I find figuring out at what level to atomise notes quite challenging to understand, and I’d appreciate it if some people in this wonderful community can look and a note I made and provide guidance on how to split it up. I always find there is a tradeoff between ease of reading (this sample note is for an exam I have coming up, and it’s useful to read through it in whole easily) and ability to create links between notes.
Why Did the French Revolution Occur?
- The three estate system was being question, with enlightenment ideas spreading.
- France was the only absolute monarchy left in western europe
- [[Louis XVI]] was not respected
- Greatly influenced by others
- Wife, Marie Antoinette, from Austria, was unpopular
- known as ‘Madame Deficit’ for her unnecessary spending
- the Estates General meeting was always going to not be fair towards the 3rd estate, as each estate got one vote, instead of being proportional to population
Tennis Court Oath
- June 20, 1789
- Six weeks of meetings occurred. When the ‘deputies’ of the 3rd estate arrived the doors were locked.
- the deputies met in a tennis court nearby
- declared themselves the ‘National Assembly’ and made an oath to enact the will of the people
- National Assembly held meetings and began to run the country
- formed a national guard to enforce laws/fight Louis’ troops
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
- The National Assembly adopted a manifesto called the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
- It directly challenged the authority of Louis XVI, calling for an end of tyranny, the formation of a representative government and a series of individual rights protected by law
- Written by Marquis de Lafayette (who had been a key player in the American Revolution)
- Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence
The End of the Monarchy
- Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were held prisoners in the Tuileries Palace in Paris.
- On the night of June 20th, 1791, Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and their children fled the palace to try to make it to Austria, in order to gather support from Marie Antoinette’s country of birth.
- They snuck out of the palace in Paris disguised as servants and took a carriage towards Austria but they were recognised in a town called Varennes and forced back to Paris.
France was essentially bankrupt and didn’t have enough money to support it’s population after the costly [[seven year’s war]], as well as aide sent to help the [[american revolution]].
The king owed money to many other countries which was borrowed to finance the above war, and decided to raise taxes on everyone but the 2nd estate, which he was a part of. This inequality was one of the main reasons the 3rd estate (peasants) rose up against the 1st and 2nd estates. King Louis put in place a policy of ‘deficit spending’ ie spending more than they receive from taxes.
Dismissal of Nekar
[[Louis XVI]]’s economic advisor was dismissed by the king. Jacques Nekar’s policies included:
- it was the government’s duty to make sure there was bread (food) for all citizens
- 1st and 2nd estates should be taxed as well as the 3rd estate in order to get France out of debt
- The king should call a meeting of the Estates General (first time in 175 years)
These policies made him very popular amongst the people (3rd estate). When he was dismissed, “A wax head was carried through the streets to honour Nekar. When Royal guards refused to salute Nekar’s wax head and opened fire on the people. This was the first bloodshed of the Revolution and led to the Storming of the Bastille 3 days later.”
There wasn’t any social mobility (moving from one estate to another
The 3 Estates
- First Estate
- 130,000 Clergy
- No tax
- Followed church law
- controlled education and censorship of press
- Second Estate
- 110,000 Nobles
- No tax
- collected feudal payments from 3rd estate as income from 3rd estate
- Third Estate
- 25,000,000 Peasants
- Paid all of the taxes and tithes
There was a growing Bourgeoisie (Middle class in the 3rd estate) that could read but since they had no social mobility, was stuck doing menial labour. This increased literacy meant that lower class people started reading about revolutionary ideas.
Soldiers returning from fighting in the [[American Revolution]] spread the news of how a revolution could succeed, which inspired the french.
Storming the Bastille
- July 14, 1789
- Regarded as the start of the French Revolution
- 1,000 revolutionaries stormed the Bastille, where gunpowder/ammunition was stored, and political prisoners were housed
- The governor of the Bastille, DeLaunay had his head paraded around a pike.
The Great Fear
- After the storming of the Bastille, rebellion spread from Paris to the countryside
- Rumours spread that nobles were hiring outlaws to terrorise peasants
- this caused panic known as the Great Fear
- Peasants armed themselves with farming equipment and caused civil unrest (stormed noble’s home’s, destroying legal papers, burning things)
March to Versailles
- October 5, 1789
- Thousands of women joined in the march to Versailles
- Armed with knives and axes, they broke into the palace and demanded the king and queen returned to Paris
- With King and Queen in Paris, they essentially became prisoners of the city which signified a change of power, with the King not being the one in charge of everything