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The French Revolution - AS Level History

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The French Revolution:
- The causes of the revolution
- Maximilien Robespierre and the Reign of terror
- Fall of the Jacobins
- Rise of the Directory
- Napoleon Bonaparte

Published in: Education
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The French Revolution - AS Level History

  1. 1. AS Level 1780 - 1917 HISTORY
  2. 2. 1789 - 1814 1. THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND NAPOLEON BONAPARTE
  3. 3. Introduction • The French Revolution started I 1789… and ended at the ascent of Napoleon: 1795 • The citizens of France took down the system of absolute monarchy/ feudal system – replacing it with ‘democracy’ • Based on the growing idea of enlightenment in the 18th Century • Showed the world the power of the people’s will and how far that could go
  4. 4. Long-term causes of the French Revolution • The feudal system - taxation • The unfair government structure • The monarchs • The aristocrats and the clergy • The financial crises – taxation • The growth of ideas associated with Enlightenment
  5. 5. France, a bankrupted nation • Massive spending on supporting the American Revolution • Extravagant spending of King Louis XVI + his father, grandfather • The Royal coffer was being depleted – responded by heavy taxation • For 20 years, the cereal harvest had been poor – drought – cattle diseases… prices of bread skyrocketed • Unrest among the peasants and the urban poor • Felt that the heavy taxation was unfair – riots and looting were popping up around the nation
  6. 6. The Monarchs – Huge problems? • King Louis the 14th – The Sun King (1638 - 1715) Ruled France during the classical age – longest ruler Known for aggressive Foreign Policy Developed public Hostility (Invaded Spanish Netherland, Franco- Dutch War, France vs. The Grand Alliance)
  7. 7. The Monarchs – Huge problems? • King Louis the 15th (1715 - 1774) • Known for starting the decline of royal authority • Became king at the age of 5 – during the 7 Years war- lost to the British almost all of France's colonies • Stubborn but not serious nor skilled in his political works • Contributed to France’s worsening foreign relation • Overspending • Died a hated monarch
  8. 8. The Monarchs – Huge problems? • King Louis the 16th (1774 - 1793) • Crowned at the age of 16 – professed that he was not ready • A family man – a poor leader – easily influenced by the aristocrats and his family • Wife: Marie Antoinette – a hated figure in France
  9. 9. Problems with the Monarch: • With King Louis the 14th setting the standard for absolute monarchy - France was in an iron grip – controlled by the upper classes while the lower classes oppressed. This top-heavy structure was dangerous, considering the failing foreign policy and the constant war was damaging the country’s finance. • With King Louis the 14th setting the bar very high, King Louis the 15th dropped the balls on many level – leading France into a defeat in the 7 years war. Once again, spending too much and slowly depleting the royal coffers. Worst of all, not maintaining the royal authority. • By King Louis the 16th – the royalty was an almost bankrupt institution. One that was very much despised by the population – the arrival of Marie Antoinette didn’t help. Louis the 16th also severely lacked leadership skill – wasn’t able to stand up against the nobles.
  10. 10. Origin: the Ancien Regime • French for “Old Order” • Everyone was a subject to the king • Rights and status flowed from the social institutions: The First, Second and the Third estate First Estate: The Clergy – received taxation privileges Second Estate: The Nobility – received taxation privileges Third estate: Everyone Else
  11. 11. More about the 3 estates: • http://www.slideshare.net/maggiesalgado/ancien-rgime-society-ii
  12. 12. Origin: The enlightenment • AKA. The age of reason. • Advocates reason as a means to building the p=social structure (aesthetic, socio-economic, ethics, government, religion) • It challenged religion (ie. The one authority people truly respected in France) • It was the driving for the of the middle class or the Bourgeois • The Political thought of John Locke – the idea of democracy and constitution • http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Age_of_Enlightenme nt#Political_thought
  13. 13. How did the Revolution started: Pt. 1 – The Estates General • Charles Alexandre de Calonne proposed a financial reform • Called for a meeting of the three estates – first since 1614 • Allowing each estate to produce grievances to the king • The Third estates represented 98% of the population and felt they should be given more shares of votes – eg. By head not by status • The other 2 estates were reluctant – they had privilege Veto power • In the meeting, hostile debates about the vote broke out – luis the 16th couldn’t take control • The other 2 estates also expressed that they would not be willing to give up their taxation privilege
  14. 14. The Estates General • Some agreements were met – the need for the constitution – the lifting of the internal trade barriers – liberty of press • However: Disagreements were plentiful. - Taxation privileges - Voting problems • Problem: King Louis failed to present himself as a leader – only weakly supporting the first 2 estates.
