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Ch 21 The Revolution in Politics
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Ch 21 The Revolution in Politics


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The French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon.

The French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon.

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  • 1. Magister Ricard
    AP Euro
    CH 21 The Revolution in Politics
  • 2. The Old Regime
    The French Revolution and Napoleon 1789-1815
  • 3. Peasants constituted 4/5 of population
    Lost half of income to taxes
    Dues were paid to nobles, church, the crown
    Paid a land tax (taille) and performed forced labor (corvee)
    Grain shortage increased price of bread
    Peasant Distress
  • 4. Overspending by Louis XVI and previous kings left massive public debt
    Half of tax revenue used to pay interest on debt
    Funding of wars increased debt
    Seven Years’ War (against England)
    American Revolution
    Government Debt
  • 5. Nobles (2nd estate) exempt from paying taxes
    Resisted all attempts to reform tax system
    Aristocratic Resistance
  • 6. Louis XV (r. 1715-1774) weak and indecisive
    Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (r. 1774-1792) unpopular, scandalous
    Parlement assumed right to approve royal decrees – eroded absolute monarchy
    Royal Weakness
  • 7. The Estates General
    The French Revolution and Napoleon 1789-1815
  • 8. France was facing bankruptcy in 1789
    Louis XVI’s tax reform was refused by Assembly of Notables
    King forced to convene Estates General
    First time since 1614
    Convening the Estates General
  • 9. 1st Estate – Clergy
    Held about 20% of land
    Paid no taxes, instead gave a kickback of about 2% of income to crown
    2nd Estate – Nobility
    Comprised 2-4% of population
    Held about 25% of land
    3rd Estate – Everyone Else
    Comprised 95% of population
    Resented aristocratic privilege
    Diverse group of professionals to peasants
    The Three Estates
  • 10. 3rd Estate proposed all three estates to assemble together
    1st and 2nd Estates assumed that each would get one vote, push through their agenda
    Led by Abbe Sieyes, this was rejected
    King refused proposal
    3rd Estate declared itself the true National Assembly
    Locked out, met in nearby tennis court
    Declared oath not to disband until constitution was drafted
    The Tennis Court Oath
  • 11. The National Assembly (1789-1791)
    The French Revolution and Napoleon 1789-1815
  • 12. Reasserting royal authority, Louis XVI orders Swiss army towards Paris and Versailles
    Angry mobs already protesting over prices of bread then storm the Bastille
    Mob frees prisoners and seizes weapons and munitions
    Fall of Bastille becomes a symbol against royal despotism and tyranny
    Storming the Bastille
  • 13. All men were “born and remain free and equal in rights”
    Rights to liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression
    Provides for freedom of religion, speech, and press, the right to petition government and innocence until proven guilty
    Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen
  • 14. Gained right to inherit property and divorce
    Did NOT gain right to vote or hold political office
    Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Women) argues women not inferior to men
    Women’s Rights
  • 15. October 5, 1789
    March to Versailles to demand cheap bread
    Insist the royal family move to Paris
    King complies, National Assembly also moved to Paris
    Women’s March to Versailles
  • 16. August 1790
    Passed by National Assembly
    Confiscated lands owned by Catholic Church
    Bishops and priests are to be elected by the people, paid by the state
    Clergy required to take oath to support the state
    Pope Pius VI condemns the act
    Half of active clergy refuse to comply
    Alienated Catholics become opponents to French Revolution
    Civil Constitution of the Clergy
  • 17. Created a constitutional monarchy
    Divided France into 83 departments, each governed by an elected official
    Abolished guilds
    Established use of metric system
    Reforms of the National Assembly
  • 18. The Legislative Assembly (1791-1792)
    The French Revolution and Napoleon 1789-1815
  • 19. Conservatives sat on the right
    Moderates sat in the center
    Radicals (distrusted king) sat on left
    Jacobins – wanted a republic and dispose of monarchy
    Jean-Paul Marat, Georges-Jacques Danton, Maximilien Robespierre
    Girondists wanted to involve France in war to discredit monarchy and spread revolutionary ideals across Europe
    Factions in the Legislative Assembly
  • 20. Leopold II (Austria) and Frederick William II (Prussia) want to see restoration of absolutism in France
    Declaration of Pillnitz (August 1791)
    Legislative Assembly declares war on Austria and Prussia (April 1792) – War of First Coalition
    Summer of 1792, Prussian and Austrian forces were advancing towards Paris
    War with Austria and Prussia
  • 21. Recruits rush to enlist, singing the Marseillaise
    Replenished French forces stop the advance of Prussia/Austria
    Prevent return to monarchy
    Sans-culottes (“without breeches”) take control of Paris Commune, force Legislative Assembly to depose Louis XVI
    Call for election of national convention and democratic form of government
    Sans-culottes commit “September Massacres” to prevent betrayal by royalists
    The 2nd French Revolution
  • 22. The National Convention(1792-1795)
    The French Revolution and Napoleon 1789-1815
  • 23. National Convention abolishes monarchy, declares France a republic
    Girondists favored imprisonment of Louis XVI
    Jacobins favored execution
