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The French Revolution
1789-1799
Preceding the Revolution
 Prior to the revolution, France was one of the most
powerful and advanced countries in Europe.
 France’s population was booming. It was the
largest country in Europe with around 28 million.
 They also had the largest standing army, around
400,000 soldiers ready to go to war!
 France also had a large economy. The sheer size
of the country made it one of the premier
economic powers in Europe.
Preceding the Revolution
 Despite all this, France in financial crisis.
 The past 50 years had seen conflicts like the Seven
Years War (French and Indian War) and the
American Revolution which put France into debt.
 Starting with King Louis XIV, the kings incurred great
amounts of debt and passed it on to the new kings
to deal with.
 By 1789, France was essentially bankrupt.
 The economic disaster had a devastating effect on
the people of France.
King Louis XVI
 The king of France at this time was the
absolute ruler, King Louis XVI, who was
an introverted, shy and indecisive king.
 He was known for his lavish spending
and borrowing money.
 The queen, Marie Antoinette, had no
clue when it came to politics and often
gave her husband bad advice.
 She was also well known for her
extravagance and opulence and was
very much disliked by the people.
King Louis XVI
Queen Marie Antoinette
They were way ahead of their time…
Marie Antoinette
 Marie Antoinette was most known of her
extravagant and very luxurious lifestyle.
 She had a love for fashion and indulged herself
with luxury gowns and fabrics, amazing jewelry,
gorgeous shoes and designs made for specifically
for her.
 She pampered herself with spa-type treatments
and often had fantastical hairstyles accessorized
with feathers and trinkets, some standing 4ft. high!
 She was an extroverted socialite with a bubbling
personality. She enjoyed parties with gourmet
foods and champagne. She most of all loved
masquerades where she could dress in the most
luxurious, gorgeous, imaginative and extravagant
gowns and costumes, jewelry and decorated
masks. These parties tended to be wild, depraved
and sinful events where anything was allowed.
Marie Antoinette
 Kirsten Dunst played
the extravagant
queen, Marie
Antoinette, in the
2006 movie of the
same title.
Palace at Versailles
 King Louis and
Marie Antoinette
spend most of
their time in at
their palace in
Versailles, a
wealthy suburb
just outside Paris.
 The palace is
one of the
largest, most
opulent castles
in the entire
world.
Palace at Versailles
Palace at Versailles
Palace at Versailles
Palace at Versailles
Palace at Versailles
 The Château de Versailles complex floor space is
roughly 721,000 square feet.
 It includes over 700 rooms, 60 staircases and 1,200
fireplaces.
 There are over 6,000 paintings and 5,000 pieces of
furniture.
 The grounds consist of over 30,000 acres of gardens
including a mile-long canal, 400 statues, 1,400
fountains and a walled-in, royal hunting ground.
 The palace was built by King Louis XIV just outside of
Paris to help him escape the turbulence of the city
and offered him protection from civil unrest.
 Construction of the palace cost around 116,438,892
Livres. Today, this is approximately $2 billion.
Did you know?
 Marie Antoinette commissioned the
construction of the Petit Hameau, a
utopian, fairytale village with lakes,
gardens, cottages, watermills and a
farmhouse on the palace grounds.
 The queen and her ladies-in-waiting
would dress up in costumes and
pretend to be in their own little world
at the picturesque rural retreat.
 This is just one example of many
elaborate and frivolous spending by
Marie Antoinette.
The Social Divide
 The biggest issue leading into
the French Revolution was
the inequalities in society.
 The existing social structure
was similar to the feudal
system in the Middle Ages.
 It basically was a divide
between social classes and
was a way of determining
taxation.
The Three Estates
The estates varied widely in what they contributed in terms of wealth, work and taxes
•Roman Catholic clergy
•Less than one percent of the
population
•Exempt from taxes
•Owned 10 percent of the
land
– Collected rents and fees
– Bishops and other clergy
grew wealthy
First Estate
•Nobility
•Less than 2 percent of the
population
•Paid few, if any taxes
•Controlled much of the
wealth
•Held key positions
– Government
– Military
•Lived on country estates
Second Estate
•Largest group—97-98% of
the population
•Paid most of the taxes
•Middle Class—city-dwelling
merchants, factory owners,
and professionals
•Peasants—poor with little
hope, paid rents and fees
Third Estate
The Social Divide
2nd Estate 3rd Estate
1st Estate
Social Divide
 Each estate was unhappy with the other. (struggle
for wealth and power)
 The 3rd Estate was obviously the worst off of the three.
