- Slides: 59
“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”
The Causes of the French Revolution
MONEY • Poor economy • Increased taxes • King’s debt increased • Price of bread increased because of poor harvests
The French Urban Poor
ENLIGHTENMENT IDEAS New ideas about government Saw little change, so they wanted more… Ideas of Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu Down with Absolutism, In with Democracy!
AMERICAN REVOLUTION • Ideas of revolution spread • France lent $ to colonies to support American Revolution • Social Contract Theory: • If the government is not doing its job, then people should overthrow
LOUIS XVI • Inherited a bankrupt treasury • Spent too much money • Rarely met with the Estates-General • Overtaxed the people • Married to Marie Antoinette (Austrian, not French!) • Unpopular and seen as frivolous
SOCIAL STRUCTURE 3 estates Catholic Clergy, 1% of pop. 10% of land No taxes Got paid taxes (tithe) All French people belonged to 1 of 3 estates (social classes) Estates determined a person’s legal rights and status. Nobility, 2% of pop. 25% of land Got paid taxes (didn’t pay any) Privileges such as hunting & sword 1 2 Nobility received high position Bourgeoisie – middle class in Church, government, arm (doctors, lawyers, rich, educated) 3 Peasants & City workers Family determined which (lived in slums) estate you were a member Absolutely NO 97% of population say in government of – could not change estates 65% of the land (but pay high taxes and rent)
The Old Regime • This cartoon from the era of the French Revolution depicts the third estate as a person in chains, who supports the clergy and nobility on his back. The Third Estate
The Three Estates • Before the revolution the French people were divided into three groups: – The first estate: the clergy – The second estate: the nobility – The third estate: the common people (bourgeoisie: middle class). • Legally the first two estates enjoyed many privileges, particularly exemption from most taxation.
The First Estate • The first estate, the clergy, consisted of rich and poor. – There were very wealthy abbots, members of the aristocracy who lived in luxury off of wealthy church lands. – There were poor parish priests, who lived much like the peasants.
The Second Estate • The second estate, the nobility, inherited their titles and got their wealth from the land. – Some members of the nobility had little money, but had all the privileges of noble rank. – However, most enjoyed both privileges and wealth.
The Third Estate • The third estate, the common people, was by far the largest group in France. • Everyone who was not a member of the first or second estates was a member of the third. It included: – Wealthy merchants, whose wealth rivaled that of the nobility – Doctors and lawyers – Shopkeepers – The urban poor – The peasants who worked the land.
The French Royalty • The royal family lived in luxury at the Palace of Versailles. Hall of Mirrors
The Palace of Versailles • The King and Queen of France lived in luxury and splendor at the magnificent Palace of Versailles outside of Paris.
Louis XVI • Absolute monarch • Required nobles to live at the palace & compete for attention. • Louis XVI was an awkward, clumsy man who had a good heart but was unable to relate to people on a personal level. – He often appeared unfeeling and gruff. – He was insecure and seems to have disliked being King of France. n When one of his ministers resigned, he was heard to remark, "Why can't I resign too? "
Marie Antoinette • Marie Antoinette, in her early years as Queen, was flighty and irresponsible. – She spent huge amounts on clothes, buying a new dress nearly every other day. “Madame deficit” – Being Austrian, she was terribly unpopular in France and had few friends.
The Financial Crisis • The government of France, however, was bankrupt and was facing a serious financial crisis. • The crisis resulted from: – An inefficient and unfair tax structure, which placed the burden of taxation on those least able to pay, the third estate – Outdated medieval bureaucratic institutions – A drained treasury which was the result of: • Aiding the Americans during the American Revolution • Long wars with England • Overspending
The Nobility • With the exception of a few liberals, the nobility wanted greater political influence for themselves but nothing for the third estate.
Where is the tax money?
“Madame Deficit” Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette succeed to the throne (1774) Recognizes financial crisis Begins taxing the nobility and the clergy Both groups refuse to be taxed!
Louis XVI calls upon…… A body made up of representatives of all three estates, with each estate having a single vote May 5, 1789 @ Versailles First time it was called since 1614!! King Louis XVI hoped to approve new taxes for the 1 st and 2 nd Estates. King Louis XVI made each Estate 3 rd estate wanted each member (delegate) voting as an individual meet separately 1 st and 2 nd estates hoped to use it to protect their privileges, weaken royal power and gain control of the govt.
