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Chapter 11: The French Revolution


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Title: Chapter 11: The French Revolution

Chapter 11 The French Revolution Napoleon
Section 1 The French Revolution Begins
  • Background to the Revolution
  • The French Revolution tried to create both a new
    political and social order.
  • The Three Estates
  • There were 27 million people in France society
    had been based on inequality since the middle
    ages long-term cause of the revolution

First Estate
  • consisted of clergy about 130,000 people
  • owned 10 of the land
  • exempt to taxes (taille)
  • higher clergy members of aristocratic families
    shared interest of nobility
  • lower clergy parish priest poor from lower

Second Estate
  • consisted of nobility about 350,000 people
  • owned 25 30 of the land
  • held leading positions in the government,
    military, courts, and church offices
  • exempt from taxes

Third Estate
  • commoners of society overwhelming majority of
  • peasants 75 80 of population owned 35
    40 of land over half of peasants have no land
    peasants had obligations to landlords including
    fees for the use of village facilities
  • City Workers poor worked for poor wages in poor
  • Bourgeoisie middle class 8 of population
    owned 20 25 of land were educated and had
    read the ideas of the Enlightenment upset with
    the monarchical system resting on privilege and
    the old social order

Financial Crisis
  • - immediate cause of the French Revolution was
    the collapse of government finances.
  • - bad harvest or two years a slowdown in
    manufacturing rising prices for food high
    unemployment by the eve of the revolution
    one-third of the population was at a crisis point
  • - The French government continued to spend
    enormous amounts of money on court luxuries and
    costly wars including the American Revolution
  • - Therefore, Louis XVI was forced
  • to call the Estates- General to raise
  • new taxes.

From Estates-General to National Assembly
  • Estates-General
  • representatives from all three estates
  • third estate wanted to set up a constitutional
    government that would abolish tax exemptions for
    the first and second estates
  • controversy over voting traditionally each
    estate had one vote first and second estate all
    voted together therefore third estate was always
    left out third estate wanted each member to
    vote king was in favor of the current system

National Assembly
  • third estate reacts by calling a meeting of
    themselves to draw up a constitution the
    National Assembly
  • When they arrived to find their meeting doors
    locked they meet on a tennis court take Tennis
    Court Oath promise not to disband until a
    constitution is written

  • July 14, 1789, the common people storm the
    Bastille royal troops helped them Louis XVI
    could no enforce his will therefore the National
    Assembly was saved

Great Fear
  • Revolutions break out all over France becomes
    known as the Great Fear citizens formed militias
    and attacked nobility many French nobles flee

The Destruction of the Old Regime
  • King forces member of the first and second estate
    to meet in the National assembly
  • Third Estate made huge progress when they voted
    to abolish the rights of landlords and abolish
    tax exemptions for the clergy and nobility
  • National Assembly finally adopted
  • the Declaration of the Rights of Man
  • reflected Enlightenment thoughts
  • charter of basic liberties proclaimed
  • freedom and equal rights for all men
  • access to public office based on talent
  • all citizens get to take part in making
  • laws, and freedom of speech and press
  • were affirmed.

  • Olympe de Gouges wrote the Declaration of the
    Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen in it she
    insists that women should have the same rights as

The King Concedes
  • Louis XVI refused to accept the National
    Assemblys decree so thousands of women armed
    with broomsticks, lances, pitchforks, swords,
    pistols, and muskets march to Versailles
  • ? A delegation of the women
  • meet with Louis XVI and
  • described how their children
  • were starving and force the
  • king to accept the new decrees
  • forces the royal family to return
  • to Paris with them the Royal
  • become virtual prisoners in Paris

Church Reforms
  • ? The Catholic Church was seen as a part of the
    old order therefore the National Assembly
    reformed it too.
  • ? The Assembly seized and sold Church lands?
  • Civil Constitution of the Clergy was passed
    it made bishops and priest elected by the people
    and paid by the state
  • ? Many Catholics become
  • enemies of the revolution

A New Constitution and New Fears
  • The Constitution of 1791 set up a limited
    monarch still be a king put the Legislative
    Assembly would make the laws put an end to the
    old order
  • Legislative Assembly consisted of 745
    representatives only men over 25 who paid a
    specific amount of taxes could vote
  • Many opposed the New Order Catholic priest and
    nobles, lower classes hurt by the rise in the
    cost of living, and radicals who wanted even more
    drastic changes
  • Louis XVI and his family tried to flee France
    they were recognized and brought back to Paris

