The Estates General
The name given to the French system of government in which there are three estates. The first estate is one that consists of the Clergy. The bishops, priests, etc... They make up 2% of the population of France. The second Estate consists of the Nobles. They make up 1% of the population of France. The Third Estate consists of everyone else. (97%) of France. However, each Estate would only get one vote which mean that 97% of France could get outvoted at any time.
The middle class
Tennis Court Oath
The oath taken in the Royal tennis courts by the members of the National Assembly which stated that they would unite until France had a constitution.
The name of the assembly of members after the Third Estate splits
The name for the assembly of members to govern the country after the King signs the constitution
The name for the assembly of members who sentence Louis Capet to death.
Committee of Public Safety
A newly established body to eliminate the enemies of the French Revolution
Government that comes after the Reign of Terror
A large French prison that is stormed by a mob of people.
Reign of Terror
The name given to the period after the death of the King and before the death of Robespierre where thousands were killed for being "enemies of the revolution."
A person who does not support the Revolution.
Law of Suspects
A law providing guidelines and criteria for finding a Counter-revolutionary. (Provided by the Committee of Public Safety.)
The French national anthem.
The device used to kill people during the French Revolution. It consisted of a heavy blade in which the person would place their head under and the blade would drop. Probably the most humane way of killing someone back then.
rule by a sovereign with unlimited power, one who is above the law.
educated people who had theories about society and government.
the money the government is short each year after it pays its bills.
something that draws public attention and criticism
a government in which all power rests with the citizens who vote to elect their leaders.
a paid soldier
the mansions and great estates of the rich
a document that sets out the major laws and principles of a government.
people who leave one country for another
someone who wants major change quickly.
They were the less radical party of the French Revolution. They are more moderate and conservative and consisted mostly of the Bourgeoisie. They were originally part of the Jacobins but when the Jacobins became too radical, they split off. The leader of the Girondists was Jacques Danton. Some other prominent figures are Jean Marie Roland, his wife Mme Roland and Charlotte Corday.
They were made up of the "Left Wing" bourgeoisie. (This means that they were a lot more radical in their views.) The Jacobins wanted the king dead and their views differed from those of the Girondists. The leader, Maximillian Robespierre was very prominent during the French Revolution.
Sans Culottes (Without Britches)
They consisted of the poorest class in France. They were called the Sans Culottes because they didn't wear knee britches like the higher class but rather, they wore full length pants. They were incredibly radical and also very violent, constantly forming mobs and such and attacking counter revolutionaries. The main leader was Jean-Paul Marat but also Jacques Hebert.
King Louis XVI summons the Estates General
He needed support to get reforms. However, the Third Estate demands that the Estates General meet together and each Estate has and equal vote. The king refuses to allow the Estates general to vote by deputy.
The National Assembly
The third estate, infuriated with the king, separates and calls itself the National Assembly. They then meet in a local Tennis court and make the Tennis Court Oath. They proposed to unite until France had a constitution. Louis was forced to order the other two estates to join the National Assembly.
Storming of the Bastille
More riots occurred because of the high price of bread. The mobs began attacking prisons to free political prisoners. Louis responded to this by sending mercenary troops to Paris. People viewed this as an attack on the National assembly and a great mob attacked the Bastille on July 14, 1789. The seven prisoners were released and the governor's head was cut off and paraded through the streets. Citizens, in an attempt to keep order created the National Guard lead by Marquis Lafayatte.
The Great Fear
People in the country side began to fear that the aristocrats and the King's soldiers were going to stop the revolution. These fears resulted in a panic known as the Great Fear. In an attempt to stop them, peasants stormed the chateaux of the aristocrats and burned them to the ground. They killed hundreds of people, invaded offices, burned feudal certificated and obligations to the lords.
March to Versailles
Thousands of women, who were later joined by soldiers, marched to Versailles to protest the high prices of food. They also suspected of the king and queen plotting against the national assembly so they stormed the palace and forced the King and Queen to return to Paris where they could be watched.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen
this is passed by the national assembly in August of 1789. This got rid of all the feudal privileges in France and ended serfdom. This is what would be the constitution for France. It took ideas from the Enlightened thinkers. Everyone was given the title "citizen" and noble titles were declared obsolete.
The Civil Constitution of the Clergy
Passed by the National assembly, the government seized control of the Church and sold its land, hoping to improvement the economic situation. It forced bishops and priests to be elected by citizens, not appointed.
Many aristocrats had escaped the country and were trying to improve the situation externally. The Royal Family felt that if they got foreign support, he could restore his original power. Fortunately, they were caught are Varennes, France (really close to the border) and brought back. This made the people trust the Royal family even less because it proved that they could not work with the new democratic reforms.
