French revolution

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This PPS is about French Revolution - How and why did it happen, what were its outcomes and impacts. I have kept in mind the syllabus of Class IX, NCERT while preparing this PPS, but is useful for others also.

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French revolution

  1. 1. The French Revolution Vinod Kumar Socialscience4u.blogspot.com
  2. 2. Storming of the Bastille
  3. 3. The time was half past three, on the famous date of July 14, 1789. A huge, bloodthirsty mob marched to the Bastille, searching for gun powder and prisoners that had been taken by the unpopular and detested King, Louis XVI. The Bastille had been prepared for over a week, anticipating about a hundred angry subjects and along the thick rock walls of the gargantuan fortress and between the towers were twelve more guns that were capable of launching 24-ounce case shots at any who dared to attack. However, the enraged Paris Commune was too defiant and too livid to submit to the starvation and seeming injustice of their government. But nothing could have prepared the defenders for what they met that now famous day. The Bastille was governed by a man named Marquis de Launay. At three o'clock that afternoon, a huge group of French guards and angry citizens tried to break into the fortress. There were over three hundred people ready to give their lives to put an end to their overtaxing and overbearing government. The Marquis de Launay said he would surrender if his troops were allowed to leave peacefully, but he was simply rebuked. They wanted de Launay on a noose or with his head in a basket. . De Launay sent a note to a mob leader named Hulin, claiming that he had 20,000 pounds of gunpowder and if the besiegers did not accept his offer, he would annihilate the entire fortress, the garrison, and everyone in it! Yet, they still refused. The bridges were finally lowered on de Launay's command, and he and his soldiers were captured by the crowds and dragged through the filthy streets of Paris . The mob paraded through the streets, showing off their captives, and crudely cutting off many heads. Upon learning that the Bastille had been taken, King Louis XVI, who was residing at Versailles, was reported to have asked an informer: "Is this a revolt?" and La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt said, "No, Sire, it is a revolution." How and why did this happen ?
  4. 4. French Society During the Late Eighteenth Century When Louis XVI ascended the throne in 1774, faced a severe financial crisis. The help extended to American colonies in their war of Independence against British had added more then a Billion livres to a debt that had already risen to more than 2 Billion livres. To meet its regular expenses, the state was forced to increase taxes. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
  5. 5. During the Old Regime the French Society was divided into Three Estates First Estate consisted of Clergy, Second Estate consisted of Nobles and Third Estate consisted of the rest of the people. First and Second Estate owned more then 60% of the land, didn’t pay any taxes, enjoyed privileges by birth, nobles enjoyed feudal privileges, Church extracted separate taxes like Tithes. State extracted a direct tax called Taille and a number of indirect taxes. Members of Third Estate made about 90% of the population, taxes were borne by the Third Estate only. Third Estate carrying the burden of First & Second Estate
  6. 6. The Struggle to Survive Population rise led to a rapid increase in demand, production could not keep pace with the demand this led to the rise in prices of the essential items. The gap between poor and rich widened. Years of bad harvest led to Subsistence Crisis. The Spider and the Fly. An anonymous etching
  7. 7. A Growing Middle Class Envisages an End to Privileges Revolts against increasing taxes and food scarcity was left to groups withing the third estate who had become prosperous and had access to education and new ideas. Eighteenth century saw the emergence of middle class (Merchants, Manufacturers, Lawyers or Administrative officials). These were educated and believed that no group should be privilaged by birth, a person’s social position must depend on his merit, envisaged a society based on freedom and equal laws and opportunities for all. In his Two Treatises of Government John Locke sought to refute the doctrine of the divine and absolute right of the monarch. John Locke
  8. 8. In the Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu proposed a division of power within the government between the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. The model of government was put into force in the USA, after the thirteen colonies declared their independence from Britain. Montesquieu
  9. 9. Rousseau carried the idea forward, proposing a form of government based on a social contract between people and their representatives. The ideas of these philosophers were discussed intensively in salons and coffee-houses and spread among people through books and newspapers. These were frequently read aloud in groups for the benefit of those who could not read and write. The news that Louis XVI planned to impose further taxes to be able to meet the expenses of the state generated anger and protest against the system of privileges. Jean Jacques Rousseau
  10. 10. Meeting of the Estates General - To pass the proposal of new taxes the meeting of the Estates General was called on 5 May 1789, last time it was called in 1614. First and Second Estate each sent 300 representatives, Third Estate sent 600 representatives, each estate had one vote. Peasants, artisans and women were denied entry. This time Third Estate demanded each member of the Estate General to have one vote. The king rejected the proposal, Third Estate walked out of the assembly. Resplendent hall in Versailles, Representatives of first, second and third Estates attending the meeting of Estates General The Outbreak of the Revolution
  11. 11. Tennis Court Oath - Members of the Third Estate assembled in the hall of an indoor tennis court and declared themselves a National Assembly and swore not to disperse till they had drafted a constitution for France that would limit the powers of the monarch.
