France in Rev Full course

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  • Created on: 30-04-18 19:31

The Monarchy

·       Head of the social and government it was his duty to ensure that has people were provided with law and order.

·       Appointed ministers and he also chose 36 intendents, who acted as his local officials and were responsible for the different parts of France known as generalities.

·       Louis ruled as an absolute monarch and later faced charges of despotism (tyrannical power/dictatorship). Louis’ belief was that he ruled by divine right.

·       The king was expected to rule over a fair and just regime, he was expected to pass only such laws as were necessary for the well-being of the whole kingdom and to preserve his subjects’ freedom within the law.

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The process of law making-

an edict was drawn up by the king and advisers, this was then sent to the parlements for approval. These were the 13 supreme courts of appeal in France; who also had political powers. They had the right to challenge all edicts before they became law.

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First Estate

·       The clergy, both high and low. The clergy occupied the highest position in society and was known as the First Estate.

·       Its members varied tremendously in type- there was a huge difference, in terms of wealth and power, between humble parish priests, monks and nuns and the bishops and archbishops and cardinals (who came from the ranks of the nobility).

·       Not all members of the first estate were rich. Clerics were very influential in France, the Catholic Church governed the daily lives of most people, and it controlled education and provided care for the sick.

                  Privileges:They could only be prosecuted in their own church courts, they could not be asked to perform military service or house troops or provide money for royal troops, and they also had various financial privileges and were not required to pay the taille (the main direct tax).

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Second Estate

·       The nobility, including the royal family, which owned around a fifth of the land in France.

·       The nobility was divided, and not all were exceptionally wealthy. The first group was the ancient nobility, whose status came from their birth. They were known as the nobility of the sword as they were originally the only men allowed to carry a sword.

·       The other group was made up of those whose noble status derived from the work they did and was known as the nobility of the robe. Nobility might be acquired through performance of a particular job, such as judge, given in return for money, as a reward for outstanding military service, or, more often, as a ‘perk’ accompanying a particular governmental office.

·       Venal offices were those that could be purchased and they provided a useful source of income for the crown during the 18th Century. The numbers of the second estate had grown considerably during this century.

                  Privileges:the right to wear a sword, display their coat of arms and take precedence at public ceremonies helped reinforce their belief in a natural superiority. They had a right to be heard in a high court and be beheaded rather than hung; they were exempt from the corvee (forced labour on the roads) and the taille (direct tax) and gabelle (salt tax) and had a lower rate of assessment in other direct taxes.

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Third Estate

·       A mixed group of those who were neither clerics nor nobility.

·       The largest proportion, comprising 80-90% of the population, was peasantry. Peasants worked the land of others but there were some peasants with small holdings of their own.

·       At the top there were the richer, land-owning peasantry and the tenant farmers of large estates and the bourgeoisie, who relied on their skill as professionals (doctors, lawyers, teachers etc).

·       At the very top of the bourgeoisie, they identified more with the second estate and many tried to join through the purchase of office. The lower bourgeoisie had fewer opportunities for advancement.

                  Privileges:Few, they were required to pay direct taxes, such as the taille and the vingtieme, and capitation and indirect taxes, such as the gabelle, the aides on drink and tobacco as well as their tithe to the church. The third estate was also required to do unpaid labour service to maintain the roads, although wealthier citizens could buy their way out.

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The Ancien Regime

·       The organisation of government and society in France before the revolution.

·       The system had evolved over many years and was based on the medieval idea of a hierarchical society with the king at the top and his subjects in their place according to their duties and birth.

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Direct taxes-

Taille: a tax on either land or income

·       All citizens were meant to pay (except men on army service).

·       Nobles and the clergy were exempt.

 

Capitation:a poll tax- fixed sum paid each year to the government.

·       All citizens were meant to pay

·       Nobody was exempt, but, in practise, many nobles and clergy evaded it or paid little.

 

Vingtieme:an income tax of one twentieth of a year’s earnings

·       All citizens were meant to pay

·       In practise many clergy evaded it or paid little

 

Corvee:a labour tax requiring unpaid work mending roads

·       All able-bodied men were meant to pay

·       Nobles, clergy, townspeople, post masters, country school teachers and shepherds were exempt.

Indirect taxes-

Gabelle:a tax on salt

·       Anyone buying salt had to pay

·       There were 4 exempt provinces

 

Octroi:a tax, paid at the own gates, on goods being taken to market

·       The merchant transporting goods had to pay

·       Nobody was exempt

 

Aides:a tax on drinks, especially wine

·       Some provinces were exempt

 

Traites:a tax on goods being transported form one province to another

·       The merchant transporting the goods had to pay

·       Nobody was exempt

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Feudal Rights-

The right of the oven:peasants had to bake their bread in an oven owned by the landlord, paying a fee for its use.

The rights of the mill: peasants had to grind heir corn in the landlord’s windmill or watermill, paying a fee to use it.

The right of the press: peasants had to press their grapes in the landlord’s press, paying a fee for its use.

The right of the hunt: the landlord could ride over his tenants’ fields whilst hunting, even if they are planted.

The right of the warren:the landlord could keep rabbits in a warren; tenants could not kill them, even when they damaged crops.

The right of the dovecote: the landlord could keep pigeons in a dovecote; tenants could not kill them, even when they damaged crops.

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Dues-

The corvee:peasants had to do several days’ unpaid work for the landlord each year (e.g. harvest)

The cens:peasants had to pay a tax to the landlord each year

The champart:peasants had to give the landlord a portion of their crops each year.

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Land Ownership + Taxation of Earnings (%)

·       Nobles (3-400,000): 20%

·       Clergy ( 170,000): 15%

·       Bourgeoisie (2.5 million): 30%

·       Peasantry (24 million): 35%

The standard of living of the poor declines by 25% because food prices rose by 65% and wages rose by 22% only.

Taxation of earnings

Percentage surrendered by peasants in the form of taxes, tithes and feudal dues- 45% in total:

·       Taxes to the king: 27%

·       Feudal dues: 10%

·       Tithes: 8%

 

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What was the enlightenment?

The Enlightenment was a “movement of criticism” which emphasised the importance of human reason guiding society.

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What did it advocate? What did its writers believe

·       That men could control their own destiny

·       That change was necessary to destroy the inequalities of the ancient regime

·       Questioned the power of the church

·       Believed that more could be done to improve the daily lives of ordinary people

·       Challenged the King’s role as God’s representative

·       Believed that rulers should use their power more effectively to benefit their subjects

·       Promoted the importance of using reason and common sense to promote human progress, wealth and happiness on earth

·       Developed the idea that government was based on a ‘contract’ between the king and his subjects, with obligations on both sides

·       Believed that anything that wasn’t shown to be useful to humanity or promote human happiness wasn’t justifiable

·       Believed in the improvement of social conditions for fellow men

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What did it advocate? What did its writers believe

·       That men could control their own destiny

·       That change was necessary to destroy the inequalities of the ancient regime

·       Questioned the power of the church

·       Believed that more could be done to improve the daily lives of ordinary people

·       Challenged the King’s role as God’s representative

·       Believed that rulers should use their power more effectively to benefit their subjects

·       Promoted the importance of using reason and common sense to promote human progress, wealth and happiness on earth

·       Developed the idea that government was based on a ‘contract’ between the king and his subjects, with obligations on both sides

·       Believed that anything that wasn’t shown to be useful to humanity or promote human happiness wasn’t justifiable

·       Believed in the improvement of social conditions for fellow men

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How did Enlightenment ideas spread?

·       French architecture, furniture and fashion dominated continental taste and all educated Europe adopted the French language as its primary tongue. It was the language spoken in courts Europe wide with the exception of England and Spain. New developments in France were, therefore, rapidly discussed and absorbed elsewhere.

·       The proliferation of journals, newspapers and books generated a circulation Europe wide. In 1787, 70,000 copies of newspapers were being regularly sold with a subscription of over half a million. Over 1/3 of Louis’ subjects were literate (high rate) although not all could afford newspapers. However, this was eased by the development of subscription libraries, reading rooms and literary societies which encouraged reading of Enlightenment ideas and discussions.

·       Due to the dissolution of the Jesuits, who had dominated the higher education of the Catholic elite since the late 16th Century, rational thought, in the form of the natural sciences in a course called ‘Philosophy’ was being taught.

·       The 7 years war, 1756-63, greatly fuelled public discussion and the impact of the enlightenment. The American War of Independence led to journals and books regarding the revolt as well as translations documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, being read by Frenchmen as French soldiers returned from the war in 1783 and informed others. America reflected critically on French society and politics.

·       By the last quarter of the 18th Century, there were some signs that the ideas of the Enlightenment were beginning to take effect in France. The numbers taking up careers in the church and the number of religious books and pamphlets published declined.

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Writers of the Enlightenment

Voltaire- Voltaire claims equality is unachievable because the poor will always lose as they do not have the money or resources to win against the rich and powerful.

Montesquieu- He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, which is implemented in many constitutions throughout the world

Rousseau- His philosophy contained idealistic AND realistic elements.

Diderot- French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the Encyclopédie 

 

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Foreign policy and war

·       By the time the revolution was about to begin Louis XVI was facing bankruptcy.

·       France was regarded as a large and prosperous nation. Its agriculture was thriving as small-scale industry was growing.

·       International trade had also expanded and overseas trade in wine and luxury goods was flourishing, with established colonial and European trading links.

·       France fought a number of financially ruining wars in the 18th century- the wars of the Spanish (1701-13), Polish (1733-35), Austrian (1740-48) had occupied the first half of the century.

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The seven years war

·       The 7 years war (1756-63) against Great Britain in the colonies had proved expensive and disastrous.

