Absolutism and the Structure of the Ancien Regime

  • Created by: HazelF97
  • Created on: 23-05-17 17:54
What was the Ancien Regime?
*System of government before the revolution *First used in 1790 as an insult
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What was absolutism?
An absolute monarchy- ruled by a king
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Who did Louis swear an oath to at his coronation?
God, not his subjects
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What were the limits to his powers?
*No legal limits *Four legal limits 1) taught to take advise 2) Advisers and ministers came from a pool of career administrators and courtiers 3) bound by the laws and customs of France 4) Needed the consent of the noble elite.
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How did Louis XVI become king?
*Born in 1754 *Became dauphin after the death of his brother *succeeded his granfather in 1774
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Why was his marriage to Marie Antoinette unpopular?
Austria was blamed for Frances defeat in the Seven Years War, 1753-1763
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What does Lefebrve think of Louis?
lacked will, honest, well-intentioned
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What does Hanson think of Louis?
Devoted to reform, committed to reform, the victim of circumstance
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What does Peter Jones think of Louis?
intelligent. fluctuating interest
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Who did Louis' government consist off?
advisers and ministers situated at the palace of Versailles.
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What was the failing of Louis' government?
1) met each individually to discuss matters 2) Louis decided the overall direction of the government 3) court factions worked against each other 4) wide range of laws an customs across France 5) no single representative body
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Why were royal legislation's hard to ratify?
13 regional parlements. different forms and administration. different legal systems. different taxes and rules on who paid them.
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What were Indendants?
Royal officials who worked for the king. They controlled one of the 36 administrative areas.
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What were the Indendants responsible for?
Carrying out government policy. Hindered by local law courts and parlements- overly authoritarian.
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How was French society divided?
Three estates.
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Who made up the First Estate?
Clergy- 0.5% of population *owend 10% of the land
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What did the First Estate do?
Controlled education, hospitals, poor relief. Powers of censorship. Published government messages.
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Who made up the Second Estate?
120,000 nobles, less than 1%. 1/4-1/3 of french land.
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Who were the Noblesse de court?
wealthy and privileged. Kings advisers. Ambassadors. Intendants and ministers. Had access to royal patronage
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Who were the venal nobles?
Created by the monarchy by the selling and buying of hereditary titles.
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Who were the other nobles?
Lived on country estates. Many were not wealthy. Jealous of court nobles and protective of their status and privileged. Feudal rights.
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Who were the third estate?
28 million people. Peasantry of 80 million and growing number of bourgeoisie.
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Who paid no taxes?
Clergy- paid a voluntary grant of 5% their earnings
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What taxes were the nobility exempt from?
taille, land tax corvees royales paid some new taxes but most found ways to not pay the full amount. Exempt from military conscription
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What taxes did the thrid estate pay?
rents and taxes on their grain harvests and some had to do labour service. Taille and gabelle. Conscripted and billeted soldiers. Tithe to the church.
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Card 2


What was absolutism?


An absolute monarchy- ruled by a king

Card 3


Who did Louis swear an oath to at his coronation?


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Card 4


What were the limits to his powers?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


How did Louis XVI become king?


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