The French Revolution study guide

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revolution
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a fundamental, rapid and often irreversible change in the established order.
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absolute monarchy
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a government in which the ruler has complete authority over the government and their people
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louis XVI
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king of france, who was weak and later was thought of as a traitor and was executed in 1793
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marie antoinette
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the queen of france, she was from Austria, and executed along with her husband in 1793
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meeting of the estates general
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Meeting to solve France’s $ problems; Called together representatives from each estate in 1789, outcome was the tennis court oath. Took place in Versailles, Louis wanted to tax everyone, they could not decide how to vote, so they did the Tennis court oath instead.
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tennis court oath
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A pledge made by the members of France’s National Assembly in 1789, in which they vowed to continue meeting until they had drawn up a new and just constitution that limited the king’s power. A lot wasn’t accomplished.
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the storming of the bastille
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July 14, 1789 French peasants stormed the prison the Bastille, in an attempt to free prisoners, and protested as well and it was a symbol of royal oppression to the French people.
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great fear
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Rumors that spread like wild fire that made peasant fear famine, government control of crops. They took out their anger on nobles, due to the unjust regime.
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limited monarchy
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a government where there is a balance of power and limits the monarch’s power
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émigrés
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a person who flees their country for political reasons
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republic
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a system of government in which officials are chosen by the people
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napoleonic code
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a body of French civil laws introduced in 1804, served as a model for many nations, civil codes. It embodied the Enlightenment principles and religious tolerance.
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concordat of 1801
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a treaty that made peace with the church and kept it under state control, and it had religious tolerance for catholics
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legitimacy
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principle by which monarchies that had been unseated by the French rev. or napoleon was restored
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balance of power
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an equal distribution of power that prevents any one nation from becoming too strong
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concert of europe
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A system in which Austria, Russia, Prussia, and Great Britain met periodically to discuss any problems affecting the peace in Europe; resulted from the post-Napoleon era Quadruple Alliance
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Congress of Vienna
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The meeting of European leaders that took place after Napoleon’s defeat. Took place in Vienna, Austria on Sep. 19, 1814. The main goals was to establish a balance of power, prevent wars, and to protect the system of monarchy. They restored legitimate monarchs, redrew map of France, and ignored nationalist movements all together
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1# cause of the French Rev
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Strict and unfair social class system. Ex. taxing poor, estates 1 and 2 had no taxes, and the royals were deficit spending
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2# cause of the FR
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Economic crisis and Government Debt. Ex. Bread riots, crop failure, and deficit spending
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3# cause of the FR
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Incompetent leadership from the Absolute Monarch. Ex. Louis XVI was a weak leader and indecisive. There were two bad kings in a row
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4# cause of the FR
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Influence of Enlightenment ideas and American Rev. Ex. People started to deny the revelations of the church and the enlightenment thinkers were critical of absolute monarchy
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5# cause of the FR
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Rapidly growing population. Ex. not many jobs and food for everyone
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1st estate
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The clergy. They had lots of wealth, no taxes, and land. Hated the enlightenment philosophes because they criticized the clergy. Also the clergy hated the philosophes because they undermined religion.
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2nd estate
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Noble knights, men, had rights under royal control. They had top jobs in gov, army, church, etc. They had very little income, they hated absolutism and paid no taxes.
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3rd estate
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Bourgeoisie, the peasants. They had good jobs-farmers, merchants, lawyers, etc. They were poor, so most turned to crime and they were heavily burdened with taxes.
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The Jacobins
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The middle class lawyers and intellectuals who supported a more radical agenda in the Legislature assembly.
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Examples of reforms passed in the National assembly during the moderate phases (Enlightenment influence)
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1. Proclaimed all male citizens equal before the law. 2. Limited power of monarchy. 3. Declared freedom of religion. 4. Called for taxes to be levied according to ability to pay. The national assembly was set up the 3rd estate and it ruled until 1791 when the Legislative assembly took over.
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January 1793
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Louis was executed, then Marie Antoinette’s execution followed.
