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The French Revolution,1789-1799 LIBERTY – EQUALITY- FRATERNITY

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  • The French Revolution,1789-1799 LIBERTY EQUALITY- FRATERNITY
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  • Causes of the French Revolution The Enlightenment Ideas: Liberty Equality Reason Progress Philosophes: Locke defended private property, limited sovereignty and fair government Voltaire attacked noble privileges and the Churchs authority
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  • Causes (continued) The American Revolution, 1775-1783: showed the ideas of Enlightenment in action French soldiers (i.e. Lafayette) who helped came home inspired Put Louis XVI in deep debt
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  • French Economy was failing Enormous National debt (4 Billion) 50 percent of governments income went to interest on debt No central bank or paper currency Inefficient and uneven taxation system (varied by region and estate)
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  • Feudal system Estate System outdated Posed many difficulties to rising middle class of Third Estate Difficult to move upward in society, unless very rich Less well-off commoners resented the inequality of the three estates
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  • Louis XVI Good intentions Enlightened Weak-willed Indecisive Marie-Antoinette allowed to dispense patronage amongst friends
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  • Peasants situation unbearable Web of obligations Obviously unfairly overtaxed Noble hunting privileges Land-starved Subsistence farmers
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  • Harvest failures in 1787-1788: Less food Higher prices Businesses failed Unemployment in cities
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  • Periods of the French Revolution Moderate stage: 17891792 Radical stage: 17921794 The Directory: 17941799 Napoleon: 17991815
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  • Outbreak of the Revolution THE SPARK: Fiscal crisis forced Louis XVI to call the Estates-General, summer, 1788 (first time since 1614)
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  • The three estates elected delegates: First Estate represented about 100,000 clergymen Second Estate represented about 400,000 noble men and women Third Estate represented about 24.5 million people
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  • Who were the Third Estate delegates? Represented the outlook of the elite 25 percent lawyers 43 percent government officials Strong sense of common grievance and common purpose (cahiers de doleances)
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  • Outbreak (contd.) May 5, 1789: Estates General convened at Versailles June 17, 1789: the delegates of the Third Estate declared themselves to be the National Assembly
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  • the Oath of the Tennis Court (June 20, 1789)
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  • Outbreak (Contd.) Public attention to the events in Paris was high Price of bread soared Rumors circulated that Louis was about to stage a coup dtat Parisian workers (sans-culottes) organized a militia of volunteers
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  • July 14, 1789: the Storming of the Bastille Bastille was symbol of royal authority Its fall symbolized of the peoples role in revolutionary change
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  • The Great Fear Rumors that the kings armies were on their way Peasants attacked and burned manor houses Destroyed manor records
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  • Response August 4, 1789: National Assembly voted to abolish all noble and other privileges Church tithe the corve hunting privileges tax exemptions and monopolies Obliterated the remnants of feudalism
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  • Declaration of the Rights of Man andCitizen August 26, 1789 Declared natural rights Private property Liberty, security, and resistance to oppression Declared freedom of speech, religious toleration, and liberty of the press to be inviolable Equality before the law
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  • Womens March on Versailles
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  • Womens March cont Brought on by economic crisis Parisian women marched to Versailles (October 5) and demanded to be heard Women demanded Louis and his family return to Paris Women with the help of the National Guard forced Louis (and the National Assembly) to move to Paris
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  • Women and the revolution General participation in the Revolution Took leading roles in mass actions Joined clubs, demonstrations, and debates
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  • Women as citizens Olympe de Gouges, Declaration of the Rights of Women and the Citizen (1791) Women should have the same rights as men
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  • Religion and the Revolution National Assembly confiscated church property (November 1789) The Civil Constitution of the Clergy (July 1790) Bishops and clergy subject to the laws of the state Salaries to be paid from public treasury Church reforms polarized France Many resented the privileged position of the church Parish church an institution of great local importance

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