The French Revolution is one of the most significant turning points in French history. The fall of the monarchy and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. During the Revolution, the political and feudal systems were abandoned as the old conventions were deemed morally unfit. Although the French Revolution didn’t accomplish all of their goals, it had a huge impact on the France and them way things were run.
After the American revolution which was heavily funded by France, and the royal family’s lavish spending habits France’s financial situation was heading downhill very quickly.
At that time the nobles didn’t have to pay taxes which was very unfair to all the poor peasants who couldn’t afford to eat but with what little money they did have they were funding all the wealthy families and the royals. All of the nobles were well fed and dressed angering the starving poor.
In an attempt to rectify this situation Louis XVI used half of his national allowance to pay some of the debts, but eventually, France declared its bankruptcy. to top all of this off huge storms had ruined most of France’s crops, so the already starving peasants became even hungi=rir, as food prices skyrocketed. All of the nobles were well fed and dressed angering the starving poor.
In 1989 Louis xvi established the estates general, the closest thing France had to a paliament as no official parliament had sat since 1614. there were 3 estates:
1st – novles – turned up with about 300 people
2nd – clergymen – turned up with about 300 people
3rd- everyone else – turned up with about 600 people
The third estate protested and threatened that they would start their own National Assembly, so when they went on break they were all locked into a room.
A national assembly was started and one of their gatherings is depicted in the painting Tennis Court Oath by Jacques-Louis David. This oath promised that they wouldn’t give up until a constitution in their favour was established.
At this time soldiers were sent by Louis XVI to control uprisings in Paris. the member of the national assembly saw the=is as a provocation and decided to storm the bastille setting free all of the 7 prisoners and stole guns and other weapons.
Eventually, the Ancien Regime wasabolished, affecting feudal rights, titles, noble privileges and equal taxation.
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was brought in allowing everyone the right to liberty property and security.
In 1788 a rumour started that Marie Antoinette was hoarding grain in the palace. A group of peasant women stormed the palace of Versailles and demanded that the court moved to Paris, and subsequently, they did.
The National Assembly wanted to create a constitutional monarchy and believed that a monarch was required for a functioning country. The only people ho wanted a republics were know and Jacobins.
During protests the national assembly killed 50 Jacobins, tainting their image as the head of the revolution.
The Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, Marie Antoinette’s brother, and William of Prussia declared that they would restore Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to the throne.
Louis decided to invade Austria, Marie’s homeland, in hopes of gaining some wealth and spread revolutionary enthusiasm. Prussia and Austria decided to retaliate and Louis encouraged them feeling his image as a revolutionary enemy.
The National Assembly voted to suspend the monarchy and bring in new elections which allowed all men to vote.
The royal family tried to flee France but failed as someone recognised Louis by a coin which held his face. they were taken to Paris and he was tried and found guilty. only one vote decided his fate, and he and his family were sent off the guilitine. the French executed thousands of people up until as recently as 1977.
Madame Marie Tussaud was a tutor to Louis xvi’s sister, Élisabeth, and she was later jailed as a royalist. During the Revolution, she had the gruesome job of making wax death masks from severed heads, many of people she knew well.
During the revolution the french changed their units of time, so one day had 10hr, all 100mins long, as well as renaming the months.
in 1799 Napoleon Bonaparte came into power and was made the consul of France, basically the emperor. This lasted for 10 years where he was exiled to Corsica. from then on France was ruled by either Bourbons or Bonaparte’s (with the exception of 1815-70).