French Revolution

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1/18/13

The first stage of the French Revolution (1789-1792)

* Previously talking about the estates general – 1789 Louis XVI trying to solve economic problems divided into clergy, nobility, commoners because the French society was legally divided in the same way (all had different obligations and different rights) * Middle class included: bankers, merchants, doctors, entrepreneurs, lawyers, shopkeepers, artisans…comfortable life * Working class: lower class, those working for a wage/salary that is low. * Had problems getting food to obtain/buy everyday

* Peasants cultivated land that wasn’t theirs
* Miserable life

Proposal was accepted
* The Estates-General convened in May 1789: 1248 deputies * Main problem: the system of voting
* Clergy wanted only 3 votes
* The nobility
* The commoners (middle and lower class) – 648 deputies * Clergy and nobility had common interests – wanted to maintain the old system because it favored them and they have privileges, * Impossible to solve this problem: body was deadlocked

The third estate Continue alone (17 June 1789)
* National Assembly
* The true representation of the French people
* Oath of the Tennis Court (20 June 1789)
* A commitment: to write a constitution
* Put limits on the government
* The beginning of the French Revolution
* Parisians formed the National Guard
* Made to defend the National Assembly and the constitution * Louis XVI and the National Assembly
* June 1789, the king began negotiations with the three “estates” * Louis’ proposal: reforms (constitutional monarchy) * Result: failure
* The king rejected the National Assembly The Estates-General: the only legal representative body * If the commoners do not go back to the Estates General (close national assembly), the Royal troops would do it (send them to jail) and therefore only have one parliament after that * Consequence

* Royal troops sent to Paris – king used violence * Resistance: anti-royal and anti-noble revolts (July-August 1789) * Who? – Middle class and lower class
* Why? – Rumores of an aristocrat conspiracy against the reforms of the National Assembly/Royal Troops sent to Paris * Lower and middle class
* A new political/social/economic system (middle class) * Their terrible economic conditions (lower)
* The Storming of the Bastille (14 July 1789)
* A royal armory and prison
* The National Guard and the people of Paris against French cities * Similar uprisings in the other French cities * Peasant Revolts: the Great Fear
* Great Conspiracy
* Their aim:
* Residences of the nobility in the countryside * Consequences:
* Government officials fled (provinces)
* National Assembly kept working through summer
* The principle of privilege abolished (made equality – laws are for everybody) * Declaration of the Rights of Men
* A document issued on Aug 26 1789
* Main principles of the new society (would be included in the constitution) * Inspired by the Enlightenment
* How to create the best society possible
* Underlined the importance of reason and logic * Group of philosophers coincided to create the best principles to do so * Main ideas: Equality and freedom

* No more tax exemption: everyone will pay taxes * Equality before justice
* Regardless your economic position/nobility – same laws for everyone * Will not give a position to someone based on status...
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