French Revoultion Course Notes

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French Revolution

AOS 1
Revs Revision Notes – Part I

AOS 1 – French Revolution

Index:
1. PRE REVOLUTION FRANCE
a. France in the 18th Century
b. Power and Limitations of the King
c. Privilege and its Spread
d. Frances Taxes (How and What)
e. The Estates

2. IDEAS, INPUTS AND CAUSES
f. Very Short List of Causes of the Revolution
g. Shift to Sensibility
h. American Revolution Input
i. The Liberal Economic Theory (Physiocracy)
j. The Philosophes

3. FINANCIAL CRISIS AND MANAGEMENT
k. Frances Financial Crisis
l. Frances Finance Ministers (Comptroller-General)
m. Compte Rendu
n. Parlements and Their Role
o. Assembly of Notables and Their Role

4. EVENTS PRECEEDING AND DURING EXILE AND RECALL OF PARLEMENTS p. Ségur Ordinance
q. Diamond Necklace Affair
r. Eden Treaty
s. Calling of the Assembly of Notables
t. The Dutch Crisis (Spring 1787)
u. Last Chance with the Notables
v. Notables Dissolved
w. Attempts to Pass Reforms at the Parlements
x. Exile and Recall of the Parlements
y. Society of Thirty

5. EVENTS PRECEEDING CALL OF ESTATES GENERAL
z. The Reduction of Parlement’s Rights
{. The Day of Tiles (Grenoble)
|. The Famine of 1788
}. The Calling of the Estates-General

6. ESTATES-GENERAL
~. Issues Before 5th May
. Abbé Sieyès: Qu'est-ce que le tiers état?
. The Réveillon Riot
. The Composition of the Estates-General
. Cahiers De Doléances
. Convening of the Estates-General

7. THE FORMING OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
. Credentials and Commons
. Tennis Court Oath
. Séance Royale

8. BASTILLE
. Preceding Bastille
. Storming of the Bastille

9. AUGUST DECREES
. August Decrees

10. ETCETERA
. Important Dates
. Important People
. Historians Views
. Books used/read / Bibliography
. Afterword

: PRE REVOLUTION FRANCE
THE BACKGROUND

France in the 18th Century:
* 26,000,000 people, about 21,000,000 lived by farming
* Over ¼ of the land was for peasants but it still wasn’t enough to support them * Lack of technology for agriculture
* Many were unable to farm themselves and instead worked or hired farming gear * Clergy made up less than 100,000 people but owned 1/10 of the land * Majority of priests were NOT rich, only bishops and the organization itself * Nobles made up 400,000 and owned 1/5 of the land

* Literacy rates were nearing 50% (many revolutions happened when the literacy rate was at 50%)

‘18th Century France was a land of mass poverty in which most people were vulnerable to harvest failures’ – Mcphee ‘18th Century France was a society of corporations, to which privilege was integral to social hierarchy, wealth and identity’ - McPhee

Power and Limitations of the King:
* King was answerable to no one but God
* However the King had to consult his ministers to make laws (considerable power with the ministers) * Intendants acted as mini-kings to their provinces (34 areas in France) * The King had no power over some organizations, like the Assembly of Clergy who had rights and privileges granted by law

To most contemporaries the monarchy of Louis XVI appeared the most stable and powerful of the regimes. While protest was endemic – this was almost always within the system, that is, against threats to idealized ways in which the system was believed to have once worked.’ – Peter McPhee ‘The King bore the fiscal responsibility for everything the state did – or did not do.’ – William Doyle

Privilege and its Spread:
* ¼ of the entire French nobility were ennobled during the 18th Century * Rich nobles dipped their hands into business (line blurred between bourgeois and nobility) * About 70,000 offices...
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