The French Revolution (1789)*Important person, the time, difficult or important word / sentence (marked)1. Causes of the RevolutionSocial Structure of France: The First Estate The Second Estate The Third Estate Identity Clergy Nobles Commoners Percentage 2% 98% of the total population Political They held most of the important Serve in the army and did privileges government posts, and did not have all laboring work. to pay taxes or serve in the army. Economic They did not have to pay taxes. They had no privileges but privileges had to pay heavy taxes.According to the above table, we can see some people did not have to pay taxes andenjoy many privileges.During the 18th century, there were serious problems in France. As these problemswent unsolved, and with spread of Enlightenment ideas, the French Revolution brokeout in 1789.Important person: Louis XVI (路易十六) The French Revolution broke out during his reign (統治). He is indecisive (優柔寡斷) and incompetent (無能).
Political problemsBy the mid 18th century, there were many problems in the French society andeconomy. When Louis XVI (who reigned from 1774-92) became king, his poor rulemade the country’s problems worse. The majority (多數) of French people werediscontented with his rule.Economic problemsDuring the 1770s, the French government faced economic crisis:1. Foreign wars (對外的戰爭): The two former kings, Louis XIV and Louis XV, had fought many wars and spent a lot of money on them.2. Court expenditure (宮廷支出): Louis XVI court lived luxuriously (奢侈地). The court expenditure was very high.3. Serious corruption (嚴重的貪污問題): Tax officials (稅務人員) were corrupt and reduced the income of the country.4. Crop failures (農作物失敗): When France was hit by many natural disasters (自 然災害) in the 1780s, tax income was greatly reduced as many peasants (農夫) had no income to pay tax.Social problemsAlthough feudalism (封建制度) had disappeared in Europe by the 18th century,French society still retained some features of feudalism. At that time, France was stilldivided into three estates. The French king still wanted to keep privileges for the FirstEstate (the clergy) and the Second Estate (the nobles) in return for their loyalty (忠誠). Because of this, the Third Estate had to bear (支持) the burden (負擔) of alltaxes.The Third Estate demanded (要求) an equal society. But the king did not agree, andeven increased taxes on them to solve the economic problems of the country. Thisangered the masses (平民).Influence of the Enlightenment 啟蒙運動的影響France was one of the birthplaces of the Enlightenment, and produced such thinkersas Voltaire, Montesquieu and Rousseau. The ideas they encouraged such as equalityand the right to rebel (造反) were popular among the middle classes. This helpedbring about the Revolution.
Impact of the American Revolution 美國革命的影響The success of the American Revolution made the French more supportive ofEnlightenment ideas. Moreover, French soldiers returned home full of ideas ofequality (平等) and liberty (自由). These ideas were spread among the middleclasses in France, and made them more determined(決心) to fight for freedom andequality.2. Outbreak of the RevolutionCalling of the Estates-General (三級議會) (May 1789)To solve the economic crisis (危機) , Louis XVI proposed (建議) that the nobility (theSecond Estate) pay tax, but the nobility refused (拒絕). Louis XVI was forced (強迫)to call the Estates-General (三級議會) to discuss the tax system. The three estates allsent representatives to the meeting. They differed on the voting system. The Firstand Second Estates demanded one vote per estate, while the Third Estatedemanded one vote per person. In the end, the Third Estate withdrew (撤離) fromthe Estates-General. They set up the National Assembly (國民議會) and continuedto press for reforms (改革).Tennis Court Oath (網球場宣言) (June 20, 1789)On June 20, 1789, to stop the National Assembly from taking actions against him,Louis XVI ordered it to be closed. The Third Estate met in a nearby tennis court. Itsmembers swore (發誓) that they would not give up until the King set up aconstitution. This became the Tennis Court Oath (網球場宣言).Outbreak of the Revolution (July 1789)After the Tennis Court Oath was issued (發佈), cities, including Paris (巴黎) becamequite unstable (不穩固). Louis XVI stationed troops (駐軍) in Paris, and this furtherangered the masses (平民). On July 12, 1789, Louis XVI dismissed (遣散) an ableminister (一個有能力的外交使節), showing that he was determined not to reform.The masses then began to attack the Bastille (巴斯底監獄), a symbol of tyranny (暴政). Two days later, it fell. Its fall on July 14 marked the beginning of the FrenchRevolution.
Declaration of the Rights of Man (人權宣言, August 1789)Soon after the Revolution started, the National Assembly ruled over France. Itended the special rights of the first two estates. It proclaimed (宣佈) the Declarationof the Rights of Man (人權宣言) in August 1789. The Declaration stated that:1. all people were born free and equal;2. all people have freedom of speech (言論自由), the press (出版自由), religion (宗教自由), and so on, sand the right to work in government;3. the government was responsible for protecting these rights of the people. The Declaration of the Rights of Man, proclaimed on August 26, 1789After the outbreak of the French Revolution, France became unstable. Although thepeople overthrew the monarchy (帝制) and set up a republic, they had to bear thesufferings of war and the Reign of Terror ………..
After the outbreak of the French Revolution, Louis XVI tried to suppress theRevolution, but his efforts failed.a) Escape of Louis XVI (1791) Louis XVI did not accept the Declaration of the Rights of Man. After he failed to get help from foreign countries, he tried to flee (逃亡) with his family. They were found by the revolutionaries(革命者) and taken back to Paris. (Revolutionaries thought Louis XVI is treason 叛國?)b) The Revolutionary Wars 法國大革命戰爭 (1792-1802) After the outbreak of the French Revolution, other European countries(歐洲國家) such as Austria (奧地利) and Prussia (普魯士) feared the Revolution would affect them. They formed a coalition (聯盟) against France and started the Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802).c) First French Republic 法蘭西第一共和 (1792-1804) In September 1792, the French revolutionaries ended the monarchy (帝制) and set up a republic (共和國). This became known as the First French Republic. Louis XVI was put to death on the guillotine (斷頭台) in January 1793. Important person: Robespierre (羅伯斯比爾), one of the Jacobin (雅各賓) leaders.d) Reign of Terror 恐佈時代 (1793-94) After Louis XVI’s death, radical (激進的) revolutionaries formed the Jacobin Party (雅各賓黨) and took control of the government. Under its rule, France was able to defeat (打敗) its external enemies (外部敵人). However, it ruled France as a police state. As many as 40,000 people were executed (執行) from 1793-94. Historians called this period the Reign of Terror(恐佈時代). This period ended with the execution of the radical leader named Robespierre in July 1794.
Important person: Napoleon (拿破崙) serving in the army.e) The Directory (督政委員會) (1795-99) In 1798, moderate (溫和的) leaders set up the Directory, formed by five people, to rule France. During the rule of the Directory (1795-99), a young general named Napoleon was sent to lead the army against (針對) external and internal enemies (外部與內部的敵人) of France. This paved (鋪路) the way for him to seize (奪取) power in the future.