·       France allied with the Austrians but lost a series of crushing defeats in India and North America. The Peace of Paris (1763) was when Britain took control of French parts of Canada and India, West Africa and a number of islands in the West Indies.

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The American war of Independence

·       The French opted to support the American colonists in their fight against Britain.

·       The war proved crucial in providing the ideas for the French Revolution.

·       Those soldiers that fought in America believed the ideas should be passed onto France.

·       France joined the war in 1778, providing military and financial help for the US. Marquis de Lafayette was a key general.

·       The cost of the war was huge and caused problems for the finance of the company, it plunged France into financial crisis even though they were victorious.

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Economic condition of France-

·       The wars were funded by borrowing and so every time the crown took out a loan it faced future repayment debts.

·       To try to meet costs, the king and ministers had tried to squeeze the maximum amount from existing taxation and also introduced a number of temporary taxes.

·       One that was particularly resented was the Vingtieme, which was a levy on income paid by all except the clergy. It was introduced in 1749 and was still being levied in 1780.

·       Whilst France was comparatively well off, its money was locked up by its system of government, the organisation of society and the attitudes of the ancient regime. Those in the first and second estates were largely exempt from taxation and it was the overriding ambition of the most successful merchants and traders to amass enough wealth to buy office in order to do the same- there was a resistance to taxation which made it difficult for the government to fund the wars and repayment debts. Those with the greatest wealth and who had the greatest means of paying taxes were not contributing to the country’s economic welfare.

·       The pattern of land distribution, with tiny peasant holdings, meant that there was limited investment in land and that therefore productivity was relatively low- no mass production. The economy was largely rural and a bad harvest could therefore send prices rocketing and hit industry and trade.

A failure to modernise the ancient regime to meet the costs of France’s foreign policy, coupled with a run of poor harvests helps to explain the timing of the revolution

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Bad Harvests

·       The 1770s and 80s had been dominated by bad harvests.

·       There was a scarcity of food, particularly in the 80s, a shortage of grain and consequently the rising price of bread (rose by 89% in 1789 from 9 sous to 14-15 sous) which led to starvation.

·       The population was steadily increasing and so food prices began to rise out of proportion to income.

·       There was a decline in the manufacturing industry and a further increase in urban and rural unemployment. It was therefore harder for the government to collect taxes and so more loans were taken out.

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The Eden Treaty

·       The Eden Treaty of 1786 had proved damaging on the French economy, especially with the poor harvests.

·       This trade treaty signed in Paris in September provided for a mutual lowering on tariffs or import duties between Britain and France. Grain, wine and brandy were able to enter Britain with lower tariffs than the same goods elsewhere. Cottons, hardware and industrial products from Britain would similarly enter France on lower tariffs.

·       However, the economic crisis in France over the next few years meant there was not a surplus of food and drink to sell to Britain whilst British textiles and industrial goods were able to swamp the French market, inflicting considerable damage on the French industry.

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Jaques Turgot

Jacques Turgot (1775-76)

·       When Louis came to the thrown in 1775, he appointed Turgot as his Controller-General of Finance.

·       Turgot was interested in the writings of the French physiocrats, economic writers who believed in freeing agriculture from the restrictions of taxes and dues as a way of stimulating the wealth of the country.

·       Although this approach had already been attempted unsuccessfully in the 1760s, Turgot believed this was the way forward and tried to introduce a number of reforms.

·       Improved accounting procedure\Reduced the number of government officials- particularly those involved in tax collection\ Restricted the guilds that controlled trade\ Aimed to abolish the corvee \ Opposed the War of Independence on economic grounds.

·       He also tried to reintroduce free trade in grain but, unfortunately, this decision coincided with a particularly poor harvest and there was a good deal of hostility to the plan. The ensuing violence in N. France became known as ‘The Flour War’.

Turgot’s other plan was to introduce a single tax on land, organised by representative assemblies of land owners which would replace all existing taxes. This was a radical step and was opposed by rival ministers. Furthermore, the Paris Parlement refused to register the edicts, subsequently, Turgot was dismissed in 1776.

 

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Jacques Necker (1777-1781 and 1788-89)

·       Turgot was succeeded by Jacques Necker whose appointment coincided with the war of independence.

·        Although he could not take the official role of Controller-General, as he was a Protestant, he acted as the leading financial adviser and tried to bring about a fundamental reform of the French taxation system.

·       He continued Turgot’s policies, cutting offices and introducing stricter methods of accounting.

·       He produced the first publication of the royal accounts in 1781, the Compte Rendu. This was a publicity measure- by omitting the costs of war, Necker made it appear as though there was a surplus in the royal finances of around 10 million livres, this provided sufficient reassurance to lenders to permit him to raise yet more loans without having to raise taxes. This made him popular with the third estate, who liked the way he revealed the amounts spent on pensions to courtiers although this did not endear him to other ministers at court.

·       The economic situation had steadily worsened. The royal debt, which had gone from 50 million livres at the end of the seven years war in 1763 to 40 million by Louis’ accession in 1774, rose again and reached 112 million by 1786.

·       Necker tried to control the level of war expenditure and tried to use his popularity to force the king to admit him to his special councils but he had too many ministerial opponents.

·       In 1781 he resigned. This was a clear sign that Louis’ regime was losing confidence.

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Charles de Calonne

·       Became controller general in 1783 \ Royal debts were mounting and interest payments taking up a large proportion of income but, with Louis and his ministers resistant to change, there was little he could do.

·       During 1784-5 credit began to dry up and the Paris Parlement refused to register any more loans \ On the 20th August 1786, Calonne informed Louis that the state faced financial collapse. The total revenue for 1786, he claimed, would be 475 million livres, but expenditure was estimated at 587 million livres.

·       He believed the compte rendu had worsened the situation by making it appear that the crown had a surplus.

·       Louis was at first reluctant to change but after several months a proposal was put forward- the vingtieme would be replaced by a single land tax paid by all landowners in goods rather than money.

·       The scheme involved landowners in the assessment and distribution of the new taxation through a network of local assemblies, elected by landowners themselves.

·       Other direct taxes would also be reduced. Proposals were also made to stimulate the economy by removing internal customs barriers, abolishing the corvee and freeing trade in grain, internally and externally.

·       A major change such as this required some consultation and appearance of support so, in order to gain assent for his radical programme, Calonne decided to summon the Assembly of Notables.

·      5main points- Land tax\Sale of church land\Free trade\Cut of government spending\Revision of indirect taxes

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The Assembly of Notables

·       In order for Calonne to push through his economic proposals he had to convince Louis to call an Assembly of Notables.

·       Louis was extremely stubborn and did not authorise the assembly until December 1786.

·       It met at the palace of Versailles in February 1877.

·       Was made up of 144 representatives of the nobility, including the clerical nobility.

·       They attacked Calonne’s proposals, they didn’t trust him, particularly after the publication of the Compte Rendu which said there was a surplus, and believed that he was at least partly to blame for the crisis- Calonne was notorious for his lavish spending and heavy borrowing. There were also many known supporters of Necker in the assembly and this affected deliberations.

·       Most of the clergy was hostile to any encroachment upon their privileges and, although there were a fair number of notables who were prepared to accept changes in taxation policy, they insisted upon a meeting of the Estates-General to discuss the matter.

·       In April 1787, Calonne tried to appeal to the public, behind the backs of the assembly, claiming that its members only considered their own interests and privileges. This provoked further criticism and led to Calonne’s dismissal.

The failure of the ministers to provide a solution to France’s deep economic, social and governmental problems was tied up in the basic structure of the ancien regime.

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Archbishop Lomenie de Brienne

·       Calonne was replaced by Archbishop Lomenie de Brienne, an archbishop and leader of the assembly / He produced a slightly amended version of Calonnes plan which similarly did not gain support.

·       The Assembly was disbanded in May. \ Brienne staved off bankruptcy by taking out new loans at a very high rate of interest.

·       He attempted to force his proposals through by taking them directly to the parlements. \ The Paris Parlement, which spoke for the provincial parlements, accepted the administrative reforms but remained hostile to the land tax reform- it decreed that it lacked the authority to sanction this change and refused to register the edicts.

·       The Paris parlement was sent to Troyes in August 1787 to take it away from the crowds which were calling for an estates general, although little was achieved, the royal action merely renewed demonstrations of support for the parlement and by September the king was forced to allow its members to return to the city.

·       Louis then promised to summon an Estates-General, although this did little to appease the opposition. \ He surrounded the Paris parlement with troops in a ‘Royal session’, trying to force the approval of new loans and this triggered more unrest.

·       He exiled the Duc d’Orleans and arrested some of his critics.

·        In 1788, the Paris parlement issued a document which argued that only the Estates-General could sanction the levying of new taxes.

·       This was countered by the ‘May edicts’- royal decrees which deprived the parlements of the right to register and protest against royal decrees. This increased the accusations of despotism.

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The revolt of the nobles-

Disturbances spread throughout France- riots broke out in some provincial capitals where parliaments met, the 7th June brought the ‘Day of Tiles’ in Grenoble where 4 were killed and 30 injured.

On the 16th August payments from the treasury were suspended and Brienne resigned, recommending the recall of Necker. Necker returned, proclaiming that the Estates-General would meet in May 1789 and he agreed to do nothing until then.

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Louis

·       Born in 1754 at Versailles

·       Son of Louis, Dauphin of France and Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony

·       At the age of 11 he became the Dauphin after his father died from Tuberculosis.

·       At the age of 15 he was married to Marie Antoinette.

·       At the age of 20 he was crowned King of France after his grandfather died.

