H. World Affairs: French Revolution

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1

Estates

Three classes, in French society: the clergy, nobility, and commoners. Related to the Ancien/Old Regime.

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2

Tennis Court Oath

A pledge made in an indoor tennis court by the members of France's National Assembly in 1789, in which they vowed to continue meeting until they had drawn up a new constitution, because King Louis XVI had tried to stop them from meeting by locking the doors to the place where they typically met.

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3

Declaration of Pillnitz

1791: a statement from Austria and Prussia (which was ruled by Marie Antoinette's brother) that states that these foreign powers intend to bring the French monarchy back into power, and that they do not approve of what is going on in France. However, this statement does not have any military backing behind it.

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4

French Republic

Established in 1792 to abolish the monarchy and draft a new constitution. Dissolved in 1804.

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5

Cahiers

List of grievances drawn up by delegates going to the meeting of the estates general. There was typically a list from each estate.

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6

Thermidorian Reaction

A reaction to the violence of the Reign of Terror in 1794, resulting in the execution of Robespierre and the loosening of economic controls. This was in the newly named month, which was around July. Today, it's used to describe a movement in which the policies of a government during a revolution become much less radical.

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7

Jacques Necker

Financial expert of Louis XVI, he advised Louis to reduce court spending, reform his government, abolish tariffs on internal trade, but the First and Second Estates got him fired.

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8

Robespierre

A Jacobin and one of the most radical leaders of the French Revolution. He was in charge of the government (aka the Committee of Public Safety) during the Reign of Terror. After a public reaction against his extreme policies (Thermidorian Reaction), he was executed without trial.

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9

Marie Antoinette

Queen of France (as wife of Louis XVI) who was unpopular her extravagance and opposition to reform contributed to the overthrow of the monarchy; she was guillotined along with her husband.

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10

Directory

Established after the Reign of Terror / National Convention; a five man group as the executive branch of the country, only lasted for 4 years. Couldn't solve France's economic problems and manipulated legislative elections for their own good while being backed by the army.

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11

Consulate

Government established in France after the overthrow of the Directory in 1799, with Napoleon as first consul in control of the entire government.

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12

Great Fear

Wave of panic and insecurity that spread through the French countryside in 1789 in reaction to hunger and grain shortages. They were afraid they would be attacked or their crops stolen. Refused to pay taxes, believed the nobility was hoarding grain and hiring criminals to steal their crops.

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13

John Locke

English philosopher who advocated the idea of a "social contract" in which government powers are derived from the consent of the governed and in which the government serves the people; also said people have natural rights to life, liberty and property. Has a lot to do with the Enlightenment

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14

Scientific Method

Has to do with the scientific revolution, presented as a way for people to critically and logically think about things, and was used as a method to challenge the corruption and ideas of the Catholic Church.

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15

Emigres

French nobles who fled from France during the peasant uprisings and the revolution, starting in around 1789. They were very conservative and hoped to restore the king to power.

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16

Bastille

Stormed for ammunition during the early stages of the French Revolution in response to the king bringing in foreign troops. They freed political prisoners and killed the governor.

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17

Law of Suspects

Allows anyone who is merely suspected of challenging the republic or the revolution can be arrested without trial, greatly expanded the definition of what is a political crime. Resulted in 16000 being sentenced to death, usually by guillotine. Relied heavily on tip-offs and suspicion, so no one felt safe.

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18

Committee of Public Safety

Established and led by Robespierre. Instigated the Reign of Terror, especially through the Law of Suspects. Set up the Law of the Maximum, which set maximum prices for food. Established a military draft to try and win the wars that France was fighting.

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19

Champs de Mars Massacre

Some people wanted France to become a republic after the royal family's flight to Varennes. They decided the gather in the Champs de Mars, but when they were there, the mayor of Paris called the National Guard to assert control of the situation, and the guard fired on the crowd and killed 50 people.

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20

Jacobins

Radical republicans during the French Revolution. Called for a republic after the flight to Varennes. They were led by Maximilien Robespierre from 1793 to 1794.

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21

Abbe Sieyes

Wrote an essay called "What is the 3rd estate" Argued that lower classes were more important than the nobles and the government should be responsible to the people. Later, after the Directory, believed that France could only face its threats with a more authoritarian government, and tried to get Napoleon to help him establish it, but Napoleon outsmarted him and ended up leading the new government instead. (Consulate)

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22

Louis XVI

King of France. In 1789 he summoned the Estates-General, but he did not grant the reforms that were demanded and revolution followed. He was known for lavish spending, but did not do much to stop the revolution or fix the economic and social crises of France during the time period. He and his queen were executed in 1793.

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23

Revolt at Toulon

The army, strengthened by the draft and the Committee for Public Safety, marched to Toulon. However, the rebels there decided to surrender it to the British navy, which provoked outrage against the rebels, and called for extreme measures to be taken against those who were against the revolution.

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24

September Massacre

Fueled by the panic of the Prussian army's advance into France. Led by the sans-culottes. Many suspected of being counter-revolutionaries were thrown in prison, then later executed. Many were priests and nobles, but some were common criminals. Eventually, the sans-culottes used this patriotic energy to defeat the Prussians, leading to France's beginning as a republic.

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25

Napoleon Bonaparte

Was head of a force set to invade England during/after the Directory. Overthrew the French revolutionary government in 1799 and became emperor of France in 1804. Failed to defeat Great Britain and abdicated in 1814. Returned to power briefly in 1815 but was defeated and died in exile.

