Chapter 7 - The French Revolution and Napoleon

Old Regime
the political and social system that existed in France before the French Revolution
one of the three social classes in France before the French Revolution
First Estate
clergy from the Roman Catholic Church--they scorned Enlightenment ideas
Second Estate
nobility--held highest offices in government and usually disagreed about Enlightenment ideas
Third Estate
the rest of the population--bourgeoisie (working middle class that were sometimes as rich as nobles but lacked privileges), poor lower class workers and peasants. this group embraced Enlightenment ideas, resented the other two estates and had now power to influence the government
Louis XVI
king of France before the Revolution; inherited debt from previous kings but spent extravagently, paid little attention to governing, eventually executed
Marie Antoinette
queen of France before the Revolution; known for her lavish lifestyle and constant spending and gambling; eventually executed
in 1789, an assembly of representatives from all thre estates in France that was called because Louis wanted to tax the nobility
National Assembly
created by the Third Estate after they were refused better representation in the Estates-General of 1789, they passed laws and reforms in the name of the French people; in effect proclaiming the end of absolute monarchy and beginning of representative government-first deliberate act of revolution
Tennis Court Oath
pledge made by Third Estate delegates, after the creation of the National Assembly, to create a new constitution; in response to these events Louis stationed a swiss mercenary army outside of Versailles
Bastille Day
July 14, 1789, a mob searching for gunpowder and arms stormed the Bastille prison, overwhelmed the guard and seized control of the building, people then paraded around the streets with dead men's head on pikes; this is a celebrated day for the French, similar to our Independence Day
Great Fear
a wave of senseless panic that rolled through France following the storming of the Bastille, peasants became outlaws and began terrorizing nobles and burning down their homes; later in October of 1789, Parisian women rioted over the rising prices of bread, marched on Versailles, and forced the King and Queen into Paris--thier exit from Versailles signaled the change of power and radical reforms about to take over
Legislative Assembly
created by the National Assembly in 1791, it was a legislative body that had the power to create laws and approve or reject declarations of war, however, the king still held the executive power to enforce laws
nobles and others who fled France that hoped to undo the Revolution and restore the Old Regime
wokers who wanted the Revolution to bring even great change to France; exerted their power on the streets of France
radical political organization, took part in the Semptember Massacres which led the Legislative Assembly to set aside the Constitution, dissovle the assembly; depose the king and call for the election of a new legislature
machine created to exucter prisioners more efficiently, humanly and democraticly.
Maximilien Robespierre
Jacobin leader who slowly gained power in 1793, he set out to build a republic of virture by wiping out every trace of France's past; later became the leader of the Committee of Public Safety through which he governed France like a dictator and implemented the Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
a period from mid 1793 to mid 1794 when Robespierre ruled France as a dictator and thousands of political figures and ordinary citizens were executed.
Napoleon Bonaparte
one of the world's greatest military geniuses, he joined the army of the new government after the French revolution broke out and in just four years had become the Emperor of France
coup d'etat
a sudden siezure of power; a "blow to the state"--when Napoleon used the armed forces under his command to dissolve the National legislature and assume power as a dictator
a vote of the people; used by Napoleon to get a constitution approved that gave him all the real power to control
government run public schools; used by Napoleon to dismiss corrupt officials and provide the government with a well trained work force
established a new relationship between church and state, the government recognized the influence of the Church , but rejected Church control in national affairs
Napoleonic Code
a comprehensive system of laws that gave the country a uniform set of laws and eliminated many injustices; it limited liberty and promoted order and authority over individual rights and restored slavery in the French colonies of the Carribbean
Battle of Trafalgar
important naval defeat for Napoleon; when the British commander Horatio Nelson split the larger French fleet and captured many ships
a forcible closing of ports to prevent all trade and communication; Napoleon wanted to cut off Great Britain from the rest of Europe but they established a blockade of their own that was more effective than the French's
Continental system
Napoleon's policy to make continental Europe more self-sufficient; also intended to destroy Great Britain's commercial and industrial economy
Spanish peasants during the Peninsular war that worked in small groups and ambushed French troops then fled into hiding
Peninsular War
a conflict lasting from 1808 to 1813, in which Spanish rebels, with the aid of British forces, fought to drive Napoleon's French troops out of Spain
scorched-earth policy
practiced by the Russians during Napoleon's invasion; involved burning grain fields and slaughtering livestock so as to leave nothing for the enemy to eat
Battle of Waterloo
when Napoleon left exile to once again take power in France, European forces quickly took up arms and ended Napoleon's last bid for power
Hundred Days
Napoleon's last bid for power after his exile
Congress of Vienna
a series of meetings after the defeat of Napoleon, European heads of government were looking to establish a long lasting peace and stability on the continent
Prince Klemens von Mettermich
foreign minister of Austria, most influential representative at the Congress of Vienna; he had three goals for the meeting 1) to prevent future agression by surrounding France with strong countries 2) to restore a balance of power 3) to restore European's royal families to the thrones they had before Napoleon's conquest
balance of power
a balance between the countries of Europe, so that no country can threaten each other
an agreement between the representatives of the Congress of Vienna, that as many possible of the rulers who Napoleon had driven from their thrones be restored to power
Holy Alliance
agreement signed in 1815 by the leaders of Austria and Prussia, pledged to base their relations with other nations on Christian principles in order to combat the forces of revolution
Concert of Europe
a series of alliances devised by Metternich to ensure that nations would help each other if revolution broke out