France in Revolution 1776-1830

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France In Revolution 1776-1830
Ancien Regime
Organisation of government and society
Head of social hierarchy
Provided law and order, had ministers to aid him
36 intendants (royal agents responsible for admin in different sections
of France
Decisions were final, absolute ruler
Believed to be the representative of God
Laws he passed needed to be approved by Parlements (13 of them, most
important was Paris. Supreme court in legal cases. Ability to royal edicts
before they became law)
First estate:
The clergy (monks, nuns, priests)
Issues with the clergy:
1. Plurality & Absenteeism
Archbishops earned 400,000 livres per annum
Where as parish priests earned 700
Some bishops served more than 1 area to make money
Putting money before spiritual needs
2. Tithes
Largest single land owner in France
Wealth came from people paying tithes for it (payment was 1/10
of someone's income, usually in crops)
Created 50million livres each year
Was meant to spent on church however usually pocketed by the
3. Tax exemption
Didn't pay any tax, instead paid don gratuit yearly to the king
(under 5% of churches income)
4. Power over the people
Very religious country
Church had considerable influence
Church censored anything negative about them
Acted as ministry of info for the government
Second estate:
The nobles (most power, held top jobs)
Could buy yourself in
Held between 1/3 & ¼ of the land
1. Privileges
Tried in special courts
Exempt from military service
Exempt from paying tax

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Opposed to any form of change
2. Joining the nobility
Direct appointment by the king
Buying offices that held hereditary title
Could not take park in industrial or commercial activities, yet
many still did
Third estate
Everyone else
1. Bourgeoisie
Rich merchants, industrialists & business people
Doctors, lawyers, civil servants
Felt as they paid most tax they should get political say
2.…read more

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Jacques Necker
Published royal accounts in 1781 (made it appear to be in surplus)
Able to gain more loans because of this and also made him more
popular with 3rd estate
1763 ­ debt was 50 million livres
1786 ­ 112 million livres
Poor harvests & rising population led to an increase in prices
No way to solve issues, resigned in 1781
This all showed the regime was failing
Charles de Calonne
Little he could do but seek more loans
1786, Parlement refused anymore loans…read more

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Disturbances spread throughout France
`Day of Tiles' 4 killed and 30 injured
1st & 2nd estate provided the leadership in the revolt
Clergy showed support for parlements by providing not usual don
gratuit but a `gift' of less than ¼ what King wanted
Bankruptcy in August 1788
1789 ­ Popular Necker returns and promises Estates General will meet
What led to the outbreak of revolution in 1789?
Calling of the Estates General
Usually the vote was one vote per estate (disfavoured 3rd estate)
Argued for…read more

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All cahiers emphasises regular meetings of estates general, no taxation
without consent, freedom of press and abolish direct orders from King
Main demands for change from 3rd estate
Wanted change in financial inequality and the rights of individuals
Wanted to abolish feudal rights (society based upon land & labour)
Kings government did not know what to do and had no solution
Meant the King lost opportunity to exert authority
3rd Estate ran out of patience ­ declared itself `The National Assembly'
­ believed it to…read more

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Poorer citizens began arming themselves, law and order broke down
Attacked food stores & prisons, royal guards did nothing (showed King
could no longer rely on them
Alarmed wealthier citizens
Set up commune to run city and National Guard run by Lafayette to
protect them from the poor and the King
The fall of the Bastille
14th July ­ Parisian crowds took 28,000 muskets & 20 cannons however
could find no ammunition
Believed to be some in Bastille Prison (hated symbol of ancien regime)
Crowds…read more

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Guaranteed freedom of expression, opinion, religion, fair trial
Stressed the importance of an elected assembly
Clearly showed influence of the enlightenment
Debate on the position of the King
Louis tried to avoid sanctioning August Decrees but had little choice
Because of this decided the King would now only have a suspense veto
(could suspend legislation for up to 4 years)
Legislative power (making laws) lay with the National assembly
Executive power lay with the king (appoint ministers, decisions
concerning government or country)
October Days
A…read more

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However there was few too literate people to fill offices
The law
Justice was to be free, fair and available to everyone
Single legal system
New system of law courts
Elected judges and magistrates
Financial reforms
People believed tax had been removed for good so any new attempts
were unpopular
1791 ­ created a new tax on land and property
Internal tariffs disappeared and free trade was encouraged
Guilds (controlled entry into trades) were destroyed
November 1789 ­ all land owned by Church was given…read more

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Eventually came to reject notion of monarchy
Robespierre led a minority group of radical Jacobins
1973 ­ 5000 across France
The Cordeliers Club
Founded in 1970
More radical
Widespread working class following
Hostile to active/passive citizens in voting
Chief spokesman Marat edited newspaper L'Ami du Peuple attacking
those who enjoyed privileges under Ancien Regime
Popular discontent in rural and urban areas
1790 ­ peasants realised feudal dues hadn't been completely abolished
Led to rural revolution in Brittany
Feudalism was finally abolished in 1793
The sans-culottes…read more

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Sent National Guard to remove threat
Opened fired and killed 50
Led to first divides of revolution (moderates & radicals)
1791 Constitution
Redefined position of the king and the assembly
King would retain hereditary powers and appoint ministers, but power
was seriously cut
Could no longer veto
Assembly dealt with foreign policy
Under influence of Robespierre, no member of constituent assembly
could be reelected to the next assembly (to try and remove moderates)
Legislative Assembly
To make laws
745 deputies
Feuillant Club ­ 264 deputies…read more



These were so helpful, make my own revsion pack using this as a guideline. Straight to the point and effective.


very useful, thanks


kill urdelf


the french revolution was just a group of people in wigs running around shouting and waving pieces of paper in the air

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