount of money
  was spent on royal pensions and court favorites.
• Necker was dismissed in May of 1781. After he
  left office it was hard for later officials to raise
      III. The Financial Crisis
• Charles Alexandre de Calonne:
• Encouraged internal trade, to lower some
  taxes, and transform peasants’ services to
  money payments.
• Intended to establish new local assemblies
  to approve land taxes.
• All of his policies would have undermined
  the political and social power of the
     III. The Financial Crisis
• Charles Lomenie de Brienne:
• Chief opponent of Calonne
• Astonished to discover how bad the
  finances of the country were.
• Sought to impose a new land tax.
• The Parlement refused to pay, and
  reduced its existing contribution.
   IV. The Wind from America
• The American revolution offered the
  French government and people a chance
  at redemption and revenge against the
• However, this revenge simultaneously
  brought glory, ideas, and a deficit that
  could lead straight to bankruptcy, all
  important elements that led to the
   IV. The Wind from America
• Application of Enlightenment ideals
• Experience of French nobility sent to aid
• Benjamin Franklin
• Crushing Debt
      V. From Estates General to
          National Assembly
• The initial split between the aristocracy
  and the Third Estate occurred before the
  Estates General gathered.
  – 1st Estate demanded equal representation
  – Voting should be conducted by order not by
• Both demands exposed the hollowness of
  the aristocracy's alleged concern for
  French liberty and revealed its
  determination to maintain its privileges.
      V. From Estates General to
          National Assembly
• The Tennis Court Oath
  – Locked out of the normal meeting place the
    National Assembly moved to a nearby tennis
  – There its members took an oath to continue to
    sit until they had given France a constitution.
  – Louis XVI ordered them to desist their
    actions, but shortly afterward a majority of the
    clergy and nobility joined the assembly.
     V. From Estates General to
         National Assembly
• The King capitulated and formally
  recognized the National Assembly.
• Had nothing further occurred, the
  government of France would have been
  – Government by privileged orders had ended.
• The Revolution in France against
  government by absolute monarchy had
     VI. The Fall of the Bastille
 • Parisians feared that the king’s royal
   forces were going to sweep into the city
   and arrest revolutionaries.
    The violence of the Paris mob was not
 • The mob attacked the Bastille in order to
   capture gun the National Assembly.
condemned by powder and weapons. The
Fall of the Bastille would be the first of many
 • They killed the prison’s warden and placed
    Violent riots in the French Revolution.
   his severed head on a pike.

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