Louis believed he ruled by divine right. Although the king could enforce law by a system known as lit de justice, he knew that to do this too often would cause resentment and weaken government.

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Where was Louis incapable of effective leadership?

·       The French supported the colonists in the American War of Independence despite ridiculous expenses and the fact that the country was already in a severe financial state.

·       He went along with Necker’s compte rendu in 1781 despite the fact it was completely falsified.

·       During the 1780s many people were starving to death because of rising food prices. Louis was prepared to fix the price of bread at a higher cost.

·       His stubborn nature made him reluctant to call the Assembly of notables in 1786 and the Estates-General at the end of 1788, believing them to be challenged to his autocratic power.

·       Lax approach in scrutinising the work of his controller generals when in office

·       Failed to recognise a changing tide in the intellectual agenda and its impact on society. Failed to enforce rigorous censorship with the proliferation of radical journals and press.

·       Some high ranking members of the nobility believed that the king had let government become ridiculously complex and was more and more reliant on ministers and advisers.

·       There was a perception that Louis stayed away from Paris- detached from his subjects.

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Marriage to Marie Antoinette (1770)

Their marriage was intended to consolidate the recent alliance between Austria and France, reversing their traditional enmity. Many old-line military nobles took offence to this- feeling that Austria should be fighting with France rather than striking alliances with it. They resented the Austrian princess.

Outside Versailles, in the country, the early popularity Marie Antoinette received as a princess faded once she became queen- she appeared greedy and seduced by luxury.

The lack of consummation of marriage plagued the reputation of Louis and Marie Antoinette for 7 years.

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Marie Antoinette

·       Born in 1755

·       Known for her lavish spending

·       Married Louis age 14 in 1770

·       Had her favourites at court and there was a strong perception she was unfaithful

·       Her allowance had to be more than doubled

·       She ran up huge debts gambling and drinking

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Trianon Palace-

·       In 1774 Louis gave her a small palace in the grounds of Versailles

·       Marie Antoinette spent huge sums of money planting beautiful gardens around it

·       She built a hamlet in the gardens including thatched cottages, a barn and stables- all made to look run down. She also kept animals

·       In total the garden cost 50,000 francs

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The Diamond Necklace Affair-

·       In 1785 rumours arose that the queen wanted to buy a fabulously expensive necklace

·       Cardinal de Rohan, a gullible courtier, who was trying to win favour with the queen, secured the necklace

·       However, the cardinal fell victim of an elaborate scandal

·       Comptess de Lamotte boasted of a close friendship with the queen and de Rohan befriended her in an attempt to gain favour. 2 jewellers were seeking to sell a ridiculously expensive necklace and Lamotte convinced Rohan to secure it for the queen. She then forged papers to pay for it and when the jewellers complained to the queen that they were insufficient, the scandal was realised.

·       The queen was not involved but de Rohan had to vindicate himself in an elaborate show trial before the Paris Parlement in 1786

·       The trial cast implicit aspirations upon the queen in relation to her conduct and de Rohan’s acquittal was taken as a personal insult to the queen. He was greeted by cheering crowds on his release and this further humiliated the queen.

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Influence on Political affairs-

·       From the beginning of her reign as queen, despite how she was portrayed in pamphlets, the new queen had very little political influence over her husband.

·       Louis had been influenced as a child by anti-Austrian sentiments in the court and so blocked many of her candidates from taking important positions.

·       He was aided and abetted by his two most important ministers Chief Minister Maurepas and Foreign minister Vergennes. All three were anti-Austrian and were wary of the repercussions of allowing the queen- and through her the Austrian empire- to have any say in French policy.

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The Estates General

An estates-general was a legislative assembly of the different estates of French society. It had a separate assembly for each of the three estates, which were called and dismissed by the king. It had no true power in its own right and was not required to approve royal taxation or legislation. It functioned as an advisory body to the king.

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The build up to the estates-general

·       August 1788- Brienne resigns as Controller-General, replaced by Necker who triumphantly proclaims that the E-G will meet in May 1789.

·       Last met in 1614, the procedure and structure was outdated.

·       The old procedure meant that the estates met separately to discuss issues before voting.

·       The voting system worked by estate and not per head, this meant the clergy and nobility always outvoted the third estate.

·       The third estate wanted voting by head and double the representation.

·       Sep 1788-dec 1788 Paris Parlement debates procedural change but being essentially upper class it decides to keep the traditional system.

·       Parlement changes from being a friend of the third estate to being an enemy out to gain more power for itself.

·       Louis is reluctant and stubborn against changing the system

·       December 1788- the king is under pressure and agrees to increase the representatives of the third estate but not change the vote.

·       January 1789- Abbe Sieyes’ pamphlet- What is the third estate?

·       Election to the E-G was complicated. The clergy and nobility had a omov system, while the third estate has a complex system of tiered and indirect voting.

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The Est-Gen convenes May 1789

·       First estate represented by mainly parish priests. 51 bishops, 16 monks/abbots and 32 others and the rest of the 291 made up by parish priests.

·       Second estate- majority were old traditional voters- 90 of the 282 could be considered liberal, the rest conservative

·       Third estate- no peasants or artisans (couldn’t afford to support themselves without work) 40% were civil servant, 30% lawyers and 13% from trade and industry. 580 members in total.

·       The third estate had no political experience

·       Nothing was said about a new constitution which is what the third estate wanted, instead the focus was on tax reform.

·       The third estate wanted the E-G to convene in one assembly hall and refused to do anything until this demand was met so between May and June little was done.

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The National Assembly forms

·       On 17th June the third estate decided to work without the other estates, declaring itself the ‘National Assembly’.

·       It assumed control over its own affairs and decided upon taxation.

·       Two days later on the 19th the First Estate voted to join the Third, posing a direct challenge to Louis’ power.

·       The king needed to act and decided on a séance royale (royal session) which was a meeting with all the estates and the king on the 23rd June

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The Royal Session

·       Louis, influenced by his wife and brother, decides to declare the National Assembly and it’s decisions null and void.

·       He ordered the estates to continue to meet separately

·       The king did not concede restrictions to his own power such as the abolition of lettres de cachet, no taxation without consultation, abolition of the corvee and gabelle. Abolition of internal custom barriers and freedom of the press.

·       Once dismissed from the royal session each estate was told to go to its separate meeting hall. The clergy and nobility followed the king out of the hall but the third estate refused to go.

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The Estates’ reaction

·       24th June- 151 deputies of the first estate meet with the national assembly

·       25th June- 47 nobles join the national assembly

·       27th June- union of the estates

Louis reverses his decision and allows all the estates to meet together after growing disorder. Vote was also done by head rather than by estate. On the 4th or July just under 30,000 troops were stationed around Paris, rumours spread that the king was planning on dispersing the assembly by force.

 

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Abbe Sieyes

Abbe Sieyes-

·       Sieyes was an intellectual who became a priest

·       He became a spokesperson for the third estate 1788-89

·       He attacked the royal and noble privileges by writing pamphlets and joining the third estate in the E-G

·       He was instrumental in setting up the National Assembly

 

 

 

 

 

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The Storming of the Bastille

Background and precursory events

·       Economic crisis gave the circumstances for extreme action

o   Poor harvests

o   War costs

o   High bread prices

o   Starvation

o   Industry fell

o   In 1789 88% of Paris workers’ wage was spent on bread

·       Reveillon riots 28th April 1789

o   Complaints regarding wages being too high

o   Strikes/riots against these complaints by workers etc

o   Troops opened fire

·       Protestors encouraged by pamphleteers, journalists and orators

·       Palais Royale and the Duc D’Orleans (June 1789)

o   Against the king, political aspirations, led the rebels

o   47 nobles joined the national assembly led by him

·       Dismissal of Necker (12th July)

o   Bruteuil replaced Necker- monarchist/conservative

o   Necker was popular- unpopular decision

·       Revolutionary rhetoric- Desmoulins

o   Very important figure- journalist

o   Reacts to Necker’s dismissal and encourages the rebels to take up arms

·       Attack on custom posts and barricades formed 12th-13th July

o   40/54 custom posts attacked around Paris

·       Establishment of the Commune- 13th July

o   A sort of council of high ranking nobility who were sympathetic to the rebels- organised the revolt

o   Aimed to prevent the damage of personal property

o   National Guard established by the commune, like a police force. Citizens army/militia against Louis

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The Sans Culottes

·       Were so named because they went without knee breeches, traditional dress of the nobility

·       Addressed everyone as ‘citizen’

·       Perceived the word ‘aristocrat’ to be a term of abuse

·       Wore red caps with the tricolore motif

·       The term ‘Sans Culottes’ did not come into use until 1792, when there was a more organised group of Parisian workers formed

·       Defenders and driving force of the revolution at least until 1794

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Social make up of the Sans Culottes

·       Mainly working class

·       Mixture of craftsmen, traders, clerks, wage earners, journey men and labourers

·       Some middle class professionals, factory owners, wine merchants

·       Women were also prevalent

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What did the Sans Culottes want?

·       In 1789 bound by the distrust and dislike for the aristocracy

·       Believed in the ideology that all men were equal

·       In 1789 they wanted Louis to wake up to the plight of his people- they were starving

·       None of the working class or lower echelons of the third estate could afford bread

·       Wanted protection from the abuses of the free market- price controls on bread

·       Wanted some form of constitutional monarchy

·       By 1791 were calling for a republic

·       Tax on the rich

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The fall of the Bastille

·       14th July the crowds went to the hotel des invalids which acted as a weapons store. 8,000 seized 28,000 muskets and 20 cannons but they couldn’t find enough gun powder

·       Thought they could find gunpowder in the Bastille

·       The crowds and some of the national guard and representatives went to negotiate the handover of gunpowder

·       However, the crowd grew impatient and some pushed into the courtyard and firing began

·       Full scale assault took place

·       The governor, Marquis de Launey was captured and decapitated and his head paraded on a pole

·       It was stormed for ammunition, not to release inmates

·       Royal troops just stood by, the king had lost control

·       17th July, Louis resigned himself to making an appearance in Paris and as a symbol of his acceptance of the changes he wore the revolutionary cockade in his hat and reinstated Necker.

