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Unit Two: Democratic Revolutions in Europe and America


Unit Two: Democratic Revolutions in Europe and America Democratic Developments in England The Enlightenment The Glorious Revolution The American Revolution – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Unit Two: Democratic Revolutions in Europe and America

Unit Two Democratic Revolutions in Europe and
  • Democratic Developments in England
  • The Enlightenment
  • The Glorious Revolution
  • The American Revolution
  • The French Revolution
  • Nationalism
  • Revolutions in Europe and Latin America

Antiquity to Middle Ages to Modern Times
Middle Ages
Rome (W.R.E)
Growth of church and royal power
Growth of Church Power
  • When the Western Roman Empire fell, its
    government structure and laws largely
  • This left the Roman Catholic Church as the most
    organized an structured entity.
  • The body of Church laws were based on Christian
    writings and were interpreted by the clergy.
  • Church courts judged those who disobeyed the
  • The church exercised significant control over
    European society as church officials were placed
    in high level government positions.

Democratic Developments in England
Growth of Royal Power
  • Feudalism was a loosely organized system of rule
    in which powerful local lords divided their
    landholdings among lesser lords.
  • In exchange, these lesser lords, or vassals,
    pledged service and loyalty to the greater lord.
  • William the Conqueror built an efficient
    tax-collecting system that increased royal wealth
    and authority.
  • King Henry II broadened the system of royal
    justice by expanding accepted customs into common
    law enforced by traveling judges.

The Feudal System
Evolving Government
  • Henry IIs son, John, was a greedy ruler who
    angered his nobles by imposing high taxes and
    abusing his power.
  • The barons united and forced John to sign the
    Magna Cartaa document that limited the kings
    power and affirmed due process and that even the
    monarch was subject to the rule of law.
  • During the 1200s the Great Council established
    by the Magna Carta developed into Parliament.
  • For hundreds of years the British monarch and
    Parliament struggled for power.
  • King Charles I summoned Parliament when he needed
    to raise money, but would dissolve it when the
    legislature tried to impose limits on his power.

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In 1660, Parliament restores the monarchy. In
1688, the English Bill of Rights is signed.
The Glorious Revolution
Rise of the Constitutional State/Glorious
  • Seventeenth century political developments lead
    to the rise of a republic, then constitutional
    monarchy in England.
  • Charles I was tried for tyranny and beheaded in
  • Oliver Cromwell lead the Puritan regime that took
    power in absence of a king. This disagreeable
    dictatorship prompted Parliament to restore the
    monarchy in 1660.
  • The restored king Charles II and parliament soon
    resumed conflict.
  • James II inherited the throne, suspended laws,
    and appointed Catholics in a power flex that
    angered and scared Parliament.
  • In 1688, in what became known as the Glorious
    Revolution, Parliament extended an invitation to
    rule, but forced William III and Mary to sign the
    English Bill of Rights, which ensured the
    superiority of Parliament over the monarchy.
  • In 1689, a constitutional monarchy is formed
    where the monarchs powers are limited by
    representative institutions.

The Age of Revolutions
Absolute Monarchies (France)
Constitutional States (England)
Philosophy Enlightenment The American
Revolution The French Revolution The Age of
Napoleon Spread of Nationalism Revolutions of
1830 1848 Revolts in Latin America
Feudalism/Regional States
Roman Empire
Ancient Greece
Early Modern Times
Middle Ages
Ancient Times/Antiquity
The Enlightenment
The Enlightenment
  • In the wake of the Scientific Revolution came the
  • This was an era in which people used reason to
    try to understand more about human behavior and
    solve the problems of society.
  • Thinkers launched an ambitious project to
    transform human thought and to use reason to
    transform the world. One such change was to move
    away from the theoretical foundations of the
    divine right of kings.
  • Enlightened thinkers sought to discover natural
    laws that governed human society.

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Modern Philosophers/Philosophes
  • English philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke
    both wrote about society and the ideal form of
    governing it.
  • Hobbes thought people needed strict control to
    rein in their naturally brutish tendencies.
  • Locke thought people were moral at heart and were
    entitled to certain natural rights, which
    governments were obliged to protect. He attacked
    divine right theories and promoted a
    constitutional government.
  • A group of French philosophers who wrote about
    government, law, and society were known as the
    philosophes. (progress, prosperity, social
  • Baron de Montesquieu believed in employing three
    branches of government that could balance each
    others powers.
  • Voltaire fought oppressive policies and religious
    prejudice with his witty writings.
  • Denis Diderot collected Enlightenment articles in
    an Encyclopedia that helped to spread ideas
    throughout Europe and the Americas.
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau thought people were
    basically good and should be much freer from
    governmental controls. He advocated political
  • Economists also applied reason to their study of
    economics during the Enlightenment. Adam Smith
    and a group of French thinkers called physiocrats
    urged economies that operated with little
    government control (laissez-faire).