  15. 15. The Tennis Court Oath • The third estate met up at a tennis court in Versailles after King Louis locked their old meeting place – and overturned their decisions, together with some liberal nobles/ clergy • Formed the National Assembly – Count Mirabeaus • They vowed not to disperse until a constitutional reform had been reached.
  16. 16. The Storming of the Bastille • The event at the Tennis Court consumed the nation • Created enthusiasm and support • Also inducing fear • A newspaper created by Jean Paul Marat began stirring fear and ideas of revolution among the people – noted that the king might try to break up the assembly • July the 14th – The Storming of the Bastille • Started a wave of revolution stretching to the countryside – rioting, looting grew – tax collectors, landlords, elite had to flee • On August 4 – National Constituent Assembly abolished Feudalism • Rise of the radical Sans Cullotes
  17. 17. The August Decrees • Rights for Peasants and Farmers • No more unpaid work – repairing roads • No more taxing during harvest season • No more compulsory services • No more of the church collecting money from the people
  18. 18. The Declaration of the Rights of Man • Replacing the Ancien regime with a system of equality, freedom of speech, sovereignty and representative government • Liberty/ Security to their properties • Imprisonment without trial banned • Taxation based upon people’s wealth • No individual group or person can make decisions that affect the people • The king and the Queen was practically forced to return to Paris – and ‘imprisoned’ there – had to formally accept the reforms
  19. 19. The Counter Revolutionaries • The King/ the Royal Family • The High Nobility/ Clergy • The Foreign power – fear that the same may happen in their countries eg. Austria • The lower classes who supported the Catholic church • They couldn’t regain control: different aims between the moderate and the radical – one may support the ancien regime, the other may only feel that the current revolution was out of hand • Looked to the king for leadership – found none.
  20. 20. The problems among the revolutionaries • Different aims between the different classes
  21. 21. 1790 – The Civil Constitution • At first the opposition to the church limited to abolishment of taxes rights • The Civil Constitutions arose 1. Bishops/ Archbishops are to be appointed through election, not by the pope 2. Reduction of bishoprics – districts controlled by the bishops 3. Abolish some of the church’s offices 4. Clergy roles limited to religion 5. Clergy to be paid by the church 6. Clergy to sign an oath of loyalty to the constitution • THIS WAS WAR FOR THE POPE • Divided the French People
  22. 22. The Development of until 1791 – How did it get so violent? • Although before 1789 – things were going well – The August Decrees – practical development that would’ve satisfied many of the population • 1790 – The Civil Constitution was passed – A violent gestures against the church – the condemnation from the pope led to violent reaction from the peasants • 1791 – The Flight to Verannes – The was now deemed not trustworthy.
  23. 23. 1791 – 1799: Rise of the Radicals • 1791: Popular pressure forced the National Assembly to set up an election which led to the establishment of the National Convention • The National Convention was dominated by the Jacobins – a radical group led by Maximilien Robespierre
  24. 24. The problems in France at the time • Economic Problems • War with other nations • Rise of the Radicals – the political issues and the start of the Reign of Terror
  25. 25. Economic issues • Economic problems were not solved • Farmers hoarding their grains • People lost faith in the currency – Assignants became worthless • Middle class became the new nobility – they could buy land seized from the nobles • Lack of laws/ administrative offices – no taxes could be collected • The war was very expensive • The revolutionaries were still fighting – between the moderates and the radicals
  26. 26. War/ violence • At the time: Austria and Prussia were very much against the revolution – a lot of the émigrés had been drumming up supports in these countries • In 1792 – The National Assembly declared war against Austria • The Duke of Brunswick of Austrian and Prussian force together with Britain and Holland formed an anti-revolutionary alliance. • Cases 0v violent arrests made by the Jacobins against the accused Counter-revolutionaries • Count Carnot introduced conscriptions which increased the SIZE OF THE French army from 650000 to 1.5 million allowing them to win against Prussia in 1792 • However prussia put up a great fight and cases of generals committing treasons – led to the weakening of the beliefs in the government.
