In Louis XVI ascended to the throne in the middle of a financial crisis in which the state was faced with a budget deficit and was nearing bankruptcy. He could not be made an official minister because he was a Protestant. Necker realised that the country's extremely regressive tax system subjected the lower classes to a heavy burden,  while numerous exemptions existed for the nobility and clergy.
This was not received well by the King's ministers, and Necker, hoping to bolster his position, argued to be made a minister. The proposal included a consistent land tax , which would include taxation of the nobility and clergy. Faced with opposition from the parlements, Calonne organised the summoning of the Assembly of Notables. But the Assembly failed to endorse Calonne's proposals and instead weakened his position through its criticism.
In response, the King announced the calling of the Estates-General for May , the first time the body had been summoned since This was a signal that the Bourbon monarchy was in a weakened state and subject to the demands of its people. The Estates-General was organised into three estates: It had last met in Elections were held in the spring of ; suffrage requirements for the Third Estate were for French-born or naturalised males, aged 25 years or more, who resided where the vote was to take place and who paid taxes.
Strong turnout produced 1, delegates, including clergy, nobles and members of the Third Estate. The lands were controlled by bishops and abbots of monasteries, but two-thirds of the delegates from the First Estate were ordinary parish priests; only 51 were bishops. About a third of these deputies were nobles, mostly with minor holdings. Half were well educated lawyers or local officials. Nearly a third were in trades or industry; 51 were wealthy land owners. Many assumed the Estates-General would approve future taxes, and Enlightenment ideals were relatively rare.
Pamphlets by liberal nobles and clergy became widespread after the lifting of press censorship. What is the Third Estate? What has it been until now in the political order? What does it want to be? The Third Estate demanded that the credentials of deputies should be verified by all deputies, rather than each estate verifying the credentials of its own members, but negotiations with the other estates failed to achieve this.
The commoners appealed to the clergy, who asked for more time. Necker then stated that each estate should verify its own members' credentials and that the king should act as arbitrator. The middle class were the ones who fanned the flames of revolution. They established the National Assembly and tried to pressure the aristocracy to spread their money evenly between the upper, middle and lower classes.
They proceeded to do so two days later, completing the process on 17 June. They invited the other orders to join them, but made it clear they intended to conduct the nation's affairs with or without them.
Weather did not allow an outdoor meeting, and fearing an attack ordered by Louis XVI, they met in a tennis court just outside Versailles, where they proceeded to swear the Tennis Court Oath 20 June under which they agreed not to separate until they had given France a constitution. A majority of the representatives of the clergy soon joined them, as did 47 members of the nobility. By 27 June, the royal party had overtly given in, although the military began to arrive in large numbers around Paris and Versailles.
Messages of support for the Assembly poured in from Paris and other French cities. By this time, Necker had earned the enmity of many members of the French court for his overt manipulation of public opinion. Marie Antoinette , the King's younger brother the Comte d'Artois , and other conservative members of the King's privy council urged him to dismiss Necker as financial advisor. On 11 July , after Necker published an inaccurate account of the government's debts and made it available to the public, the King fired him, and completely restructured the finance ministry at the same time.
Many Parisians presumed Louis' actions to be aimed against the Assembly and began open rebellion when they heard the news the next day. They were also afraid that arriving soldiers — mostly foreign mercenaries — had been summoned to shut down the National Constituent Assembly.
The Assembly, meeting at Versailles, went into nonstop session to prevent another eviction from their meeting place. Paris was soon consumed by riots, chaos, and widespread looting.
The mobs soon had the support of some of the French Guard , who were armed and trained soldiers. On 14 July, the insurgents set their eyes on the large weapons and ammunition cache inside the Bastille fortress, which was also perceived to be a symbol of royal power. After several hours of combat, the prison fell that afternoon. The King, alarmed by the violence, backed down, at least for the time being.
Jean-Sylvain Bailly , president of the Assembly at the time of the Tennis Court Oath , became the city's mayor under a new governmental structure known as the commune. Necker was recalled to power, but his triumph was short-lived. An astute financier but a less astute politician, Necker overplayed his hand by demanding and obtaining a general amnesty, losing much of the people's favour.
By late July, the spirit of popular sovereignty had spread throughout France. In rural areas, many commoners began to form militias and arm themselves against a foreign invasion: In addition, wild rumours and paranoia caused widespread unrest and civil disturbances that contributed to the collapse of law and order.
On 4 and 11 August the National Constituent Assembly abolished privileges and feudalism numerous peasant revolts had almost brought feudalism to an end in the August Decrees , sweeping away personal serfdom ,  exclusive hunting rights and other seigneurial rights of the Second Estate nobility. Historian Georges Lefebvre summarises the night's work:. Without debate the Assembly enthusiastically adopted equality of taxation and redemption of all manorial rights except for those involving personal servitude—which were to be abolished without indemnification.
Other proposals followed with the same success: Privileges of provinces and towns were offered as a last sacrifice. Originally the peasants were supposed to pay for the release of seigneurial dues; these dues affected more than a fourth of the farmland in France and provided most of the income of the large landowners.
Thus the peasants got their land free, and also no longer paid the tithe to the church. They destroyed aristocratic society from top to bottom, along with its structure of dependencies and privileges. For this structure they substituted the modern, autonomous individual, free to do whatever was not prohibited by law The Revolution thus distinguished itself quite early by its radical individualism .