 They thought that the taxes should not be placed
solely upon the 3rd Estate. They felt the other estates
should share the financial burden.
 There was also long standing resentments against the
monarchy.
 King Louis XVI was a shy, indecisive king and Marie
Antoinette was an unpopular, self indulgent queen.
What is the best way for King Louis
to get France out of debt?
What actions do you think he will
take? (Think American Revolution)
Do you think he will be successful?
Response to Crisis
 Louis responds to the financial crisis by raising taxes
to get France out of debt.
 This has a terrible domino effect.
 Prices on goods, services and rent were raised
while wages stayed the same (inflation).
 People in the Third Estate suffered greatly from this
inflation.
 It was determined that as much as 1/3 of France
were now considered peasants (poor).
 This angers many people who are now starving,
unable to afford a simple loaf of bread.
 Whispers of revolution start to abound.
Did You Know?
 The people were starving in
the streets. Bread was so
scarce and the price of a
loaf was nearly a month’s
wage for a peasant.
 When told of the crisis
plaguing the people, Marie
Antoinette supposedly
replied, “Let them eat cake,”
referring to the abundance
they had at the palace…
Enlightenment Ideas
 Enlightened ideas would play a major
role leading up to the revolution.
 There were inspiring writings of people
like English political writer, John Locke
who preached in favor the people’s
rights such as freedom and equality.
 Some people wished to adopt a model
of government such as the one
proposed by Baron de Montesquieu.
 Dividing the government on to 3 Branches (executive, legislative and judicial)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
 Jean-Jacques Rousseau was an enlightened thinker
who stirred things up prior to the French Revolution.
 His most important work, the Social Contract, argued
that people should do what is best for their
community.
 He felt that society had too many restrictions and
that controls on the people should limited.
 Furthermore, he said only governments who had
been freely elected should be able to impose any
sort of controls.
 He also stated that people were naturally good and
their innocence was corrupted by the evils of society,
especially the unequal distribution of property. “Man is born free, and yet everywhere
he is in chains.” -Rousseau
Voltaire
 Another Enlightened French writer also played an
important part in the ideas of revolution.
 He went by the pen name Voltaire.
 Voltaire used sarcasm to expose the abuses of daily
life.
 Voltaire wrote against intolerance, corruption,
injustice and criticized the laws and customs of
France.
 He was especially critical of the monarchy and the
Catholic church.
 He preached “reason and rationalism”.
 Voltaire defended freedom of speech, but that got
him exiled from France and his books were banished
or burned.
“My trade is to say what I think.”
-Voltaire
Voltaire Quotes
“It is dangerous to be right,
when the government is wrong.”
“I disapprove what you have
to say, but I will defend to the
death your right to say it.”
“God created
woman to
tame man.”
“Common sense is not
so common.”
“To learn who rules over you, simply find
out who you are not allowed to criticize”
“What is history?
A lie that everyone
can agree on.”
Did you know?
 Voltaire was eventually allowed to
returned to Paris where he spent the
remaining years of his life.
 On his deathbed in 1778, a priest
was brought in to read him his last
rites.
 According to accounts, the priest
asked Voltaire if he would renounce
Satan before his death.
 Voltaire quipped, “this is no time to
be making enemies…”
Ideas of Revolution
 The English Revolution was a
struggle between king and
parliament, which Parliament
won and led to a decrease of the
king’s power and an increase in
the power of the people.
 The success of the American
Revolution showed that
common people could
overthrow a king and establish
a new style of government, a
“democracy”.
Examples of previous revolutions played into the ideas of
a French Revolution:
Other Factors: Drought, Famine, Cold
 Closer to the start of the
revolution, France had a
severe drought that
destroyed much of the
crop just before the winter
harvest.