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The Crowds and Sans Culottes in Paris

·       The power of the Crowds and Sans Culottes was centred on Paris

·       The power and influence of the group lay in their use of the Parisian journees to effect change and their dominance in the National Guard, Parisian sections and commune.

·       Court of Versailles was only 20km away from Paris. News of political developments reached Paris long before the rural areas and provinces

·       Literacy rates in Paris were good- around half the men and a quarter of women

·       Even those who couldn’t read were reached by orators

·       Paris was vulnerable to variations in food supply. Any threat to the supply of bread at affordable prices led to riots and disorder

·       In an attempt to control supply and counter the ‘black market’, 10 foot high barriers were built around Paris

·       Paris was large- 600,000-650,000 inhabitants

·       Mostly poor population

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How and why did the crowd become involved in the o

·       Rioting was fairly common in Paris

·       Political stagnation coincided with economic distress to unite the crowds

·       The harvest of 1788 was catastrophic and bread prices rose

·       More migrants put pressure on food supply

·       The Parisians looked for someone to blame and attacked granaries, bakers, farmers and corn dealers

·       Necker’s dismissal set in motion the events

·       Crowds regarded his dismissal as deliberate provocation

·       Arrival of German cavalry troops in the centre of Paris to maintain order did nothing to reduce the alarm of the crowds

·       Encouraged by journalists and orators

·       Supported by lower ranks of the Paris garrison and police

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The significance of the storming of the Bastille

·       Destruction of a symbol of the arbitrary power of the king

·       Royal troops just stood by, some even defected, showing the king had lost control

·       Forced the king to make an appearance in Paris, reinstate Necker and accept the Paris commune, the national guard and the national/constituent assembly

·       Saved the assembly- now called constituent assembly to draw up new constitution

·       Forced Louis to accept that change was needed

·       Constituent assembly now had to approve all of Louis’s decisions

·       News of the Bastille spread around France, influencing the great fear in rural areas

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Direct aftermath

·       In towns and cities under control of the king were modified or seized by revolutionary committees (Bordeaux) or overthrown completely (Dijon)

·       Prominent in these new movements were lawyers and commercial and industrial businessmen

·       National guard set up in all towns to prevent a counter revolution and control the peasantry

·       Strasbourg town hall sacked

·       In Rennes soldiers refused to defend the city from the crowds and joined with them in driving the commander out

·       In Rouen grain stores were raided and textile workers destroyed spinning jennies

·       Intendants fled

·       Risings and demonstrations against feudal dues

·       Storehouses of landowners and the church- only places of food- were regarded as hoarders and raided

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Emigration of nobles

·       17th July Louis’ brother- Count d’Artois- flees from Versailles and is followed by many courtiers in the following weeks

·       “their emigration clearly showed that for the moment they thought the royal cause lost”- Doyle

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The Great Fear

·       Reaction to events in Paris and news of the king’s surrender to popular resistance fuelled rural impatience

·       Poor harvests and high prices

·       Desire for change

·       Belief that aristocrat hired vagabonds were going to destroy the harvest and crush rebellious peasants. Peasants armed themselves to fight off such people

·       Suspected aristocratic plots to starve the protesters to death

·       Clergy and nobles bulging with the previous season’s rents, dues and tithes when people were starving and the roads thronged with men seeking work

·       Started on 20th July and ended by 6th august

·       Grain stores looted

·       Chateaux attacked and burned

·       Terrier documents (which documented what each Lord’s rights were over the peasantry) were seized and burnt

·       Peasantry refused to pay tithes and dues

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Why is the Great Fear significant?

·       Showed the possible anarchy of the peasantry

·       Forced the nobility and king to cooperate with the assembly

·       Assembly deputies move quickly to protect their property

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The august decrees

·       4th August debate in the assembly to respond to the demands of the peasantry

·       Escalated into an auction with sides bidding off against one another

·       One bishop declared denounced hunting rights and this led to an angry call from a duke to an end to tithes

·       Lasted into the early hours of the morning

·       “it developed into a general assault on privileges of all sorts”- Doyle

·       Tithes abolished

·       Venality abolished

·       Tax privileges abolished

·       Equal taxation

·       Privileges of the provinces/cities etc abolished

·       Everyone eligible for work

·       Abolished the old regime

·       Controlled the masses

·       Brought equality

·       Gave huge amounts of work to the new government- complete restructuring of the financial, administrative, legal and military system

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Why were the august decrees significant?

·       Assembly was forced to respond to the peasant’s demands.

·       Total renunciation of feudal rights, dramatic change in the ancient regime- showed it could be altered

·       Made the way for a new national system of administration

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Declaration of the Rights of Man

·       Renunciation of feudal dues led to much excitement and on 26th August led to the declaration of the rights of man

·       Drawn up largely by Lafayette

·       Lay down the principles on which the new constitution of France was to be built.

·       Guaranteed freedom of expression, opinion, religion, fair trial, consent to taxation and the right to property

·       Stated that careers and offices should be open to all according to their talent- meritocracy

·       Stressed the importance of an elected assembly to express the general will of the people and the need for laws to protect men’s freedom

·       Bourgeois document in its emphasis on the sanctity of property but became an important document for the liberals in the 19th century

·       First step toward a written constitution

·       Sets forth the fundamental rights of citizens

·       Main parts of the declaration:

o   All men born equal

o   Rights to liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression

o   Power- with a people-elected assembly

o   Freedom of worship

o   Freedom of expression

o   Proportional taxation

o   Free ownership

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Significance

·       Swept away previous separate rights and built upon the august decrees

·       Step towards a new constitution

·       Break from the ancient regime

·       Demonstrated the influence of the enlightenment

·       Rearranged the unfair taxation system

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The debate on the position of the King

·       Comparatively little unrest in 1790 due to a good harvest in 1789

·       Constituent assembly began to draw up a constitution

·       At this stage the assembly was working on a scheme whereby France would become a constitutional monarchy, with restrictions on the powers of the king

·       Debate centred on what position the king should have in the new constitution

·       Eventually a proposal was put forward for a single assembly which would be elected every two years

·       This would decide the laws of the country and would determine taxation but the king would be responsible for making sure laws were carried out. The king, again, withheld his approval

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October days

·       Parisian women stormed the commune’s headquarters, demanding bread after news of a large banquet toasting the king’s return was supposedly held

·       6-7,000 women and 20,000 of the national guard invaded the assembly and sent a deputation to the king, who was forced to give in

·       He approved the august decrees and the declaration of the rights of man, promised to provide grain for Paris and agreed to return from Versailles to Paris.

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The Constituent Assembly

1789-1791 worked on replacing the governmental and administrative structure

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A new constitution and electorate

·       The new constitution was based on the king who retained ‘supreme power’ but only a four year veto on law and an elected national assembly

·       The right to vote was restricted. Citizens were divided into two groups- “active citizens” and “passive citizens”- only “active citizens” could vote.

·       “Active citizens” were those who had the right to vote in the first stage of both local and national elections. They were males over the age of 25 who had lived in one place for a year and paid the equivalent of 3 days labour in taxes

·       To stand for office or vote in the second stage of elections, an individual was required to pay the equivalent of 10 days labour in taxes

·       To become a deputy in the national assembly and individual had to pay the equivalent of 50 days labour in taxes. Known as the marc d’argent- a silver mark or 52 livres

·       Despite the declaration of the rights of man, only 61% of French men and no women had the right to take place in the first stage of elections and even fewer at the higher levels, with only 1/100 eligible to stand for deputy

·       Still favoured the rich

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Local administration

·       Reorganised and decentralised under a new three tier system of departements, districts and communes. 83 departements, which were in turn subdivided into 547 districts which were further divided into 43,360 communes

·       At each level, officials were elected to the ruling councils by active citizens

·       Councils were responsible for law and order within their localities and were given a range of specific duties. From the assessment and collection of taxes to the construction of public amenities such as roads, maintenance of churches and supervision of the local national guard

·       Local government therefore fell largely into the hands of the educated bourgeoisie- men of some wealth but selected on their merits

·       Problems occurred where there were insufficient educated men to fill offices and in some rural communes there were too few literate people

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Legal system

·       Single legal system established

·       Torture, branding and hanging forbidden

·       Fewer crimes punishable by death.