The old judicial system, based on the 13 regional parlements , was suspended in November , and officially abolished in September The main institutional pillars of the old regime had vanished overnight. On 26 August the Assembly published the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen , which comprised a statement of principles rather than a constitution with legal effect. The Declaration was directly influenced by Thomas Jefferson working with General Lafayette, who introduced it.
The National Constituent Assembly functioned not only as a legislature, but also as a body to draft a new constitution. Necker, Mounier, Lally-Tollendal and others argued unsuccessfully for a senate, with members appointed by the crown on the nomination of the people.
The bulk of the nobles argued for an aristocratic upper house elected by the nobles. The popular party carried the day: France would have a single, unicameral assembly. The King retained only a " suspensive veto "; he could delay the implementation of a law, but not block it absolutely. Amid the Assembly's preoccupation with constitutional affairs, the financial crisis had continued largely unaddressed, and the deficit had only increased.
Fuelled by rumours of a reception for the King's bodyguards on 1 October , at which the national cockade had been trampled upon, on 5 October , crowds of women began to assemble at Parisian markets. They also demanded an end to royal efforts to block the National Assembly, and for the King and his administration to move to Paris as a sign of good faith in addressing the widespread poverty.
Getting unsatisfactory responses from city officials, as many as 7, women joined the march to Versailles, bringing with them cannons and a variety of smaller weapons. Twenty thousand National Guardsmen under the command of Lafayette responded to keep order, and members of the mob stormed the palace, killing several guards. On 6 October , the King and the royal family moved from Versailles to Paris under the "protection" of the National Guards, thus legitimising the National Assembly.
The Revolution caused a massive shift of power from the Roman Catholic Church to the state. Resentment towards the Church weakened its power during the opening of the Estates General in May The Church composed the First Estate with , members of the clergy.
When the National Assembly was later created in June by the Third Estate, the clergy voted to join them, which perpetuated the destruction of the Estates General as a governing body. Legislation sanctioned on 4 August abolished the Church's authority to impose the tithe. In an attempt to address the financial crisis, the Assembly declared, on 2 November , that the property of the Church was "at the disposal of the nation".
Thus, the nation had now also taken on the responsibility of the Church, which included paying the clergy and caring for the poor, the sick and the orphaned. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy , passed on 12 July , turned the remaining clergy into employees of the state. This established an election system for parish priests and bishops and set a pay rate for the clergy.
Many Catholics objected to the election system because it effectively denied the authority of the Pope in Rome over the French Church. In October a group of 30 bishops wrote a declaration saying they could not accept that law, and this protest fueled also civilian opposition against that law. Priests swearing the oath were indicated as 'constitutional', those not taking the oath as 'non-juring' or ' refractory ' clergy.
Widespread refusal led to legislation against the clergy, "forcing them into exile, deporting them forcibly, or executing them as traitors".
A new Republican Calendar was established in , with day weeks that made it very difficult for Catholics to remember Sundays and saints' days. Workers complained it reduced the number of first-day-of-the-week holidays from 52 to During the Reign of Terror , extreme efforts of de-Christianisation ensued, including the imprisonment and massacre of priests and destruction of churches and religious images throughout France.
An effort was made to replace the Catholic Church altogether, with civic festivals replacing religious ones. The establishment of the Cult of Reason was the final step of radical de-Christianisation. These events led to a widespread disillusionment with the Revolution and to counter-rebellions across France. Locals often resisted de-Christianisation by attacking revolutionary agents and hiding members of the clergy who were being hunted.
Eventually, Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety were forced to denounce the campaign,  replacing the Cult of Reason with the deist but still non-Christian Cult of the Supreme Being. The Concordat of between Napoleon and the Church ended the de-Christianisation period and established the rules for a relationship between the Catholic Church and the French State that lasted until it was abrogated by the Third Republic via the separation of church and state on 11 December Historians Lynn Hunt and Jack Censer argue that some French Protestants, the Huguenots , wanted an anti-Catholic regime, and that Enlightenment thinkers such as Voltaire helped fuel this resentment.
Factions within the Assembly began to clarify. The "Royalist democrats" or monarchiens , allied with Necker , inclined towards organising France along lines similar to the British constitutional model; they included Jean Joseph Mounier , the Comte de Lally-Tollendal , the comte de Clermont-Tonnerre , and Pierre Victor Malouet, comte de Virieu.
Almost alone in his radicalism on the left was the Arras lawyer Maximilien Robespierre. In Paris, various committees, the mayor, the assembly of representatives, and the individual districts each claimed authority independent of the others. The increasingly middle-class National Guard under Lafayette also slowly emerged as a power in its own right, as did other self-generated assemblies.
The electors had originally chosen the members of the Estates-General to serve for a single year. However, by the terms of the Tennis Court Oath , the communes had bound themselves to meet continuously until France had a constitution. Right-wing elements now argued for a new election, but Mirabeau prevailed, asserting that the status of the assembly had fundamentally changed, and that no new election should take place before completing the constitution.
In late the French army was in considerable disarray. The military officer corps was largely composed of noblemen, who found it increasingly difficult to maintain order within the ranks. In some cases, soldiers drawn from the lower classes had turned against their aristocratic commanders and attacked them. This and other such incidents spurred a mass desertion as more and more officers defected to other countries, leaving a dearth of experienced leadership within the army. This period also saw the rise of the political "clubs" in French politics.