 To add to that, the coming
winter was especially harsh
and cold.
 The people of France were
left freezing and hungry.
The Estates General Meeting
 Things in France got so
bad that they called
for the Estates General.
 This was the first time
this meeting had
happened in over 150
years! (1614)
 Representatives of
each estate met to
discuss the financial
crisis facing them.
The Flaw of the Estates General
 The Third Estate, being the largest, had the most
representatives.
 The Third Estate especially thought the burden of taxation
should be addressed.
 They wanted to set up a constitutional government that
limited the king’s power and would also abolish the tax
exemptions for the clergy and nobility.
 However, the voting system was flawed.
 Each Estate only had one vote.
 The Third Estate argued that it should go to an individual
(popular) vote, but King Louis XVI denied them.
The National Assembly
 In reaction, the Third Estate called
their own assembly to draft a
constitution.
 The next day, the they were locked
out their own meeting and were
forced to meet on the tennis court
next door.
 Despite this inconvenience, they
swore that they would continue to
meet until their constitution was
drafted.
 This is known as the Tennis Court Oath.
 The constitution officially
proposed a new
government called the
National Assembly (similar to
parliament), which would
include the King, and act in
the interests of the people.
The King Resists
 Upon hearing of the National Assembly, he
orders the 3 Estates to meet once again.
 His goal was to restore the “Old Regime”.
 Louis then addressed the 3 Estates at the
meeting and declares that they resolve the
issues and restore the Estates General.
 At the conclusion of his speech, he was met with
dead silence.
 He then closed the meeting and ordered all to
disperse, which the nobility and clergy complied.
 The 3rd Estate; however, did not move, remaining
in silence, refusing to leave in protest.
The Great Fear
 People were afraid this proposition of a
new order would anger the king and
nobility and that they would strike back
at the 3rd Estate.
 Rumors started to swirl that King Louis
was hiring foreign soldiers to attack
them.
 There were also rumors of massacres
taking place across the country.
 With no way to defend themselves, the
people panicked.
 This is known as the “Great Fear”.
 The people started to attack their
feudal lords, the members of the 2nd
Estate.
Storming The Bastille
 On July 14th, 1789, angry and afraid
for their lives, thousands of
peasants gathered and stormed
the Bastille looking for weapons to
protect themselves.
 The Bastille was a fortress/prison
and also housed guns and
ammunition.
 The peasants stormed the fortress in
search of weapons, killed the
guards, hacked up their bodies
and paraded their heads around
on sticks.
Storming the Bastille
The Bastille
Bastille Day Celebration – July 14th
 Similar to our 4th of
July Independence
Day celebration,
the French
celebrate Bastille
Day to
commemorate the
beginning of the
French Revolution
and the start of
freedom.
News Comes to King Louis
 On July 14th, 1789,
King Louis was out on
a day long hunting
trip.
 When he returned, he
had heard the news.
 He asked a duke, “is it
a revolt?”
 The duke replied, “no
sire, it is revolution!”
Did you know?
 Because the French
were so inspired by
the American
Revolution, a key to
the Bastille was
presented to George
Washington, the
general of the
Colonial Army and first
American president.
The key currently
hangs in his home at
Mt. Vernon.
A Declaration
 Soon after the storming of the Bastille, the 3rd Estate’s National
Assembly came up with a constitution.
 Wanting to mimic the U.S. Constitution, their constitution revoked the
special privileges of the 1st and 2nd Estates.
 They called it, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
 Revolutionary leaders use the slogan, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”
 The constitution stated that there would only be one common
assembly like Parliament (as opposed to three separate Estates)
and the king would have special “veto power”.
 Additionally, it stated many other things similar to the American
Constitution such as freedom of speech and religion.
 It also stated that women had equal rights… so long as they stayed
out of politics and remained at home.
Louis’ Denial
 Although they have drafted a
new constitution and created
the National Assembly to
revise the current government,
Louis denies to observe it.
 Louis kept himself in Versailles
and refused to accept and
recognize this proposed
government, wishing to remain
absolute monarch and
protect his throne.
