HIST 1402 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Tennis Court Oath, Nonviolent Revolution, Feudalism

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6 Feb 2017
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The French Revolution
“The Revolution remains the crossroad of the modern world to which the democratic and
antidemocratic states of our time can both look back.”
-R.R. Palmer
Causes-
1. Social Tension
a. 1st estate clergy- those who pray, religious leaders, catholicism. Powerful and
don’t pay taxes. 1% of the population
b. 2nd estate nobility- Lords, dukes, elites, major land owners. Paid almost no
taxes. 2% of the population
c. 3rd Commoners- every one else, peasants, worked farms for higher estates
i. More prosperous commoners began to arise
ii. Some clergy began to stand up for commoners- many were discontent
with the system
2. The ideas of the Enlightenment
a. Many thinkers were french- urged people to start asking questions
b. Some wanted to try american republic
c. Challenged traditions and the “way we’ve always done it.”
3. War Debts-
a. French had more trouble getting money from people
b. No Parliament
c. King needed 1 and 2 estates to pay taxes but had no way of making them
4. Royal Problems: Louis XVI (1774-1793)+ Marie Antoinette
a. Didn’t understand that there was suffering all around them
b. Public had no confidence in the monarchy
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5. The Estates General- hadn’t met in 150 years until 1789
a. Nobles agreed to pay taxes if the Estates general is reinstated
b. Nobles think they will get more power
The Legal Revolution (1789)
1. Voting by head or by order?
a. Delegates for each estate- 3rd estate had the most
i. 1st -100 2nd- 100 3rd- 200
b. By order- each estate gets 1 vote
c. By head- each delegate gets a vote
2. National Assembly (June)- in a tennis court
a. 3rd estate broke off, formed the new legislature
b. King gives them power
3. Tennis Court Oath (June)
a. National Assembly continued to meet until they form a constitution
4. National Constituent Assembly (June)-
a. Began writing constitution
b. Non-violent revolution
The Popular Revolution (1789)
1. A harsh winter- not much food, no support government
a. 3rd estate is mad
2. Louis’s military moves- King agrees on National Assembly but quietly brings soldiers into
Paris, then turn the troops on the National Assembly
3. Storming the Bastille (June 14)
a. Used weapons from Bastille to protect the National Assembly
b. Formed National Guard (Marquis de Lafayette)
c. Saved the Assembly
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