Foremost among these was the Jacobin Club ; members had affiliated with the Jacobins by 10 August The Jacobin Society began as a broad, general organisation for political debate, but as it grew in members, various factions developed with widely differing views. Several of these factions broke off to form their own clubs, such as the Club of ' Meanwhile, the Assembly continued to work on developing a constitution. A new judicial organisation made all magistracies temporary and independent of the throne.
The legislators abolished hereditary offices, except for the monarchy itself. Jury trials started for criminal cases. The King would have the unique power to propose war, with the legislature then deciding whether to declare war. The Assembly abolished all internal trade barriers and suppressed guilds, masterships, and workers' organisations: Louis XVI was increasingly dismayed by the direction of the revolution.
Eventually, fearing for his own safety and that of his family, he decided to flee Paris to the Austrian border, having been assured of the loyalty of the border garrisons. On the night of 20 June the royal family fled the Tuileries Palace dressed as servants, while their servants dressed as nobles.
However, late the next day, the King was recognised and arrested at Varennes and returned to Paris. The Assembly provisionally suspended the King.
He and Queen Marie Antoinette remained held under guard. As most of the Assembly still favoured a constitutional monarchy rather than a republic, the various groups reached a compromise which left Louis XVI as little more than a figurehead: An immense crowd gathered in the Champ de Mars to sign the petition.
Georges Danton and Camille Desmoulins gave fiery speeches. The Assembly called for the municipal authorities to "preserve public order". The National Guard under Lafayette's command confronted the crowd. The soldiers responded to a barrage of stones by firing into the crowd, killing between 13 and 50 people. In the wake of the massacre the authorities closed many of the patriotic clubs, as well as radical newspapers such as Jean-Paul Marat 's L'Ami du Peuple.
Danton fled to England; Desmoulins and Marat went into hiding. Meanwhile, in August , a new threat arose from abroad: The French people expressed no respect for the dictates of foreign monarchs, and the threat of force merely hastened their militarisation. Even before the Flight to Varennes, the Assembly members had determined to debar themselves from the legislature that would succeed them, the Legislative Assembly.
They now gathered the various constitutional laws they had passed into a single constitution, and submitted it to the recently restored Louis XVI, who accepted it, writing "I engage to maintain it at home, to defend it from all attacks from abroad, and to cause its execution by all the means it places at my disposal".
The King addressed the Assembly and received enthusiastic applause from members and spectators. With this capstone, the National Constituent Assembly adjourned in a final session on 30 September The Legislative Assembly first met on 1 October , elected by those 4 million men — out of a population of 25 million — who paid a certain minimum amount of taxes.
The King had to share power with the elected Legislative Assembly, but he retained his royal veto and the ability to select ministers. Over the course of a year, such disagreements would lead to a constitutional crisis. Late in , a group of Assembly members who propagated war against Austria and Prussia was, after some remark of politician Maximilien Robespierre , henceforth indicated as the ' Girondins ', although not all of them really came from the southern province of Gironde.
In response to the threat of war of August from Austria and Prussia , leaders of the Assembly saw such a war as a means to strengthen support for their revolutionary government, and the French people as well as the Assembly thought that they would win a war against Austria and Prussia. On 20 April , France declared war on Austria. The Legislative Assembly degenerated into chaos before October Francis Charles Montague concluded in , "In the attempt to govern, the Assembly failed altogether.
It left behind an empty treasury, an undisciplined army and navy, and a people debauched by safe and successful riot. Lyons argues that the Constituent Assembly had liberal, rational, and individualistic goals that seem to have been largely achieved by However, it failed to consolidate the gains of the Revolution, which continued with increasing momentum and escalating radicalism until Lyons identifies six reasons for this escalation.
First, the king did not accept the limitations on his powers, and mobilised support from foreign monarchs to reverse it. Second, the effort to overthrow the Roman Catholic Church, sell off its lands, close its monasteries and its charitable operations, and replace it with an unpopular makeshift system caused deep consternation among the pious and the peasants.
Third, the economy was badly hurt by the issuance of ever increasing amounts of paper money assignats , which caused more and more inflation; the rising prices hurt the urban poor who spent most of their income on food. Fourth, the rural peasants demanded liberation from the heavy system of taxes and dues owed to local landowners. Fifth, the working class of Paris and the other cities—the sans-culottes —resented the fact that the property owners and professionals had taken all the spoils of the Revolution.
Finally, foreign powers threatened to overthrow the Revolution, which responded with extremism and systematic violence in its own defence. In the summer of , all of Paris was against the king, and hoped that the Assembly would depose the king, but the Assembly hesitated. On 26 August, the Assembly decreed the deportation of refractory priests in the west of France, as "causes of danger to the fatherland", to destinations like French Guiana.
With enemy troops advancing, the Commune looked for potential traitors in Paris. On 2, 3 and 4 September , hundreds of Parisians, supporters of the revolution, infuriated by Verdun being captured by the Prussian enemy , the uprisings in the west of France, and rumours that the incarcerated prisoners in Paris were conspiring with the foreign enemy, raided the Parisian prisons and murdered between 1, and 1, prisoners , many of them Catholic priests but also common criminals.