  27. 27. Rise of the Radical • In 1791, the National Convention was first replaced by the Legislative Assembly – allowing the radicals, the Jacobins to start purging Paris • However the sans-Culottes maintained mob controls in other provinces • The Girondins and the Jacobins • Girondins from the South which meant they were in the minority of the provinces trying to gain control (especially with Parisians Sans Culottes controlling the provinces) – Jacobins from Paris. • Both of them hated the church and wanted to end upper class privilege • However Girondins wanted negotiation with the kings – led to the decline in their popularity and the subsequent lost of power
  28. 28. Problems faced by the Jacobins • Disagreements about what to do with Louis XVI At the end – the king was executed with Marie Antoinette • Economic problems • The War • Threats from Royalist sympathizers
  29. 29. How important was the execution of the king • Robespierre finally assumed total control • A statement of purpose – establishment of the republic • Full democracy • A chance to tried the king and accused of him of the crimes he committed • A destruction of a symbol Changing the months Changing the name of the nation
  30. 30. Robespierre's attack against the church • Introduction of the Republic of Virtue • “Virtue without which terror is fatal; terror without which virtue is powerless” • Citizens should help each other as duties to be performed – loyal to democracy • The cult of the Supreme Being to replace Christianity • Portraying himself as a god • Churches replaced by Temples of Reason • The calendar was replaced • TURNED CHRISTIANS AGANST THE CONVENTION
  31. 31. Law of Maximum • A planned economy for France at the time • Fixed prices for bread • Rationing introduces • Assignants • Production of Arms/ Ammunition • Nationalizes many of the small businesses – Did this go against the idea of the Declarations of the Rights of Man • Practical use of Socialism?
  32. 32. Fear of the Enemy of the State • The assassination of Marat • War abroad • The revolutionary attempts of the remaining nobles • Revolt from the peasant – Jacques Hebert • The Jacobins were breaking apart - Danton
  33. 33. Robespierre's’ Reign of Terror – Law of suspects • The committee of Public Safety – had extensive power over the law, the military, the police – dominated by radical Jacobins • Revolutionary Tribunal • The Massacre of the 1000 prisoners • By 1793 – they were facing many problems – fall of Toulon • A response of a maniac: The Law of Suspects – attempting to tighten the grip over people – ppl could be arrested for not actively supporting the regime – no fair trail • Sometime reasons were bullshit • Just to impress authority
  34. 34. Terror as a weapon • Execution done in public • Areas where there maybe revolt against the National Convention • Directed to any classes – including the Jacobins • The Law of Suspect meant anyone could be taken down
  35. 35. The Fall of Robespierre • By 1794, many felt this was the right time to set things right • Robespierre’s cult and Law of Suspect were too far • The Jacobins were turning against him • When he tried to purge the convention • Thermidorian Reaction • He was stripped of his power
  36. 36. FINAL PART: the Directory • A new constitution was drawn up – The Directory • The Directory consisted of the 2 councils • The Council of 500 and The Council of Ancients • 500: Propose the law • Ancient: Accept or reject the laws • 5 Directors controlling the directory
  37. 37. The 5 Directors • The Constitution of 1795 • More conservative • They are selected by the ancients as proposed by the Council of 500 • They are to appoint ministers, tax collectors, army leaders • A lot of these were middle class - 2/3 of these had to serve in national Convention before • Annual Election • They had become the new NOBLES • Trying to retain their advantages and influences
  38. 38. Problems with the Directory • Very dependent on the military • Revolt from the aristocrats • Revolt from the returning clergy as the church was revived • Return of the younger brother of Louis • Representative only of the middle class • The San-Culottes would oppose them – eg. The Babeuf plot – 1796 – was well prepared although overturned by police apies • Government was still bankrupted • Corruption was still happening • The more progressive members of the directory were kept out • Socialism rising – the conspiracy of equals • The military success was an important part in keeping the Directory in place
