THE FLIGHT TO VARENNES Louis and Marie Antoinette were worried about the actions of the National Assembly. They sought help from outside countries, especially Austria. In June, 1791, the royal family tried to escape the country. They made it as far as Varennes, but were caught and imprisoned again.
THE CONSTITUTION OF 1791 Since they were caught, Louis was forced to accept the new constitution which created a Legislative Assembly with which he was to share power.
THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY In October 1791, the Legislative Assembly, elected under the new constitution, met for the first time. The seating arrangements in the Assembly reflected divisions among the revolutionaries. Moderate revolutionaries sat on the right side of the meeting hall, and radical revolutionaries sat on the left side.
THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY The best known Moderates were the Girondists. They were embarrassed by the king’s attempted flight, but they wanted to preserve the constitutional monarchy. They were the voice against violence in the Assembly.
THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY Radicals claimed that the king could not be trusted. They demanded the establishment of a republic. The Jacobins were the most influential radicals. They demanded a true democracy in which all male citizens had the right to vote. As the French Revolution unfolded, the Jacobins and their leaders, Jean-Paul Marat, Georges Danton, and Maximilien Robespierre, would gain the upper hand.
THE RADICAL JACOBINS Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) Georges Danton Jean-Paul Marat (1759–1794) (1743-1793)
FRANCE AT WAR Many other European nations disliked the spread of Revolution (especially Austria and Prussia who ally together). France declared pre-emptive war on Austria in April 1792. At first, the war went badly for France. French armies were disorganized and poorly led. Many army officers, who were nobles, had left France. By August 1792, Austrian and Prussian armies were advancing on Paris.
FRANCE AT WAR The people of Paris angrily declared that no foreign troops would crush the revolution. All over France, people rallied to defend the revolution and chanted the slogan: “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.” Soldiers from Marseille hurried to Paris singing a patriotic marching song, the “Marseillaise,” which was adopted as the National Anthem of France.
FRANCE AT WAR In September, 1792 and the months that followed, revolutionary armies forced the invaders to retreat from France. The war against Austria and Prussia caused high prices and desperate food shortages in France. This created an opportunity for radical revolutionaries to push harder for changes.
THE NATIONAL CONVENTION August 10, 1792. Radical revolutionaries took over Paris and marched on the Tuileries, where the king and his family lived. The troops attacked the palace, killing many of the king’s Swiss guards. The king and queen fled to the Legislative Assembly, hoping for protection. But the radicals also seized control of the Assembly. They removed the king from office and voted to imprison the royal family. They then called for a National Convention to write a new
THE NATIONAL CONVENTION The National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy and make France a republic. The Convention then had to decide what to do with the king. The radical Jacobins demanded that Louis be tried for treason. Letters that showed that Louis was plotting with foreign troops (émigrés) to crush the revolution were used in the trial. Louis XVI was convicted of treason.
EXECUTION OF THE MONARCHS On January 21, 1793, Louis mounted the steps of the guillotine. “People, I die innocent!” were the king’s last words to the watching crowd. Marie Antoinette was guillotined later that year - in October, 1793.
THE DEATH OF MARAT After Louis is executed, but before the Reign of Terror begins in earnest, Jean-Paul Marat is killed by Charlotte Corday because she thinks this will prevent further deaths.
THE REIGN OF TERROR After the death of Louis XVI, the government became more and more radical. Harsh laws made it possible to arrest and kill almost anyone just by accusing them of speaking against the revolution. Nobles, clergy, food speculators, Girondists, and even Jacobins and commoners were killed in large number (over 37 000).
THE REIGN OF TERROR Danton was killed by guillotine after trying to caution against radicalism (April, 1794). As the saying goes – ”The Revolution Devours Its Own Children.”
THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE Robespierre was the last of the three main leaders. He had become a dictator running the Reign of Terror. He was turned on after he threatened to execute more members of government, but didn’t specify who. Robespierre was killed by guillotine three months after Danton (after failing to commit suicide properly) (July, 1794).
THE DIRECTORY (1795-1799) The Constitution of 1795 established a new government known as the Directory. The Directory included an elected legislature and an executive branch with five directors. There were five leaders to try to avoid dictatorships. The Constitution restricted the right to vote to men who could read and who owned a certain amount of property. As a result, the middle class and wealthy landowners gained influence in the new government.
THE CONSULATE (1799-1804) When the Directory proved to be ineffective, it was replaced by a Consulate (1799-1804), which was three men who ran the government. The Consulate was not much more effective, because it was soon dominated by one man .
EMPEROR NAPOLEON Napoleon Bonaparte claimed power from the Consulate, by becoming First Consul in 1800. It was not long after this, in 1804, he declared himself Emperor of France.