Ch 23 1 Revolution Threatens The French King

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Ch 23 1 Revolution Threatens The French King

  1. 1. Revolution Threatens the French King<br />CH. 23.1<br />
  2. 2. It’s the 1770’s in France<br /><ul><li>At this time, France’s citizens are divided up into three different estates:
  3. 3. First Estate
  4. 4. This was the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church.
  5. 5. They made up less than 1% of the population, but owned 10% of the land and paid about 2% of their income to the state.
  6. 6. Second Estate
  7. 7. This was the nobles.
  8. 8. 2% of the population, but owned 20% of the land. They didn’t pay taxes.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Third Estate
  9. 9. The other 97% of the population.
  10. 10. Owned little to no land.
  11. 11. They too were divided into three different groups.</li></ul>The bourgeoisie were usually merchants and artisans. They could be rich but had to pay taxes and didn’t get the privileges of the nobles. They were into the Enlightenment.<br />The city workers were poor wage-earners.<br />The peasants made up about 80% of the overall population and paid out nearly half their income in taxes.<br />
  12. 12. <ul><li>So:
  13. 13. you have about 3% of the population owning 30% of the land and paying almost nothing in taxes
  14. 14. The other 97% is largely poor, heavily taxed, and shut out of the political process.
  15. 15. This 3rd estate is being influenced by Enlightenment ideals of democracy, social contracts, and overthrow of monarchs.
  16. 16. Not to mention they saw the success of the Americans overthrowing their English absolute monarch, King George.</li></li></ul><li>
  17. 17. Another part of the problem was the royal family.<br /><ul><li>The king, Louis XVI, while reasonably popular, was terribly indecisive. Modern scholars think he may have suffered from clinical depression.
  18. 18. During his bouts of depression, his queen, Marie Antoinette, took control.
  19. 19. Marie was very unpopular. She was Austrian, flaunted her wealth, and resisted French social etiquette to the point of shocking the elite.
  20. 20. In her defense, however, Marie was married at age 14 just hours after meeting Louis for the first time (Louis was just 16, painfully shy, ate a lot, and their marriage was reportedly not consummated for seven years) and the French etiquette in the royal court was ridiculous with the royals always on display.</li></li></ul><li>
  21. 21.
  22. 22. Thrown into this volatile mix was a bad economy<br /><ul><li>First off, the crown was spending a lot.
  23. 23. Like most kings, Louis 16 was spending a lot on wars, including helping out those nice American revolutionaries.
  24. 24. Louis and Marie were also spending a lot on their own personal luxuries, which was bad enough in itself, but also looked bad to others. Marie actually had no real concept of the value of money.
  25. 25. Louis tried reforming the tax system, but the noble assemblies resisted him.
  26. 26. Finally, the Estates-General is called in 1789 at Versailles.</li></li></ul><li>Estates-General<br /><ul><li>This was an assembly of representatives of all three estates.
  27. 27. Each estate met separately and submitted one vote each on proposals.
  28. 28. The Estates-General was more show than substance.
  29. 29. Each Estate was given equal numbers of representatives
  30. 30. So, the 3rd estate, even though it had the most people, had the equal amount of say in the decisions.
  31. 31. Therefore, the first and second estates, with similar interests, could defeat the third estate.</li></li></ul><li>
  32. 32. Sieyes<br />
  33. 33. <ul><li>The third estate thus forms itself into the National Assembly, with the power to pass laws for the people.
  34. 34. The Assembly declared itself the power in France.
  35. 35. They got locked out of their chamber, barged into an indoor tennis court and took what has become known as the Tennis Court Oath.
  36. 36. The oath: We swear never to separate ourselves from the National Assembly, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the realm is drawn up and fixed upon solid foundations.
  37. 37. Again, revolutionary in that they were declaring power derived from the people and not the king.</li></li></ul><li>
  38. 38. Louis tries to make nice with the National Assembly and even orders the other two estates to join them.<br /><ul><li>Other events take place and the unrest grows.
  39. 39. Eventually the Bastille is stormed.
  40. 40. The Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the ancien regime. It was also a weapons depot and the mob wanted the weapons and gun powder.
  41. 41. It wasn’t much of an active prison at this point and was slated for closure. At the time, it had only seven prisoners: four forgers, two lunatics, and a pedophile.</li></li></ul><li>

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