History Review

French Revolution

  A) Old Regime- feudalism system from the Middle Ages; people were divided into estates- 3 social classes
    1) Church (clergy)=1st estate; only pays 2%; owns 10% of land
    2) Nobles=2nd estate; 2% of pop.; pays no taxes
    3) Third Estate=working class
    i) ~98% of pop. 3 groups:
          a) Bourgeoisie: merchants & artisans; well-educated
          b) Workers: cooks, servants, shop owner, etc
          c) Peasants: farmers; half of income goes to nobles & church
      ii) Enlightenment Ideas: equality, liberty & democracy
    4) 1780s; crop failures, starvation
    5) Louis XVI- King of France 1774; borrowed & spent money a LOT
        i) Marie Antoinette (aka Madame Deficit)- Louis wife; spent a lot of money on gowns, jewels, etc.
      ii) France=bankrupt; calls Estates-General- meeting of representatives of all three classes
          a) First two estates always outvote third
  B) National Assembly-Third Estate delegates/representatives
    1) Vote to end abs. monarchy & begin another gov’t
    2) Tennis Court Oath- a new constitution drawn up in an indoor tennis court
    3) Storming the Bastille
        i) Rumors; foreign troops coming to massacre French citizens
          a) Foreign troops=Louis’s Swiss army; come to guard Paris
          b) Bastille=Paris prison; attempt to steal gun powder; fall to citizens
  C) Great Fear- wave of senseless panic that spread throughout France
    1) Peasants rebel; break into nobles’ houses & burn legal papers
    2) Oct. 1789; women riot over price of bread; turn against king & queen; break into Versailles & demand to take king & queen to Paris
    3) Aug. 1789; noblemen & clergy now = to peasants
  D) Declaration of the Rights of Man- statement of revolutionary ideals the Nat. Ass. adopts
    1) Guarantees equal justice, freedom of speech, religion, liberty, property, security, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”
    2) Olympe de Gouges-...