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					          The Convention and the Fate of the Royals                        radicals (left-wing revolutionaries        The Execution of Louis XVI
                                                                           opposed to monarchy), the moderates      On June 21, 1791, the royal family
                                                                           (those in the center who favored mild    attempted to flee France, but was
                                                                           changes), and the                        caught a few miles from the French
                                                                           conservatives (those on the right-       border and returned to Paris. The king
                                                                           wing who wanted to maintain              agreed to sign the Constitution of
                                                                           monarchy). There were also nobles        1791 and then proceeded to veto key
                                                                           who fled France hoping to create a       revolutionary decrees. A new, more
                                                                           counter-revolution to reestablish the    radical government, the National
                                                                           Old Regime. Furthermore, there were      Convention, was popularly elected in
                                                                           the sans-culottes, Parisian workers      September 1792. France fought to
                                                                           who demanded radical reforms.            preserve the Revolution in a war of
                                                                           Overall, the radicals in France          people against kings against Austria
                                                                           attempted to bring their Revolution      and Prussia.
                                                                           to all of Europe, while other
                                                                           European kings fought again France       In November 1792 incriminating
                                                                           in an attempt to restore absolutism to   royal documents were found that
                                                                           France.                                  showed that the king was negotiating
                                                                                                                    secretly to restore his authority and
                                                                           Due to the internal conflict and         thwart the Constitution. The National
In June of 1791 King Louis XVI and his family were caught and              external wars, the Legislative           Convention overwhelmingly voted to
returned to Paris in their attempt to flee France.                         Assembly dissolved and called for a      convict Louis XVI of treason and
                                                                           new election. This led to the creation   then voted to sentence him to death in
   The National Assembly and the Declaration of the Rights of Man          of the National Convention in            January 1793 by one vote (of the 720
Clergy and nobility, partially through fear of popular uprisings, joined September of 1791. The Convention
                                                                                                                    members).
the National Assembly and eliminated the last vestiges of the Old          was influenced by the sans-culottes
Regime (Ancien Regime). Feudalism, serfdom, and the old medieval           and their radical Jacobin political      Just before he was guillotined, he
privileges of the church and nobility were now dead. A Declaration of club. The National Convention
                                                                                                                    declared calmly, “I die innocent of all
the Rights of Man and Citizen was created, holding that “all men are eliminated monarchy completely,
                                                                                                                    the crimes of which I have been
born and remain free and equal in rights” and that men have natural        imprisoned King Louis XVI, and           charged.” The Queen was executed in
rights of “liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.” The turned France into a republic once
                                                                                                                    October 1793.
slogan of the Revolution now became “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.”       and for all. France’s government was
The Rights of Man established the notion that government exists to         to represent all adult males.
protect man’s natural rights. However, The Rights of Man did not
apply to women.                                                            Was democracy to prevail or would
                                                                           France descend into mob rule?
However, the new government (a constitutional monarchy) did not
solve many of France’s problems and the Revolution radicalized and
fragmented. The newly created Legislative Assembly, taking over
from the National Assembly, splintered into three main groups: the

				
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posted:10/19/2011
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