[AP Euro] Unit 4: Causes and Effects of the French Revolution

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These are flash cards for the causes and effects of major events during the French Revolution as described in Barron's AP European History test preparation book.

CAUSE OF the Estates-General's first meeting

The French nation had seen famine and economic collapse. The Estates-General had not met in 175 years but was called to meet in order to raise taxes after the Parliament of Paris refused to do so.

EFFECT OF the Estates-General's first meeting

The meeting unified the nobility with the Third Estate and they took the Tennis Court Oath, promising not to leave until they had created a constitution for France.

CAUSE OF the Declaration of the Rights of Man

The monarchy had consolidated power through the intendant system, and the failure of crops and the economy. These woes along with the ideas of the Enlightenment and the American Revolution led to the demand for a French constitution at the storming of the Bastille which helped to create it.

EFFECT OF the Declaration of the Rights of Man

The French Revolution began in earnest with the Great Fear and the path was cleared for the creation of the National Assembly.

CAUSE OF the Great Fear

The pent-up aggression of the Third Estate is unleashed as a reaction to the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

EFFECT OF the Great Fear

A chasm developed between the nobility and the peasantry and factions formed in France about what the new government should look like and how it should act.

CAUSE OF the National Assembly's formation

The disintegration of order in France and the Declaration led to the formation of the National Assembly, or Constituent Assembly, in order to make a constitution and rule the country.

EFFECT OF the National Assembly's formation

They created a constitution that allowed for election of a Legislative Assembly with the king at the helm. The king then tried to escape with his family.

CAUSE OF Louis XVI's attempted escape

The revolutionary mood in France made them fear more for their lives that for their titles and possessions.

EFFECT OF Louis XVI's attempted escape

This further cemented national sentiment against the royal family and was a factor in their later execution.

CAUSE OF the declaration of war on Austria

The Declaration of Pilnitz saw Austria try to intervene in French affairs by pursuing military action to protect the monarchy.

EFFECT OF the declaration of war on Austria

The sans-culottes and the radicals came together with support building all over France against foreign invasion.

CAUSE OF the radicals' and sans-culottes' power gain

The pendulum of change had been held to the right for so long that it swung far in the other direction. Pent-up aggression from the Third Estate led to the most demagogical leaders gaining power, Marat, Danton, and Robespierre.

EFFECT OF the radicals' and sans-culottes' power gain

Revolutionary zeal swept the common people of France. Society was turned upside down and the Reign of Terror would eventually result.

CAUSE OF the National Convention's formation

The new constitution, which created the First Republic, called for a National Assembly to be formed.

EFFECT OF the National Convention's formation

This body was very politically biased with the radical Jacobin Party in power. The modern-day terms for right and left for conservative and liberal come from the seating arrangement in this body.

CAUSE OF the Jacobin rise to prominence

The radical mood of Paris and the overwhelming support of the poor and the peasants led the radical Jacobin Party to gain power. Marat, Danton, Robespierre, and the French military needs also contributed.

EFFECT OF the Jacobin rise to prominence

The revolution goes through a second stage that more radical and sometimes known as the Reign of Terror.

CAUSE OF Louis XVI's execution

The radical turn of the revolution, the king's alliance with Austria, and his life of excess and poor national management led to his execution.

EFFECT OF Louis XVI's execution

The other nations of Europe condemned France, and the revolution becomes more radical as it becomes clear that no one who opposes the revolution is safe in France.

CAUSE OF the Committee of Public Safety's Terror

The radical mood of Paris, the rise of radicals, and the execution of the king combine to lead the Third Estate to kill over 20,000, most of whom were in the Third Estate. Anyone associated with nobility was in danger, and many innocents were executed at the guillotine.

EFFECT OF the Committee of Public Safety's Terror

Many abroad opposed the revolution, and the terror soon convinced many of the French that the revolution had gone too far.

CAUSE OF the Terror's end and the Directory's rise

The leadership of the committee turned on each other and by 1794, Marat, Danton, and Robespierre were dead, the last two killed as enemies of the revolution. The radical phase ran its course and the people wanted stability.

EFFECT OF the Terror's end and the Directory's rise

France was ruled by moderates, and many of the sans-culottes felt abandoned by the revolution.

CAUSE OF Napoleon's rise to power

There was definitely a power vacuum and the nation was looking for a strong leader to emerge, which Napoleon did in style. He was a brilliant general and a lesser noble who was not a part of the establishment, but who understood power very well.

EFFECT OF Napoleon's rise to power

Napoleon soon took over France and most of Europe. He instituted reforms of the law and instituted freedom of religion across the continent. He also helped unify Italy and Germany under French rule for the first time (in centuries for Italy). His legacy was a reorganization of European power that took place at the Congress of Vienna after his defeat.

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