  39. 39. The Directory’s Dependence on the military • Since the conscript ion 1793 – The French army grew significantly • Had been successful in its defensive work against Austria and Prussia • Began invading / annexing other nations • Seeing this as a way to also distract people from the problems within – they encourage war • Resolve the unemployment problems in France • Needed to resolve other economic issues • Needed them to help put down the revolt
  40. 40. Corruption in the Directory • In the election of 1797 • The election turned out results on favor of royalists and Jacobins • This result was hence twisted by the Directory • Unseated Carnot • They enforced financial policy and cracked down on radicalism • However – this destroyed the reputation • Inflation was again on the rise • The Directory continued to distort election results. • By 1799, even the military was experiencing defeats
  41. 41. Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes • Was a priest/ politicians during the French Revolution • He helped the Third Estate • Didn’t like the 1795 Constitution • Saw the government as inefficient/ self-serving • Tried to help Napoleon in the coup of 1799
  42. 42. Napoleon Bonaparte • Born in minor Italian nobility – Corsica – after it was taken by France • Good at math/ Geography • Very interested in military • Associated with the Jacobins • One must choose the side of the victory • After 1789: He joined the revolution • Helped defend the port of Toulon • Arrested after 1795 – released due to his military talent • He won against Italy in 1797 – Treaty of Campo Formio – provided more land, more money • Wanted to take Egypt – this would be a great prestige for him and France • Defeated – although this further helped his reputation
  43. 43. The Coup of 18 Brumaire • The Directory was accused of corruption, inefficiency – its directors divided – foreign campaigns were failing • A civil war was breaking out • Enlightened Reform – limiting the power of the 500 • Napoleon plotted with Sieyes – proposed changes to the 1795 constitution – this was rejected – napoleon simply took power by force • Napoleon set up the Consulate – with 3 consuls – him being the chief of it all
  44. 44. The Consulate Period • Demanded loyalty to the state • Wealth determined status – more capitalistic • The Napoleonic Code – the longest lasting work of Napoleon – used by France for long time – got rid of certain subjective crime • Create a strong central government • Equality before the law – for male for now • Freedom of religion – separation of Church and state • Freedom of properties • Woman right is an anomaly… they had to be more dependent to men • Feudal practices/ privileges banned • Land gained during the revolution stayed with the revolutionaries
  45. 45. Napoleon’s rule 1. He had no single ideology – none in the spectrum – simply taking ideas from many people to retain control 2. In theory – equality – did favor the wealthy status – the employers – favored men 3. He claimed to rule by the people but justify his government by divine right
  46. 46. The Napoleonic Code (1804) • A set of unified law – to replace the complex system that used to be there • The previous laws were based on ancient tradition, regional customs and church • These were followed indifferent ways in different regions – South would use Roman • Napoleon had combine a unified set of law which brought the country into order • Made use of talent rather than status • Emphasized the protection of private property
  47. 47. Napoleon became the emperor (1804) • Napoleon put himself up as to unify the nation • He had Pope Pius there with him to signify Church • The decision was made upon plebiscite by the French, although this was likely set up to turn out in favor of Napoleon • Why? 1. More prestigious title? 2. To reconcile the royalist with an existing system of empire? 3. To ensure heir • During coronation, Napoleon crowned himself
  48. 48. Process of selection • The people in the government were selected by their talents • Positions in military and government couldn’t be bought/ sold • Allowed the émigrés to take high post • Wealth still determine status… although those serving the states will be given pensions • At this point, the Sans-Culottes became less important • Trade Union was banned • Creating loyalty thr0ough tying everyone to the state
  49. 49. Economy • Tried to improve the inefficient tax farmers (financiers who bought the right to collect taxes) system – in the revolution 1789 – replaced by the local authority – same problem applied • Napoleon used his trusted prefects • Le Chapelier Law – banned trade union – cases of the Sans Culottes • Before this, France had 4 weak banks, under Napoleon, a single central Bank led by Swiss banker Jean Perregaux allowed the economy to flourish