·       All death penalties in the form of decapitation- formerly only privilege of nobles

·       New system of law courts based on the local departements implemented

·       Tribunals established at each level of local governments, plus a central court of appeal and high court for cases of treason

·       At the lowest level, justices of the peace would deal with minor civil cases while more serious cases went to district courts

·       Judges and magistrates elected by active citizens from a panel of suitably qualified candidates

·       Judges of the court of appeal elected by departements

·       Criminal cases would be tried in front of a jury of 12 citizens within each departement

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Financial reform

·       Essential to consider how to rebuild the economy, finance government and put France in a stronger position

·       Assembly largely failed. Too many thought taxation as gone for good and attempts to impose new taxes were therefore met with resistance and so the assembly was forced to rely on short term measures

·       Taxes met such opposition that the gabelle (salt tax) was withdrawn in March 1790 and nearly all other unpopular indirect taxes within the next year

·       The direct taxes of the tailles and vingtieme were replaced by a new tax on land and property in 1791, similar to that proposed by Calonne

·       Free trade in grain introduced August 1789 and in other products 1790-91

·       Internal tariffs disappeared and a unified system of weights and measures was established

·       Old restrictive guilds (groups of skilled workers) disappeared in 1791 but trade unions and strikes declared illegal

·       To gain short term finance it was announced in November 1789 that church land was to be sold off for the benefit of the state. In return the government undertook to pay the salaries of the clergy directly and to take over the church’s role in education and poor relief

·       Nobles who emigrated would have their property confiscated and sold

·       Assignats were issued to aid the purchase of land and these became a form of paper currency, which could be acquired by anyone and used for ordinary business transactions. Too many were printed which led to inflation and prompted later economic disorder

·       Whilst there were still unfair variations in taxes in different parts of France, the peasants paid les overall and since exemptions had been removed a more just system had been created

·       Poverty remained and French finances remained in a crisis

·       The sale of church and émigré land provided income in the short term and had the additional benefit of binding though who bought these lands in support of the revolution

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Jacobins

·       Supported constitutional monarchy

·       Minority against a constitutional monarchy led by Robespierre

·       Charged substantial membership fee- dominated by the bourgeoisie

·       1200 members

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Cordeliers

·       More radical than the Jacobins

·       Do not support constitutional monarchy

·       Believe everyone should have a vote- direct democracy

·       No membership fee- anyone could join

·       Vast membership of working class people led by an elite

·       Desmoulins was a recognised leader- revolutionary journalist

·       Danton was the other leader- member of the bourgeoisie and became a minister for justice when the republic was declared and France went to war

·       Jean-Paul Marat was a spokesperson for the Cordeliers- published a newspaper called the ‘L’Ami des Peuple” radical paper which attacked the ancien regime

·       Jacques-Renee Hebert- recognised prominent leader of the crowd, also published a radical newspaper

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The flight to Varennes

·       Although Louis had accepted some changes, he had done so with reluctance and gave the impression he was biding his time until he could re-exert his authority

·       Untrustworthiness of the king reinforced in the flight to Varennes 20/21st June 1791

·       One suggestion is that he intended to travel to montmedy in Lorraine, here he hoped to gain the protection of the royalist military commander and from this strengthened position renegotiate the terms of the constitution

·       His brother, however, claimed that he was to leave France and return with the backing of his brother-in-law and the Austrian armies

·       He only reached Varennes (30 miles short of the border) and was then brought back to Paris in disgrace to hostile crowds.

·       Destroyed his last remaining support and Parisians began to discuss the idea of a republic

·       The mostly moderate members of the assembly were not in favour of such a step

o   Feared civil war and opposition from European monarchies

o   The king HAD shown his unreliability and a constitutional monarchy looked impossible

·       16th July 1791 the assembly voted to suspend the authority of the king temporarily, followed by an intense debate

·       More moderate Jacobins didn’t support dethroning the king and broke away to form the Feuillant club

·       Radical Jacobins and Cordeliers petitioned for the king’s removal

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Champs de Mars, Paris 1791

·       The Champs de Mars meeting was organised by the Cordeliers club to gain signatures for another petition

·       50,000 Parisians attended, and disorders threatened, particularly after 2 suspected government ‘spies’ were found beneath the central platform

·       The Paris commune feared trouble and declared martial law and sent Lafayette and the National Guard to disperse the crowd. He opened fire and killed 50, the first occasion when the revolutionary movement had divided

·       Moderate revolutionaries fired on the more radical elements and this division hardened over the next month as several popular leaders were arrested and others, such as Marat and Danton, were forced into hiding

·       Victory for the moderates and Feuillants who subsequently controlled Paris and the assembly and wanted to make an agreement with the king

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1791 Constitution

·       The king was to retain his hereditary position and appoint ministers

·       After the debacle of the ‘Flight to Varennes’ the king’s power was significantly curtailed

·       He could no longer veto laws relating to the constitution or finance

·       He retained his suspensive veto on other matters

·       Now the assembly determine policy and have the responsibility for declaring war

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Self-denying ordinance

·       Instigated by Robespierre

·       No member of the moderate constituent assembly could be elected to the new assembly

·       Robespierre hoped to reduce moderate influence

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Why was the 1791 constitution doomed to fail?

·       Still based on the king- after the flight he was deemed a traitor and not an appropriate leader with supreme power

·       Right to vote was too restricted- only 6% of French men and no women. People would still be unsatisfied with the unfairness and undemocratic nature of elections

·       Assignats and the selling of church and émigré land was only a short term solution and would not provide a solid foundation for economic stability

·       Issues over the civil constitution led to divides in the country. Those who refused to take the oath in support of it were deemed enemies of the constitution, ended national unity and led to the beginning of civil war and counter-revolution

·       Political clubs were a challenge to the authority of the assembly

·       Working classes still underrepresented

·       Time taken to implement the new constitution means the already angered people grew tired and harder to satisfy

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The legislative assembly

·       Met on 1st October 1791, known as legislative assembly as its job was to make laws

·       First 2 major laws concerned the refractory priests and émigrés

·       The first declared all refractory priests suspect. They were to lose their income and be treated as conspirators against the French nation

·       The second stated that any émigrés still out of France on 1st January 1792 would forfeit their property and be regarded as traitors

·       The king vetoed these laws in November which decreased his popularity further

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Makeup of the legislative assembly

·       Deputies were almost entirely bourgeois. A few clergy, few nobles and no peasants or artisans

·       264 members of the Feuillant club, 136 Jacobins, 350 were neither

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Foreign intervention

·       During 1790 the foreign monarchies surrounding France were more concerned with their own affairs

·       The Prussians were pleased to see the great power of France weakening and the British were sympathetic to pleas for greater liberty

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Padua circular (July 1791)

·       Showed first attempts of emperor Leopold II to rally support for Louis

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Declaration of Pillnitz (August 1791)

·       Major step on the way to war and a major problem/dilemma for Louis in how to react.

·       Issued by Leopold and Frederick William II of Prussia

·       Declared Louis’ condition was of interest to all European rulers

·       Declared wish to restore Louis to power

·       Would use force if necessary

·       In reality was only a gesture and was ignored by the assembly. An actual attack was unlikely without British and Russian support

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Austrian committee

·       Led by Marie Antoinette. Wanted war to reinstate bourbon power and destroy her perceived weakness of revolutionary armies through war

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Army commanders

·       Such as Lafayette and Demouriez- disillusioned by development of revolution. Believed authority of the king should be strengthened and this could be achieved through a short, successful war. Also would increase their own prestige

 

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Brisottins

·       Group of deputies led by Jacques Brissot- republican who though war would strengthen support for the revolution. Would expose counter-revolutionaries such as refractory priests, monarchists and nobles.

·       Argument:

o   French armies would be supported by suppressed people from other nations

o   International situation was favourable advertising French revolutionary cause and spreading their ideals

o   Britain wouldn’t join unless threatened

o   Success would arouse international enthusiasm for revolution

o   Defeat the émigrés abroad

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Girondins

·       Name given to deputies of the Geronde departement in southern France.

·       Favoured revolution but disagreed with Jacobins on major issues

·       Spoke of federalism and disliked the influence of Robespierre and the sans culottes

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Opposition to the war

·       Robespierre (not a member of the legislative assembly) led the opposition, though didn’t get much support

·       Believed that Lafayette would try and hijack the revolution for his own means and reverse the advances made under the new constitution

·       Thought they should wage war on the internal opponents not the external threats

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Declaration of war

·       Girondins pressed for war in the assembly though not enough support at the start of January 1792

·       Austrian/Prussian alliance announced hoping to intimidate France, instead gave Girondins more support

·       Austrian successes in Belgium (1790) and Prussian success in the united provinces (1789) gave them confidence of an easy victory

·       France in turmoil and economically unable to fight a war

·       Austrian threat and stirring rumours of the Austrian committee forced Louis to dismiss moderate members of the Feuillant government and replace them with Girondins- foreign minister Demouriez

·       Leopold (cautious) dies and is replaced by Francis II (young and impetuous)

·       War declared April 1792

·       Prussia joined in may led by the duke of Brunswick

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Military

·       French armies not prepared for war

o   Weakened by the many changes imposed by the revolution in particular the loss of many noble generals

o   Organisation was confused- muddles over recruitment, training and discipline

·       Defeat in the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium) forced the French armies to retreat and left the French border open to invasion

·       By May Lafayette was begging the assembly to make peace

·       When the commander in chief of the austro-Prussian army issued the Brunswick manifesto on 1st August, threatening death to those who opposed his advance and vengeance on Paris should any harm come to the king, this further increased the tension

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Social

·       The war and its failures divided the French nation further

o   Pro-war lobby blamed the failure of the troops on counter-revolutionaries at home

o   The court, nobles, refractory priests and other traitors were accused of passing secrets to the enemy

o   The king looked as though he was trying to undermine the French efforts by vetoing the assembly’s laws to deport refractory priests, disband the king’s guard and set up camp for 20,000 national guards (federes) from the provinces to protect Paris

o   Tension further increased by Brunswick manifesto

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Political

·       The king’s veto led to another demonstration in Paris

o   Led by members of the radical Cordeliers club

o   20th June, 8,000 demonstrators now calling themselves the Sans Culottes stormed into the tuileries

o   Demanded that Louis withdraw his veto and restore his pro war Girondin ministers

o   Louis didn’t give in

o   Louis was forced to wear a cap of liberty and drink to the health of the nation

·       The power of the king was diminishing and that of the radical masses was growing

o   In response to their demands, the assembly went ahead and established a federe camp, despite the king’s opposition

o   Assembly issued a decree- ‘la patrie en danger’ (the fatherland in danger)- on 11th July which called on all men to support the war effort and that its decrees would no longer require the sanction of the king

o   Radicals responded saying that if all men had to fight then all should have the vote and ‘passive citizenship’ was abandoned

·       The ‘moderate’ revolution of 1789 was at an end. The largely republican federes began to mass in Paris, bringing the patriotic song- the marseillaise- it seemed that the radicalism of the Sans Culottes had won.

