HIS 103 Tutorial Questions
The French Revolutionary War
1. What was the situation of France at the end of the 1780s?
France under Louis XV was in a constant state of financial crisis.
Crisis = worse by the huge debts contracted to finance the 7YW.
Defeat = financially exhausted and with a huge debt.
Increased tensions between the king and the aristocracy, particularly in the
parlements, the courts of the French judicial system.
Magistrates within the parlements began to refuse to publish royal decrees in an
effort to hamstring the royal government.
Louis XVI - 1774 was heir to a divided kingdom deeply in debt.
1783 Appoints Charles de Calonne as financial minister.
1787 Assembly of Notables convenes, rejects Calonne’s debt-relief proposals.
The new king made the situation worse by committing France to yet another costly
war, the American Revolution.
In desperation, Louis XVI agreed to call the Estates General in 1789 to deal with
the fiscal crisis.
The Estates General represented the three orders or estates of
French Society—the clergy, the nobility and the commoners.
The Third Estate used the public forum as a means of demanding a greater voice than that traditionally
allotted to them.
The people of France, of all classes, were demanding a greater role in government.
As the members of the Third Estate deliberated a new government for France, all the country awaited
the results. Public frustration over the political stalemate and worsening economic conditions began to
Louis XVI refused to accept the existence of the National Assembly as a constitutional body.
Fall of Bastille, the abolition of feudalism 4 Aug 1789
In late August of 1789 the national assembly issue Declaration of the Rights of Men and Citizen which
enshrined the basic rights that all Frenchmen were entitled.
2. Why was Europe slow to react to the French Revolution? P. 273-274
Spain was concerned and wanted isolate the Spanish people from them
Events in Paris were ignored and they wanted to see France crumble from within
Russia was in a war vs. the Ottoman Empire with Austria, Sweden and Britain playing roles Struggle between conflicting views of society and political organization
Other states tried to reverse the political changes and make Paris less menacing
Prioritized on their own problems than to pay attention in Paris. They were not hostile vs the new
regime. France posed no threat and no real threat to the royal family.
Spring 1792 – Austria + Prussia vs. France
3. What was the “fl