French Revolution

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, European History, French Revolution (1789-1799)
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The French Revolution August 10, 1792 – July 27, 1794 By: Olivia Zhao

Review of the Causes of the French Revolution

“Little by little, the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him.” ― Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution

August 10, 1792: Storming at Tuileries • •

• •

Event: Storming of the royal palace at the Tuileries Cause: King Louis XVI published the Prussian Duke of Brunswick’s threat against Paris – Destroy city if revolutionaries resisted or harmed royal family. Effect: King Louis XVI forced off throne, and is suspended – Assembly loses legitimacy, as half the Assembly members flee Paris – Remaining deputies call upon elections in the National Convention for republican constitution and determine actions against the king Marks the end of the old regime “Peoples do not judge in the same way as courts of law; they do not hand down sentences, they throw thunderbolts; they do not condemn kings, they drop them back into the void; and this justice is worth just as much as that of the courts.” ― Maximilien Robespierre

Reforms of the National Assembly • By 1792, the National Assembly implemented: • Liberty: – – – –

A small form of self-government Legislative representation Removed constraints of seigneurialism from peasants, and quelled the persecution of religious minorities

• Equality – Revoked privileges of the upper classes of clergy and aristocracy – Promoted civil equality – Denounced absolutism

• Fraternity – Established uniform institutions – Constitutional government

The Radicalism of Revolution • Causes: – Growing opposition from threatened, European monarchs, aristocrats, opposing priests, absolutist supporters (royalists) in France, and fled/exiled aristocracy (émigrés) – 1792: Threat of counterrevolution and military defeats

• Effects: – Split between revolutionaries: • Radicals VS Conservative revolutionaries

– Formation of alliance between the prominent, radical Jacobin Club and the Parisian militants, the sans-culottes (made up of the middle class) • Opposed against aristocratic class • Wore trousers instead of popular knee breeches

– Alliance leads to a second revolution, of a growing democratic republic, and a form of radical suppression…

Panic and Rebound •

September Massacres: A three-day slaughtering of two thousand and more prisoners in early September by Parisian groups – The set up of “popular tribunals” – Prisoners: Political enemies and common criminals – Date: Early September, 1792 Cause: A panic set off by radical journalists such as Marat, who believed of a plot to open the prisons Rebound: The easing of panic, which coincided with the French victory at the Battle of Valmy on September 20 against invaders – Two months later: French victory against enemies at Jemappes, located in Austria Netherlands – The declaration of the Convention that France is now a republic “I believe in the cutting off of heads” – Jean-Paul Marat: “The People’s Friend”

Death of a King and the Rise of Two Parties • Louis XVI: Guilty of treason – The Convention voted 334 (Pardon) to… – 387 for death.

• January 21, 1793: King Louis XVI guillotined – Deputies have become regicides (king killers) – Execution has now closed negotiations with counterrevolutionaries

• Two main parties in the Convention: – Girondins: Party that advocated free, laissez-faire economy and liberty in the provinces. The conservatives – The Mountain: The core of the radical revolutionaries. Deputies were leading members of Jacobin Club: Robespierre, Danton, and Marat. • More military-based

– Most deputies: Centrists (the Plain). Were uncertain revolutionaries on how to continue the revolution

Difficulties and Political Purging • By spring of 1793: – Austria and Prussia alliance along with Piedmont, Britain, and Spain bring danger of coming invasion – Forced militant drafts lead to inner civil war in western France by peasants. • Vendeé: South of Loire River, area of rebellions from guerilla bands and finally the “Catholic and Royalist Army” • Lyon: Also federalist activity

– Economical crises: Inflation (Big hit to sans-culottes) • Caused by hoarding of goods, poor harvests, food shortages, and profiteering • The drop of Republic’s paper money, the assignat by 50%

– Sans-culottes urge for “purge” of Girondins, and price fixing, persecution of speculators and hoarders, and claiming of grain • Encouraged a committee for “public safety” • Threatened Convention with military power

– June 2: Purge of Girondins • Reluctant aid by centrists • Expelling and later execution of 23 Girondins for treason

French Revolution: Financial Crises

The Jacobin Dictatorship • September 5: Large demonstration for policies that can secure food supplies. – Urging by the sans-culottes lead the Convention to create two laws: • Law of the Maximum: General price controls • Law of Suspects: Allowed any revolutionary committee to arrest citizens who are suspected as traitors

• June: The Mountain finishes drafting a new democratic constitution – Places the power of Republic in a twelve-man committee: Committee of Public Safety – Leader: Maximilien Robespierre: Part of the Jacobin Club • The support of war effort and egalitarian (for society) values • Demand for unity, that stopped freedom of expression

• Differing groups crushed – Ultrarevolutionaries: Led by Jacques-René Hébert • Leading radical journalist who questioned leniency to enemies; executed

– Indulgents: Led by Georges-Jacques Danton (one of Jacobin Club) • Argued for loosening of strict measures; executed

The Reign of Terror • An organized form of suppression that was to prevent panics such as the September Massacres • Killed armed rebels, counterrevolutionaries, and as many as 300,000 ordinary citizens for opinions, social status, or past actions – Over 17,000 individuals executed, and others died without trial

• Eventually, Robespierre, the instigator the Terror, will be executed as well • “...more men and women were slaughtered in a couple of weeks of the terror of the atheistic French Revolution than in a century of the Inquisition.” ― Michael Coren, Why Catholics are Right