Women’s March on Versailles
 Meanwhile, there continued to be many major problems including
debt and food shortages.
 Angered by Louis’ refusal of the new government, thousands of
women marched on Versailles with pitch forks and pikes.
 They also wanted Queen Marie Antoinette. They were especially
angry that she, as a mother herself, could not relate to them and
the condition of their starving children.
Women’s March on Versailles
 The mob of nearly 20,000 women (and men)
gathered outside of Versailles and
demanded King Louis return to Paris and
comply with the new constitution.
 As the king and queen refused to come out,
the mob stormed into the palace and tore it
apart.
 The people beat or killed the guards, many
of who's heads were then raised upon pikes.
 King Louis and Marie Antoinette narrowly
escaped the horde of angry people through
a secret passage; however, they had no
choice but to comply and return to Paris.
Storming Versailles
Louis’ Return to Paris
King Louis Tries to Escape
 Louis, worried about his future,
attempts to escape France.
 The family dresses like lower
class citizens and tries to flee
into Austrian controlled
Netherlands (Marie Antoinette
was from Austria).
 Revolutionaries recognize him
and catch the royal family
near the border.
 The were only 30 miles from
their destination and freedom.
Did You Know?
 Louis was actually
recognized by a
shopkeeper after
using a coin with his
face on it to buy
goods at a store!
A Country Divided
 Although a new constitution has
been written, the country
remains split.
 Some people think the King
should be put back into power
while others think that even
more change needs to happen.
 Some countries such as Austria
and Prussia, who also have
absolute rulers, threaten to
attack if the king is not placed
back into power.
France in Turmoil
 Mobs start to break
out in Paris and
members of the
royal family are
imprisoned and
their guards are
killed.
 Thousands of
supporters of the
king are killed as
well.
The Jacobins
 Pressured by the mobs, the
National Assembly deposes the
king and then effectively,
dissolves.
 A new, radical political group
known as the Jacobins come to
power in 1792 led by the
influential Maximilien Robespierre.
 Robespierre was a very outspoken
and prominent figure in the years
leading up to the revolution.
What is Radical? What does
it mean to be a Radical?
The Fate of King Louis
 Still feeling that a major
change needed to be
made, the Jacobins bring
King Louis XVI to trial.
 King Louis is tried for
treason and, in a close
vote, is found guilty.
 He is sentenced to
beheading by guillotine.
Did you Know?
 King Louis XVI thought that
the old way of execution,
the breaking wheel, was
too inhumane.
 He commissioned
Dr. Joseph Guillotine to
come up with a new,
more efficient way of
capital punishment
without the infliction of
torture and pain.
 Talk about ironic…
King Louis’ Execution
 At his execution, thousands of people gathered to see the king.
 He was marched up onto the stage where he delivered a short speech
proclaiming his innocence.
 He then was placed in the guillotine and the blade dropped.
King Louis’ Execution
 According to some
accounts, Louis let out a
blood curdling scream as
the blade did not
completely sever his neck.
 The blade was raised and
dropped again.
 It was said that many
people rushed the stage to
be covered in Louis’ blood
and to dip their
handkerchiefs in it to
commemorate this historic
moment.
Marie Antoinette Executed
 Just nine months following
King Louis’ execution, Marie
Antoinette is also tried for
treason and found guilty.
 She meets the same fate as
her husband at the
guillotine.
 Just before she beheaded,
they cut off her hair, much
to the enjoyment of the
cheering onlookers.
Robespierre’s Reign of Terror
 Following King Louis XVI’s execution,
Robespierre assumes full control of
France.
 In effect, he becomes a dictator.
 He must assure that all France
becomes united by any means
necessary.
 To do this, he starts execute people
who are deemed “enemies of the
state”.
 This is known as the “Reign of Terror”.
Robespierre’s Reign of Terror
 Under Robespierre, thousands of people will
be arrested and die.
 During his 10 month reign between 1793-
1794, over 200,000 people would be
arrested for “treasonous activity”.
 Another 17,000 people would be executed
by the guillotine.
