The French Revolution
August 23 1754 – January 21 1793.
Was the king of France from 1774 – 1791.
He was from the bourbon dynasty .
On 10 August 1792, he was tried by the National
Convention and executed by guillotine on 21 January
1793. He was the only king of France to be executed.
Married to Marie antoinette , the austrian princess.
The guillotine is a machine
used to kill (behead)
people (by chopping
off their heads)
as death penalty.
The treasury was empty as:
1)long years of war had drained the financial resources
2)They helped America gain independence from Britain.
The state was forced to increase the taxes to maintain
the army etc.
Role of the middle class
The people of the middle class were educated .
They wrote many books which inspired the people to
revolt against the unfair rule . Thus they were also
known as philosophers .
The most important philosophers are Voltaire , Rousseau
, Montesquieu , John locke .
man’s destiny is
in his own
hands and not
in the hands of
Rousseau believed that
there should be social
and the people.
that there should be
a division of power in
and judiciary .
He wrote treatise
of the government in
which he questioned
the divine and absolute
right of the monarch
What happened in the estate
general assembly .
Louis XVI wanted to increase the taxes thus they needed
to vote . But none of the estates wanted to increase the
taxes .so he decided each of the estates should meet
seperately so that the votes of the first two estates
would outnumber the vote of the third estate . But the
third estate refused to meet seperately .
Tennis court oath
On 20th june -> the representatives of the third estate
went to and old tennis court and declared themselves as
national assembly . They drafted a constitution , passed
many laws etc.
Feudal system abolished
Tithe and taille abolished
Church property confisticated
Powers of the monarch are limited
Powers are seperated into legislature , executive and the
gave themselves the power to make laws .
Only men above 25 years who pa tax can vote.
Virtuals of the french revolution
Declaration of rights of man
Right to life
Freedom of speech
Freedom of opinion
Equality before law
During the time of the national assembly many political
clubs came up .
The most prominent among them was Jacobins whose
leader was Maxmilian Robespierre .
Rule of the Jacobins (Reign Of
1792- Jacobins protested against the king & with the
help of some other people attack the palace .
1793- Louis XVI was sentence to death .
The period from 1793-1794 is called the reign of terror .
Robespierre followed a policy of severe punishment . All his
enemies , including people from his own party who did not
agree with him were executed .
Robespierre pursued his policies so relentlessly that even
his supporters began to demand moderation . Finally , he
was convicted by a court in July 1794 , arrested and on the
next day sent to the guillotine .
The fall of the Jacobin government allowed the
wealthier middle classes to seize power .
A new constitution was introduced .
It provided for two elected legislative councils. These
then appointed a directory , an executive made up of
five members . This was a safeguard so that all powers
are not given to one person .
However , the directory often clashed with the
legislature , who did not listen to them .
The political instability of the directory paved the way for
the rise of a military dictator , Napolean Bonaparte
From the very beginning women were active participants
in the events which brought about so many important
changes in French society.
The most prominent women’s club was the society of
revolutionary and republican women .
Most women did not have access to education or job
training. Only daughters of nobles or wealthier members
of the third estate could study at a convent, after which
their families arranged a marriage for them .
Women were disappointed that the Constitution of 1791
reduced them to passive citizens. They demanded the
right to vote, to be elected to the Assembly and to hold
political office. Only then, they felt, would their interests
be represented in the new government.
the revolutionary government did introduce laws that
helped improve the lives of women. Together with the
creation of state schools, schooling was made
compulsory for all girls. Their fathers could no longer
force them into marriage against their will. Marriage was
made into a contract entered into freely and registered
under civil law. Divorce was made legal, and could be
applied for by both women and men. Women could now
train for jobs, could become artists or run small
In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor
of France. He set out to conquer neighbouring European
countries, dispossessing dynasties and creating
kingdoms where he placed members of his family.
Napoleon saw his role as a moderniser of Europe.
Initially, many saw Napoleon as a liberator who would
bring freedom for the people. But soon the Napoleonic
armies came to be viewed everywhere as an invading
force. He was finally defeated at Waterloo in 1815.
Impact of french revolution on
The French Revolution, though it seemed a failure in
1799 and appeared nullified by 1815, had far-reaching
results. In France the landowning classes emerged as
the dominant power. The Revolution unified France and
enhanced the power of the national state. The
Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars tore down the
ancient structure of Europe.