 

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Birth of the republic

·       after despairing of the assembly’s failure to respond to the many petitions for the king’s dethroning (9th August)

·       15th August, force of around 20,000 sans culottes and members of the national guard and 2,000 federes, marched to the king’s palace of Tuileries

·       The kings family had fled to the assembly, forces still opened fire and killed 600 of the king’s Swiss guards

·       In the fighting that followed around 300 sans culottes and 90 federes were killed or wounded

·       Radicals invaded the assembly and  demanded that the king be handed over and imprisoned

·       Assembly was forced to respond to the demands

·       King was suspended from office and imprisoned

·       Elections would be held, with universal male suffrage, for a new assembly

·       Until the new assembly could be elected, the commune took control in Paris

·       Many moderates fled the assembly and those that remained obeyed the commune

o   Agreed that refractory priests should be deported, remaining feudal dues abolished without further compensation and émigré land sold in small lots

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Factors contributing to the failure of a constitut

·       King’s inflexibility

·       Willingness to listen to his wife and sister, his attempt at flight, use of veto and untrustworthiness

·       Split among revolutionaries- radicals winning increasing support in the atmosphere of war. Former supporters of the king fled

·       Economic troubles and fear and hardship engendered by the war exacerbated existing tensions

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September massacres

·       August- war situation grew worse

·       Lafayette deserted to the Austrians and the Prussians crossed the French frontier

·       By September they had reached Verdun, the last major fortress on the road to Paris

·       Danton pleaded for volunteers and thousands of Parisians joined to defend the capital

·       11th August, assembly granted powers to local authorities to arrest those suspected of ‘counter revolution’

·       Rumours began to spread that those in Parisian jails were planning to escape and hand Paris to the Prussians

·       Marat, a commune leader, called for the conspirators deaths

·       2nd-6th September, sans culottes began ‘visiting’ prisons and massacring their inmates

·       Between 1,400 and 2,000 were murdered

·       Elections for the new convention were taking place during this atmosphere and many Girondin deputies from the provinces were shocked by the massacres

o   Turned against Jacobins and sans culottes

·       Massacres came to an end with news of French victory over the Prussians at Valmy on September 20th 1792

o   Same day new convention opened

o   Reversed the tide of war, removed the threat to Paris and appeared to justify the revolution

o   Fight seemed to be succeeding

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National convention

·       Intimidation during elections, with lots of royal supporters disenfranchised (removed votes) so it was not surprising that all those elected for Paris were Jacobins or republicans (24 members)

·       Supported by the Jacobins in the provinces and Cordeliers they got the nickname Montagnards for sitting in the high seats on the left of the assembly hall

·       Robespierre was re-elected into the national convention

·       On the right of the hall sat the Girondins and in the centre, the moderates, known as the ‘plain’

·       782 deputies

·       Predominantly bourgeois

·       Agreed on most policies

o   Favoured a republic, wanted to win the war and sought enlightened reform of France

·       Differed in their sources of support and were deeply suspect of one another’s motives

o   Whereas the Jacobins were supported by the sans culottes and popular clubs of Paris, the Girondin following was stronger in the provinces and their hostility to the journey of 10th august lost them the support of more militant elements of the community

o   Jacobins suspected Girondins of seeking conservative compromise

o   Girondins feared Jacobins would stop at nothing, including bloodshed, to achieve their purposes

·       Girondins favoured decentralisation, in accordance with the ideas of the constituent assembly, Jacobins believed Paris was the heart of the revolution and favoured greater centralisation for the duration of the war

·       First decree of the convention, 21st September, was to abolish the monarchy and proclaim a republic

·       Birth of a new calendar in which subsequent years would be dated from the first day of the republic- clear rejection of the church (AD/BC dating)

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The Girondins

·       Leader: Brissot

·       Deputies: bourgeois

·       Policies: revolution, hated privilege, anti-clerical, supported the enlightenment, free-market, federalism, committed to war

·       Areas of support: provincial support, some Paris press, lost support by not backing !0th August march on Tuileries and again for looking moderate in their actions over the king

Attitudes: thought Robespierre wanted a bloody dictatorship

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The Montagnards

·       Leader: Robespierre, Danton

·       Deputies: bourgeois

·       Policies: revolution, hated privilege, anti-clerical, enlightened, tight control over wages, centralisation

·       Areas of support: strong support in Paris, political clubs, very popular with sans culottes

·       Attitudes: strong government needed to ensure survival of republic, believes Girondins wanted support of nobles to remain in power

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Verdicts on the king

·       Montagnards supported by Robespierre, Danton and Marat, favour trial and execution in response to demands of the sans culottes

·       Girondins accept the idea of trial but are reluctant to let Louis be executed

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The Montagnards prevail

·       Nearly 9 months the Girondins were able to hold off the Montagnards arguments and even proposed a referendum on the trial of Louis

·       This was as a result of the continued French success in the war

·       By January 1793 the French army’s military success was so extensive that it looked set to restore France’s natural frontiers- the Rhine, alps, and Pyrenees

·       However, everything changed with the Armoire de fer (‘iron chest’) incident in November 1792

·       Discovery of the chest at Tuileries seemed to prove that the king had corresponded with the revolutions enemies

·       Proved sufficient to force a trial

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Trial and execution of Louis XVI

·       Began on 10th December 1792

·       Appeal nominal: Marat insisted that each deputy of the convention announce their verdict publically, claiming it was the only way to root out traitors

·       In such circumstances, no one declared Louis innocent

·       721 deputies, 693 declared him guilty

·       361 voted for king’s execution, 319 opted for imprisonment

·       Girondins proposed a reprieve of the king but the convention rejected this 387 votes to 334

·       The king had become a symbol for counter revolutionaries and had to be removed

·       21st January 1793, Louis executed

·       With the king gone, the Montagnards would go on to dominate the convention and their suspicions of the Girondins grew.

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August 1792

·       War situation grew worse

·       Lafayette deserted to Austrians and Prussians crossed French frontier

·       September, reach Verdun- final fortress before Paris

·       Danton pleaded for volunteers

·       Thousands turned out to defend the capital

·       11th August, assembly granted powers to arrest those suspected of counter-revolution

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20th September 1792

·       Victory over the Prussians at Valmy

·       Turned tide of war

·       Removed threat to Paris and appeared to justify revolution

·       Armies went on the offensive and successfully advanced to the left bank of the Rhine

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January 1793

·       Military success looked set to restore France’s ‘natural frontiers

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February 1793

·       Convention declared war on Britain and the united provinces

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March 1793

·       Convention declared war on Spain

·       France found it had undertaken more than it could cope with

·       Britain was not ‘ripe’ for a revolution and opposed the extension of the French ‘natural frontier’ to the Rhine

·       French Girondin general Demouriez was defeated by the Austrians at Neerwinden and deserted to the enemy, together with Duc de Chartres, son of Duc d’Orleans

·       Girondins were blamed for the failures of the war

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Summer 1793

·       War continued to go badly

·       France was invaded by the Austrians in the north and Spaniards in the south

·       British had troops on the Netherlands border

·       ‘suspect’ army generals were blamed for failures

·       Spread and threat of war called for major overhaul of military and economic planning

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August 1793

·       Carnot ordered a levee on mass to provide soldiers for the armies and set up state factories for arms and ammunition

·       Church bells and religious vessels were melted down

·       Women and children were required to make uniforms and other necessary items

·       The war turned in France’s favour again

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Internal conditions of France during 1793

·       Situation in France was grim during the first half of 1793

·       Expansion of the war was accompanied by growing economic difficulties

·       War forced up prices and the convention tried to pay for the war by printing more assignats

·       Bread was in short supply

·       Convention faced several risings within France

o   Partly as a protest against levee en mass (conscription)

o   Partly a reaction to economic hardship and fear

o   Partly a genuine protest against the war the revolution had developed

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Rising of the Vendee

·       Rural region in western France

·       Broke out amongst peasants who found themselves paying a large amount of land tax

·       Led by local nobles

·       Directed at the new local officials, constitutional priests and national guard, who were massacred

·       Became so serious that the convention had to order 30,000 to leave the front to deal with the rebels

·       There was a call for more radical measures to ensure the convention maintained control of the country

·       A number of ‘emergency measures’ were taken

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Revolutionary tribunal

Set up in february 1793 as a court to try and sentence counter-revolutionaries    

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Committee of public safety

·       Set up in April 1793 with responsibility for coordinating the war effort inside and outside France

·       Required to respond and supervise during a crisis

·       Authority given by the convention and other ministers

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Committee of general security

·       In charge of internal security and rooting out counter-revolutionaries

·       Controlled an extensive spy network and ran a secret revolutionary police force

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Armees revolutionnaires

·       Added in September

·       Groups of Sans Culottes volunteers who acted on behalf of the authorities, seizing grain, attacking anyone found to be hoarding and helping destroy counter-revolutionaries

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The maximum (4th May)

·       Name given to a law that established the maximum price that could be charged for grain

·       In September, prices of other goods were also fixed at the 1790 level plus a third and wages at the 1790 level plus a half