 Of those executed; many are former allies
of the king, but 85% of them are people
from the 3rd Estate, the very people who’s
rights he was supposedly standing up for…
The Reign of Terror
Another Change in Government
 In July 1794, Robespierre is arrested
and then executed.
 The Reign of Terror results in public
opinion shifting away from radicals
and another, more conservative
group comes to power.
 These new, moderate leaders write
a new constitution; but most
importantly, they appoint the
young, brave and ambitious
Napoleon Bonaparte as the
general of the armies…

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The French Revolution

  • 2. Preceding the Revolution  Prior to the revolution, France was one of the most powerful and advanced countries in Europe.  France’s population was booming. It was the largest country in Europe with around 28 million.  They also had the largest standing army, around 400,000 soldiers ready to go to war!  France also had a large economy. The sheer size of the country made it one of the premier economic powers in Europe.
  • 3. Preceding the Revolution  Despite all this, France in financial crisis.  The past 50 years had seen conflicts like the Seven Years War (French and Indian War) and the American Revolution which put France into debt.  Starting with King Louis XIV, the kings incurred great amounts of debt and passed it on to the new kings to deal with.  By 1789, France was essentially bankrupt.  The economic disaster had a devastating effect on the people of France.
  • 4. King Louis XVI  The king of France at this time was the absolute ruler, King Louis XVI, who was an introverted, shy and indecisive king.  He was known for his lavish spending and borrowing money.  The queen, Marie Antoinette, had no clue when it came to politics and often gave her husband bad advice.  She was also well known for her extravagance and opulence and was very much disliked by the people.
  • 5. King Louis XVI Queen Marie Antoinette
  • 6.
  • 7. They were way ahead of their time…
  • 8. Marie Antoinette  Marie Antoinette was most known of her extravagant and very luxurious lifestyle.  She had a love for fashion and indulged herself with luxury gowns and fabrics, amazing jewelry, gorgeous shoes and designs made for specifically for her.  She pampered herself with spa-type treatments and often had fantastical hairstyles accessorized with feathers and trinkets, some standing 4ft. high!  She was an extroverted socialite with a bubbling personality. She enjoyed parties with gourmet foods and champagne. She most of all loved masquerades where she could dress in the most luxurious, gorgeous, imaginative and extravagant gowns and costumes, jewelry and decorated masks. These parties tended to be wild, depraved and sinful events where anything was allowed.
  • 9. Marie Antoinette  Kirsten Dunst played the extravagant queen, Marie Antoinette, in the 2006 movie of the same title.
  • 10. Palace at Versailles  King Louis and Marie Antoinette spend most of their time in at their palace in Versailles, a wealthy suburb just outside Paris.  The palace is one of the largest, most opulent castles in the entire world.
  • 15.
  • 16. Palace at Versailles  The Château de Versailles complex floor space is roughly 721,000 square feet.  It includes over 700 rooms, 60 staircases and 1,200 fireplaces.  There are over 6,000 paintings and 5,000 pieces of furniture.  The grounds consist of over 30,000 acres of gardens including a mile-long canal, 400 statues, 1,400 fountains and a walled-in, royal hunting ground.  The palace was built by King Louis XIV just outside of Paris to help him escape the turbulence of the city and offered him protection from civil unrest.  Construction of the palace cost around 116,438,892 Livres. Today, this is approximately $2 billion.
  • 17. Did you know?  Marie Antoinette commissioned the construction of the Petit Hameau, a utopian, fairytale village with lakes, gardens, cottages, watermills and a farmhouse on the palace grounds.  The queen and her ladies-in-waiting would dress up in costumes and pretend to be in their own little world at the picturesque rural retreat.  This is just one example of many elaborate and frivolous spending by Marie Antoinette.
  • 18. The Social Divide  The biggest issue leading into the French Revolution was the inequalities in society.  The existing social structure was similar to the feudal system in the Middle Ages.  It basically was a divide between social classes and was a way of determining taxation.
