Stages of the French Revolution
• Aristocratic Revolt -1789
• From The States General until the Fall of the Bastille (14th
• The National Constituent Assembly(1789-1791)
• The Constitutional Monarchy (1791-1792)
• The radical Stage:
• The Girondin Convention(1792-1793)
• The Jacobin Convention (1793-1795)
• The Directory (1795-1799)
Causes of the French Revolution-
• Enlightenment ideas
• Economic crisis: bad harvest, rising bread prices…because of
• Financial crisis: the bankrupt of administration. The third
estate was inable to pay more taxes and the only exit was
that the privileged estates would pay, but the refused to do it,
so the king convoked the Estates General in order to change
the taxation system
• Influence of American Revolution. The involvement of France
in the American war of Independence caused a new financial
• In 1789, on May, the Estates
General met. The third Estate ,
most of them bourgeois, asked to
change the voting system from
the vote for each Estate to the
vote for each person. The other
Estates didn´t agree and the
representatives of the third
Estate gave themselves the name
of National Assembly, which
represented the people of
France. Some of the nobles and
many clergy joined with them.
The beginning (1788-1789)
• When the king shut them from
Versailles, they took the Tennis
Court Oath on June 20, pledging
themselves not to separate until
they had give France a
constitution. The Revolution had
• On July 14, the Royal prison of
Bastille was stormed by people,
because they thought that the
king wanted to detent the
Assembly.This date was
considered the real start of the
The National Constituent Assembly
• While the representatives wrote
the Constitution, on August 26
The Declaration of the Rights of
Man and Citizen was approved,
which signalled the end of the
Ancien Régime. It was the
moment in which the Estates
disappeared for ever.
• The economic crisis led to a
radicalitation of the political
atmosphere. In October 1791,
Louis moved from Versailles to
Paris to approved the First
Constitution of France.
Constitutional Monarchy (1792-
• After Louis XVI approved the
Constitution, he dedicated all of
his interest in deny all the new
laws the new Assembly made.
• Austria and Prussia declared the
war on France in 1792.
Meanwhile the king attempted to
flee, unsuccessfully from Paris to
Varennes in June 1791, but he
was captured by the
revolutionaries. The Austro-
prussians threatened the French
if they touch the kings.
• Now , the sansculottes, that
means, the most poor and radical
people, attacked the Tulleiries
Palace, where the kings lived and
that was the end of the
Monarchy in France.
• Now , the two republican political
parties, the Girondins, moderate
republicans, and the Jacobins,
more radical and supported by
sansculottes and leaded by
Robespierre, took the political.
The Girondin Convention (1792-
• The Legislative Assembly was
replaced by a more radical one
called the National Convention.
The Republic was proclaimed due
to the royal attitude. Louis XVI
was executed on January 1793.
• War was declared on Great
Britain and France became
involved in wars with several
countries and against the
• The Committee of Public Safety
was instituted in order to judge
the counter revolutionaries
The Jacobin Convention : The
• The new Convention approved a
Constitution, never applied. They
created a great Army and they
stopped the enemies.
Robespierre established a
maximum for prices in some basic
articles like bread.
• With the jacobins and
Robespierre all political enemies
were exterminated . This period
was called The Reign of Terror. It
was a dictatorship. But a coup d
´etat ended with the Terror and
the moderates took control after
The Directory (1795-1799)
• The Convention was replaced in 1795 by the Directory, a
moderate republican government. They made another
Constitution, more moderate, and tried to bring peace. They
won against Allied States, thanks to a brilliant general called
• In 1799 , after a coup d´etat by Napoleon, the Directory was
abolished and the power given to three consules , one of
them Napoleon, because the Directory didn´t satisfied
• Try to put the following events in the right date: Waterloo, First
Constitution, Fall of Bastille, War of Independence in Spain, Reign of
Terror, Flight to Varennes, Abolition of Feudal System, First Republic,
declaration of Rights of Men and Citizen, the Directory, Coup d´etat of
Napoleon, Napoleon proclaimed himself as Emperor.
14 July 4 August 26 August June October September 1793 1795 1799 1804 1808 1815
1789 1789 1791 1792 1794
• Napoleon´s Age has two
• The consulate 1799-
• The Empire:
• 1815 –Empire of the
Napoleon the Consulate
• After the coup d´etat
France was ruled by a
Consulate of 3 men leaded
by Napoleon. He was
supported by the high
• He introduced several
revolutionaries ideas in his
reforms: he did the Civil
Code, he improved
education and he
created the National
Bank of France.
Napoleon: The Empire
• Napoleon declared himself Emperor of the French in 1804.
He concentrated the authority in his own person and he
dreamt of creating a European Empire. He invaded some
states in Europe and he wanted to spread, as an Enlightened
Despot, the liberal ideas through the whole Europe.
• Some states were invaded easely but , others , like Spain or
Russia, offered a hard resistence.
• Their enemies formed a Coalition to fight against him.
• After his first defeat he was send to Elba but he returned
from exile with the help of his unconditionals: this period
was called The Hundred Days ´
Napoleon : the end
• Napoleon was finally
defeated in the battle of
Waterloo, 1815 (Belgium)
by a league of Absolutists
countries (Austria, Russia,
Prussia and Great Britain).
Considered by his enemies
as a danger, Napoleon was
sent to exile in St Helena´s
Island , in the middle of the
THE ORGANISATION OF EUROPE
AFTER NAPOLEON (1815-1830)
• After Napoleon there was no turning back
• the Feudalism was dying
• In France and some other European countries
the church was losing power.
• The concept of State became linked to the
concept of nation
• The bourgeoisie became the most powerful
Congress of Vienna and
• The countries that had fought against Napoleon tried to turn back to the
The Absolutist monarchs met at the Vienna of Congress: Austria, Russia,
Prussia, Great Britain. They decided to:
- Return the frontiers of France in 1789
- Restore legitimate monarchs to every European country
- Try to create a balance of power to avoid another revolution
- Agree to intervene in a conflict in any state if the monarch was in danger.
- Austria, Prussia and Russia founded the Holly Alliance, a coalition to instill
the Christian values in European political life, but in practice, chanceller
Metternich from Austria, made it a bastion against revolution. The
monarchs of these countries used this in order to prevent revolutionary
influence. Later, the Alliance included United Kingdom and France.
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