  50. 50. Woman Right • Not much different from European rulers – who believed the traditional structure of family • Divorce was more difficult to obtain • Woman had a role as the housekeeper • They could not be employed, start a business or buy properties with no consent from husband • All money earned went to the husband • Punishment for adultery more severe for woman
  51. 51. The Religious reform • Tried to weaken the link with Royalist – put in protestant • Napoleon understood the importance of church at the time – priests were still deemed important people – also, Robespierre’s downfall was due to him opposing Christianity • A social bond, a great support for his government • He made a concordat with Pope Pius – he got to nominate the bishops in exchange for Roman Catholicism power in France – had to allow the land to be taken – clergy get to make the choices • Soon Napoleon gain complete control over this • Freedom of religion was still present • Most peasants a lot received set land
  52. 52. Education • Public education under state control • Available to all people • Secondary and higher education introduced • Education = social status • Increased in the size of the middle class
  53. 53. Military Control • Joseph Fouche • Had a spy system – keep people under continuous scrutiny • Had state prisons for political prisoners • Put down oppositions in the west and provinces like Brittany • Eg. The 1804 Arrest/ Execution of the duke of Enghein • The European didn’t like that – kinda like Robespierre
  54. 54. Arts/ Science • Napoleon encouraged scientific development • Education reform – A child of enlightenment • Used art to celebrate his achievement • Eg. The Medal of achievements • He was able o emphasize his role as a patron of art, science and knowledge.
  55. 55. Problems with napoleons Rules • Inequality to woman – seen as a huge drawback – although not much compared to other nations – this was still a step-down from the 1789 constitution • Workers not allowed trade union = lack of freedom • Absolutionism, becoming the emperor and imperialism • The police state – the oppression of liberty • Nepotism – letting his relatives have big positions • Failure of the Napoleonic War
  56. 56. Foreign policy – Napoleonic War • France was at war from 1800 - 1815 • Always fighting with Britain • The extensive war with Spain and Portugal drained France of its resources – the failure at Russia was a bad one too • Napoleon had to abdicate once in 1814 • Returning again in 1815 only to lose in the battle of Waterloo and was sent into exile in the island St. Helena – died there.
  57. 57. The Napoleonic War • The War of first coalition • The War of the Second Coalition – Ended in the battle of the Nile • 1802: France and Britain tried to achieve peace – Napoleon reorganized Switzerland – sent an army to Haiti to subdue slave rebellion (destroyed by disease) … napoleon realized he can’t imitate Britain – sold Louisiana to the USA – trying not to spread himself too thin • Saw himself as liberators • His domination unleashed the forces of nationalism
  58. 58. What was the importance of the French Revolution and Napoleon • A Watershed Period • The breaking point of the social classes – a perfect storm of event that finally addressed the top heavy structure of feudalism in Europe • A demonstration of the power of the people’s will • He changes made to the perception: The nobility were seeing the power of the people in clearer terms, the people were seeing their power in clearer terms, and the middle classes saw that they had to be the buffer between the 2 – and that they could gain power • Religion: the destruction of the Church brought about changes in the Napoleonic era – church became less influence – and remained that way for the almost rest of the century
  59. 59. What was the importance of the French Revolution and Napoleon • From Jon Locke to Enlightenment to classical liberalism – the age of Voltaire under Napoleon • The Napoleonic war and military reforms – conscription, a war by scale, the uses of artillery and technological weaponries • The rise of Socialism under the law of Maximum by the Robespierre government and its resurgence under the control of the Directory • The rise in the idea of democracy • The rise in Nationalism – the Napoleonic had inadvertently caused many nations to rise in defiance of its empire eg. The cases with Austria and the growth of nationalism in Austria and Germany which would later lead to unification

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