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The French Revolution“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” A Tale of Two Cites
How did the Enlightenment impact the French Revolution?• Directly challenged traditional -political models - challenged divine right absolutism - traditional Christian beliefs and institutions (Roman Catholic Church and traditional Christian teaching and theology)- deism - social order, status, and privilege - economic models - mercantilism- which was designed to serve the state
The Philosophes Voltaire • Extremely critical of religious intolerance and violence • Challenged traditional Christianity- (deist) • Embraced the moral and ethical teachings of Jesus but rejected the idea of the Incarnation and resurrection • Challenged traditional social mores and social convention • Critical of the rising French middle class (bourgeoisie) • Supported some political reform but favored enlightened absolutism as the best model- did not trust the masses • fearful of Rousseau’s Social Contract- popular sovereignty
John Locke- England – late 1600’s • Government based on natural rights • life, liberty, property • Government ruled with the consent of the people • Popular sovereignty • Government was responsible for protecting the rights and liberties of the people • Locke’s ideas influenced England’s Glorious Revolution and the move toward constitutional monarchy • Second Treatise on Government
Baron d’ Montesquieu - French • Admired the English system of constitutional monarchy • Proposed that the powers of government needed to be separate and balanced • This would provide a protection of liberties • It would also guard against tyranny and despotism • The Spirit of Laws
Jean Jacques Rousseau- Swiss (French) • Believed that good government ruled with the consent of the people • (social contract) • Government ruled by popular sovereignty • General will of the citizens was absolute • The Social Contract • Also favored education and social reform • Associated with early Romantic Movement
Growing Tensions in 18 th Century French Society The Three Estates
The First Estate Clergy and Church LeadershipThe First Estate had strongties to the monarchy.The Church controlled alarge amount of land andcould exact taxes and tithesfrom the people.Religious violence andintolerance had led many inFrance to question theChurch authority andChristianity in general.
The Second EstateThe Aristocracy (nobility) The French nobility maintained degree of power and prestige within French society. They paid no royal taxes They controlled the land and collected local taxes on their properties. The Second Estate had very little political power under the system of absolutism. Many were eager to expand their political power.
The Third EstateCommoners: merchants and business people,craftsmen, professional people- doctors, lawyers,teachers, etc.- working class, farmers, peasants
French MonarchyLouis XVI (Bourbon) and MarieAntoinette (Austrian Habsburg)
Palace at Versailles- symbol of French Absolutism
Problems on the eve of theFrench Revolution DEBT brought on by years of war - France supported the American forces against the British (American Revolution) • The inability to raise sufficient taxes • Peasants were overtaxed and the French nobility were exempt from royal taxes • NO central bank or paper currency to bolster the economy and move it toward recovery • Bankrupt monarchy- tremendous extravagance, excess and spending • Weak leadership and unprogressive policies • Grain and bread shortages (food crisis) • Inflation – rising prices
Social and politicaltensionsA call for change.
There was a call for politicalreform from many within theFrench nobility and the Third Estate•The Third Estate declared itself the new National Assembly- legislative body
Emmanuel Joseph SieyesWhat is the Third Estate?• “What is the Third Estate? Everything. What has it been in the political order to present? Nothing. What does it ask? To become something.”
The National AssemblyThe Oath of the Tennis Court June 1789
The Storming of the Bastille in Paris The Revolution Begins July 14, 1789
The Declaration of the Rights of Man (August 1789)• A French constitution• Based on man’s natural rights (Locke) • It did not address the rights of women• “Men are born free and remain free and equal in rights.”• Major ideas • Liberty, property, security • Resistance to oppression and tyranny • Due process under the law- legal protections • More fair and equitable taxation • Freedom of religion
A New Government was established September 1789• France became a constitutional monarchy• Power rested with the elected Assembly• The Second Estate was abolished• The Assembly seized Church lands • A new currency (paper money) backed up by money gained from church lands was issued as a way of dealing with national debt crisis• Many in France fled the country
Food shortages: Women of Paris marched on Versaillesdemanding that the king address their demands (bread shortages)-entered the palace and threatened to kill the queen (October 1789)-Louis and Marie Antoinette were forced to move to Paris. Theynever returned to Versailles.
The English writer, Edmund Burkespoke out against the Revolution• Reflections on the Revolution - 1790• Challenged the ambitions and goals of the Revolution with its focus on democracy and equality• Believed it would only lead to chaos and tyranny
British political cartoon criticizing the Revolution.French “liberty” compared to British “slavery”
A call for women’s rights• A Vindication of the Rights of Women• Mary Wollstonecraft- English• Called for women’s rights and protections
• “I love man as my fellow; but his scepter, real, or usurped, extends not to me, unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then the submission is to reason, and not to man.”
The king and his family attempted to flee France but were intercepted June 1791
The King and Queen were arrested and returned to Paris
France remained fairly calmuntil the summer of 1792
The Establishment of the French Republic- 1792 “Liberty, equality, brotherhood”
The new government:The Commune - 1792• Ruling political factions struggled for control of the government• The Girondists- moderate political group• The Jacobins- political radicals • Declared a “War against tyranny.” • Sought to create a new popular culture - The monarchy was abolished - No Church - No aristocracy
• Louis XVI was forced to wear the red hat of the Revolution• Louis and his family were imprisoned in Paris- August 1792
Several months later, Marie Antoinette was triedfor treason and executed
Jack and Jill• The roots of the story, or poem, of Jack and Jill is French. Jack and Jill referred to King Louis XVI - Jack -who was beheaded (lost his crown) followed by his Queen Marie Antoinette - Jill - (who came tumbling after). The words and lyrics to the Jack and Jill poem were made more acceptable as a story for children by providing a happy ending!
A new religion was established.The Cult of the Supreme Being
A new national calendar was put in place. Namesof the months were changed to reflect revolutionaryvalues.
France at war with Europe February 1793• France declared war on Britain, Holland, and Spain• Attempted to create a greater sense of national pride and unity within France to draw the people together• The draft was instituted• France created the largest fighting force in Europe• French nationalism and patriotic loyalty grew• A young Napoleon Bonaparte began to make a name for himself as a military commander
The Committee of Public Safety Robespierre 1793
The Committee of PublicSafety: policies• Government controlled and planned the economy• Price controls• Rationing of food• Quality controls• Government control of small manufacturing • (nationalization of small industry)• Control the requisitioning of raw materials
The Reign of Terror Paris and the Provinces 1793-1794• Thousands were accused of being enemies of the Republic and were executed• Attempt by Robespierre to eliminate any opposition to his power and vision for France
The Thermidorian Reaction 1794• Robespierre’s tactics and policies were called into question• A group of political moderates plotted his death• Robespierre attempted to commit suicide but failed• Executed in July 1794
1794-1795• Economic controls collapsed• Revolts and riots broke out• Many in France called for a return to traditional Christianity and the Church
The Directory 1795-1799 A new government• New government was established• Five leaders were elected by electors• War efforts were expanded in Europe• Growing discontent with government policies• Economic hardships continued as economic controls were abolished• Move back toward a more conservative government
The End of the Directory 1799-1804 The Directory failed to restore order and calm to France A consulate of leaders was establishedNapoleon was elected first consul• He began to repeal civil liberties and build a powerful French empire
The Legacy of the French Revolution• Political liberalism continued to grow in Europe and the west.• Nationalism continued to increase throughout Europe and would dominate the 19th and 20th century • Unification movements- Italy and Germany (1800’s) • Two world wars would dominate the 20th century• European society continued its move toward secularism • Religion would become much less important and influential in European life.• The emerging middle class would come to dominate European politics and society