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Compulsory loan

·       Imposed on the wealthy

·       Decreed that the property of all émigrés was to be confiscated and they would be executed if they returned to France

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Death penalty

·       Established for hoarding

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The Terror Robespierre

·       Middle class lawyer who was educated by Jesuits in Paris

·       Determined and passionately sincere

·       Elected as a deputy in the estates-general and became devoted to revolution

·       Became extremely popular amongst sans culottes in Paris

·       Led the Jacobins, supported the king’s execution, the overthrow of Girondins and the terror

·       Elected to the committee of public safety in July 1793

Created many enemies and, a year later, in July 1794, was guillotined

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Role of Robespierre

·       Accused of betraying revolutionary principles by turning the CPS into a dictatorship

·       Spoke of a ‘Republic of virtue’ in which men would be free and equal, believed the terror was necessary to achieve this

·       He was only one member of the CPS and he may have believed it to be a temporary stage, but his name became associated with the excesses

·       Although he disliked the crowds and more easily identified with the bourgeoisie, Robespierre was not afraid to use the sans culottes for his own ends

·       Consequently very popular with the people of Paris who referred to him as the ‘incorruptible’

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Foundations of the terror Social

·       Federalists revolt, autumn

o   Lyon- scene of major uprising against the convention leading to man drowning in the Loire. Lasted 2 months

o   Marseilles and Toulon- uprising against the convention. Convention cut off food supplies to Toulon and they appeal to British for help. Young general napoleon Bonaparte makes his name

·       January-June 1793 protests against levee en mass

·       January-June 1793 economic difficulties, inflation and rising food prices, bread shortages

·       Vendee February 1793

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War

·       Summer 1793- France invaded by Austrians in the north, Spaniards in the south, British troops on Netherlands border

·       Trial and executive of general

·       Levee en masse and establishment of state factories for arms and ammunition

·       Loss of Neerwinden march 1793

Extension of the war- declaration against Spain and Britain 

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Political

·       Execution of the king January 1793- victory for Jacobins

·       Fall of Girondins June 1793

·       Murder of Marat July 1793

·       Political power of sans culottes

·       New constitution summer 1793

·       March-May 1793 emergency measures

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The emergence of the terror

·       Began with attack on Tuileries and September massacres

·       In emergency of war, government couldn’t rule by normal methods

·       Convention needed to introduce necessary measures and apparatus to control

·       Need to defend the revolution against internal and external threats

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Machinery of the Terror

·       Revolutionary tribunal- court specialising in trying those accused of counter revolutionary activities

·       CGS- responsible for surveillance and police security

·       CPS- April 1792 supervise activities of ministers and superseded them

·       Representatives-en-mission- mainly Jacobin deputies from the convention who were sent to reassert authority in the provinces

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Federalism and provincial Repression

·       End of 1793- federalist revolt suppressed

·       Revolts were not anti-republic or anti-revolutionary but anti-jacobin and anti-partisan control

·       Federalist revolt began in reaction to the removal of the Girondins

·       Atrocities committed in suppressing and crushing revolt in vendee and lyon

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The terror begins

·       “the terror was organised and became for the first time a deliberate policy of government”

·       September- December 1793, the convention order all ‘enemies’ to be rounded up in order to focus the nation fully on the war

·       ‘enemies’ were taken to be anyone perceived as a danger to the republic- royalists, catholic sympathisers, any hoarders or even anyone evading state law

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Law of suspects

·       All ‘enemies’ to be imprisoned indefinitely without trial or placed before revolutionary tribunal

·       Harsh justice had been symptomatic of the sans culottes, now it was coming from the authorities

·       Responsibility for rounding up the enemies lay with the revolutionary armies

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October show trials

·       October 1793, in response to sans culottes pressure

·       Led to the guillotining of:

o   Marie Antoinette 16th October

o   31 former Girondin ministers, deputies of the national convention 31st October

o   Philippe egalite (Duc d’Orleans) 6th November

o   Madame Roland, wide of an ex-Girondin minister 9th November

·       In the last 3 months of 1793 180 people were guillotined and around half a million condemned to imprisonment in Paris and the provinces

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The terror in the provinces

·       Activity in the provinces was frequently more extreme than in Paris

·       Moderates replaced by militants in local government

·       When there was rebellion, protests were crushed with horrific atrocities- massacres, mutilations and the burning of farms and crops

·       Men and women shot without trial

·       By the time the rising in the vendee was crushed the countryside was like a desert, with farms destroyed and famine forcing those left to flee

·       Many acts of savagery committed:

o   Nantes, the local representative-en-mission, Carrier, killed hundreds of prisoners by tying them up, naked, in sealed barges which were then sunk in the river Loire. Including monks and nuns tied together in mockery of the catholic faith

o   Toulon, 800 shot and 282 sent to the guillotine

o   Lyon was torched and suspect citizens shot by cannon into previously dug mass graves

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Dechristianisation

·       Catholic church came under attack

·       Campaign to close all churches by the spring of 1794, to destroy religious signs and symbols and force priests to marry or adopt orphans.

o   Paris commune led the way and destroyed religious and royal statues, changed street names with religious connections and banned the wearing of clerical dress.

o   Stopped paying clerical salaries in May 1793 and, in November, ordered the closure of all Parisian churches

o   Notre dame became the ‘Temple of Reason’

·       Convention seemed to encourage dechristianisation by sanctioning the deportation of any priests denounced by 6 citizens and supporting the new revolutionary calendar

·       Whilst popular with the sans culottes, dechristianisation met with anger and suspicion amongst the more conservative rural peasantry

·       Establishment of the cult of reason- atheist at its core. Promoted the belief of the idea of reason in order to bring citizens to a final end of being virtuous and moral

·       Festival of reason- November 1793.

·       Festival of supreme being- June 1794. Massive pageant

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Economic terror

·       Enrages- group of orators and politicians who believed in absolute equality. Believed in the revolution to make sufficient provision for economic equality and that hoarders should be punished by death. If the convention failed to do this then they encouraged the people to massacre them themselves

·       Extremism towards food regulation in particular

·       Law of maximum helped

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Dictatorship of the CPS

·      J anuary to July 1794 CPS and CGS ruled France

·       Terror gave the sans culottes, Paris sections, revolutionary armies and representative-en-mission huge power

·       Threat of anarchy needed to be controlled- too many organisations fighting for power led to abuses of power

·       The terror of September- December 1793 had crushed revolt, seen a turn in the war and got food supplies moving

·       Convention saw a need to remove the power of the sans culottes

·       Law of Frimaire (December 1793) gave a dictatorship to the CPS- suspending the 1793 constitution, disbanding the revolutionary armies (except that of Paris), representatives-en-mission and all unofficial bodies. Revolutionary tribunals in the provinces were also abolished May 1794. Putting the selection for all positions into the hands of the CPS and CGS

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Opposition to the CPS Hebertistes

·       armies

·       The opposition came from Hebert- some support in the convention and lots from the Cordeliers

·       The sans culottes favoured Hebert’s policies- including executing hoarders and property redistribution

·       Robespierre counters Hebert’s attacks by claiming he is planning a military dictatorship

·       Hebert was executed for (according to Robespierre) attempting to bring about military dictatorship. The people accepted this and the CPS used it as an excuse to disband the last armee revolutionnaire (Paris) and close the Cordeliers club

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Indulgents

·       Danton and Desmoulins were the indulgent who wished to see the relaxation of the terror

·       Wanted to see the end of the war as this would allow an end to the terror

·       Danton had a large following in the convention, which threatened the CPS

·       The CPS thought the end to the terror would see the return of monarchy and so arrested Danton for financial scandal

·       Danton, Desmoulins and their followers were executed in April 1794 and this served to suppress all criticism of the CPS and their policies

·       Danton- prominent republican, supported revolution and was in the convention. Sided with the Montagnards

·       Desmoulins- journalist who roused the crowds in the storming of the bastilles. Member of the Cordeliers

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Great Terror

·       Instead of ending the terror, Robespierre led it forward to an even more intensive phase centred on Paris known as the great terror

·       All enemies of the revolution had to be brought to Paris

·       A law was passed to speed up the work of the revolutionary tribunal

·       By the law of 10th June 1794, ‘enemies of the people’ were defined as those who had sought to ‘mislead opinion and corrupt the public conscience’

·       Such terms could include anyone

·       Trials were simply to determine liberty or death and the defendants had no rights

·       The result was a sudden increase in the number of executions- summer 1794 over a thousand a month

·       Virtually everyone brought before the tribunal was condemned to death

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End of Robespierre

·       For a while, Robespierre appeared supreme, but his enemies were growing

·       He annoyed the CPS when he attempted to set up a police bureau under his own authority to prosecute dishonest officials, encroaching on their power

·       Briefly disappeared from public life 18th-26th July

·       Returned and gave convention a rambling speech, which ended with an accusation that members of both the CGS and CPS were turning against the revolution

·       Those with whom he argued feared for their lives

·       27th July Robespierre was shouted down and arrested in the convention with his brother Augustin and allies, Couthon and saint-just

·       Robespierre and 21 others were executed on 28th July

·       Known as the coup of thermidor and those responsible were known as the Thermidorians and were a mixture of men from the two committees, ex-supporters of the terror and deputies of the moderate plain

·       This event marked the end of revolutionary extremism

·       The plain now emerged as the most dominant group and was joined by many Montagnards

·       The few remaining radical Jacobins were a silent minority.