The Sans-Culottes and Popular Attitudes • 1792-1794: Parisian sans-culottes were main political activists for the second revolution • Consisted mainly of middle class workers, shopkeepers, artisans, carpenters, shoemakers, tailors, café keepers, and building contractors • Main concern: Supply and price of bread – Opposed inflation and diminishing supplies – Against laissez-faire, and supported price control • Highly anti-aristocratic • Revolutionaries make many breaks from past – Décadi: Ten-day calendar – Eliminated signs of upper society (ie. Palais Royal to Equality Palace) – Use of citizen instead of monsieur and madame

Popular Politics •

The Convention: want to enforce a centralized government when the democratic Republic was in a state of emergency The sans-culottes: want participatory democracy and less centralization – Year II (1793-1794): Forty-eight sections of Paris were autonomous republics with local politicians leading them – Gave people the feel of having “real” political power • Society of Revolutionary-Republican Women founded in 1793 – Eventually led to the Convention forbidding the formation of female political clubs • “Clubs and Societies for Women” – The sections gave Convention complaints, threats, and petitions • The Convention limited the power of the sections severely, and, with force, slowed the political craze of the sans-culottes

The Revolutionary Wars • French revolution was originally not supposed to have a direct threat on European state system – However, counterrevolutionaries and growing enemies from outside led to an aggressive stance – Revolutionary principles spread to other states • Before 1789: “Patriots” in the Dutch Netherlands, Geneva, and the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium) failed – With French Revolution, attempts started again • Pressure groups formed to urge reluctant Convention to help liberate other countries

– Result: December 1792: Convention declared feudal practices and hereditary privileges removed in any place where French armies won. • In return for liberation, special taxes and requisitions for the armies • Robespierre and others still did not want to become entangled with foreign movements • By 1794: France had position in Belgium

Troops of the Revolution • • • •

1789: National Assembly allowed officer careers to ordinary soldiers In 1792: the government had 100,000 and more volunteers for short-term service In 1793: during the enemy’s second coalition, lacking recruits August 1793: The Convention makes the levée en masse – A mass levy for males between the ages of 18-25 to join the army, without replacement • About 300,000 new recruits joined, 200,000 fled – By end of 1794: 750,000 men

Military formation: – From old regime’s organized line formation with less casualties to columns of troops that suffered greater casualties


Armies powered by revolutionary spirit – In late 1793 and 1794: French won many battles, culminating in the Battle of Fleurus in June 1794, liberating Belgium for the second time – Also won in the Péyérnes and the Rhine • Spain, then Prussia sign peace treaties

– Improved military from an army that suffered from lack of training and discipline

Comparing and Contrasting The First and Second Phase First phase: 1789-1792 • A liberal, constitutional movement – Legislative, National Assembly – “Declarations of the Rights of Man and Citizen” – French Constitution of 1791 • Limited monarchy – Shared power of one legislature • Reconstruction of France – Through National Assembly – Catholic incorporation into State • A democratic system

Second phase: 1792-1794 • Radical, authoritarian republican society – Jacobin Dictatorship – Mountain's Constitution of 1793 – Reign of Terror (1792-1794) • No monarchy – Louis XVI executed for treason • Reforms and laws – Through Committee of Public Safety and National Convention – De-Christianization • More oligarchic than democratic – 12 men Committee of Public Safety – “Times of emergency”

Results of the French Revolution 1.

2. 3.

The development of two models of government • Authoritarianism (Napoleon Bonaparte) or Representative (Republic) More centralized state with better administration Expansion of new civil rights • • •

4. 5. • • • 6. • • • •

Political influence of propertied males Careers became basis for talent Equality before the law

Removal of privileged rights Change in popular politics and culture Popular participation in politics Nationalism (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) Less religious society Economic and social changes Removal of guilds Growth of middle class (bourgeoisie) due to political power and the confiscation of church lands (1790) A uniform code for trade Business class viewed higher

Questions for Analysis • The Ideology of the Revolution – Did revolutionary thought come before action? • Enlightenment was a major factor that contributed to thought • “The Revolution had been accomplished in the minds of men long before it was translated into fact.” – French Historian: Albert Mathiez (La Révolution)

• Was the social and political chaos the actual motivator for thought?

• Progress for What Cost? – Was the transition from feudalist, traditional monarchy to a capitalist, representative republic worth the amount of casualties? • “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,” – Charles Dickenson (Tale of Two Cities)

• Manipulation of Society – How did the lower classes became the ones to carry out the savagery of the revolution under such lofty principles of “liberty, equality, and fraternity”?

Works Cited "Albert Mathiez Archive." The Annales History Archive. The Annales History Archive, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2012. . BAML. Hyperinflation During the French Revolution. Digital image. Financial Sense. Financial Sense, 5 Dec. 2012. Web. 18 Dec. 2012. . Basu, Sammy. The French Revolution (1789). Digital image. Poli 212. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2012. . The Beginning of the French Revolution. Digital image. Zyklopen. Cyclops Graphic Studio, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2012. . Chambers, Mortimer. The Western Experience. 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007. Print. Cobblestone Road. Digital image. SpiderPic, 2012. Web. 18 Dec. 2012. . Corner Flourish. Digital image. Cartographer's Guild. Robbie Powell, 5 Dec. 2011. Web. 18 Dec. 2012. . The Cult of the Supreme Being. Digital image. Univie. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2012.
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