Revolution Brings Reform and Terror
REVOLUTION The revolutionary government of France made reforms but also used terror and violence to retain power.
WHY IT MATTERS NOW
Some governments that lack the support of a majority of their people still use fear to control their citizens.
TERMS & NAMES
• Legislative Assembly • émigré • sans-culotte • Jacobin • guillotine • Maximilien Robespierre • Reign of Terror
SETTING THE STAGE Peasants were not the only members of French society
to feel the Great Fear. Nobles and officers of the Church were equally afraid. Throughout France, bands of angry peasants struck out against members of the upper classes, attacking and destroying many manor houses. In the summer of 1789, a few months before the women’s march to Versailles, some nobles and members of clergy in the National Assembly responded to the uprisings in an emotional late-night meeting.
Recognizing Effects Use a flow chart to identify the major events that followed the creation of the Constitution of 1791. Assembly Creates a Constitution
The Assembly Reforms France
Throughout the night of August 4, 1789, noblemen made grand speeches, declaring their love of liberty and equality. Motivated more by fear than by idealism, they joined other members of the National Assembly in sweeping away the feudal privileges of the First and Second Estates, thus making commoners equal to the nobles and the clergy. By morning, the Old Regime was dead.
The Rights of Man Three weeks later, the National Assembly adopted a statement of revolutionary ideals, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Reflecting the influence of the Declaration of Independence, the document stated that “men are born and remain free and equal in rights.” These rights included “liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.” The document also guaranteed citizens equal justice, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. In... [continues]
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