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Old Regime

the system of feudalism left over from the Middle Ages; the people of France were divided into three large social classes/estates


the three large social classes during the Old Regime in France

Louis XVI

he became king in 1774 and inherited the debt from predecessors. he borrowed money to help the American revolutionaries in their war against Great Britain but bankers refused to give more money. He was indecisive and allowed matters to drift; paid little attention to gov't advisors; married to Marie Atoinette

Marie Antoinette

wife of Louis XVI; member of the royal family of Austria (enemy); she was unpopular and she spent so much money on gowns, jewels, and gifts. known as "Madame Deficit"


an assembly of representatives from all three estates to get approval for the tax reform. Louis XVI called the meeting after facing bankruptcy. the meeting was held for the first time in 175 years; May 5, 1789 at Versailles

National Assembly

this is what the Third Estate delegates named themselves. they wanted to pass laws and reforms in the name of the French people

Tennis Court Oath

the Third Estate delegates were locked out of their meeting room. They broke down a door to a tennis court and pledged to stay until they had drawn up a new constitution; they pledged the Tennis Court Oath

Great Fear

the wave of senseless panic that went through France. Peasants broke into nobles' manor houses, tore up legal papers, and bound them to pay feudal dues (some burned the houses); women rioted over the pricing of bread and they broke into the palace and demanded that Louis and Marie Antoinette come to Paris

Declaration of the Rights of Man

It was a document that the National Assembly wrote August 17, 1789. It reflected the influence of Enlightenment ideas and of the Declaration of Independence

Legislative Assembly

When the National Assembly completed its new constitution, Louis approved it and then they gave the power to a new assembly (the Legislative Assembly) to create laws and to approve or prevent any war the kind declared on other nations


These were nobles and others who fled France during the peasant uprisings. They sat on the extreme right of the Legislative Assembly and they hoped to undo the Revolution and restore the Old Regime.


the most radical group who sat on the extreme left ; "those without knee breeches"; they were wage-earners and small shopkeepers who wanted greater voice in the gov't; influenced one of the political clubs that developed later

Committee of Public Safety

Robespierre was the committee leader and he decided who should be considered enemies of the republic; the committee often had people tried in the morning and guillotined the same afternoon

Reign of Terror

Robespierre became dictator in July 1793-94; to him, it enabled French citizens to remain true to their ideals of the Revolution; people were sentenced to death for not being enough of a radical; 3,000 people were executed in Paris & 40,000 all together
It ended when the people of the National Convention turned on Robespierre and he was killed


a beheading machine that thousands died from during the French Revolution

Maximilien Robespierre

him and his supporters set out to build a "republic of virtue" and tried to wipe out every trace of France's past monarchy and nobility; he became the leader of the Committee of Public Safety and ruled during the Reign of Terror. He was killed by the people of the National Convention

coup d'etat

a sudden seizure of power; "blow of state"; Napoleon's seizure of power was a coup

Napoleonic Code

Napoleon's greatest work- comprehensive system of laws. it gave the country a uniform set of laws and eliminated many injustices; it limited liberty and promoted authority over individual rights. it too away rights of women, freedom of speech and of the press were restricted; slavery RESTORED

Napoleon Bonaparte

a short man who is recognized as one of the world's military geniuses; took control of France and created an empire. He took the pope's crown off of his head and placed it on himself

Battle of Trajalgar

1805 battle- it took place off of the southern coast of Spain. Horatio Nelson (who defeated Napoleon's fleet near Egypt in 1798) showed that he fought better at sea than on land. The French fleet was destructed. It assured the supremacy of the British navy and forced Napoleon to give up his plans in invading Britain


a forcible closing of ports

Continental System

this was a blockade the Napoleon signed to prevent all trade and communication between Great Britain and other European nations. It was supposed to make continental Europe more self-sufficient and to destroy Britain's commercial and industrial economy. It didn't work out very well... British had smugglers bring cargo from Britain into Europe and a lot of allies of Napoleon ignored the policy. Britain responded with its own blockade by searching and taxing all ships for the continent. The economies of France and allies were weakened more than Britain's

Peninsular War

Guerrillas attacked Napoleon's army and the British sent troops to aid the rebels. Napoleon lost 300,000 men. Nationalism in Spain and elsewhere was becoming a powerful weapon against Napoleon. Conquered people turned against the French