  • 19. The Three Estates The estates varied widely in what they contributed in terms of wealth, work and taxes •Roman Catholic clergy •Less than one percent of the population •Exempt from taxes •Owned 10 percent of the land – Collected rents and fees – Bishops and other clergy grew wealthy First Estate •Nobility •Less than 2 percent of the population •Paid few, if any taxes •Controlled much of the wealth •Held key positions – Government – Military •Lived on country estates Second Estate •Largest group—97-98% of the population •Paid most of the taxes •Middle Class—city-dwelling merchants, factory owners, and professionals •Peasants—poor with little hope, paid rents and fees Third Estate
  • 20. The Social Divide 2nd Estate 3rd Estate 1st Estate
  • 21.
  • 22.
  • 23. Social Divide  Each estate was unhappy with the other. (struggle for wealth and power)  The 3rd Estate was obviously the worst off of the three.  They thought that the taxes should not be placed solely upon the 3rd Estate. They felt the other estates should share the financial burden.  There was also long standing resentments against the monarchy.  King Louis XVI was a shy, indecisive king and Marie Antoinette was an unpopular, self indulgent queen.
  • 24. What is the best way for King Louis to get France out of debt? What actions do you think he will take? (Think American Revolution) Do you think he will be successful?
  • 25. Response to Crisis  Louis responds to the financial crisis by raising taxes to get France out of debt.  This has a terrible domino effect.  Prices on goods, services and rent were raised while wages stayed the same (inflation).  People in the Third Estate suffered greatly from this inflation.  It was determined that as much as 1/3 of France were now considered peasants (poor).  This angers many people who are now starving, unable to afford a simple loaf of bread.  Whispers of revolution start to abound.
  • 26. Did You Know?  The people were starving in the streets. Bread was so scarce and the price of a loaf was nearly a month’s wage for a peasant.  When told of the crisis plaguing the people, Marie Antoinette supposedly replied, “Let them eat cake,” referring to the abundance they had at the palace…
  • 27. Enlightenment Ideas  Enlightened ideas would play a major role leading up to the revolution.  There were inspiring writings of people like English political writer, John Locke who preached in favor the people’s rights such as freedom and equality.  Some people wished to adopt a model of government such as the one proposed by Baron de Montesquieu.  Dividing the government on to 3 Branches (executive, legislative and judicial)
  • 28. Jean-Jacques Rousseau  Jean-Jacques Rousseau was an enlightened thinker who stirred things up prior to the French Revolution.  His most important work, the Social Contract, argued that people should do what is best for their community.  He felt that society had too many restrictions and that controls on the people should limited.  Furthermore, he said only governments who had been freely elected should be able to impose any sort of controls.  He also stated that people were naturally good and their innocence was corrupted by the evils of society, especially the unequal distribution of property. “Man is born free, and yet everywhere he is in chains.” -Rousseau
  • 29. Voltaire  Another Enlightened French writer also played an important part in the ideas of revolution.  He went by the pen name Voltaire.  Voltaire used sarcasm to expose the abuses of daily life.  Voltaire wrote against intolerance, corruption, injustice and criticized the laws and customs of France.  He was especially critical of the monarchy and the Catholic church.  He preached “reason and rationalism”.  Voltaire defended freedom of speech, but that got him exiled from France and his books were banished or burned. “My trade is to say what I think.” -Voltaire
  • 30. Voltaire Quotes “It is dangerous to be right, when the government is wrong.” “I disapprove what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” “God created woman to tame man.” “Common sense is not so common.” “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize” “What is history? A lie that everyone can agree on.”
  • 31. Did you know?  Voltaire was eventually allowed to returned to Paris where he spent the remaining years of his life.  On his deathbed in 1778, a priest was brought in to read him his last rites.  According to accounts, the priest asked Voltaire if he would renounce Satan before his death.  Voltaire quipped, “this is no time to be making enemies…”
  • 32. Ideas of Revolution  The English Revolution was a struggle between king and parliament, which Parliament won and led to a decrease of the king’s power and an increase in the power of the people.  The success of the American Revolution showed that common people could overthrow a king and establish a new style of government, a “democracy”. Examples of previous revolutions played into the ideas of a French Revolution:
  • 33. Other Factors: Drought, Famine, Cold  Closer to the start of the revolution, France had a severe drought that destroyed much of the crop just before the winter harvest.  To add to that, the coming winter was especially harsh and cold.  The people of France were left freezing and hungry.
