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French Revolution 26/03/2007 11:53:00

Crisis and collapse

• Necker –things really aren’t that bad and we actually can fight a war
if we charge the fench aristocracy taxes
o so when the word comes out that they need to find a new
source of finances, necker becomes finace minister and
restructures the taxing system
o the aristocracy demands from the government a bidget
showing where the money is going
o Necker publishes a balance sheet that says everything is
great; what necker did was put the debt for the American
Revolution – it made the finances look a lot better he creates
an environment where nothing is wrong, they don’t trust the
king but they love Necker but they haven’t really solved any
o about half of the French income to pay the debt
o “An assembly of nobles” is chosen by the king to decide how
to tax people, sent away and the only other option is the
Estates General
 1614 was the last meeting of the estates general, if
louis agrees to call the estates general, then he is no
longer an absolute monarch
 louis is not a very astute leader
 1788 1789 were disastrous year on the farms and had
terrible harvests
 frances tries and fails at some price controls and that
winter was one of longest and coldest in living memory
 in the midst of this Louis gives in and calls the estates
 the peeps dont have any governing experience at all
 the elections of 1789 were the democratic spectacle
Estates general
• Cahiers folders representing what their constituents wanted
• for the clergy 2/4 of tem are regular priests and what they want is
more money
• the logical delgates did not stand for election so you get somewhat
lowlevel nobels who are elected
• from the third estate we get wealthy people who pay taxes but
think they should have access to government but don’t
What is the third estate?
• A pamphlet that says the third estate is everything it is the nation
• very powerful rhetoric ad it sets the tone
• as the delgtes show up they meet separately
• the third estate breaks off of the congregation and call themselves
‘the national assembly’
• on June 20 the king is trying to stop this so he locks the doors
where the third estate is meeting
• they go by a nearby tennis court and they swear that they will
continue meeting until the write a constitution for france
o this is radical
o the kind tries to stop it again but he is inept
o eventually he orders the aristocracy to join the national
o the army is starting to close in and te rumor starts to spread
that the king and army ar hording food
o July13 the people find a huges stash of grain in an abbey so
there is a panic call
o July 14middle class artisans go the the bastille and demand
enterance and are rebuked
o the troops fire on the hordes and don’t find anything- but it is
the first bloodshed
o the people believe the national assembly was threatened
Louis is powerless and probably and plotting with people outside of france to
have it invaded
Principles of 1789
• Great Fear
o People know that change is coming so the peasants start
attacking symbols of the old way such as castles and papers
o speaker of the house job revolved
o a lot of people gave up a lot of privelages
o by the end of the night al citizens of france were equal in the
eyes of the law
o feudalism was dead on that night of Aug 4
o it brought peace to the country side
• then the assmbly needs to write a constitution
o the declaration of the rights of man
 on aug 26 they issue the document with the provision
that it will be modified
 it becomes scripture
 it is the embodiement of the revolution
• the people of paris still have issues
o louis was imprisioned in versais
o the women in paris decide this is unacceptable on OCT 5 they
march through the city and by nightfall they reach Versailles
and the national assembly appeases them and then shows up
in front of the king
o the king is forced, once again to give in
o they demand that he goes back to paris where he can be
controlled by the people
o the king comes back
Refom of france
• They reorgaize the country into departments and this eliminates old
power places
• each department is equalized in every way
• ad you have the courts the administrative center is no more than
one days ride from any city
• the nationa l assembly decides to nationalize church land
Declarations of the rights of en
As the yea ends we see the nationalization of church lands, so the church
has to start paying to nation
• they also want to rationalize the church
• most church figures that dont have the cure of the soul are
considered dead weight
• the civil constitution of the clergy which requires priests to take a
vow of loyalty to the state in order to be priests
o priests have a problem with this it is placing loyalty with the
state rather than to the church
o over half the clergy in france don’t take the vow (they are
known as refractory priests)
o if you refused , you couldn't get a parish, salary, etc.
Counter revolution
• Flight to varennes
• the émigré
• louis is spotted trying to escape the monarch tried to flee to invade
the country
o this is treason and the pople who catch him
o in the proclamation that louis left behind he said that he was
against the revolution
o the constitution cannot survive because you have a
treasonous head of state
o radical revolutionaries want to depose the king
• when the assembly ends the antional assembly stops meeting they
cannot run again under their own laws
• the new people that come to paris have been the local leaders
• they come into a difficult situation, the old order is gone there is a
lot of dissension
• when the new crew come into lead they have significant roblems
because they cannot deal with international problems
Declaration of Pillnitz
• If you hurt the kig and queen well invade (other nations) August
27, 1791
the delgates show up and the first thing tht they do is declare war april
• if they declare war the french will pull together and make a stronger
civil society
• poorly trained soldiers means loss of war for france
• looking for a scapegoat to blame the loss
• and they decide that its the kings fault and the enemies of the war
are being aided by the émigrés
• in preparation for the July 14th parade we see a lot of tension
Sans Culottes
• they organized demonstrations, they are increasingly radical and
they arecalling for an overturn of the monarchy
• the convention writes a new onstitution
o sep 22 1792 declares france a republic it becomes day 1 of
year one they want to fundamentally re make French society
o al men have the vote regardless of the amount of land we
o although they cant afford it yet
• we’ve got democratic voting however there are still unreliable
elements in society
• so they get rid of enemies of the revolution
o they want to get rid of everyone who is not virtuous
 Marie Antoinette
 Louis loses his head after a trial in Jan 21 1793
 Citizen Capet
• They start the calendar over, an change the number of days in a
week and the number of months in a year
o The month of thermador
• Thy try to dechristinize the country
• Throught the country churches are defaced
The Terror
• Revolutionary tribunals
o Fairly rational but over time the commitment to using evience
o The executions were commissioned buy guillotine
o Not all parts of france were equally affected by this
o 14,000 victims of the guillotine
o relatively few of the vitims were rationally
o over 50% were sans coulottes and peasants
o close to 100,000 people died e to this violence
o its gotten completely out of control
• Robespierre , executed July 1794
• The White Terror
• REaction
26/03/2007 11:53:00
26/03/2007 11:53:00