World History Midterm Study Guide

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an execution device that cut off people’s head; used during the French Revolution

Maximilien Robespierre

the leader of the Committee of Public Safety


the society of The Friends of the Constitution; a club during the French Revolution


a lower class Parisian Republican in the French Revolution


a land tax placed on the common people

Old Regime

socio-political system which existed in most of Europe during the 18th Century


part of the upper class in the Third Estate; were upset that they had to pay taxes while the nobles did not

The Great Fear

a period of panic and riot by peasants

Tennis Court Oath

a vow taken by the Third Estate to stay together and to create a written constitution for France

Declaration of the Rights of Man

Men are born free, remain free, and are equal in rights

A general panic that took place at the start of the French Revolution as peasants armed themselves and attacked the house of nobles.

The Great Fear

What was the political and social system in France in the Late Middle Ages?

Old Regime

Wealthy members of the third estate that wanted to be a part of the second estate.


A time period of the French Revolution led by Robespierre when “enemies of the Revolution” were sought out and killed by the guillotine.

Reign of Terror

Who paid the most of the country’s taxes in France before the revolution?

3rd Estate

Who was the king of France before the French Revolution?

Louis XVI

What type of government was popular during the Old Regime?

Absolute Monarchy

France’s economy was based primarily on what during the Old Regime?

Taxes paid by the 3rd Estate

What were 3 reasons France became bankrupt before the French Revolution?

The poor being unable to pay taxes, being involved in wars, deficit spending

New ideas that affected the creation of new governments in France and the United States were most directly influenced by what time period?


What were 3 long term causes of the French Revolution?

Old Regime, influence of the Enlightenment, absolutism

Why was King Louis XVI forced to call the Estates General in 1789?

Because France went bankrupt

How many votes did each Estate receive in the Estates General?


What percentage of the population was in each of the 3 levels of the Estates General?

1st- 0.5%

2nd- 1.5%

3rd- 98%

What did the Bastille represent in France?

The monarch’s abuse of power

After the failure of the Estates General, what did the Third Estate form on their own?

The National Assembly

What was the period from June 1793 to July 1794 in France, when many people were killed by the Guillotine?

Reign of Terror

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was most directly influenced by what historical time period?

The Enlightenment

What kind of jobs did the sans-culottes have?

craftsmen and apprentices, shopkeepers, clerks, and associated workers.

Why was Marie Antoniette hated by the French people?

She spent money that France didn’t have.

Who were emigres?

Nobles who fled the revolution

What was the goal for the Committee of Public Safety?

To defend the country and see to new developments of the legislative branch

What day does France celebrate Bastille Day?

July 14th

The percentage of land owned by each estate?

1st- 20%



What were 5 privileges of the 1st Estate?

no taxes, collecting all the taxes, having censorship of the press, control of education, and they were picked for political offices

List 5 burdens that the 3rd Estate had.

paying all taxes, being unable to make the money to pay taxes, no political power, forced road work, and had to pay feudal dues for the use of appliances.

Deficit spending

a government spending more money than it takes in from tax revenues.

What were some characteristics of “philosophes”?

They were secular in thinking, asked questions, and used reason and logic instead of religion and superstition.

The following were short term causes of the French Revolution,  give three examples of how each contributed: bankruptcy, Great Fear, Estates General.

-Bankruptcy was caused by deficit spending and while changes, such as taxing the rich, were proposed they were turned down.

-The Great Fear was a terrible famine which cause hungry, impoverished peasants to revolt as they thought the rich were seeking out greater privileges,

-The Estates General was forced to be called because of France's bankruptcy. This set in motion a series of events that resulted in the abolition of the monarchy and a new socio-political system.


Cahiers were a traditional list of grievances written by the people that asked for moderate changes.

How does an Absolute Monarch operate?

An Absolute Monarch has all the power and makes all the decisions.

What were the four periods of the French Revolution?

The four periods were, the National Assembly, the Legislative Assembly, the Convention, and the Directory.

What were 5 changes to government brought on by the National Assembly?

abolition of guilds and labor laws, the Constitution of 1791, the Declaration of the Rights of Man, equality for men, and some nobles leaving France

What did the “Civil Constitution of the Clergy” require?

church officials be elected by the people with salaries paid by the government

What were “democratic and undemocratic” features of The Constitution of 1791?

- France becoming a limited monarchy and laws being created by the Legislative Assembly

- only taxpayers could vote and offices were reserved for land owners

Who were the main three leaders of the Jacobins?

Marat, Danton, Robespierre

Who were the “Girondins”?

moderates who represented the rich middle class. They tried to end the Reign of Terror

How did France react to the death of Louis XVI?

It emboldened France’s revolutionaries who continued to improve the country's political and social system

Thermidorian Reaction

July 27, 1794; ended the Reign of Terror