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French Revolution Notes- IB Hist Exam

French Revolution Notes- IB Hist Exam



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Published by Ashika I
Basically the whole french revolution... or whatever notes we took in class with a bit of stuff from Century of Change/ biography.com.
Basically the whole french revolution... or whatever notes we took in class with a bit of stuff from Century of Change/ biography.com.

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Published by: Ashika I on May 26, 2007
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First Estate: Clergy
The clergy consisted of about 100 000 people, or 0.5% of the population of France.They owned 10% of the land in France.
The Lower Clergy (94 000 people):
The priests of the country that did parish work. They were responsiblefor collecting the tithe.
The Higher Clergy (6000 people):
They comprised of nobles that lived at Versailles and basically didnothing. They earned all the money that was collected from the titheand weren’t very religious.
Every 10 years the clergy would give a gift to the king by using 5% of thetithe. The roles of the church included: parish work, maintaining the churchand education.
Second Estate: Nobility
The nobles of France consisted of about 400 000, or 1.5% of the population of France.They owned 25% of the land in France. They didn’t pay any taxes, but were willing todo if they were given power. There were many types of nobility, those who were borninto it and those who contributed to the army. The highest nobles lived at Versaillesand could become officers in the army or attain judicial or administrative posts. Theywere also exempted from the punishments given upon breaking a law.
Third Estate: Bourgeoisie, Workers, Peasants [basically everyone else]
The third estate consisted of 98% of the population or about 27 million people. Theyowned about 65% of the land.
To be a member of the bourgeoisie one might be a very wealthyfinancier or a shopkeeper, artisan, lawyer or bureaucrat. Many amongthe bourgeoisie aspired to be nobility and some bought positions suchas membership in the parlements that conferred noble status to thefamily. Enterprising businessmen desirous of joining the nobilityinvested in land and bought offices that carried a title, using theirmoney to advance their social position rather than to expand theirbusiness.
They were implicated in finances, commerce and the professionalworld (law, medicine etc). Between 1730 and 1770 they prosperedthrough commerce and mercantilism. They were owners of slaves of which they sold and were used to maintain their plantations of sugarsand tropical fruits. They were so rich that they used to lend the kingmoney, however, they had no power. Their anger came from the factthat they couldn’t accept their predicament and deemed it unjust topay all their taxes. Since their idols were the philosophers of theenlightenment, they started to criticize the monarchy and this then ledto a rebellion.
650 000 people in Paris who were afraid of bread shortages. Therewere many riots in 1788 due to that cause. They lost trust in the kingbecause he would buy all the bread and flour and then sell the breadwhen the prices increased. These people were extremely volatileduring the revolution and formed many riots and barricades.
They were composed of at least 86% of the population. They paid a lotof taxes but were still supportive of the monarchy and the church. Itwas only during isolated instances such as the Great Fear that theyreally played a role during the revolution. They were also involved inthe army.
They worked on the lands of nobles, and were basically treated asslaves. They were anti-Versailles and pro-king. They were veryattached to their king, seeing him as the intermediate between thepeople and God. However, they were not pleased with the expense of Versailles. They were basically the source of revenue with their manytaxes: la gabelle (salt tax), wine taxes, leather taxes. The tithe (ladîme) is paid to the church in which they pay 10% of what they makewithin a year. Also, they gave a percentage of their harvest to theseigneurs which falls under the rights outlined in the feudal system.Last of all they had obligations to the state, such as military servicesor the royal corvées (chores) in which they constructed roads, etc.
Class System Analysis:
1.The peasants were the victims of a taxation system which penalized the poor.
Although there were higher and lower classes between the clergy and the nobles, thisdidn’t exist in the 3
estate because they weren’t educated enough to know thedifference.
The 1
and 2
estate left the peasants uneducated (didn’t intervene to make thingsbetter) so that they could take advantage of them.
Due to the interdependence of the class system, if the 3
estate didn’t exist, Francewould fall apart.5.Everyone had their own place in society and learned to accept it.6.The peasants were incapable of changing their situation.7.The churches were run by the higher clergy who lived luxuriously without working.8.The less you work, the more you earn. Those who worked weren’t awarded.9.The church had more influence over the peasants than the king.10.The nobles were too busy maintaining their place in society.11.“Good things seem to come to those who work the least.” 
Biographies of Important People:
Honoré Gabriel Riqueti comte de Mirabeau (1749–1791):