War with Austria
  • European rulers began to fear the revolution
    would spread to their countries Austria and
    Prussia threatened force to restore Louis XVI to
    full power
  • Legislative Assembly declared war on Austria
    Marie Antoinettes brother Joseph II is ruling

Rise of the Paris Commune
  • Defeats in war and economic shortages in France
    led to radical political groups declaring
    themselves a commune they attacked both the
    royal palace and the Legislative Assembly
  • Paris Commune took the king captive forced the
    Legislative Assembly to suspend the monarch and
    called for a National Convention with full
    universal male suffrage to decides the nations
    future form of government
  • Power passed from the
  • Legislative Assembly to
  • the Commune or sans-culottes

11.2 Radical Revolution and Reaction
  • The Move to Radicalism
  • - Georges Danton led Paris Commune
    appointed minister
  • of justice
  • - sans-culottes sought revenge on those
    who aided the king
  • and resisted the popular will
    thousands arrested and
  • massacred
  • - Jean Paul Marat published
  • journal called Friend of the People

The Fate of the King
  • National Conventions first major step was to
    abolish the monarch and establish the French
  • The Convention split into two factions over the
    fate of the king.
  • ?Girondins represented rural areas feared the
    radical mobs supported keeping the king alive
  • The Mountain represented the radicals of the
    cities supported putting Louis XVI to death
  • The Mountain won The Convention beheaded Louis
    XVI on the guillotine in Jan. 1793

Crisis and Response
  • The execution of Louis XVI Outraged royalty all
    over Europe Austria, Prussia, Spain, Portugal,
    Britain, and the Dutch Republic took arms against
    the French
  • If the coalition was successful, then the old
    regime would be reestablished.
  • To meet this crisis, the National Convention
    created the Committee of Public Safety had broad
    powers defend France from threats were to direct
    the war effort was dominated by Maximilian
    Robespierre, Georges Danton, and Jean-Paul Marat

Committee of Public Safety
Maximilian Robespierre
Georges Danton
Jean Paul Marat
The Reign of Terror
  • - a year period from 1793 1794
  • when the Committee of Public
  • Safety was in control
  • The Reign of Terror revolutionary
  • courts were set up to prosecute
  • enemies of the republic close to
  • 40,000 were killed
  • Crushing Rebellion
  • Revolutionary armies were to bring
  • rebellious cities under control
  • Lyon 1,880 citizens of the city were
  • executed by guillotine or grapeshot
  • Nantes victims were executed by

The Republic of Virtue Committee of Public
Safety took steps to create a democratic republic
composed of good citizens
  • titles citizen and citizeness were replaced by
    mister and madame
  • women wore long dresses
  • primary education for all was passed but not
    widely implemented
  • Slavery was abolished
  • Price controls were placed on necessities not
    always enforced by government
  • National Convention pursued a policy of
    dechristianization churches were closed word
    saint removed from street signs priest were
    encouraged to marry a new calendar years was
    numbered from the first day of the French
    Republic eliminated Sundays and worship
    services failed to work because France was
    overwhelmingly catholic

A Nation in Arms
  • - French revolutionary government raised a one
    million man
  • army largest ever seen pushed the European
    coalition back and conquered the Austrian
  • created modern nationalism first time the war
    was a peoples war therefore became more
  • - End of Terror By 1794, the French had
    defeated the European coalition there was less
    need for the Reign of Terror but Robespierre kept
    up the killing many began to fear they would be
    executed so the National Convention condemned
    Robespierre to the Guillotine after his death
    middle class leaders took control and the Reign
    of Terror came to an end.

The Directory
  • - Constitution of 1795
  • established a bicameral legislative assembly
    Council of 500 initiated legislation and the
    Council of Elders
  • accepted or ejected proposed laws legislators
    were chosen by electors had to own or rent a
    large amount of property
  • The Directory was an executive committee
    consisted of 5 men elected by the legislative
  • The Directory had to deal with royalist who
    wanted to restore the monarch and continue
    fighting wars started by the Committee of Public
    Safety plus a growing financial crisis therefore
    the Directory depended on the military to
    maintain power.
  • 1799, Napoleon overthrows the government (coup
    detat) and seizes power.