The Signing of the Constitution
The National Assembly forced Louis XVI to sign the constitution. It established France as a limited monarchy, with separation into three different powers: executive, legislative and judicial. It also divided France into 83 different departments.
The Legislative Assembly
This was formed after the King signed the constitution. It tried to establish a workable government, but it had too much difficulty. You had extremely Radical people who wanted a republic, then people who wanted a constitutional monarchy and then people who wanted to restore the old system.
The Revolutionary Wars
Many of the European powers were nervous about what was happening in France. If it succeeded, the people of their own nation could follow suit. In 1792, France declared war on Austria. After losing several battles, the French finally earned a victory at Valmy.
There was a newly elected body called the National Convention (that's the 4th one mind you) and they decided to put the king on trial for crimes against the nation. He was removed from his palace and given the title "Citizen Louis Capet." He was found guilty and guillotined on January 21, 1793.
Reign of Terror
After the death of the king, European Monarchs became quite alarmed and so Spain joined Austria and Prussia in the war against the French. France now had huge pressures both from externally and internally. In order to maintain order, the national convention established the Committee of Public Safety. It was first led by Danton, then by Robespierre. Counter-revolutionaries had to be eliminated and so the Law of Suspects stated the type of enemy: A counter revolutionary was someone who
a) By their behavior, comments, or writings showed that they did not support the revolution
b) Any public official who has been sacked (fired not kicked in that area) for being unpatriotic
c) Any former member of the aristocracy who has not openly supported the revolution.
It is estimated that 37000 people were guillotined and 50000 died in prisons or riots. Danton no longer supported killings so he was guillotined in 1794 (ironic no?). Finally, the National Convention turned on Robespierre and he was guillotined in July of 1794. (Sweet justice).
Effects of the Reign of Terror
Excluding the number of deaths, the Reign of Terror had some positive outcomes.
• The metric system was introduced
• The French army was reorganized
• New schools were built
• New revolutionary calendar was made
The Directory took over in 1795.
• He believed he was the source of light in all the nation and he was the centre of France
• Built the palace of Versailles
• Force nobles to take ballet and to attend Royal Ceremonies
• Created a huge debt by entering too many wars
• Persecuted Calvinists
• Huge deficit by the end of his reign
• No qualities that a ruler should have
• He increased the debt of France
• Married an Austrian
• She was Austrian
• Did not respect French customs and traditions
• Lived a lavished lifestyle which depleted the treasury (mini-village to play peasant)
• Involved with the Affair of the Diamond Necklace
• Made no attempt to gain the love of her people.
Leader of the Jacobin party. He was a lawyer who was very radical and disagreed with the practices of the monarchy. He wanted an end to the monarchy. After which, he became the leader of the committee of public safety and killed thousands of people. His reign was known as the Reign of Terror. He was guillotined by the National Convention is 1794.
Leader of the Girondists part. He was not as radical but still wanted reforms in the government. He and Robespierre fought for control. He was the original leader of the committee of public safety. He then said that he did not approve of the number of killings and was guillotined by Robespierre in 1794
Was the sickly leader of the Sans Culottes party. He had a skin disease which meant that he spent most of his time in a bathtub. However, he still managed to write strong pamphlets supporting the revolution and providing lists of people that should be eliminated. He was killed by Charlotte Corday, in his bathtub in 1793.
Member of the Girondists party. She felt that Marat was taking the revolution too far so she hid a knife, entered Marat's residence and stabbed him in his bath tub. She was later guillotined for this offense.
A sort of income tax
Seigneurial Tax (Feudal Tax)
a tax paid to the local landlord. They were sometimes known as "feudal dues" and it would be a tax to use the landlord's property. (IE. Charging money to use his mill to grind corn
Corvee (Work Tax)
for a few days a year, peasants had to work on maintaining local roads
10% of all income is paid to the Church
a tax on salt (this was important because it was used to preserve food)
a tax on wine (and the French do love their wine.
He believed that if people don't have a ruler then the world will result in chaos; Wrote: Leviathan
Believed that people need a ruler, but one who is not too powerful or people will rebel
Wrote: Two Treaties on Government
Known as the "Father of the Enlightenment"; Wrote: The Historical and Critical Dictionary
Religious toleration, freedom of thought, and that the monarchy should protect people's basic rights; Wrote: Candide
Best known for his 28 volume Encyclopedia ; Wrote: Encyclopedia
Believed that society needed a social contract; Wrote: The Social Contract
Believed that the monarchy must work with elected parliament people ; Wrote: The Spirit of the Laws