Jean-Paul Marat , a political ally of Robespierre, in an open letter on 3 September incited the rest of France to follow the Parisian example; Robespierre kept a low profile in regard to the murder orgy. The Commune then sent a circular letter to the other cities of France inviting them to follow this example, and many cities launched their own massacres of prisoners and priests in the "September massacres". The Assembly could offer only feeble resistance.
In October, however, there was a counterattack accusing the instigators, especially Marat, of being terrorists. This led to a political contest between the more moderate Girondists and the more radical Montagnards inside the Convention, with rumour used as a weapon by both sides.
The Girondists lost ground when they seemed too conciliatory. But the pendulum swung again and after Thermidor, the men who had endorsed the massacres were denounced as terrorists. Chaos persisted until the Convention , elected by universal male suffrage and charged with writing a new constitution, met on 20 September and became the new de facto government of France. The next day it abolished the monarchy and declared a republic.
The following day — 22 September , the first morning of the new Republic — was later retroactively adopted as the beginning of Year One of the French Republican Calendar. From to France was engaged almost continuously with two short breaks in wars with Britain and a changing coalition of other major powers.
The many French successes led to the spread of the French revolutionary ideals into neighbouring countries, and indeed across much of Europe. However, the final defeat of Napoleon in and brought a reaction that reversed some — but not all — of the revolutionary achievements in France and Europe.
The politics of the period inevitably drove France towards war with Austria and its allies. The King, many of the Feuillants, and the Girondins specifically wanted to wage war. The King and many Feuillants with him expected war would increase his personal popularity; he also foresaw an opportunity to exploit any defeat: The Girondins wanted to export the Revolution throughout Europe and, by extension, to defend the Revolution within France.
The forces opposing war were much weaker. Barnave and his supporters among the Feuillants feared a war they thought France had little chance to win and which they feared might lead to greater radicalisation of the revolution. On the other end of the political spectrum Robespierre opposed a war on two grounds , fearing that it would strengthen the monarchy and military at the expense of the revolution, and that it would incur the anger of ordinary people in Austria and elsewhere.
The invading Prussian army faced little resistance until it was checked at the Battle of Valmy 20 September and forced to withdraw. The new-born Republic followed up on this success with a series of victories in Belgium and the Rhineland in the fall of The French armies defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Jemappes on 6 November, and had soon taken over most of the Austrian Netherlands.
This brought them into conflict with Britain and the Dutch Republic , which wished to preserve the independence of the southern Netherlands from France. After the French king's execution in January , these powers, along with Spain and most other European states, joined the war against France.
Almost immediately, French forces suffered defeats on many fronts, and were driven out of their newly conquered territories in the spring of At the same time, the republican regime was forced to deal with rebellions against its authority in much of western and southern France. But the allies failed to take advantage of French disunity, and by the autumn of the republican regime had defeated most of the internal rebellions and halted the allied advance into France itself.
This stalemate ended in the summer of with dramatic French victories. The French defeated the allied army at the Battle of Fleurus , leading to a full Allied withdrawal from the Austrian Netherlands. They pushed the allies to the east bank of the Rhine, allowing France, by the beginning of , to conquer the Dutch Republic itself.
These victories led to the collapse of the anti-French coalition. Prussia, having effectively abandoned the coalition in the fall of , made peace with revolutionary France at Basel in April , and soon thereafter Spain also made peace with France. Britain and Austria were the only major powers to remain at war with France.
Although the French Revolution had a dramatic impact in numerous areas of Europe, the French colonies felt a particular influence. Late in August , elections were held, now under male universal suffrage , for the new National Convention ,  which replaced the Legislative Assembly on 20 September From the start the Convention suffered from the bitter division between a group around Robespierre, Danton and Marat, referred to as ' Montagnards ' or ' Jacobins ' or the 'left', and a group referred to as ' Girondins ' or the 'right'.
But the majority of the representatives, referred to as ' la Plaine ', were member of neither of those two antagonistic groups and managed to preserve some speed in the Convention's debates.
In the Brunswick Manifesto , the Imperial and Prussian armies threatened retaliation on the French population if it were to resist their advance or the reinstatement of the monarchy.
This among other things made Louis appear to be conspiring with the enemies of France. On 17 January Louis was condemned to death for "conspiracy against the public liberty and the general safety" by a close majority in Convention: This encouraged the Jacobins to seize power through a parliamentary coup , backed up by force effected by mobilising public support against the Girondist faction, and by utilising the mob power of the Parisian sans-culottes.
An alliance of Jacobin and sans-culottes elements thus became the effective centre of the new government. Policy became considerably more radical, as "The Law of the Maximum" set food prices and led to executions of offenders.
The price control policy was coeval with the rise to power of the Committee of Public Safety and the Reign of Terror. The Committee first attempted to set the price for only a limited number of grain products, but by September it expanded the "maximum" to cover all foodstuffs and a long list of other goods.
The Committee reacted by sending dragoons into the countryside to arrest farmers and seize crops. This temporarily solved the problem in Paris, but the rest of the country suffered. By the spring of , forced collection of food was not sufficient to feed even Paris, and the days of the Committee were numbered.
When Robespierre went to the guillotine in July , the crowd jeered, "There goes the dirty maximum! According to archival records, at least 16, people died under the guillotine or otherwise after accusations of counter-revolutionary activities.
