The French Revolution

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    Deficit Spending

    deficit spendingLouis XIV left France deeply in debt. He raised taxes and food prices soured. France borrowed too much money and couldn't pay it back.
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    The Estates-General

    estates generalFrance was on the verge of bancruptcy, nobles denounced royal tyranny and Louis XIV finally summoned the Estates-General. Each estate prepared a cahier or notebook listing their grievances.
  • Persians Storm the Bastille

    Persians Storm the Bastille
    storming of the bastilleRumors were spreading that troops were going to occupy the capital of France. More than 800 Persians assembled outside the bastille and demanded weapons and gunpowder that they believed were stored there. The Persians killed the commander and five guards and released all the prisoners there but found no weapons. The fall of the Bastille posed a challenge to the existence of the regime.
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    The National Assembly Acts

    National Assembly ActsNobles in the National Assembly voted to end their own privilages. They gave up their manorial dues, exclusive hunting rights, special legal status and exemption from taxes. The National Assembly announced proudly and wearily that Feudalism was abolished. The president of the National Assembly Acts later observed that that moment was the dawn of a new revolution and France was truly reborn.
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    Threats from Abroad

    Threats from AbroadEnlightined rulers turned against France. Catherine the Great of Russia burned Voltaire's letters and locked up her critics. The king of Prussia and the emperor of Austria(Marie Antoinette's brother) issued the Declaration of Pilnitz. The two monarchs threatened to intervene to protect the French monarchy. Even though it was mostly a bluff, revolutionaries in France took it seriously.
  • Civil War

    Civil War
    civil warThe sans-culottes were working-class men and women who pushed for more radical action in the revolution. Jacobins were middle-class lawyers and intellectuals who used pamphleteerss and sympathetic newspaper editors to advance the republican cause. Moderate reformers and political officials opposed the radicals.
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    Monarchy is Abolished

    monarchy is abolishedA crowd of Parisianas stormed the royal palace and the Tuileries and killed the king's guards. The royal family fled to the Legislative Assembly before the mob arrived. A month later , citizens attacked prisons that help nobles and priests accused of public defenses. Approximately 1200 prisoners were killed. On a foggy January day, the king mounted a scaffold and was beheaded. Monarchy was abolished.
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    Robespierre and the Reign of Terror

    Reign of TerrorIn a speech given by Robespierre on February 5, 1794 he explained why the terror was necessary to the revolution. About 300,000 suspects were arrested during the Reign of Terror, of those 17,000 were executed. The tool used to execute so many suspects of the revolution was the guillotine. Dr. Joseph Guillotin of the legislature introduced it as a more humane way of beheading than the ax. It quickly became a sign of terror. On July 27, 1794, Robespierre was arrested. He was beheaded the day after
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    The Third Stage of the Revolution

    Napoleon BonapartIn 1795 another constitution was produced which was the third since 1789. It was a five-man Directory and two-house legislature elected by male citizens who owned property. During this stage of the French Revolution, the middle class and the professional people of the bourgeoisie were the dominant force. As chaos threatened, politicians looked to Napoleon Bonaparte who was a military hero who won a series of brilliant victories against Austria and Italy.
  • Nationalism Spreads

    Nationalism Spreads
    nationalismFrance had dramatically changed. Social order was dislodged, monarchy was overthrown, and the Church was brought under state control. The new title "citizen" referred to people of all social classes. All other titles were eliminated. Practical clothes and simple haircuts replaced the elaborate fashions and powdered wigs.