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26

Civil Constitution of the Clergy

A document, issued by the National Assembly in July 1790, that broke ties with the Catholic Church and established a national church system in France with a process for the election of regional bishops. The document angered the pope and church officials and turned many French Catholics against the revolutionaries.

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27

Martin Luther

Wrote 95 theses, or statements of belief attacking the church's practices, specifically indulgences, which were letters that could be bought to absolve someone of sin and ensure they went to heaven. However, the letters didn't actually work and were used as a source of profit for the Catholic Church. This had to do with the Protestant Reformation.

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28

Flour Wars

The violent response to Turgot's introduction of free trade in grain in 1775, which made the grain very expensive and thus difficult for peasants to feed their families.

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29

Bourgeosie

The middle class, or the top of the third estate. They had financial power, but had very little political power, and they were a driving force in the French revolution.

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30

Ancien Regime

old order; system of government in pre-revolution France. Included absolutism, the Catholic church, and the estates system. The revolution served to overthrow this.

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31

Reign of Terror

It was a period where the Committee of Public Safety and Robespierre wanted to eliminate anyone who they perceived as treasonous to the new system of government. Over 16,000 were executed due to being accused of political crimes through the Law of Suspects.

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32

Brunswick Manifesto

The Duke of Brunswick-the general in charge of the Prussian army- declares that he intends to overthrow the revolutionaries and re-install the king, which creates panic because he actually has an army invading France.

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33

Decree Against Profiteers

With shortages of food in Paris, the Convention blamed the high price of bread on "profiteers" in the countryside, who were taking advantage of their citizens by charging abnormally high prices for grain. This decree stated enrichment was contrary to morality and to law because it harmed fellow citizens and thus undermined the liberty of all.

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34

Estates General

An assembly of representatives from all three of the estates, in France. Could only meet when called by the king; prior to the French Revolution, it had not met for 175 years. Each estate got one vote, which tended to skew things towards the side of the nobility and clergy, since they tended to vote together. The nobility and clergy each had 300 members, while the 3rd estate had 600.

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35

National Assembly

French Revolutionary assembly (1789-1791). Called first as the Estates General, the three estates came together and demanded radical change. It passed the Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789. Vowed during the Tennis Court Oath not to disband unless they got a constitution.

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36

Assembly of Notables

This assembly mainly consisted of important noblemen and high-ranking clergy of France. Calonne wanted a general tax on all landed property as well as forming provincial assemblies to help administer the tax, and turned to this to try to gain support because he knew it would be unpopular with the Estates. However, the members did not like Calonne, so it backfired, and ended up increasing the pressure on Louis to call the Estates General.

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37

Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

French Revolution document that outlined what the National Assembly considered to be the natural rights of all people and the rights that they possessed as citizens. Includes important ideas from the Enlightenment as well as ideas of equality between all of the estates.

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38

March on Versailles

'Bread March of Women' was due to bread shortages and increasingly high prices. In 1789 when rumors spread that nobles were hoarding bread, women joined together and stormed Versailles, blaming the situation on Marie Antoinette.

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39

August Decrees

Decrees passed by the National Assembly of France in August of 1789 renouncing and abolishing most of the traditional privileges of the nobility and the clergy.

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40

Absolutism/Absolute Monarchy

A king or queen who has unlimited power and seeks to control all aspects of society. It is said that this ruler is given their power by God, therefore, the people cannot go against them.

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41

Indulgences

Selling of forgiveness by the Catholic Church. It was common practice when the church needed to raise money. The practice led to the Protestant Reformation.

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42

How authority is challenged leading up to the French Revolution

During movements such as the Protestant Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment, people began to discover new ideas that undermined the systems of power that they had in place. This led to them realizing the corruption of the current system, and then overthrowing it.

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43

Causes of the French Revolution

  1. The economic and financial crisis that led to the calling of the Estates General. 2) The political incompetence of Louis XV and XVI. 3) The unfair taxation between the three estates

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44

How France's social structure contributed to the outbreak of the French Revolution

The structure that upheld the privileges of the nobility made much of the general populace angry, especially as they were struggling to survive through France's financial crisis. This made people desperate for change, especially as they perceived that the king wasn't doing anything.

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45

Purpose of the Cahiers

A list of grievances written for Estate's General to change the tax system, further heightened expectations for reform.

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46

Symbolism of the Bastille

Because it was a political prison that represented royal authority, its tearing down symbolized the destruction of the Old Regime and the estate system

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47

How liberty, fraternity, and equality represent the goals of the French Revolution

It represents their general goal that everyone should be born with the same equal rights and privileges, which went against the current class system in France.

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48

Causes of instability in France after the revolution began

Actions of the monarchy and court, fear of counter-revolution, unresolved economic crisis, war and invading troops, and political division.

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49

Purpose of the Committee of Public Safety

to defend the nation against foreign and domestic enemies, as well as to oversee the new functions of the executive government.

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50

How the Reign of Terror contradicted the goals of the Revolution

Mainly, Robespierre ignored the goals of liberty and equality, where everyone had a say in the government, and became a dictator.

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51

Robespierre's Philosophy

to create a one and indivisible France, equality before the law, to abolish prerogatives and to defend the principles of direct democracy. However, this shifted into a way to say, "be virtuous and agree with the republic, or die."

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