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The Terror
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an emergency government set up in 1792-1794 when Louis was executed so the Jacobin set up a radical gov, but many rebelled.
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San-culottes
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urban workers who supported the revolution and they wore long trousers. They preferred a republic instead of a monarchy
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Girondins
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a moderate sort of French revolutionary
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guillotine
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a machine with a heavy blade designed to kill many at a time.
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ancient regime
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the old order, where everyone in France was divided into three estates.
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Jascques Necker
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the financial supporter and advisor of Louis XVI. He offered taxing the clergy and the nobles, so they 1st and 2nd estates asked the king to dismiss him.
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The moderate phase of the National Assembly
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1789-1791, turned France into a constitutional monarchy, the 3rd estate did.
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The radical phase
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1792-1794. There was escalating violence that led to the end of the monarchy and the start of the Reign of Terror. Some other radicals decided to change the legislative assembly into the National Convention. The National Convention called for the French Rep. The Jacobins then tried to erase as much as the old order as possible. When France was suffering from war, and unbalanced power in the National Convention, it created the Committee of Public Safety. 12 members who had absolute power. Heavy taxes, total war, in charge of executions. Later, Robespierre became the leader of the Committee of Public safety and Rousseau’s ideas influenced him. (Religious tolerance and slavery).
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The directory phase
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A period of reaction against extremist, 1795-1799. After Robespierre was arrested and executed, therefore the radical were falling, the Constitution of 1795 set up a five man Directory. It was weak but dictatorial. Later Napoleon was needed to settle the chaos of the émigrés returning and influencing the old order to happen again.
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The age of Napoleon
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1799-1815. So, Napoleon was like, okay, I’ll clear up all this war stuff for ya and got most of it cleaned up. But when he was unsuccessful in Egypt, trying disrupt British trade, he set up a network of spies and censored the press. He overthrew the directory and set up the Consulate, then named himself consul for life. He then crowned himself emperor. Established the Napoleonic code. He then annexed countries to join his empire, and Britain, which wasn’t, he decided to mess with the continental system (Britain’s whole trading system) and do a blockade. War of 1812.
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Legislative assembly
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Oct. 1791, economic issues grew. Several hostile factions competed for power, the radicals basically seized power in the assembly by 1792. Later the assembly declared war on Austria, Prussia, and then Britain so they could destroy tyranny forever.
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The Reign of Terror
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Sep 1793-July 1794, there was just DEATH AND EXECUTION. -This was to lay down how serious they were about the Republic and all who was not in favor died. The Guillotine was key to this phase.
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Napoleon’s rise to power
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He was already a military leader and people in France admired his successes. People in the government helped him gain power in the government, and later he crowned himself emperor in 1804. The French citizens accepted him because he promised stability. The rulers thought that he would help prevent the spread of this \”French plague\”.
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Napoleon’s successes in France
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In France, Napoleon’s successes included the concordat of 1801 where he made an agreement with the church to give them a little bit more power. The Napoleonic code essentially incorporated Enlightenment ideals and this made people happy.
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Napoleon’s failures in foreign countries
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The continental system- blockade of Britain’s trade. The grand Empire mainly called for Napoleon’s family and friends to gain the throne of foreign countries that he would have taken over. The invasion of Russia- the winter in Russia was absolutely brutal and this was triggered by the continental system.
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Nationalism-good and bad for Napoleon
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Good- improved things for France, soldiers wanted to go to war and fight. Bad- When Napoleon wanted to invade other countries and place his family and friends on the thrones of other territories, the ethnic groups in those countries wouldn’t want those people to rule in their country. Those people would revolt.
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Napoleon’s fall from power
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So he was exiled twice, the first time he was able to escape and come back. He was exiled because he was overtaking, and people thought was he becoming too power hungry. Battle of Waterloo- Between Belgium and France, Napoleon defeated by foreign forces and Napoleon went through with this battle because he was trying to regain supporters in France. But, when he got back, he was exiled and never to return.

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