Tennis Court Oath 3 rd Estate is locked out of the Estates General. They knock down the door to an indoor tennis court pledging to stay until they drew up a new constitution. • Swear an oath of allegiance not to disband until a constitution had been created for France – All but one of the 578 delegates signed it. – It said: "The National Assembly, considering that it has been summoned to establish the constitution of the kingdom. . . decrees that all members of this assembly shall immediately take a solemn oath not to separate. . . until the constitution of the kingdom is established on firm foundations. . . " June 20, 1789 Declared themselves the National Assembly (ruled from 1789 – 1791)
July 14, 1789 A rumor spread that the king was planning a military coup against the National Assembly to dissolve it. Louis XVI began gathering 18, 000 mercenaries because he didn’t trust French troops Angry mob of several thousand stormed the Bastille to steal weapons & gunpowder to defend the National Assembly Most soldiers in and around Paris refused to stop the attack…King Louis XVI had also lost control of the army 18 died. 73 wounded. 7 guards killed. Bastille held 7 prisoners [5 ordinary criminals & 2 madmen].
The Tricolor (1789) The WHITE of the Bourbons + the RED & BLUE of Paris. Citizen!
The Great Fear: Peasant Revolt (July 20, 1789) Rumors that the feudal aristocracy (rich noble classes) were sending hired brigands to attack peasants and pillage their land. French peasants armed themselves – REBELLION! Attacked nobles and destroyed their homes!
Reaction to Fear: • The National Assembly responded to the Great Fear. On the Night of August 4, 1789, one by one members of the nobility and clergy rose to give up: – Feudal dues – Serfdom – The tithe – Hunting and fishing rights – Personal privileges.
Great Fear convinced nobles it was time for change National Assembly (N. A. ) Makes Changes in France Raised taxes on nobles Grant ALL males the right to hold office, and get government, army or Church jobs Declaration of the Rights of Man & Citizen (Approved by N. A. , August 26, 1789) Liberty, Equality and Fraternity Developed a government with THE KING, the Assembly and the Judiciary Men are born and remain free and equal in rights Freedom of speech, fair taxes and security Citizens have a voice in the affairs of the government
Olympe de Gouges (1745 -1793) Women played a vital role in the Rev. But, The Declaration of the Rights of Man did NOT extend the rights and protections of citizenship to women. Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen (1791)
Mary Woolstonecraft • From London • Middleclass, governess, teacher, translator & author • A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) • Advocated: • Co-education: which would make better wives, mothers, citizens & economically independent people. • Women run businesses • Birth of modern woman’s movement
The “October Days” (1789) • Louis refused to sign the Declaration • Thousands marched 12 miles from Paris to King’s palace, demanding bread • Louis XVI and family were forced to leave Versailles to see how bad Paris was – moved in Tuileries Palace “I will go to Paris with my wife. ” • Emigres—Nobles who fled France
March of the Women, October 5 -6, 1789 A spontaneous demonstration of 6, 000 Parisian women for bread. We want the baker, the baker’s wife and the baker’s boy!
Louis XVI “Accepts” the Constitution & the National Assembly. 1791
The French Constitution of 1791: A Bourgeois Government = National Assembly • 1. Kept monarchy (Limited Monarchy). The king got the “suspensive” veto (which prevented the passage of laws for 4 years) • 2. A permanent, elected, single chamber National Assembly (had the power to grant taxation) • 3. An independent judiciary
Supported the monarchy & divine right Favored limited monarchy Wanted a republic where all males could vote, whether or not they owned property
The Royal Family Attempts to Flee (June 1791) The King and Queen dressed as ordinary people, and headed toward the Luxembourg border The King was recognized by soldiers at Varennes, near the border, and the family was imprisoned. Louis reluctantly accepted the limited monarchy
The National Convention (September, 1792) M Its first act = formal abolition of the monarchy on September 22, 1792. § The Year I of the French Republic. M Universal male suffrage & a democratic constitution M The Decree of Fraternity § It offered French assistance to any subject peoples who wished to overthrow their governments. When France sneezes, all of Europe catches cold!
Louis XVI’s Head (January 21, 1793) c c c Secret letters found from Louis to (and from) other foreign dignitaries Proved conclusively Louis’ knowledge and encouragement of foreign intervention. The National Convention voted 387 to 334 to execute the monarchs.
Marie Antoinette on the Way to the guillotine (October 1793)
Famous Last Words
Two Radical Groups • During the constitutional monarchy there were two radical groups vying for power, the Girondins and the Jacobins. • Although both groups were more radical in their views than the moderates who had designed the constitutional monarchy, the Girondins were somewhat less radical.