    National Convention condemns Louis XVI to death
    The resolution, reached after debate, passed by one vote
    Sans-culottes and Jacobins brand Girondists as counter-revolutionaries
    Ousted from National Convention
    The Execution of Louis XVI
  • 24. At first, liberals supported French Revolution
    Moderates (England’s Edwin Burke) warned mob rule would lead to anarchy and military dictatorship
    September Massacres, execution of Louix XVI confirmed these views
    European Reaction
  • 25. Foreign Threats
    England, Spain, Holland join Prussia/Austria coalition
    Spring 1793 First Coalition armies converge on France
    Domestic Threats
    Girondists and royalist Catholics rebel against radical Jacobins
    Foreign and Domestic Threats
  • 26. National Convention establishes Committee of Public Safety to deal with foreign/domestic threats
    Defend France and the Revolution
    Led by Robespierre (Jacobin) and exercises dictatorial power carrying out Reign of Terror
    Robespierre executes Marie Antoinette, political rivals, and enemies deemed “dangerous”
    The Reign of Terror
  • 27. Reign of Terror crushes domestic threats
    Robespierre decrees a levy of military service for all men between 18-40
    Levee en masse creates a national military based on mass participation; first time state completely mobilizes for war
    Motivation for French recruits was patriotism, fighting to protect revolutionary ideals
    Lead by talented officers, not aristocracy
    Defeats First Coalition forces
    France in Arms
  • 28. Committee of Public Safety defends against threats domestic (Reign of Terror) and abroad (First Coalition)
    Robespierre fanatically continues to pursue creation of Republic of Virtue
    National Convention, fearing further chaos, condemns and executes Robespierre
    Robespierre’s death ends radical phase of Revolution
    July was Thermidor on new revolutionary calendar
    The Thermidorian Reaction
  • 29. The Directory(1795-1799)
    The French Revolution and Napoleon 1789-1815
  • 30. Government consists of two house legislature and 5 man executive panel known as The Directory
    Directory was corrupt and unpopular
    Overseen by rich bourgeoisie
    Bourgeoisie Misrule
  • 31. Directory failed to deal with inflation, food shortages, corruption
    November 9, 1799 Napoleon Bonaparte overthrows Directory and seizes control in a coup
    Fall of The Directory
  • 32. Napoleon and the Consulate(1799-1804)
    The French Revolution and Napoleon 1789-1815
  • 33. Napoleon is named first consul as a result of his coup
    Holds all power and made all decisions
    Restores order, stimulates prosperity, and defeats Second Coalition forces
    His rule is heavily endorsed; uses democratic process to dispose of democratic rule
    Enacted policies he felt would transform France into an efficient modern state
    Seems to embody concepts of philosophes’ enlightened despot
    The First Consul
  • 34. Consolidates hundreds of law codes into a uniform legal code
    Still serves as basis for French law
    Protected achievements of French Revolution
    Equality, freedom of religion, protection of property rights
    Increased authority of husbands within families
    Women and children legally dependent on husband/father
    The Napoleonic Code
  • 35. Granted special status to Catholic Church as the popular religion of France
    Pope regained the right to confirm church officials appointed first by French government, depose French bishops, and reopen religious seminaries
    Pope recognizes French (revolutionary) government and accepts loss of property confiscated
    Concordat of 1801
  • 36. Napoleon censors the press
    Suppressed all political opposition
    Loss of individual liberties
    France gained security, stability, and prosperity
    Napoleon declares himself emperor on December 2, 1804
    Surrendering Liberty
  • 37. The Napoleonic Empire(1804-1815)
    The French Revolution and Napoleon 1789-1815
  • 38. 1805-1807 Napoleon defeats Austria, Prussia, and Russia
    Victory at Austerlitz significant military achievement; solidifies Napoleon’s military reputation
    1808 French rule extended from North Sea to Spain and Italy
    English naval victory (Trafalgar) prevented French control of seas and Napoleon’s intended invasion of Great Britain
    “Europe Was At My Feet”
  • 39. Napoleon dissolves the Holy Roman Empire
    Previously independent German states were consolidated into a Confederation of the Rhine
    Controlled by France
    Napoleon abolishes feudalism and grants peasants freedom from duties
    People at first viewed the French as liberators
    Began to view the French as exploiters
    Inadvertently stirs nationalism throughout Europe
    Reorganization of Germany
  • 40. Three major mistakes
    The Continental System
    1806 Napoleon closed all European ports to British ships and goods
    Guerrilla Warfare in Spain
    1808 Napoleon deposed Spain’s Bourbon rulers; installs brother Joseph – angers Spanish
    Spanish guerrilla fighters ambushed French troops
    France lost nearly 300,000 men; wore down French forces
    Invasion of Russia
    Tsar Alexander I refused to abide Continental System
    Napoleon invades Moscow, but Alexander refused to surrender
    Bitter cold, disease, and attacks decimate French forces far from supply lines
    Fall of Napoleon
  • 41. Great Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Austria (Grand Alliance) defeat Napoleon at Battle of Nations October, 1813
    Grand Alliance enters Paris March, 1814
    Napoleon abdicates, exiled to Elba
    March 1815, Napoleon escapes and forms new army
    Grand Alliance defeats Napoleon at Waterloo June, 1815
    Napoleon abdicates a 2nd time; exiled to St. Helena and dies in 1821
    One Last Roar