S: THe French Revolution
FC: By Carolyn Pifer & Kara Tupa
1: Once upon a time, in the 1780s, there were three estates in France. The first Estate was the clergy or church officials and they did not have to pay taxes. The second estate was the nobles and they did not pay taxes either. The third estate was the peasants and commoners. The third estate was upset because they had to give their money that they worked hard for. While they were struggling to get food, King Louis XIV, was spending all of the Country's money on things for himself and his palace.
2: King Louis realized that France was having a financial crisis. He called a meeting at his palace of Versailles and had all three estates come together. Each estate would have one vote, vote by order, no matter how many people. This was a step towards democracy because the king was not making the choice himself.
3: The Third Estates vote was that all Estates should be taxed, but the other two estates decided they should not. The third estate could not overcome first and second, so they demanded more votes, but the king turned them down.
4: At the meeting, the king locked out the Third Estate so they all ran to the nearby tennis courts. They decided to call themselves the National Assembly.
5: At the tennis courts they took a pledge to make a new Constitution of 1791. The third estate was determined to make their government better and fairer.
6: The commoners were angry and charged the Bastille Castle on July 14th, 1789. They tore it apart trying to find weapons and gunpowder to fight. It was the start to the French revolution.
8: The monarchy they had soon ended and France became a republic government, also a democracy. The king was tried for treason and beheaded with a machine called the guillotine. To keep power and protect the revolution, the government created the Committee of Public Safety, or the Reign of Terror.
9: During the Reign of Terror Maximilien Robespierre was a leader who killed anyone that did not like the new republic government. Anyone that criticized the new government or had something with the king's seal on it was beheaded. In 1794 they finally got rid of him, and sent him to the guillotine.
10: After the Reign of Terror, along came a leader named Napoleon. He declared himself an absolute Emperor which did not follow a democracy. He did have rules, the Napoleonic Code which was a reform of the revolution that mentioned all men are equal.
11: France went to war with many European countries and Napoleon concurred many with his military success. Europe was angry with Napoleon for taking over their countries so they exiled him to an island, Elba. He escaped and took over again, but for the second time he was exiled to an island farther away called St. Helena where he eventually died.
12: The French Revolution was very important to history and the growth of democracy. After these events there was no longer an absolute ruler and taxes were given to all people. All men were made equal and everyone had the right to life, liberty, and property.