BC: All in all, the French Revolution was a step towards democracy because all (male) citizens got more equality, and there was an end to monarchy in France. Smithmeyer, Elizabeth. Start of the French Revolution. Ppt. 12 Dec. 2012 Smithmeyer, Elizabeth. French Revolution, Reign of Terror, and the Rise of Napoleon. Ppt. 13 Dec. 2012
FC: French Revolution by Seth Wolf
1: Intro to the French Revolution The social system of France was divided into 3 groups, or estates. The first estate was made of the clergy, or church officials. They made up only .5% of the population. The second estate was the nobility, or the lords and rulers. Both of these groups did not have to pay any taxes at all. But the third estate, the peasants and middle class, had to pay all of the taxes. Naturally this made them very unhappy because they were paying more than everyone else. And when 98% of the population is mad, even the king starts to notice.
2: Estates General The king and queen at the time of the French Revolution were King Louis XVI and Mary Antoinette. France was currently at war with England, so they needed lots of money for this. France took lots of loans out to help pay for the war. About 50% of the taxes that only the third estate payed went to help out with paying off taxes and 6% went to the king and queen for their fancy lifestyle. This made the third estate even angrier. To solve the problem of having no money, King Louis called a meeting of all of France, called the Estates General. This was a step towards democracy because the people got a chance to vote, instead of the king just saying what to do.
3: Tennis Court Oath To vote on how they should save the country, each estate got one vote total on whether the third estate should get taxed more. If the vote had been where everyone gets one vote each, the third estate could have not voted for this because they made up 98% of the population. But they voted where each estate got one vote total. The clergy and nobility voted to tax the peasants more. The peasants did not like this and began to complain, so the King eventually locked them out of the meeting. A group of the third estate met at a tennis court, and wanted to make a new government. The oath they took was to not leave until they had written a document which proclaimed their rights as human beings. This oath became known as the Tennis Court Oath, and they quickly drafted a constitution which said their rights. This was a step towards democracy because the citizens were trying to get more basic rights.
4: The Storming of the Bastille The storming of the Bastille marked the beginning of the Revolution. An angry crowd feared the arrival of the King's troops, so they began to arm themselves. They gathered outside of the Bastille, which was a fort and had lots of swords, muskets, and gunpowder in it, and eventually overran it and got inside. The angry crowd destroyed the Bastille stone by stone. This was not a step towards democracy because they used lots of violence to get their world out.
5: Reign of Terror King Louis was forced to accept the new Declaration. His power was now limited by the Legislative Assembly. King Louis did not like this, so he tried to run away. He was caught and brought back to Paris, the capitol of France. France began to lose the war and this sparked people to overrun the royal palace and take the King as a hostage. The people eventually killed the King by sending him to the guillotine. They considered the guillotine a more humane way to kill someone. A leader emerged from the commoners, by the name of Maximilien Robespierre. He was the head of the government-created group, the Committee of Public Safety. The Committee of Public Safety was created in order to preserve the ideas of the Revolution. As head of the Committee of Public Safety, or the Reign of Terror as it became known as, Robespierre could kill anyone who talked bad about the Revolution. Approximately 40,000 people died by the Committee before Robespierre was eventually taken to the guillotine himself for killing so many. This was a step forward for getting rid of the king but a step back for going out of control with violence.
6: The Guillotine Napoleon
7: Rise of Napoleon The rise of Napoleon began with a coup d'etat, or overthrow of the government, in 1799 by General Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon was given more and more power until eventually he took over as absolute ruler. Napoleon tried to preserve the ideas of the Revolution by uniting the French justice system into basic laws or codes. Some of these included all men being equal, and a right to any job based on talent and not birth. Napoleon wanted to make France into an empire, so e began conquering nearby lands. When Napoleon invaded Russia, he met a lot of resistance because the Russians did not want to be taken over. Napoleon and his forces retreated. Sensing that France was crippled, other nations invaded and Paris was captured. Napoleon was exiled to Elba, a small island. He escaped and led a resistance against the new king and won. As a new ruler, Napoleon re-sparked the war with England. Napoleon lost and was exiled again to St, Helena, where he eventually died. Napoleon tried to preserve the ideas of the Revolution, but in doing so he made himself the absolute ruler, which went against the Revolution.