  12. 12. Storming of the Bastille - Bad harvest, price rise, exploitation forced people to go against the government. On 14 July, the agitated crowd stormed and destroyed the Bastille. In the countryside peasants attacked chateaus, looted hoarded grain and burnt down documents containing record of manorial dues. Louis XVI finally accorded recognition to the National assembly. On the night of 4 August 1789, the Assembly passed a decree abolishing the feudal system of obligations and taxes, assets worth 2 billion livers were acquired. The spread of the Great Fear. The picture shows how bands of peasants spread and attacked the rich farmers.
  13. 13. France becomes a Constitutional Monarchy National assembly completed the draft of the constitution in 1791, it made France a Constitutional monarchy. Constitution of 1791 vested the power to make laws in the National Assembly, which was indirectly elected. Passive Citizens - Men above 25 years of age, paid taxes equal to at least 3 days of a labourer’s wage. Remaining men and all women were called as passive citizens. The Political system under the Constitution of 1791
  14. 14. Constitution began with a Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. Rights such as the right of life, freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, equality before law, were established as ‘natural and inalienable’ rights, that is they belonged to each human being by birth and could not be taken away. It was the duty of the state to protect each citizen’s natural rights. Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
  15. 15. Reading political symbols The broken chain : Chains were used to fetter slaves. A broken chain stands for the act of becoming free. The bundle of rods or fasces : One rod can be easily broken, but not an entire bundle. Strength lies in unity. The eye within a triangle radiating light : The all- seeing eye stands for knowledge. The rays of the sun will drive away the clouds of ignorance. Sceptre : Symbol of royal power. Snake biting its tail to form a ring : Symbol of Eternity. A ring has neither beginning nor end.
  16. 16. Red Phrygian cap : Cap worn by a slave upon becoming free. Blue-white-red : The national colours of France. The winged woman : Personification of the law. The Law Tablet : The law is the same for all, and all are equal before it.
  17. 17. Roget de L’Isle chanting - Marseillaise France Abolishes Monarchy and Becomes a Republic Although Louis XVI had signed the Constitution, he entered into secret negotiations with the king of Prussia. The National Assembly voted in April 1792 to declare war against Prussia and Austria. People saw this as a war of the people against kings and aristocracies all over Europe. Among the patrootic songs they sang was the Marseillaise, composed by the poet Roget de L’Isle. The Marseillaise is now the national anthem of France.