Felt revolution had gone too far Wanted to protect wealthy middle class
Wanted Extreme Change Membership mostly middle class
The Rise of the Jacobins • When the constitutional monarchy fell and he King was put on trial for treason in December, the Girondins argued against his execution. • The Jacobins thought he needed to die to ensure the safety of the revolution. • When the Jacobins were successful the tide turned against the Girondins. • The Jacobins in the National Convention had 22 Girondin leaders arrested and executed. The Jacobins had won.
Jean-Paul Marat • A Jacobin journalist - showed little regard for the truth, was arrested for attacking Girondins, • The people loved Marat and he was acquitted of the charges… the crowds swarmed around him, scooped him up on their shoulders and carried him to the Convention, cheering all the way.
The Death of Marat • Charlotte Corday, a Girondin sympathizer, gained entrance to Marat's bath and stabbed him. • Marat immediately became a martyr to the revolution. He was given a hero's funeral and the procession lasted 7 hours.
"Charlotte Corday after the murder of Marat, " 1861, by Paul-Jacques-Aime Baudry. The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David
The Reign of Terror • After the death of Louis in 1793, the Reign of Terror began. – Marie Antoinette led a parade of prominent and not-so -prominent citizens to their deaths. – The guillotine, the new instrument of egalitarian justice, was put to work. • Public executions were considered educational. Women were encouraged to sit and knit during trials and executions. • The Revolutionary Tribunal ordered the execution of 2, 400 people in Paris by July 1794. Across France 30, 000 people lost their lives.
Different Social Classes Executed 8% 7% 28% 25% 31%
Watch Committees • The Terror was designed to fight the enemies of the revolution, to prevent counter-revolution from gaining ground. • Most of the people rounded up were not aristocrats, but ordinary people. – A man (and his family) might go to the guillotine for saying something critical of the revolutionary government. – Watch Committees around the nation were encouraged to arrest "suspected persons, . . . those who, either by their conduct or their relationships, by their remarks or by their writing, are shown to be partisans of tyranny and federalism and enemies of liberty" (Law of Suspects, 1793).
Suspension of Civil Liberties • Civil liberties were suspended. – The Convention ordered that "if material or moral proof exists, independently of the evidence of witnesses, the latter will not be heard, unless this formality should appear necessary, either to discover accomplices or for other important reasons concerning the public interest. " – The promises of the Declaration of the Rights of Man were forgotten. – Terror was the order of the day. In the words of Maximilien Robespierre, "Softness to traitors will destroy us all. "
Maximillian Robespierre • Terror is nothing other than justice: prompt, severe, inflexible. • -- Robespierre
Republic of Virtue • Robespierre was the mastermind of the Reign of Terror. – He was the leader of the Committee of Public Safety, the executive committee of the National Convention, and the most powerful man in France. – He explained how terror would lead to the Republic of Virtue in a speech to the National Convention: “If the spring of popular government in time of peace is virtue, the springs of popular government in revolution are at once virtue and terror: virtue, without which terror is fatal; terror, without which virtue is powerless. Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible. . . ” Speech on Terror • The old maxim "the end justifies the means" describes Robespierre's policy well.
The Last Victim of the Reign of Terror • Even the radical Jacobins, the supporters of Robespierre, come to feel that the Terror must be stopped. – Danton rose in the Convention calling for an end to the Terror. He was its next victim. – When Robespierre called for a new purge in 1794, he seemed to threaten the other members of the Committee of Public Safety. • The Jacobins had enough… – Cambon rose in the Convention and said “It is time to tell the whole truth. One man alone is paralyzing the will of the Convention. And that man is Robespierre. ” – Others quickly rallied to his support. – Robespierre was arrested and sent to the guillotine the next day, the last victim of the Reign of Terror.
Enlightenment Tool? C. Executions were carried out using the newest execution device known as the Guillotine. C. The Guillotine was supposed to be a more humane execution device.
The last guillotine execution in France was in 1939!
THE DIRECTORY • People had grown tired of the instability and bloodshed • They were ready for something more moderate. By 1795, the republic was gone & a new constitution created a two house legislature & • The Directory: 5 businessmen held executive power in France = Oligarchy: Rule by a small elite group • It was far more conservative than the Jacobin republic had been. • It was also ineffectual ! • No economic reforms, no universal suffrage, bankruptcy & scandals… • People readily accepted the coup d'état of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. » Military overthrow of the go’vt • In 1799, 10 years after the beginning of the revolution, it ended.
How Revolutionary Was the French Revolution? “In political and ideological terms the revolution was no doubt of crucial importance, but humanity was not transformed thereby. Most of the population continued to be subject to the age old constraints of their environment. At the end of all the political upheavals of the Revolution and Empire little had changed in the daily life of most Frenchmen. ”