Revolutionary politician and orator, born in Bignon, C France. At 17 he entered acavalry regiment, but was imprisoned on several occasions for his disorderlybehaviour. While hiding in Amsterdam, having eloped with a young married woman, hewrote the sensational
Essai sur le despotisme
(Essay on Despotism). Sentenced todeath, he was imprisoned at Vincennes in 1777 for over three years, where he wrotehis famous
Essai sur les lettres de cachet 
(2 vols, 1782). Elected to the EstatesGeneral by the Third Estate of Marseille (1780), his political acumen made him a forcein the National Assembly, while his audacity and eloquence endeared him to thepeople. He advocated a constitutional monarchy on the English model, but failed toconvince Louis XVI. As the popular movement progressed, his views were also rejectedby the revolutionaries. He was nonetheless elected president of the Assembly in 1791,but died soon afterwards.
Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre (1758–1794):
French revolutionary leader, born in Arras, N France. He became a lawyer, was electedto the States General (1789), became a prominent member of the Jacobin Club, andemerged in the National Assembly as a popular radical, known as ‘the Incorruptible’. In1791 he was public accuser, and in 1792 presented a petition to the LegislativeAssembly for a Revolutionary Tribunal. Elected first deputy for Paris in the NationalConvention, he emerged as leader of the Mountain, strenuously opposed to theGirondins, whom he helped to destroy. In 1793 he became a member of the
Committee of Public Safety, and for three months dominated the country, introducingthe Reign of Terror and the cult of the Supreme Being. But as his ruthless exercise of power increased, his popularity waned. He was attacked in the Convention, arrested,and guillotined on the orders of the Revolutionary Tribunal.
Georges (Jacques) Danton (1759–94):
French revolutionary politician, born in Arcis-sur-Aube, NEC France. He became alawyer, and was practising in Paris at the outbreak of the Revolution. In 1790 heformed the Cordelier's Club, a rallying point for revolutionary extremists, and in 1792became minister of justice. He voted for the death of the king (1793), and was one of the original members of the Committee of Public Safety. He tried to abate the pitilessseverity of his own Revolutionary Tribunal, but lost the leadership to Robespierre. Hewas arrested, brought before the Tribunal, and charged with conspiracy. Despite aheroic and eloquent defence, he was guillotined.
Louis (Antoine Léon Florelle) de Saint-Just (1767–1794):
French revolutionary, born in Decize, C France. He studied at Soissons and Reims, thenstudied law, and while in Paris began to write poetry and essays, notably
L'Esprit de larévolution
(1791, Spirit of the Revolution). He was elected to the National Convention(1792), attracted notice by his fierce tirades against the king, and as a devotedfollower of Robespierre was sent on diplomatic and military missions. He joined theCommittee of Public Safety (1793), contributing to the destruction of Danton andHébert, became president of the Convention (1794), and sponsored the radicalVentôse Laws, redistributing property to the poor. He was guillotined with Robespierrein the Thermidorian Reaction.
Jacques René Hébert (1757–1794):
French revolutionary extremist who represented the aspirations of the sans-culottes,born in Alençon, NE France. He became a popular political journalist, assumed thepseudonym
le Père Duchesne
after launching a satirical newspaper of that name(1790), and joined both the Cordelier and Jacobin Clubs. He became a member of theRevolutionary Council, playing a major part in the September Massacres and theoverthrow of the monarchy. After denouncing the Committee of Public Safety for itsfailure to help the poor, he tried to incite a popular uprising, but having incurred thesuspicion of Danton and Robespierre, he and 17 of his followers (
) wereguillotined.
Jacques Necker (1732–1804):
Statesman and financier, born in Geneva, SW Switzerland. Initially a banker's clerk, hemoved to Paris (1762), founded a bank, and became a wealthy speculator. In 1776–7he was director of the French Treasury and director-general of finances. He attemptedsome administrative reforms, but tried to finance French involvement in the War of American Independence by heavy borrowing, while concealing the large state deficit.He was dismissed in 1781, but recalled in 1788 to deal with the impending financialcrisis. He summoned the States General, but his proposals for social and constitutionalchange aroused royal opposition, and he was dismissed. His dismissal helped toprovoke the public disorder that ended in the storming of the Bastille, and he washastily recalled in 1789, but resigned the following year.
Louis XVI (1754–1793):
King of France (1774–93), born in Versailles, NC France, the third son of the dauphinLouis and Maria Josepha of Saxony, and the grandson of Louis XV, whom he succeededin 1774. He was married in 1770 to the Archduchess Marie Antoinette, daughter of theHabsburg Empress Maria Theresa, to strengthen the Franco–Austrian alliance. Hefailed to give consistent support to ministers who tried to reform the outmodedfinancial and social structures of the country, such as Turgot (1774–6) and Necker(1776–81). He allowed France to became involved in the War of AmericanIndependence (1778–83), which exacerbated the national debt. Meanwhile, Marie

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