  • 34.
  • 35. The Estates General Meeting  Things in France got so bad that they called for the Estates General.  This was the first time this meeting had happened in over 150 years! (1614)  Representatives of each estate met to discuss the financial crisis facing them.
  • 36. The Flaw of the Estates General  The Third Estate, being the largest, had the most representatives.  The Third Estate especially thought the burden of taxation should be addressed.  They wanted to set up a constitutional government that limited the king’s power and would also abolish the tax exemptions for the clergy and nobility.  However, the voting system was flawed.  Each Estate only had one vote.  The Third Estate argued that it should go to an individual (popular) vote, but King Louis XVI denied them.
  • 37. The National Assembly  In reaction, the Third Estate called their own assembly to draft a constitution.  The next day, the they were locked out their own meeting and were forced to meet on the tennis court next door.  Despite this inconvenience, they swore that they would continue to meet until their constitution was drafted.  This is known as the Tennis Court Oath.  The constitution officially proposed a new government called the National Assembly (similar to parliament), which would include the King, and act in the interests of the people.
  • 38.
  • 39. The King Resists  Upon hearing of the National Assembly, he orders the 3 Estates to meet once again.  His goal was to restore the “Old Regime”.  Louis then addressed the 3 Estates at the meeting and declares that they resolve the issues and restore the Estates General.  At the conclusion of his speech, he was met with dead silence.  He then closed the meeting and ordered all to disperse, which the nobility and clergy complied.  The 3rd Estate; however, did not move, remaining in silence, refusing to leave in protest.
  • 40. The Great Fear  People were afraid this proposition of a new order would anger the king and nobility and that they would strike back at the 3rd Estate.  Rumors started to swirl that King Louis was hiring foreign soldiers to attack them.  There were also rumors of massacres taking place across the country.  With no way to defend themselves, the people panicked.  This is known as the “Great Fear”.  The people started to attack their feudal lords, the members of the 2nd Estate.
  • 41. Storming The Bastille  On July 14th, 1789, angry and afraid for their lives, thousands of peasants gathered and stormed the Bastille looking for weapons to protect themselves.  The Bastille was a fortress/prison and also housed guns and ammunition.  The peasants stormed the fortress in search of weapons, killed the guards, hacked up their bodies and paraded their heads around on sticks.
  • 44. Bastille Day Celebration – July 14th  Similar to our 4th of July Independence Day celebration, the French celebrate Bastille Day to commemorate the beginning of the French Revolution and the start of freedom.
  • 45. News Comes to King Louis  On July 14th, 1789, King Louis was out on a day long hunting trip.  When he returned, he had heard the news.  He asked a duke, “is it a revolt?”  The duke replied, “no sire, it is revolution!”
  • 46. Did you know?  Because the French were so inspired by the American Revolution, a key to the Bastille was presented to George Washington, the general of the Colonial Army and first American president. The key currently hangs in his home at Mt. Vernon.
  • 47. A Declaration  Soon after the storming of the Bastille, the 3rd Estate’s National Assembly came up with a constitution.  Wanting to mimic the U.S. Constitution, their constitution revoked the special privileges of the 1st and 2nd Estates.  They called it, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen  Revolutionary leaders use the slogan, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”  The constitution stated that there would only be one common assembly like Parliament (as opposed to three separate Estates) and the king would have special “veto power”.  Additionally, it stated many other things similar to the American Constitution such as freedom of speech and religion.  It also stated that women had equal rights… so long as they stayed out of politics and remained at home.
  • 48.
  • 49. Louis’ Denial  Although they have drafted a new constitution and created the National Assembly to revise the current government, Louis denies to observe it.  Louis kept himself in Versailles and refused to accept and recognize this proposed government, wishing to remain absolute monarch and protect his throne.
  • 50. Women’s March on Versailles  Meanwhile, there continued to be many major problems including debt and food shortages.  Angered by Louis’ refusal of the new government, thousands of women marched on Versailles with pitch forks and pikes.  They also wanted Queen Marie Antoinette. They were especially angry that she, as a mother herself, could not relate to them and the condition of their starving children.