Following these arrests, the Jacobins gained control of the Committee of Public Safety on 10 June, installing the revolutionary dictatorship.
On 24 June, the Convention adopted the first republican constitution of France, variously referred to as the French Constitution of or Constitution of the Year I. It was progressive and radical in several respects, in particular by establishing universal male suffrage.
It was ratified by public referendum, but normal legal processes were suspended before it could take effect. Georges Danton , the leader of the August uprising against the king , undermined by several political reversals, was removed from the Committee and Robespierre, "the Incorruptible", became its most influential member as it moved to take radical measures against the Revolution's domestic and foreign enemies.
The Reign of Terror ultimately weakened the revolutionary government, while temporarily ending internal opposition. The Jacobins expanded the size of the army, and Carnot replaced many aristocratic officers with soldiers who had demonstrated their patriotism, if not their ability.
At the end of , the army began to prevail and revolts were defeated with ease. However, this policy was never fully implemented. Three approaches attempt to explain the Reign of Terror imposed by the Jacobins in — The older Marxist interpretation argued the Terror was a necessary response to outside threats in terms of other countries going to war with France and internal threats of traitors inside France threatening to frustrate the Revolution. In this interpretation, as expressed by the Marxist historian Albert Soboul , Robespierre and the sans-culottes were heroes for defending the revolution from its enemies.
Soboul's Marxist interpretation has been largely abandoned by most historians since the s. Hanson takes a middle position, recognising the importance of the foreign enemies, and sees the terror as a contingency that was caused by the interaction of a series of complex events and the foreign threat. Hanson says the terror was not inherent in the ideology of the Revolution, but that circumstances made it necessary. North of the Loire , similar revolts were started by the so-called Chouans royalist rebels.
In April , the Girondins indicted Jean-Paul Marat before the Revolutionary Tribunal for 'attempting to destroy the sovereignty of the people' and 'preaching plunder and massacre', referring to his behaviour during the September Paris massacres. Marat was quickly acquitted but the incident further exacerbated the ' Girondins ' versus ' Montagnards ' party strife in the Convention.
While that committee consisted only of members from la Plaine and the Girondins , the anger of the sans-culottes was directed towards the Girondins. On 2 June , the Convention's session in Tuileries Palace degenerated into chaos and pandemonium.
Crowds of people swarmed in and around the palace. Incessant screaming from the public galeries suggested that all of Paris was against the Girondins.
Petitions circulated, indicting and condemning 22 Girondins. Late that night after much more tumultuous debate, dozens of Girondins had resigned and left the Convention. By the summer of , most French departments in one way or another opposed the central Paris government.
Girondins who fled from Paris after 2 June led those revolts. In August—September , militants urged the Convention to do more to quell the counter-revolution. A delegation of the Commune Paris city council suggested to form revolutionary armies to arrest hoarders and conspirators.
Criteria for bringing someone before the Revolutionary Tribunal , created March , had always been vast and vague. Meanwhile, the instalment of the Republican Calendar on 24 October caused an anti-clerical uprising.
The climax was reached with the celebration of the flame of Reason in Notre Dame Cathedral on 10 November. Because of the extremely brutal forms that the Republican repression took in many places, historians such as Reynald Secher have called the event a "genocide".
The guillotine became the tool for a string of executions. The Revolutionary Tribunal summarily condemned thousands of people to death by the guillotine, while mobs beat other victims to death. In the rebellious provinces, the government representatives had unlimited authority and some engaged in extreme repressions and abuses.
For example, Jean-Baptiste Carrier became notorious for the Noyades "drownings" he organised in Nantes ;  his conduct was judged unacceptable even by the Jacobin government and he was recalled.
On 5 April, again at the instigation of Robespierre, Danton , a moderate Montagnard , and 13 associated politicians, charged with counter-revolutionary activities,  were executed. This hushed the Convention deputies: On 7 June , Robespierre advocated a new state religion and recommended the Convention acknowledge the existence of the "Supreme Being". The frequency of guillotine executions in Paris now rose from on average three a day to an average of 29 a day.
Meanwhile, France's external wars were going well, with victories over Austrian and British troops in May and June opening up Belgium for French conquest. On 29 June , three colleagues of Robespierre at 'the Committee' called him a dictator in his face — Robespierre baffled left the meeting. This encouraged other Convention members to also defy Robespierre. On 26 July, a long and vague speech of Robespierre wasn't met with thunderous applause as usual but with hostility; some deputies yelled that Robespierre should have the courage to say which deputies he deemed necessary to be killed next, what Robespierre refused to do.
Finally, even Robespierre's own voice failed on him: A decree was adopted to arrest Robespierre , Saint-Just and Couthon. Subsequently, the Law of 22 Prairial 10 June was repealed, and the ' Girondins ' expelled from the Convention in June , if not dead yet, were reinstated as Convention deputies.
After July , most civilians henceforth ignored the Republican calendar and returned to the traditional seven-day weeks. The government in a law of 21 February set steps of return to freedom of religion and reconciliation with the since refractory Catholic priests, but any religious signs outside churches or private homes, such as crosses, clerical garb, bell ringing, remained prohibited. When the people's enthusiasm for attending church grew to unexpected levels the government backed out and in October again, like in , required all priests to swear oaths on the Republic.
