How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

33 terms

French Revolution

STUDY
PLAY
General Will
The will of the majority (the majority should always work for the common good)
Social Contract
The notion that society is based on an agreement between government and the governed in which people agree to give up some rights in exchange for the protection of others
Separation of Powers
The division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government
Natural Rights
The idea that all humans are born with rights, which include the right to life, liberty, and property
Consent of the Governed
People are the source of any and all governmental power
Old Order
In France the king was at the top of society with the three estates beneath him, also known as the ancient regime
Louis XVI
French king at the time of the French Revolution, he was later beheaded
Marie Antoinette
French queen at the time of the French Revolution, she is beheaded
First Estate
Made up of the Roman Catholic clergy, about 1 percent of society, no taxes and did not answer to same laws as everyone else
Second Estate
Made up of the nobility, less than 2 percent of society, paid no taxes
Third Estate
Largest group in French society, about 97 percent of the population, only group taxed, included bourgeoisie, artisans, workers, and peasants
Bourgeoisie
City-dwelling merchants, factory owners, and professionals; some were highly educated and wealthy and were part of the third estate
National Assembly
A French congress established by representatives of the Third Estate on June 17, 1789, to enact laws and reforms in the name of the French people
Tennis Court Oath
A pledge made by the members of France's National Assembly in 1789, in which they vowed to continue meeting until they had drawn up a new constitution
The Great Fear
A vast panic that spread quickly through France in 1789; peasant rebellions bacame part of the Great Fear; citizens, fearing invasion by foreign troops that would support the French monarchy, formed militias
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
"liberty, equality, fraternity (brotherhood)", document stating basic rights for all men (not women) adopted by the National Assembly in 1789
March on Versailles
'Bread March of Women' was due to bread shortages and increasingly high prices. In 1789 when rumors spread that nobles were hoarding bread, women joined together and stormed Versailles, blaming the situation on Marie Antoinette.
Fall of the Bastille
Hundreds of hungry people stormed the prison in search of gunpowder to save Paris and the National Assembly; this was the symbolic start of the revolution
Paris Commune
Radical Parisian government which called for the election of a new legislature; granting all men the right to vote and organizing the writing of a democratic constitution
Sans Culottes
"without knee breaches", the workers of the third estate who would go hungry without work, in the French Revolution, a radical group made up of Parisian wage-earners, and small shopkeepers who wanted a greater voice in government, lower prices, and an end of food shortages
1st Constitution of 1791
This document limited the monarch, provided natural rights, and put the Catholic Church under control of govt.
Robespierre
Known for his intense dedication to revolution, became very radical and led National Convention during its bloodiest time
Guillotine
Device that dropped a sharp, heavy blade through a victim's neck
Reign of Terror
A series of accusations, trials, and executions to eliminate any opposition to the revolutionary government
The Directory
Established after the Reign of Terror / National Convention; a five man group as the executive branch of the country; incompetent and corrupt, only lasted for 4 years
Napoleon Bonaparte
General and Emperor of France, seized power in a coup d'etat in 1799, conquered much of Europe
Consulate
Government established in France after the overthrow of the Directory in 1799, with Napoleon as first consul in control of the entire government
Napoleonic Code
Law which embodied Elightenment principles such as equality of male citizens, religious toleration, and merit based advancement
Grand Empire
The empire over which Napoleon and his allies ruled, encompassing virtually all of Europe except Great Britain and Russia.
The Continental System
A system put into place between 1806 and 1807 by Napoleon. It attempted to prevent British goods from reaching the European continent in order to weaken Britain economically and destroy its capacity to wage war.
Great Retreat
Massive pullback of Napolean's troops to France after they gave up trying to catch and fight the Russians; most troops died on the way back due to fierce winter storms and temperatures
Elba
First island off the coast of Italy that Napoleon was exiled to after losing the battle of Leipzig
Waterloo
The battle where Napoleon met his final defeat