  • 51. Women’s March on Versailles  The mob of nearly 20,000 women (and men) gathered outside of Versailles and demanded King Louis return to Paris and comply with the new constitution.  As the king and queen refused to come out, the mob stormed into the palace and tore it apart.  The people beat or killed the guards, many of who's heads were then raised upon pikes.  King Louis and Marie Antoinette narrowly escaped the horde of angry people through a secret passage; however, they had no choice but to comply and return to Paris.
  • 54. King Louis Tries to Escape  Louis, worried about his future, attempts to escape France.  The family dresses like lower class citizens and tries to flee into Austrian controlled Netherlands (Marie Antoinette was from Austria).  Revolutionaries recognize him and catch the royal family near the border.  The were only 30 miles from their destination and freedom.
  • 55. Did You Know?  Louis was actually recognized by a shopkeeper after using a coin with his face on it to buy goods at a store!
  • 56. A Country Divided  Although a new constitution has been written, the country remains split.  Some people think the King should be put back into power while others think that even more change needs to happen.  Some countries such as Austria and Prussia, who also have absolute rulers, threaten to attack if the king is not placed back into power.
  • 57. France in Turmoil  Mobs start to break out in Paris and members of the royal family are imprisoned and their guards are killed.  Thousands of supporters of the king are killed as well.
  • 58. The Jacobins  Pressured by the mobs, the National Assembly deposes the king and then effectively, dissolves.  A new, radical political group known as the Jacobins come to power in 1792 led by the influential Maximilien Robespierre.  Robespierre was a very outspoken and prominent figure in the years leading up to the revolution.
  • 59. What is Radical? What does it mean to be a Radical?
  • 60. The Fate of King Louis  Still feeling that a major change needed to be made, the Jacobins bring King Louis XVI to trial.  King Louis is tried for treason and, in a close vote, is found guilty.  He is sentenced to beheading by guillotine.
  • 61. Did you Know?  King Louis XVI thought that the old way of execution, the breaking wheel, was too inhumane.  He commissioned Dr. Joseph Guillotine to come up with a new, more efficient way of capital punishment without the infliction of torture and pain.  Talk about ironic…
  • 62. King Louis’ Execution  At his execution, thousands of people gathered to see the king.  He was marched up onto the stage where he delivered a short speech proclaiming his innocence.  He then was placed in the guillotine and the blade dropped.
  • 63. King Louis’ Execution  According to some accounts, Louis let out a blood curdling scream as the blade did not completely sever his neck.  The blade was raised and dropped again.  It was said that many people rushed the stage to be covered in Louis’ blood and to dip their handkerchiefs in it to commemorate this historic moment.
  • 64. Marie Antoinette Executed  Just nine months following King Louis’ execution, Marie Antoinette is also tried for treason and found guilty.  She meets the same fate as her husband at the guillotine.  Just before she beheaded, they cut off her hair, much to the enjoyment of the cheering onlookers.
  • 65. Robespierre’s Reign of Terror  Following King Louis XVI’s execution, Robespierre assumes full control of France.  In effect, he becomes a dictator.  He must assure that all France becomes united by any means necessary.  To do this, he starts execute people who are deemed “enemies of the state”.  This is known as the “Reign of Terror”.
  • 66. Robespierre’s Reign of Terror  Under Robespierre, thousands of people will be arrested and die.  During his 10 month reign between 1793- 1794, over 200,000 people would be arrested for “treasonous activity”.  Another 17,000 people would be executed by the guillotine.  Of those executed; many are former allies of the king, but 85% of them are people from the 3rd Estate, the very people who’s rights he was supposedly standing up for…
  • 67. The Reign of Terror
  • 68. Another Change in Government  In July 1794, Robespierre is arrested and then executed.  The Reign of Terror results in public opinion shifting away from radicals and another, more conservative group comes to power.  These new, moderate leaders write a new constitution; but most importantly, they appoint the young, brave and ambitious Napoleon Bonaparte as the general of the armies…