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The American Revolution
Britain and the Thirteen Colonies
  • Britain becomes a global power
  • At the time of the American Revolution, Britain
    was a world superpower.
  • It had begun to build its empire and already
    controlled trade with much of North America, the
    West Indies, and India.
  • George III came to power in 1760 and was
    determined to assert his control.
  • The 13 colonies in the mid-1700s
  • In Britains American colonies, economic life was
    booming by 1750.
  • Although Britain tried to regulate trade and
    other aspects of life in the colonies, there was
    a sense of semi-independence on the part of the
    colonists, who tried to control their own affairs.

Tensions Escalate into War
  • When King George III imposed taxes on the
    colonies to help pay for wars, the colonists
    rebelled. Tensions escalated and finally broke
    out into war.
  • Inspired by Enlightenment ideas about the natural
    rights of man and the right to revolt against an
    unjust government, the Second Continental
    Congress declared independence from Britain.
  • With their passion, with their knowledge of the
    countryside, and with help from France, the
    Netherlands, and Spain, the colonists defeated
    the British.
  • The Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized
    the independent United States of America.

Birth of a New Republic
  • When the Articles of Confederation proved too
    weak to establish effective government, some of
    the nations leaders drafted the Constitution
    based on Enlightenment ideas of Locke,
    Montesquieu, and Rousseau.
  • The new government would recognize some basic
    rights of the people and establish three branches
    of government to create checks and balances.
  • The Constitution served as a model for
    constitutions created by other countries.

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The French Revolution
Political, Economic, and Social Rights of Citizens
Political and Civil Rights
Human Rights
Right to participate in government Freedom of
expression Equality before the law
Economic and social freedoms
Social mobility Property rights Freedom to make
economic choices
Divided French Society
  • Before the French Revolution, France operated
    under a social system in which there were three
    classes of people.
  • The highest was made up of the clergy, the next
    was composed of the nobility and the lowest was
    for everyone else.
  • Members of this lowest class, called the Third
    Estate, paid most of the taxes.

1st Estate Owned 10 of land Collected fees Paid
no taxes
First Estate
Combined lt 3 of population
Second Estate
Third Estate
2nd Estate Held top government jobs Paid by the
state Owned land (little income)
3rd Estate Business owners Professionals
(doctors, lawyers, bankers) Lower level jobs in
government Tenant farmers Factory workers
The Old Order represents a rigid class system
with no social mobility
Financial Troubles and the Estate General
  • France suffered from soaring debt during the
    lavish reigns of Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis
  • Finally, Louis XVI was forced to summon the
    Estates-General in hopes of ending the crisis.
  • Delegates to the Estates-General could not agree
    on a fair way to vote.
  • Members of the Third Estate finally declared that
    they constituted a National Assembly and were
    joined by some reform-minded clergy and nobles.
  • When rumors spread that royal troops were going
    to occupy the capital, a crowd of Parisians broke
    into the Bastille looking for weapons.

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France Becomes a Limited Monarchy
  • Famine and rumors fueled peasant revolts in the
  • Parisians were splintered into various factions
    who fought for power.
  • The National Assembly finally voted to give up
    many of their exclusive privileges and declared
    Feudalism is abolished.
  • In the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the
    Citizen, all male citizens were proclaimed equal
    before the law, which disappointed many women.
  • The National Assembly voted to take over and sell
    Church lands (to pay off debt) and to place the
    Catholic Church under state control.
  • The Assembly also produced the Constitution of
    1791, which set up a limited monarchy.