In the very cold winter of —95, with the French army demanding more and more bread, same was getting scarce in Paris as was wood to keep houses warm, and in an echo of the October March on Versailles , on 1 April 12 Germinal III a mostly female crowd marched on the Convention calling for bread.
But no Convention member sympathized, they just told the women to return home. Again in May a crowd of 20, men and 40, women invaded the Convention and even killed a deputy in the halls, but again they failed to make the Convention take notice of the needs of the lower classes. Instead, the Convention banned women from all political assemblies, and deputies who had solidarized with this insurrection were sentenced to death: Late , France conquered present-day Belgium. A French plebiscite ratified the document, with about 1,, votes for the constitution and 49, against.
Directory with a bicameral legislature. The first chamber was called the ' Council of ' initiating the laws, the second the ' Council of Elders ' reviewing and approving or not the passed laws.
Each year, one-third of the chambers was to be renewed. The executive power was in the hands of the five members directors of the Directory with a five-year mandate. The early directors did not much understand the nation they were governing; they especially had an innate inability to see Catholicism as anything else than counter-revolutionary and royalist. Local administrators had a better sense of people's priorities, and one of them wrote to the minister of the interior: The Directory denounced the arbitrary executions of the Reign of Terror, but itself engaged in large scale illegal repressions, as well as large-scale massacres of civilians in the Vendee uprising.
The economy continued in bad condition, with the poor especially hurt by the high cost of food. State finances were in total disarray; the government could only cover its expenses through the plunder and the tribute of foreign countries. If peace were made, the armies would return home and the directors would have to face the exasperation of the rank-and-file who had lost their livelihood, as well as the ambition of generals who could, in a moment, brush them aside.
Barras and Rewbell were notoriously corrupt themselves and screened corruption in others. The patronage of the directors was ill-bestowed, and the general maladministration heightened their unpopularity. The directors baffled all such endeavours.
On the other hand, the socialist conspiracy of Babeuf was easily quelled. Little was done to improve the finances, and the assignats continued to fall in value until each note was worth less than the paper it was printed on; debtors easily paid off their debts.
Although committed to Republicanism, the Directory distrusted democracy. It never had a strong base of popular support; when elections were held, most of its candidates were defeated. Its achievements were minor. The election system was complex and designed to insulate the government from grass roots democracy.
The parliament consisted of two houses: Executive power went to five "directors," named annually by the Conseil des Anciens from a list submitted by the Conseil des Cinq-Cents.
The universal male suffrage of was replaced by limited suffrage based on property. The voters had only a limited choice because the electoral rules required two-thirds of the seats go to members of the old Convention, no matter how few popular votes they received. Citizens of the war-weary nation wanted stability, peace, and an end to conditions that at times bordered on chaos. Nevertheless, those on the right who wished to restore the monarchy by putting Louis XVIII on the throne, and those on the left who would have renewed the Reign of Terror, tried but failed to overthrow the Directory.
The earlier atrocities had made confidence or goodwill between parties impossible. The army suppressed riots and counter-revolutionary activities.
In this way the army and in particular Napoleon gained total power. Parliamentary elections in the spring of , for one-third of the seats in Parliament, resulted in considerable gains for the royalists,  who seemed poised to take control of the Directory in the next elections.
This frightened the republican directors and they reacted, in the Coup of 18 Fructidor V 4 September , by purging all the winners banishing 57 leaders to certain death in Guiana, removing two supposedly pro-royalist directors, and closing 42 newspapers. Not only citizens opposed and even mocked such decrees, also local government officials refused to enforce such laws. When the elections of were again carried by the opposition, the Directory used the army to imprison and exile the opposition leaders and close their newspapers.
In , when the French armies abroad experienced some setbacks , the newly chosen director Sieyes considered a new overhaul necessary for the Directory's form of government because in his opinion it needed a stronger executive. Napoleon, Sieyes, and Roger Ducos. The Army at first was quite successful. It conquered Belgium and turned it into a province of France; conquered the Netherlands and made it a puppet state; and conquered Switzerland and most of Italy, setting up a series of puppet states.
The result was glory for France and an infusion of much needed money from the conquered lands, which also provided direct support to the French Army. The allies scored a series of victories that rolled back French successes, retaking Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands and ending the flow of payments from the conquered areas to France.
The treasury was empty. Despite his publicity claiming many glorious victories, Napoleon's army was trapped in Egypt after the British sank the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile.
Napoleon escaped by himself, returned to Paris and overthrew the Directory in November, Napoleon conquered most of Italy in the name of the French Revolution in — He consolidated old units and split up Austria's holdings. He set up a series of new republics, complete with new codes of law and abolition of old feudal privileges.
Napoleon's Cisalpine Republic was centred on Milan. Genoa the city became a republic while its hinterland became the Ligurian Republic.
The Roman Republic was formed out of the papal holdings and the pope was sent to France. The Neapolitan Republic was formed around Naples, but it lasted only five months before the enemy forces of the Coalition recaptured it. In Napoleon formed the Kingdom of Italy , with himself as king and his stepson as viceroy.
All these new countries were satellites of France and had to pay large subsidies to Paris, as well as provide military support for Napoleon's wars. Their political and administrative systems were modernised, the metric system introduced, and trade barriers reduced.
Jewish ghettos were abolished. Belgium and Piedmont became integral parts of France. Most of the new nations were abolished and returned to prewar owners in However, Artz emphasises the benefits the Italians gained from the French Revolution:.
