How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

French Revolution Vocabulary

STUDY
PLAY
Old Regime
"The Old Order" society controlled by the First Estate (clergy) and Second Estate (nobility) in France prior to 1789, was overthrown during the French Revolution
Three Estates
Three classes in French society - 1st Estate, 2nd Estate, and Third Estate
Louis XVI
Last King of France, executed by guillotine during the French Revolution
Marie Antoinette
Wife of Louis XVI, also executed by guillotine
National Assembly
Formed to draft a constitution in France, June 17, 1789
Tennis Court Oath
The National Assembly was locked out of its meeting hall, so members went to a tennis court and swore to continue work until until a constitution was written
Bastille
A fortress, prison, and armory in Paris that was attacked and destroyed by Parisians because of high bread prices
Legislative Assembly
Formed by order of the constitution in 1791, it was suspended and later replaced by the National Convention
Sans Culottes
Revolutionaries in Paris who wore short pants and plain clothes during the French Revolution
Jacobins
One of three clubs in in government, radicals that believed the King should be executed
Guillotine
Execution machine, death by decapitation, was supposed to be quick and humane
Maximilien Robespierre
Head of Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror, eventually was himself executed, which ended the Reign of Terror, eventually was himself executed, which ended the Reign of Terror
Declaration of the Rights of Man
Document adopted by the National Assembly on August 26, 1789 that declared all men free and equal before the law
Napoleon Bonaparte
Took part in coup d' etat that that overthrew the Directory in 1799, became Emperor of France in 1804, built empire by military victories and was ultimately defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815
Plebiscite
A vote by the people of an entire country or district to decide on an issue
Concordat of 1801
A reestablishment of relations between Napoleon's government and the Catholic Church after the French Revolution
Napoleonic Code
Civil code developed and written during Napoleon's rule in 1804
Guerilla Warfare
Irregular form of warfare
Congress of Vienna
Peace agreement in Europe negotiated by Russia, Austria, Prussia, and Great Britain, this agreement exiled Napoleon to the island of Elba in the Mediterranean Sea
Waterloo
Site of the final battle of the Napoleonic Wars 1815, Napoleon lost and was forced to exile, dying in 1821
Klemens von Metternich
Most influential leader at the Congress of Vienna, Austrian foreign minister