Scorched Earth Policy

Russians practiced it when retreating toward Moscow. They burned grain fields and slaughtered livestock to leave nothing for the enemy to eat. Desperate soldiers deserted the French army to search for scraps of food


the British prepared for battle near the village of Waterloo in Belgium. The British and Prussia attacked the French until two days later, Napoleon's troops gave way and were chased from the field. Napoleon was shipped to St. Helena to live by himself for 6 years and he died of stomach ailment or cancer

Congress of Vienna

meetings in Vienna that were called to set up policies to achieve the goal of new European order (of collective security and stability for the entire continent); lasted 8 months


agreeing that as many as possible of the ruler whom Napoleon had driven from their thrones should be restored to power

Balance of Power

Leaders did not want to go too far with weakening France because it might cause France to want to take revenge
-broke up France , another country might become so strong that it would threaten them all
-France kept overseas possessions, army and independent gov't; France remained a major but diminished European power, no country in Europe could easily overpower it


foreign minister of Austria; distrustedd democratic ideals of the French Revolution; maintained that Napoleon's expansionist dictatorsip had been a natural outcome of experiments with democracy; had three goals at the Congress of Vienna:
1- to prevent future French aggression by surround France with strong countries
2- wanted to restore the balance of power so that no country would be a threat to others
3- he wanted to restore Europe's royal families to the thrones before Napoleon's conquests

What is a revolution? How is it different from a coup d'etat?

Occurs when people attempt to completely transform the social, economic, political and ideological features of their society

Coup d'etat /putsch: This is essentially the seizure of power by a relatively small group of people, often involving sections of the military. The aim of such events is to replace one group of rulers with another- the fundamental social and economic features of society are left intact.

What were some immediate and long-term effects of the French Revolution


Why were members of the Third Estate dissatisfied with their way of life under the Old Regime?

The Third Estate Members were bourgeoisie (merchants and artisans) who supported in Enlightenment ideas of liberty and equality; they paid high taxes and they felt that their wealth entitled them to more social status and political power
Workers of the cities were paid low wages and often out of work; went hungry; needed to steal bread they needed
Peasants resented nobles for their privileges because peasants had to pay higher taxes

Why was the fall of the Bastille important to the French people?

the Bastille fell into the control of the citizens and it was symbolic because it showed that there was progress in the revolution

Describe the role women played during the revolution

Women stormed the Bastille due to high prices of bread, killed two guards, and demanded the Louis and Marie Antoinette come to Paris. They came to Paris and this signaled the change of power and radical reforms about to overtake France.

How did the identities of Robespierre and other revolutionaries influence them to lead the revolution?


Name three political reforms that resulted from the French Revolution


What was the Reign of Terror and how did it end?

It was a period where Robespierre governed as a dictator. He believed that it enabled French citizens to remain true to the ideals of the Revolution. People died for ridiculous reasons that went against the Revolution ideas. It ended when the National Convention turned on Robespierre and had him killed. The National Convention drafted a new constitution and put power in the hands of the upper middle class

How did Napoleon come to power in France?

He met with influential person to discuss his role in the Directory while his wife Josephine used her connections to influence the decisions of wealthy directors. Napoleon was put in charge of the military and his troops drove out the members of one chamber of the national legislature. The legislature voted to dissolve the Directory and Napoleon became one of three consuls. Then he assumed dictatorial powers as the first consul of the French people.

Summarize Napoleon's reforms in France

He supported laws that would strengthen the central government and achieve the Revolution goals like a stable economy and equal taxation. He set an efficient tax-collection system and established a national bank. He also improved government services with public schools.
He assured the government of steady tax money and promoted sound financial management and better control of the economy. He set up lycees, signed the concordat, and established the Napoleonic Code

what steps did Napoleon take to create an empire in Europe?

He took the pope's crown and put it on his head, signaling that he was more powerful than the church. He created the Napoleonic Code, signed the concordat, set up lycées, and conquered the Austrian Netherlands, Italy, and Switzerland and expanded to Austria, Prussia, and Russia

What factors led to Napoleon's defeat in Saint Domingue? In Russia?

Russia: Russians retreated toward Moscow , practiced the scorched-earth policy. Napoleon found it in flames, his men were starving and exhausted and they waited 5 weeks to leave when the Russian raiders attacked the army while they were leaving

What were Mitternich's three goals at the Congress of Vienna?

1- to prevent future French aggression by surround France with strong countries
2- wanted to restore the balance of power so that no country would be a threat to others
3- he wanted to restore Europe's royal families to the thrones before Napoleon's conquests

How did the Congress of Vienna assure peace in Europe for the next 38 years?


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