For nearly two decades the Italians had the excellent codes of law, a fair system of taxation, a better economic situation, and more religious and intellectual toleration than they had known for centuries Everywhere old physical, economic, and intellectual barriers had been thrown down and the Italians had begun to be aware of a common nationality.
In the Old regime there were a small number of heavily censored newspapers that needed a royal licence to operate. Newspapers and pamphlets played a central role in stimulating and defining the Revolution. The meetings of the Estates-General in created an enormous demand for news, and over newspapers appeared by the end of the year.
The next decade saw 2, newspapers founded, with in Paris alone. Most lasted only a matter of weeks. Together they became the main communication medium, combined with the very large pamphlet literature.
The press saw its lofty role to be the advancement of civic republicanism based on public service, and downplayed the liberal, individualistic goal of making a profit.
Symbolism was a device to distinguish the main features of the Revolution and ensure public identification and support. In order to effectively illustrate the differences between the new Republic and the old regime, the leaders needed to implement a new set of symbols to be celebrated instead of the old religious and monarchical symbolism.
To this end, symbols were borrowed from historic cultures and redefined, while those of the old regime were either destroyed or reattributed acceptable characteristics. These revised symbols were used to instil in the public a new sense of tradition and reverence for the Enlightenment and the Republic.
It acquired its nickname after being sung in Paris by volunteers from Marseille marching on the capital. The song is the first example of the "European march" anthemic style. The anthem's evocative melody and lyrics have led to its widespread use as a song of revolution and its incorporation into many pieces of classical and popular music.
Cerulo says, "the design of "La Marseillaise" is credited to General Strasburg of France, who is said to have directed de Lisle, the composer of the anthem, to 'produce one of those hymns which conveys to the soul of the people the enthusiasm which it the music suggests. Hanson notes, "The guillotine stands as the principal symbol of the Terror in the French Revolution.
It was celebrated on the left as the people's avenger and cursed as the symbol of the Reign of Terror by the right. Vendors sold programmes listing the names of those scheduled to die.
Many people came day after day and vied for the best locations from which to observe the proceedings; knitting women tricoteuses formed a cadre of hardcore regulars, inciting the crowd. Parents often brought their children. By the end of the Terror, the crowds had thinned drastically.
Repetition had staled even this most grisly of entertainments, and audiences grew bored. Cockades were widely worn by revolutionaries beginning in Later, distinctive colours and styles of cockade would indicate the wearer's faction—although the meanings of the various styles were not entirely consistent, and varied somewhat by region and period. The tricolour flag is derived from the cockades used in the s. These were circular rosette-like emblems attached to the hat.
Camille Desmoulins asked his followers to wear green cockades on 12 July The Paris militia, formed on 13 July, adopted a blue and red cockade. Blue and red are the traditional colours of Paris, and they are used on the city's coat of arms.
Cockades with various colour schemes were used during the storming of the Bastille on 14 July. Lafayette argued for the addition of a white stripe to "nationalise" the design. Well after the revolution, by the French Third Republic had authorised the form of the tricolore cockade for use on its military aircraft by the Aeronautique Militaire as a national insignia ,  the first-ever in use worldwide — it is still in use by the current Armee de l'Air of France, and directly inspired the use of similar roundel insignia by the United Kingdom and many other nations worldwide.
Fasces are Roman in origin and suggest Roman Republicanism. Fasces are a bundle of birch rods containing an axe. The French Republic continued this Roman symbol to represent state power, justice, and unity.
The Liberty cap, also known as the Phrygian cap , or pileus , is a brimless, felt cap that is conical in shape with the tip pulled forward. It reflects Roman republicanism and liberty, alluding to the Roman ritual of manumission of slaves, in which a freed slave receives the bonnet as a symbol of his newfound liberty.
Historians since the late 20th century have debated how women shared in the French Revolution and what long-term impact it had on French women. Women had no political rights in pre-Revolutionary France; they were considered "passive" citizens; forced to rely on men to determine what was best for them. That changed dramatically in theory as there seemingly were great advances in feminism. Feminism emerged in Paris as part of a broad demand for social and political reform.
The women demanded equality for women and then moved on to a demand for the end of male domination. Their chief vehicle for agitation were pamphlets and women's clubs; for example, a small group called the Cercle Social Social Circle campaigned for women's rights, noting that "the laws favor men at the expense of women, because everywhere power is in your hands.
The movement was crushed. Devance explains the decision in terms of the emphasis on masculinity in a wartime situation, Marie Antoinette's bad reputation for feminine interference in state affairs, and traditional male supremacy. When the Revolution opened, groups of women acted forcefully, making use of the volatile political climate. Women forced their way into the political sphere. They swore oaths of loyalty, "solemn declarations of patriotic allegiance, [and] affirmations of the political responsibilities of citizenship.
The March to Versailles is but one example of feminist militant activism during the French Revolution. On 20 June a number of armed women took part in a procession that "passed through the halls of the Legislative Assembly, into the Tuileries Gardens, and then through the King's residence.
As part of the funeral procession, they carried the bathtub in which Marat had been murdered by a counter-revolutionary woman as well as a shirt stained with Marat's blood. The Society of Revolutionary Republican Women, a militant group on the far left, demanded a law in that would compel all women to wear the tricolour cockade to demonstrate their loyalty to the Republic. They also demanded vigorous price controls to keep bread — the major food of the poor people — from becoming too expensive.
