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procedure used to submit the constitution of a new government to the people for a vote

Sans Culottes

"without knee breeches", artisans and workers


merchants, factory owners, layers, doctors (no influence in government)

Three Estates

• First Estate: Catholic clergy (1% of pop.)
• Second Estate: Nobility (<2%)
• Third Estate: Public (97%): bourgeoisie, sans culottes, peasants

Causes of the Revolution

• Inequalities in society
• Ideas of Enlightenment writers and success of American Revolution
• Financial crisis
• Widespread hunger and record cold

Declaration of the Rights Man and of the Citizen

a document that laid out the basic principles of the French Revolution (liberty, equality and fraternity), inspired by English Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence and Enlightenment philosophers, stated that all men are born equal and remain equal before the law

Napoleon's Rise and Fall from Power

• Turmoil of French Revolution gave him prime opportunity
• Brilliant military leader, defended French interior and countryside (borders)
• Exaggerated successes (and hid defeat in Egypt)
• Coup d'état against Directory and Consulate formed with Napoleon as first Consul and a dictator (1799)
• Failed Russian Campaign (about 506,000 French troops killed)
• Exile to Elba, Brief Return (Hundred Days) and Loss at Battle of Waterloo
• Final exile to Saint Helena

Napoleonic Code

Napoleon organized French law, made laws uniform across the nation and eliminated injustices, and promoted order and authority over individual rights (limited freedom of press)

Prince Metternich

Key member of Congress of Vienna, wanted to return Europe to absolute monarchy

Radical leaders

• Jean-Paul Marat-advocate of violence and a leader of the Paris sans culottes
• Georges-Jacques Danton-violent agitator in early days of Republic, popular with public
• Maximilien Robespierre-led the National Convention during its most bloodthirsty time

Reign of Terror

period during French Revolution in which the Robespierre-led government executed thousands of political figures and ordinary citizens

Revolution's Legacy

• Written constitution for France
• Insecurity for absolute monarchs
• Napoleon's seizure of power
• Growth of nationalism
• Spread of revolutionary to Latin America, Asia and Africa
• Congress of Vienna


agreement Napoleon made with citizens; acknowledged that most were Roman Catholics but did not require it

Coup d'état

forced transfer of power


a sense of identity and unity as a people

Congress of Vienna

meeting to create a plan to restore order and stability to Europe after Napoleonic Wars and the Revolution

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