Radicals End the Monarchy
  • Soon, radicals held power in the Legislative
  • They wanted a republic, not a monarchy.
  • The radicals also declared war on the tyrannical
    rulers in Austria, Prussia, Britain, and other
  • News of mounting deaths in the war with Prussia
    caused anger with the King, who many thought was
    on the side of Prussia.
  • In what has been called the September
    massacres, citizens attacked prisons that held
    nobles and priests and killed many of them.
  • The Assembly gave the vote to all male citizens
    and the newly elected legislature was full of
    radicals who seized nobles lands and sentenced
    the king to death ending the now limited
  • The Convention, or legislative body, created the
    Committee of Public Safety and gave its 12
    members almost absolute power in response to the
    threats from inside and outside the country.
  • Under the leader, Maximilien Robespierre, this
    Committee set out an a Reign of Terrorduring
    which suspected enemies of the state were hastily
    tried and often put to death by guillotine,
    including Robespierre in the end.

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In-Class Activity
  • The French Revolution threatens to destabilize
    other European governments (absolute monarchies).
  • You are policy makers working for the monarchies
    of Austria-Hungary, Prussia, Russia, and Spain.
  • Your job is to secure the existence of absolute
    monarchy in the face of mounting pressure from
    your people who are growing aware of the French
    Revolution and the ideas of the Enlightenment.
  • How do you counter the forces? Would you accept
    limitations on the power of the monarch in order
    to preserve the monarchy?
  • Identify the pre-existing conditions that caused
    the French Revolution. Can you assume that many
    of these conditions are present in your monarchy?
    Address each potential problem with a specific
    solution. Identify the different options you have
    to deal with the problem. What are the
    consequences of your actions? Is there a benefit
    to creating an international alliance to defend
    the monarchy from domestic forces?

Third Stage of the Revolution
  • Moderates took over after the Reign of Terror and
    the Convention produced the third constitution
    since 1789.
  • Inflation and the resurgence of royalist feelings
    caused politicians to rally around war hero
    Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • The revolution brought nationalism or loyalty to
    the nation, instead of to a monarch.
  • Revolutionaries pushed for various social reforms
    and religious toleration.

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The Age of Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Napoleon was a military hero to the French and
    moved from being a general to being a member of a
    three-man Consulate who ruled France.
  • Through votes by French citizens, he then rose to
    First Consul and eventually to Emperor.
  • Napoleons government valued order and authority.
  • He made reforms to improve the economy and made
    peace with the Catholic Church.
  • He also instituted a new code of laws (Napoleonic
    Code) that recognized the equality of all
    citizens under the law.
  • Napoleons armies invaded and annexed the
    Netherlands, Belgium, and parts of Italy and
  • In lands he didnt control militarily, he tried
    to place friends and relatives in positions of
  • Britain, however, successfully resisted
    Napoleons actions through the force of its navy.

Napoleon Falls from Power
  • When Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, other
    countries began to revolt against French
    occupation and culture.
  • There were not enough soldiers to secure each
    territory and strike at Russia.
  • To make matters worse, Russian troops had burned
    crops and villages along the French route,
    leaving them without food or shelter during the
    brutal winter.
  • Frances Russian disaster gave birth to the
    alliance of Russia, Britain, Austria, and
  • They defeated France in 1813.
  • Napoleon was sent into exile on the island of
    Elba, and the monarchy was restored in France.
  • Napoleon then escaped Elba and returned to rule
    for a short time, until his troops were beaten
    again in battle.
  • He died while in exile on the island of St.
    Helena, but his conquests helped to spread the
    ideas of the French revolution throughout Europe
    and Russia.

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Conservatives Restore the Old Order
  • At the Congress of Vienna, European leaders tried
    to create a lasting peace by placing strong
    countries around France and by protecting the
    system of monarchy.
  • Metternich was a principal negotiator and
    dominant member at the Congress of Vienna.
  • He also became one of the main supporters of
    legitimacy and intervention.
  • Austria, Russia, Prussia, and Great Britain
    maintained their alliance.
  • Nationalism, however, would come back to haunt
    Europe soon enough.

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Revolutions in Europe and America
Competing Ideologies
  • Conservatives put together an agreement called
    the Concert of Europe, in which they pledged to
    support the old political and social order.
  • They vowed to suppress revolutionary ideas and to
    aid each other in fighting rebellions.
  • Liberals wanted governments to be based on
    constitutions and the separation of powers.
  • They believed male property owners should
    constitute the voting public.
  • They wanted an open market economy.
  • At the same time, some nationalist leaders sought
    to create various independent states for people
    who shared a common heritage.
  • Serbia revolted against the Ottoman Empire and,
    with the help of Russia, finally succeeded in
    gaining independence.
  • Greece also broke away from the Ottomans.
  • Other revolts broke out in Spain, Portugal, and
    some of the Italian states.

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Conservative Efforts Fail After a Generation
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