After the Convention passage law in September , the Revolutionary Republican Women demanded vigorous enforcement, but were counted by market women, former servants, and religious women who adamantly opposed price controls which would drive them out of business and resented attacks on the aristocracy and on religion.
Fist fights broke out in the streets between the two factions of women. Meanwhile, the men who controlled the Jacobins rejected the Revolutionary Republican Women as dangerous rabble-rousers. At this point the Jacobins controlled the government; they dissolved the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women, and decreed that all women's clubs and associations were illegal.
They sternly reminded women to stay home and tend to their families by leaving public affairs to the men. Organised women were permanently shut out of the French Revolution after October 30, Olympe de Gouges wrote a number of plays, short stories, and novels. Her publications emphasised that women and men are different, but this shouldn't stop them from equality under the law.
In her "Declaration on the Rights of Woman" she insisted that women deserved rights, especially in areas concerning them directly, such as divorce and recognition of illegitimate children.
Manon or Marie Roland was another important female activist. Her political focus was not specifically on women or their liberation. She focused on other aspects of the government, but was a feminist by virtue of the fact that she was a woman working to influence the world.
Her personal letters to leaders of the Revolution influenced policy; in addition, she often hosted political gatherings of the Brissotins, a political group which allowed women to join. As she was led to the scaffold, Madame Roland shouted "O liberty! What crimes are committed in thy name! Most of these activists were punished for their actions.
Many of the women of the Revolution were even publicly executed for "conspiring against the unity and the indivisibility of the Republic". A major aspect of the French Revolution was the dechristianisation movement, a movement strongly rejected by many devout people. Especially for women living in rural areas of France, the closing of the churches meant a loss of normalcy.
When these revolutionary changes to the Church were implemented, it sparked a counter-revolutionary movement among women. Although some of these women embraced the political and social amendments of the Revolution, they opposed the dissolution of the Catholic Church and the formation of revolutionary cults like the Cult of the Supreme Being.
Counter-revolutionary women resisted what they saw as the intrusion of the state into their lives. By far the most important issue to counter-revolutionary women was the passage and the enforcement of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy in In response to this measure, women in many areas began circulating anti-oath pamphlets and refused to attend masses held by priests who had sworn oaths of loyalty to the Republic.
These women continued to adhere to traditional practices such as Christian burials and naming their children after saints in spite of revolutionary decrees to the contrary. The French Revolution abolished many of the constraints on the economy that had slowed growth during the ancien regime. It abolished tithes owed to local churches as well as feudal dues owed to local landlords.
The result hurt the tenants, who paid both higher rents and higher taxes. It planned to use these seized lands to finance the government by issuing assignats. It abolished the guild system as a worthless remnant of feudalism. The government seized the foundations that had been set up starting in the 13th century to provide an annual stream of revenue for hospitals, poor relief, and education.
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Send the link below via email or IM Copy. Present to your audience Start remote presentation. Do you really want to delete this prezi? Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again. Comments 0 Please log in to add your comment. The upper clergy, Bishops, Cardinals, etc, are unpopular with the people. They seem to have more interest in wealth, rather than spirituality. Exempt from paying all taxes, but could collect them.
The vast majority of clergy were not Bishops or Cardinals. Most were common priests who delt with and understood the plight of the French peasantry. Louis was 16 at the time. All poor qualities for Absolute Rule He had " Phimosis " a condition that makes erections difficult and painful! He was unable to have sex with Marie until her brother suggested a doctor who could fix him.
They needed to produce an heir! Grandson of Louis XV. He loved to wrestle with his man srevant "Gemme" Hobbies included: Clock making, lock smithing, eating and hunting! At the "Handing Over Ceremony" she lost all that was Austrian, including: Her name, clothes, friends and even her dog 'Mops'! A room, usually painted green, where people would gather and discuss: Women played a large role in the salon. They would send out invitations, organize guest lists, set the agenda and the menu for the evening.
The philosophes Voltaire, Montesquie, Locke, Diderot and Rousseau fought against despotism, feudalism and clericalism. They were inspired by the advances made during the scientific revolution Nobility with pedigree!
Long term causes Class injustice in which the powerful who controlled the goods became even more powerful. Louis XV, the king prior to the revolution, had been largely irresponsible, and took advantage of the prosperity of France.
I. Long-term causes The Enlightenment The Enlightenment was a movement in Europe towards 'rational' understandings of the mechanisms of every aspect of human eroticlesbian.mlon: 49 Chappy Lane Salem, NH, United States.
Start studying long term causes of the french revolution. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Long and Short Term Causes Arranged marriage to Louis at age 14 to secure alliance between Austria & France. Louis was 16 at the time. Madame Deficit! Maria Antonnia mother was Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr MARIE ANTOINETTE Friendly, pious, practical joker, slow, shy around girls and .
The French revolution was not only caused by short term causes. The intellectual movement was one of the strongest elements which eventually led to the outbreak of this revolution. These ideas were long culminated since the period of the Renaissance, and eventually through the expedition of several wars, mainly the American War of . The French Revolution had many long term and short term causes and effects, and was one of the most violent periods in the history of the country. There were many factors that contributed to the spark of the revolution.