11.3 The Age of Napoleon
  • The Rise of Napoleon
  • - Napoleon Bonaparte dominated
  • French and European history from
  • 1799 to 1815 brought French
  • Revolution to an end
  • - Early Life
  • born in Corsica 1769
  • son of a lawyer family was Florentine nobility
  • studied at a military school in France on
  • became lieutenant in the French army 1785
  • not liked by his fellow officers because he was
    short, had Italian accent, and little money

Military Successes
  • rose quickly through the ranks of the French army
  • at 24 was made Brigadier general
  • at 26 was made commander of the French armies in
    Italy gained confidence of his men
  • at 27 given command of the army training to
    invade Britain proposed to invade British Egypt
    instead his army was cut off by the British and
    Napoleon abandoned his army

Consul and Emperor
  • - at 30 he helped overthrow the government
    of the
  • Directory 1799
  • a consulate was proclaimed (new government)
    Napoleon made himself first consul and held
    absolute power
  • at 32 was made consul for life
  • at 35 crowned himself emperor

Napoleons Domestic Policies
  • Peace with the Church
  • Napoleon made peace with the oldest enemy of the
    revolution, the Catholic Church Not because of
    his own personal faith he was an enlightenment
    believer in reason
  • 1801, Napoleon recognized Catholicism as the
    religion of the majority pope agreed not to ask
    for the return of the church lands seized during
    the revolution

Codification of the Laws
  • Napoleon unified French laws was 300 separate
    legal systems
  • Most important was the Civil Code or Napoleonic
    Code it recognized equality before the law, the
    right to chose a profession, religious
    toleration, the end of serfdom, protected
    property rights, and outlawed unions and strikes
  • Napoleons Civil Code undid revolutionary changes
    especially for women made it harder for women
    to divorce, husbands controlled wifes property,
    considered minors in law suits and their
    testimony was considered less reliable

A New Bureaucracy
  • Napoleon developed a powerful centralized
    government government careers were open to
    individuals based on their ability
  • Napoleon created a new aristocracy based on
    service to the state. More than half were
    military officers and from the middle class.

Preserver of the Revolution?
  • The Civil Code preserved equality of citizens
    before the law.
  • Opening government careers to talent
  • Liberty was replaced by despotism
  • Shut down most newspapers
  • All books were censored by the government before
  • Mail was opened by government police

Napoleons Empire
  • Building the Empire
  • When Napoleon became consul in 1799, France was
    still at war with the European coalition made
    peace in 1802, but in 1803 the war was renewed
    and by 1807, Napoleons Grand Army defeated
    Austria, Russia, and Prussia
  • Napoleon could now create a new world order. His
    Grand empire had three parts
  • 1. the French empire (the inner core)
  • 2. the dependent states (kingdoms that Napoleons
    relatives ruled)
  • 3. the allied states (Napoleon had defeated and
    forced to join him in the war against Britain)

Spreading the Principles of the Revolution
  • In the inner core and the dependent states,
    Napoleon tried to destroy the old order he urged
    rulers to be constitutional kings, nobility and
    clergy lost their privileges, opened jobs to
    talent, granted equality before the law, and
    granted religious toleration important factor
    in the development of liberal traditions in these

The European Response Two major reasons
Napoleons empire collapsed
  • 1. Britains Survival
  • Largely due to its sea power and island location
  • Battle of Trafalgar Lord Nelson destroyed a
    combined French-Spanish fleet destroyed all
    plans to attack militarily
  • So Napoleon decides to destroy Britain
    economically by using the Continental System aim
    was to stop British goods from being sold in
    Europe failed
  • Nationalism
  • French aroused nationalism in two ways
  • showed Europe what nationalism was and what a
    nation in arms could do and
  • hatred of French oppressors caused patriotism to
    be stirred in opposition to Napoleon

Battle of Trafalgar Lord Nelson
The Fall of Napoleon
  • Disaster in Russia
  • 1812, Napoleons downfall begins with his
    invasion of Russia
  • Russia refused to remain in the Continental
    System, therefore Napoleon decided to invade.
  • Grand Army entered Russia with 600,000 men
    Russian forces refused to give battle instead
    they responded to Napoleon by using a scorched
    earth policy burned villages and countryside as
    they retreated
  • French won at Borodino when Napoleon reached
    Moscow it was on fire and lacked food and
    supplies Napoleon begins the Great Retreat
    only 40,000 of Napoleons Grand Army returned
  • Europeans attacked the crippled French Army and
    captured Paris in 1814, Napoleon was exiled to
    the island of Elba The Bourbon monarch was
    restored to Louis XVII

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Disaster in Russia
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The Final Defeat
  • New King had little support Napoleon slips back
    into France troops were sent to capture him the
    troops came over to his side Napoleon returns to
    Paris and rules for the hundred days
  • European powers pledge to defeat Napoleon again
    Napoleon raises another army and attacks in
    Belgium at Waterloo Napoleon was finally
  • defeated by British and Prussian
  • troops under the command of the
  • Duke of Wellington Napoleon will be
  • exiled to the island of St. Helena

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