  18. 18. Jacobins - A political club which got its name from the convent of St.Jacob in Paris. Members belonged mainly to the less prosperous sections of the society. Their leader was Maximilian Robespierre. In addition to the red cap that symbolised libert, they wore long striped trousers similar to those worn by dock workers. On August 10, 1792 Jacobins attacked the Place of the Tuileries and held the King as hostage. Elections were held. Newly elected assembly was called the Convention. On September 1792 it abolished the monarchy and declared France Republic.On January 1793 Louis XVI was executed publicly on the charge of Treason. A sans – culottes couple
  19. 19. The summer of 1792 the Jacobins planned an insurrection of a age number of Parisians who were angered by the short supplies and high prices of food. On the morning of August 10 they stormed the Place of the Tuileries, Later the Assembly voted imprison the royal family. Elections were held. From now all men of 21 years and above, regardless of wealth, got the right vote. The newly elected assembly was called the Convention. On 21 September 1792 it abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic. Palace of the Tuileries
  20. 20. Louis XVI was sentenced to death by a court on the charge of treason. On 21 January 1793 he was executed publicly at the Place de la Concorde. The queen Marie Antoinette met with the same fate shortly after. Louis XVI executed publicly at the Place de la Concorde
  21. 21. The period in between 1793-94 is referred as the “Reign of Terror”. During this period Robespierre, who was the head of the government of France followed a policy of severe control and punishment. Ex-nobles and clergy, even members of his own party who did not agree with his methods were arrested, imprisoned and then guillotined. France witnessed the guillotine of thousands of nobles and innocent men who supported monarchy. Robespierre issued laws placing a maximum ceiling on prices. Churches were shut down. Finally Robespierre was guillotined in July 1794. The Reign of Terror : Robespierre
  22. 22. A Directory Rules France : The reign of terror ended in 1794. The Jacobin government fell, and a new constitution was prepared by an elected convention providing for a republican form a government with a legislature and an executive body called the Directory. Directory was an executive made up of five members. Directors often clashed with the legislative councils, who then sought to dismiss them. The political instability of the Directory paved the way for the rise of a military dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon Bonaparte
  23. 23. Condition of women in Third Estate in France was never good. They had to work for a living, did not have access to education or job training, had to take care of their families, their wages were lower than those of men. The Society of Revolutionary and Republican Women demanded that women enjoy the same political rights as men, demanded the right to vote, to be elected to the Assembly and to hold political office. Did Women have a Revolution ? Parisian women on their way to Versailles
  24. 24. Revolutionary government did provided relaxation to women (creation of state schools, compulsory schooling, divorce could be applied for by both women and men, training for jobs etc.) During the Reign of Terror, the new government issued laws ordering closure of women’s clubs and banning their political activities. Women’s movements for voting rights and equal wages continued through the next two hundred years, finally in 1946 women in France won the right to vote. Female allegory of liberty
  25. 25. Slave trade began in the seventeenth century. Slaves from Africa were brought, and sold to the plantation owners of Caribbean and America. Port cities like Bordeaux and Nantes owed their economic prosperity to the flourishing slave trade. The Convention in 1794 legislated to free all slaves from the French overseas possessions. Napoleon reintroduced slavery, was finally abolished in French colonies in 1848. The emancipation of slaves : The tricolour banner on top carries the slogan : The right of man’. The inscription below reads : ‘The freedom of the unfree’. A French woman prepares to ‘civilise’ the African and American Indian slaves by giving them European clothes to wear. The Abolition of Slavery
  26. 26. The Revolution and Everyday Life One important law that come into effect soon after the storming of the Bastille in the summer of 1789 was the abolition of censorship. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen proclaimed freedom of speech and expression to be a natural right. The patriotic fat-reducing press to make the idea of justice tangible
  27. 27. Newspapers, pamphlets, books and printed pictures flooded the towns of France form where they traveled rapidly into the countryside. They all described and discussed the events and changes taking place in France. Freedom of the press also meant that opposing views of event could be expressed. Plays, songs and festive processions attracted large numbers of people This was one way they could grasp and identify with ideas such as liberty or justice that political philosophers wrote about at length in texts which only a handful of educated people could read. Marat addressing the people.
  28. 28. In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of France. He set out to conquer neighboring European countries, dispossessing dynasties and creating kingdoms where he placed members of his family. Napoleon saw his role as a modernizer of Europe. He introduced many laws such as the protection of private property and a uniform system of weights and measures provided by the decimal system. Initially, many as 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. Napoleon crossing the Alps.
  29. 29. Legacy of French Revolution The ideas of equality (one person-one vote), freedom from bondage into their movements to create a sovereign nation state. In liberty, sovereignty and democratic rights the throughout the world during the nineteenth century, where feudal systems were world. Colonized peoples reworked the ideas of India, Tipu Sultan and spread from France to the rest of Europe also abolished. The Divine rights of Kings was opposed for the first time in France only, later on this opposition spread throughout Rammohan Roy are two examples of individuals who responded to the ideas coming from revolutionary France. The UN charter of Human Rights also embodies the principles of the Revolution as laid down in the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizens.
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