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Thermidorian Reaction The war situation

·       Summer 1793 things were going badly for France in the war

·       Lazare Nicolas Carnot, Jacobin in the CPS, ordered a levee en masse

·       Until the end of 1793 war situation looked uncertain

·       End of 1793 began to change- British driven from Toulon and Spanish driven from the south

·       October the British and Austrians had left the north and by December been pushed past Alsace

·       Death of Robespierre 28th July 1794 failed to bring the terror to an end

·       French armies doing well in the war by this stage

·       Austrians defeated at Fleurus on 26th June 1794 allowing for the recapture of the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium)

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Dismantling the Terror June 1794- May 1795

·       Revolutionary tribunal abolished 32st may 1795, after a year of only 63 executions

·       Law of prarial repealed June 1795 and prisoners held under its terms released

·       Jacobin club closed November 1794

·       CPS and CGS powers curtailed. CPS lost its say in domestic policy- only control over war

·       CPS- 25% of members replaced monthly

·       Moderates restored power in local government

·       Work began on new constitution

·       Paris commune abolished

·       Separation of church and state and the payment of clerical salaries September 1794

·       21st February 1795 restoration of freedom of faith

·       Law of maximum repealed December 1794 and public workshops returned to private ownership

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Rising of Germinal (April)

·       Country suffering economically. Inflation- assignats fall to 10% of original value, 1794 harvest failed, 1794-5 winter was harsh. Factories close, famine likely

·       April (germinal) 1795, 10,000 unarmed people demonstrate against convention

·       Demanded return to 1793 constitution/release of old CPS members Barere and Billaud

·       Expected the support of the Montagnards and national guard but the national guard supported the convention

·       Convention exiled last CPS members but violence continued

·       Orchestrated by sans culottes

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Rising of Prairial (May)

·       Armed uprising 21st May

·       Housewives, workers and some national guards

·       20,000 national guard and gunners from the regular army join the rebels and forced the convention to submit a food commission

·       Convention used the majority of the army to suppress the rising. 42 national guard and 6 deputies executed, 36 gunners killed, 600 militants arrested

·       Uprising marked the end of the radical power of the sans culottes to pressure the legislating body

·       No coordination, failed to fire, national guard split and large sections support the convention, no longer the Paris commune to direct them

·       Orchestrated by the sans culottes

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White Terror

·       White was the colour of the Bourbons/royalists and non-oath swearing clergy

·       Most weren’t royalists but wanted revenge

·       Attack on those who had done well out of the revolution- purchasers of land, constitutional clergy, government officials, sans culottes

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White terror in Paris

·       Led by the Jenesse Dore (gilded youth)

·       Middle class sons of those executed

·       Dressed extravagantly

·       Formed gangs and beat up members of the sans culottes and Jacobins

·       Not violence on the same scale as the terror

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White terror in Vendee (west)

·       North-west France was more violent

·       Chouan- guerrilla groups operating in the vendee

·       Groups attacked grain convoys and sought to destabilise local government

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White terror in the south

·       Little effort was made in the convention to sort out the south

·       Most savage in regions where the terror had hit worst e.g. lyon

2000 were killed as the violence continued through 1796-7

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New Constitution

·       would draw up the legislation, council of ancients, 250 deputies over the age of 40 would examine and approve or reject but not amend bills

·       Third of members would be retired every year

·       Annual elections

·       Directory, or council of 5, chosen to enforce the laws and run government affairs

·       Directory would hold office for 5 years, one member would drop out each year

·       Members of the directory would not be able to sit in either of the two large councils and they had limited powers (could not introduce or veto laws, declare war or peace of control finance)

·       All original directors had voted in support of the king’s execution

·       2/3 deputies in the first councils were chosen from the existing deputies in the convention

·       Constant elections meant instability

·       Councils could reject laws proposed by the directory

·       Too rigid separation of powers

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Vendemaire rising October 1795

·       People didn’t like the 2/3 decree as it allowed many of the old convention and prevented royalist dominance

·       Was not support for the Verona declaration of Louis XVIII which called upon the return to the monarchy

·       25,000 armed Parisians marched on the convention

·       Described as royalist uprising but wasn’t

·       Under the charge of napoleon

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Directory Members

·       Carnot- former Jacobin who was a member of the CPS and was responsible for the unprecedented military and economic planning of 1793 and for the change in course of the war

·       Barras- extremist who commanded the conventions actions against Robespierre. More concerned with personal power than the needs of the people. Dissolute and unprincipled

·       Reubell

·       Letourneur

·       Revelliere-Lepeaux

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Problems of the directory

·       The constitution was designed to prevent any one group from exerting too much power, yet its elaborate system of checks and balances, which relied on the cooperation between groups, made government difficult

·       No single person or body in control- political stalemate

·       The directors proposed laws but couldn’t vote on them, they couldn’t insist that the ancients pass them and any attempt to change the constitution was slow

·       Financially, the directory survived through short term measures and the restoration of some indirect taxation, which was very unpopular

o   Relied on the plundering of foreign states, occupied by French armies

o   Assignats had grown worthless and were discontinued in February 1796 and a new currency was introduced, although that soon lost its value, as did the ‘rentes’ (government investments)

o   Bourgeois investors and property owners who had gained by the revolution now found themselves losing out

·       Politically they faced a groundswell of royalist support

·       Royalists did well in elections but were unable to form a majority under the terms of the constitution

·       Threat of left-wing extremists had not passed and in 1796 Babeuf threatened to overthrow the directory

o   Babeuf favoured the abolition of private property and was regarded as the first communist

o   Had little popular support, plot put down and guillotined 1997

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End of the Directory

·       By 1997 those favouring constitutional monarchy had grown and there was a possibility, by 1998, that royalists had a majority in the councils

·       Of those in the directory only 2 were devout republicans

·       Directors’ powers included control of the army and the republicans began to use this to force change from 1997

·       Coup of Fructidor- 3-4th September the army seized strong points in the city and the councils

·       Ordered the arrest of 2 directors and 53 deputies

·       Other deputies so frightened they agree to laws cancelling the election results in 49 departements (removing 177 deputies)

·       Arrested directors, deputies, leading royalists and émigrés and exiled them

·       Constitution had been severely undermined and when in May 1798 Jacobins did well in elections, again they overturned the result

·       1799 the directory had lost all support

·       10th November 17999 directory came to an end in a coup led by napoleon

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Why did the Directory lose support 1799?

·       Acted unconstitutionally in the coup de fructidor and the coup of floreal (may 1798)

·       Made tax demands, enforced unpopular loans and imposed conscription 1799

·       Directory power in the provinces collapsed

·       Civil war in the Ardeche (south-central France)

·       Even directors themselves recognise the instability of the directory- abbe Sieyes makes attempts to overthrow it

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The achievements of the Revolutionary Armies

·       Autumn 1795, France remained at war only with Britain and Austria

·       1796 a pincer attack was mounted against Austria. Campaigns involved moving two French armies, one from Bavaria and one from Italy, in a joint campaign

·       Bonaparte was successful in his attack from the Italian side

·       The attack from Bavaria was less successful and could go no further

·       Napoleon therefore concluded a very favourable peace treaty with Austria, whereby he created a new republic

·       The French plan to defeat Britain had centred on invasion with the help of the Dutch and Spanish. After a few British wins against the Dutch and Spanish, they abandoned the idea

·       January 1798 French troops seized Switzerland. In Italy a roman republic was established and the pope had to flee to Tuscany

·       March 1798 left bank of the Rhine now passed to France looked extremely powerful

·       Britain remained the undefeated enemy

·       Napoleon chose to strike at Britain through Egypt- vital to British trade to India.

·       9th June- captured Malta

·       July- captured Alexandria

·       21st July- took Cairo

·       1st august- most of French fleet destroyed in battle of the Nile

·       Left armies cut off from home base, major defeat

·       War resumed in 1799 and, although France occupied the rest of Italy, annexed piedmont to France and turned Naples into another republic, early successes were followed by defeats along the Rhine and in northern Italy and Switzerland

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Indirect taxes

Gabelle:a tax on salt

·       Anyone buying salt had to pay

·       There were 4 exempt provinces

 Octroi:a tax, paid at the own gates, on goods being taken to market

·       The merchant transporting goods had to pay

·       Nobody was exempt

 Aides:a tax on drinks, especially wine

·       Some provinces were exempt

 Traites:a tax on goods being transported form one province to another

·       The merchant transporting the goods had to pay

·       Nobody was exempt

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Robespierre

Maximilien Robespierre-

·       He trained as a lawyer and was educated in a Jesuit college in Paris

·       He had a burning desire to fight for freedom and equality and was elected as a Third Estate deputy.

·       He made his mark as a speaker in the National Assembly and became the leader of the Jacobins, who dominated the National Convention

·       He supported the execution of Louis

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Compte de Mirabeau-

·       Although of noble birth, he sympathised with the third estate and was elected one of its deputies

·       He was a great speaker and a natural leader of the National Assembly

·       He worked with the constituent assembly to convince all parties that a limited monarchy was needed.

·       Despite his prominence in the assembly, he enjoyed the confidence of the king, whom he secretly advised.

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Jean Joseph Mounier

·       Trained as a lawyer and bought a noble title

·       By 1789 he was convinced of the need for change and became a representative of the third estate

·       His proposal for the tennis court oath was partly to prevent Sieyes’ more radical suggestion that the deputies should take themselves to Paris.

·       Played an important part in drawing up the declaration of rights.

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Why were the following people significant?

These figures were all spokespeople, deputies or representatives of the third estate and they therefore played a major role in furthering its aims and in the National Assembly. Sieyes, Mirabeau and Mounier were all of the 1st and 2nd estates and for them to represent the third estate and denounce their higher social standing would have been a blow for the nobility and supporters of the ancient regime and a huge gain for the third estate as it showed that people from all estates recognised the need for change.

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