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HIST 2510 (1)

Napoleon and the French Revolution

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Carleton University
HIST 2510
Neil Thorton

January 14, 2013 GERMANY IN THE 20TH CENTURY French Revolution Significance: - hear about it as children (Marie Antoinette, guillotine) - France=major power at the time, creates nervousness in other power countries - absolutist state - unleashes years of war (had profound effect of Europe starting 1792) until Napolean is defeated - rearranges map of Europe Origins/Causes: Long Term: - world has changed since middle ages (social, political, etc) ∙ more urban than before ∙ city values are more influential ∙ economy> some trade, manufacturing, etc ∙ larger middle class ∙ French Nobility had been 'tamed' under Louis 14 ◦ essentially paid to be servants of the king ◦ politcally weak unlike the UK nobles ◦ unhappy but continue to dominate the population financially ∙ Middle classes not happy either ◦ want politcal vote ◦ see UK system and want more ◦ many are wealthy (some more so that Nobles) ∙ peasants continue to suffer (80% of pop)  no one is happy, generally. ∙ Enlightenment movement ◦ rights, freedom and happiness ◦ US declaration of independence ∙ King Louis 16 ◦ not a great monarch for the time, was only 20 when he took power ◦ was indecisive, though very nice and well liked by the people ◦ made several poor decisions that contributed to revolution Short Term - Crop failure just before the revolution (tough times, food is scarce) - finances ∙ nothing to produce revenue for the crown (no sales tax) ∙ spent a lot of money on warfare for US against UK ∙ idea=new tax that everyone pays ◦ had to be registered at 'the parlaments' courts of law run by the nobility and they would not allow it to be passed  Meeting with Estates General to try to get it to pass - 1st estate=Clergy - 2nd estate=nobility - 3rd estate=everyone else  had not held a meeting since 1614, but one was called for July 1789 - nobles think they can use this to gain more politcal power - 3rd estate wanted voting by head and double representation to give them a chance ∙ election process is interesting ◦ list of grievances presented, they wanted a lawful legal system, end the hunting rights  Met in Versailles May 1 1789  3rd estate begins to call themselves National Assembly June 17 1789. The King closes their meeting place after this. Found a new place at an indoor Tennis Court, where an oath was made. {now known as Tennis Court Oath] but Kind does not respond, and NA thinks that King is agrees to a new constitution when that is not in fact true. - Concidentally, grain prices are higher than ever before ∙ July 12. King dismisses Jacques Necker finance minister who was very popular in Paris ◦ National Guard forms support of NA and storm Bastille, July 14, hoping to find ammo. (Symbolic of King's Power)  Led mostly by lower classes, hand craftsmen and women  King essentially folds at this point, causes mass lawlessness in countryside. Some local nobles killed and most records of feudal system burned. - NA takes over. Abolishes feudal system, taxes and begins to write a new constitution 'Declaration of Rights of the Man' enlightened based document that stresses private property - March to Versailles, October 1789 ∙ women from market in paris march to Versailles to demand bread from the King ∙ 20 mile walk ∙ demonstrated in the court, King spoke to the crowd and promised food ◦ Demands to see Royal Family, and still show support by yelling long live the king/queen ∙ Royals are escorted into Paris - Revolution and The Church ∙ take Church property and create new paper currency ∙ inflation begins right away ∙ Clergy become paid by the state, and more a department of gov't ◦ 1790 Civil Constituion of the Clergy ◦ very divided feelings about this, many of population are devout Catholics ◦ Monks/Nuns forced to leave monestaries and Marry ◦ movement to secularize Chruches - King and the Constitution ∙ early secret meetings with other countries, esp Austria, queen's birthplace ∙ Queen becomes more active in politics ∙ NA is making constitution ◦ King would become head of state  argument between absolute v suspensive Veto Power ◦ King still well liked at this point, 1791 - Escape in June 1791 ∙ Swedish court arranges escape for royal family to get out of PAris ◦ were recognized and brought back to the city ◦ King now accepts all NA decisions  New Constitution Sept 1791 - people were surprised at how undemocratic it was - April 1792Declaration of War by Legislative Assembly ∙ against Prussia and Austria ∙ feel like war will unite France ∙ French army is weak and first year goes very b
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