The French Revolution of 1789 Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!
Humanities 221 ProfessorEaston
THE OLD REGIME
The Three Estates
1st Clergy: tithes; tax exempt; birth, marriage & death; schools; censorship
2nd Nobility (Nobility and Clergy combined=400,000
out of a pop. of 26 million): land, mills & bakeries; tax exempt;
manor dues; hunting rights; magistrates
"Nobles of the race" & "Nobles of the robe"
3rd Everybody Else=bourgeoisie, laborers, artisans, peasants (96% of population): talent but no birth; limited incomes; high cost of living
1788: peasant spends 50% of income on bread
1789: peasant spends 80% of income on bread
1785-1789 cost of living increases 62%; wages increase 22%
Problems: economic (war debts, loans, extravagant kings, too many tax exemptions)
social (imbalance of social power)
THE ESTATES GENERAL--convenes the delegates from each of the three Estates; hasn't met since 1614 (the Monarchy has been "absolute").
Meeting at Versailles May 5, 1789. Number of delegates from 3rd Estate approximately the number of delegates from the 1st & 2nd.
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY declared June 17, 1789
TENNIS COURT OATH June 20, 1789. They will not disband until France has a constitution.
STORMING OF THE BASTILLE (prison & armory) July 14, 1789
END OF THE OLD REGIME
Revolutionary spirit spreads to the countryside.
National Assembly reduces aristocratic privilege.
Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (adopted Aug. 26, 1789)
influence of American Revolution; Enlightenment philosophes; Jean Jacques Rousseau
Mary Wollstonecraft: Vindication of the Rights of Women
Olympe de Gouges: Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizenness
Shortsightedness of revolutionaries: only partial religious toleration
Women's activism: October 1789 march to Versailles: "We have no bread."
Many nobility flee France, and opposition to National Assembly decreases.
REFORMS MADE BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
End Clergy/Nobility privilege
Declare Human Rights
End Roman Catholic Church privilege
Create Constitutional government; limit King's power; equality of Citizens
Reform Judiciary; torture abolished
Eliminate duties & tolls; medieval guilds eliminated
RESPONSES TO THE REVOLUTION:
1. Counter-Revolutionary measures (nobles, churchmen, Catholic peasants)
2. Sans-Culottes ("no pants" shopkeepers, artisans, wage earners): not rev. enough
3. Fear from other countries: Austria fought off, Aug. 1792.
SEPTEMBER MASSACRE, 1792, raid of prisons, killed 1100.
NATIONAL CONVENTION (new legislature) abolishes Monarchy. France becomes a REPUBLIC. Louis XVI executed January 1793
BLOODY REVOLUTION. . .
Two bourgeois political parties: Jacobins (strong central government; supported by Sans-Culottes) vs. Girondins (oppose government inference in business)
Jacobin constitution: the law of the maximum fixes prices on bread & other necessities
Maximilien Robespierre: The Reign of Terror
Guillotine . . . 40,000 killed (preservation of The Republic)
Robespierre executed July 27, 1794 (the 9th of Thermidor, according to the Republican calendar), ending Jacobin domination of the government.
New Republican Government: The Directory
Thermidoreans: bourgeois property owners; not sympathetic to commoners, massacre Jacobins.
By 1795, The Directory is weakened through internal uprisings.
Military generals take increasing control of government.
Napoleon Bonaparte (30 years old in 1799)
Napoleon and other generals overthrow The Directory in 1799. "First consul" 1802.
Crowns himself Emperor of France in 1804
Napoleonic reforms (an Enlightened Despot?)
suppressed political freedom
sustained revolutionary reforms rejecting religious intolerance & privilege by birth
arrested political opponents, both royalists and republicans
kept food prices low
built up bourgeois community
expanded French empire
instituted civil rights for Jews
modernized roads & bridges)
Napoleonic Code: (selected examples)
equality under the law
right to choose one's own profession
separation of church and state
inferiority of wives to husbands
tolerance of husbands beating wives (rule of thumb)
no support for employees under employers
British reaction (Napoleon bans import of British goods); support for Napoleon weakens.
Napoleon attacks Russia; defeated 1812.
"Able was I ere I saw Elba"
1815 Napoleon returns, defeated at Waterloo; exiled
WHAT HAPPENS TO FRANCE?
Restoration of the Monarchy: Louis XVIII (1815-1824), Charles X (abdicates 1830), Louis Phillipe (1830-1848: sympathetic to the Bourgeoisie; alienates Parisian workers). Louis Phillipe abdicates in 1848, unable to stand up against groups of students, workers, and some disenfranchised bourgeois who want to end the monarchy and extend rights more democratically. France becomes a REPUBLIC, again, in 1848. Louis Napoleon, nephew of the emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, is elected first President.