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The Directory French Revolution Ap Euro Essay

The French Revolution is perhaps the most complex historical development that students will encounter in the AP European History course.  In this unit, we will examine the problems causing the fall of the Old Regime and follow the French Revolution through its liberal, radical, and Napoleonic phases.
In order to understand how the French Revolution changed France, one must first understand the way France was under the Old Regime. Although Louis XIV had done a great deal to build a French nation, France still remained in many ways a patchwork of regions dominated by clerics and aristocrats who made up the First and Second Estates. Due in part to tax exemptions enjoyed by the privileged classes, France found itself in a major financial crisis in the late 1780s, forcing the monarchy to call a meeting of the Estates General. When the Estates General was convened in 1789, it was convened under antiquated rules that Third Estate delegates found to be offensive. The failure of the Estates General was a watershed event in the French Revolution, opening the door for changes that were far more radical than any that had been proposed by the Third Estate delegates in 1789.
After the failure of the Estates General, the National Assembly convened and began swiftly enacting liberal reforms. Following the Great Fear and the storming of the Bastille in the summer of 1789, the National Assembly passed the August 4 Decrees and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. While the Declaration of the Rights of Man was heavily influenced by the classical liberal philosophy found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson and John Locke, it was also heavily influenced by the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose idea of the social contract subordinated individualism to the "general will" of the nation.  When seen as a dialogue between Jefferson and Rousseau, the Declaration of the Rights of Man both articulates the goals of the liberal revolution of 1789 while also foreshadowing the radical revolution of 1792-1794.

Unit Guide and Primary Sources

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” 
                                                                              -- Napoleon

The Old Regime and the Estates General

Due 1/6/17

Primary Source Document(s)

Students should read Voltaire's writings on the English Constitution and Abbe Sieyes' What is the Third Estate​before class meets.
TEXTBOOK READINGS:  Kagan, 445-455, 547-550   OR   Wood, 227-239, 285-287  

Video Lectures Available on YouTube

After you've watched the videos, CLICK HERE to take a quiz!

The Old Regime

The Estates General

The National Assembly and the Declaration of the Rights of Man

Due 1/12/17

Primary Source Document(s)

TEXTBOOK READINGS:  Kagan, 550-564   OR   Wood, 287-290 

Video Lectures Available on YouTube

The National Assembly

The Rights ​of Man

Women and the French Revolution Lecture Series

While the French Revolution was not a feminist revolution, the upheaval it created had a hand in bringing about the modern feminist movement. In the 18th century, women were still barred from the public sphere and the Enlightenment did little to change this; in fact, Rousseau defended traditional views of women in his educational treatise, Emile​. 

Women and the French Revolution
Introduction​

On the eve of the French Revolution, most French people viewed women as easily corrupted and unfit for politics, public life, or the esteemed professions. In my introduction to this lecture series, I explain the origins of these ideas of women and how Rousseau's work perpetuated traditional views of women.

Marie Antoinette
Tragic Queen of France

Marie Antoinette was in the wrong place at the wrong time and is best known for saying something she never said. This beautiful young Austrian princess did little more than marry the French king. She became a symbol of the monarchy's excesses and was humiliated and executed during the Reign of Terror.

Olympe de Gouges
and the Rights of Woman

Olympe de Gougeswrote the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen in response to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. During the Reign of Terror, de Gouges was executed along with others of the Gerondist political faction.

Mary Wollstonecraft
vs. Edmund Burke

In Britain, the French Revolution sparked a debate in Britain, with the most prominent voice being Edmund Burke's criticism. In her Vindication of the Rights of Man, Mary Wollstonecraft defended the French Revolution against Burke's attacks. She followed this work with the seminal text of liberal feminism, Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

Charlotte Corday
and the Death of Marat

Jean-Paul Marat found prominence and notoriety during the Reign of Terror for his radical newspaper, Friend of the People, in which he denounced those he saw as enemies of the Revolution. No one had the courage to act against Marat until a young woman, Charlotte Corday, took it upon herself to assassinate him. "I killed one man to save a thousand," she said of her heroic deed.

Concluding Remarks
Women and the French Revolution

No lecture series would be complete without some concluding remarks!

The Radicalization of the French Revolution

Starting in 1791, the French Revolution began a period of radicalization, as the initial idea of a constitutional monarchy on the British model was abandoned in favor of a French Republic. The increasing influence of the Jacobin clubs led to the execution of Louis XVI and the election of the National Convention that would authorize the Reign of Terror.

The Reign of Terror

The French Directory

After the Thermidorian Reaction and the fall of Robespierre, the bourgeoisie reasserted control and limited the participation of the radical Parisian mobs that had been so influential during the Reign of Terror. Executive authority was wielded by five directors, from which this period from 1794-1799 got its name.

Napoleon

Jacques-Louis David: French Neoclassical Painter

E-Lecture Available on YouTube

PowerPoint Presentation

The Reign of Terror (1793-1794) was the most radical phase of the French Revolution and the most memorable in spite of its brevity. The National Convention and Robespierre presided over this short period when the blade of the guillotine severed heads on a regular basis.

PowerPoint Presentation

In 1799, Napoleon overthrew the Directory and dominated French politics until his final overthrow and exile in 1815. Napoleon's rule can be divided into the Consulate (1799-1804) and the French Empire (1804-1815). Some of his key political accomplishments were the Napoleonic Code, which gave France a uniform code of laws based on Roman Law, and the Condordat of 1801, which established Catholicism as the "majority religion" after a period of de-Christianization in the 1790s.

UNFINISHED PowerPoint Presentation

This unfinished PowerPoint is here for the benefit
​of my students. At some point, I intend to give Napoleon the PowerPoint he deserves.
Jacques-Louis David's neoclassical paintings provide a full overview of the French Revolution, as David was an active participant in the French Revolution throughout all of its phases. Best known for his paintings of Napoleon, he spent his last years in exile in Brussels painting classical pieces and portraits of Bonapartist exiles.

PowerPoint Presentation

Chapter 21: The Revolution in Politics (1775-1815)

  1. Liberty
    1. Introduction
      1. Two ideas fueled the revolutionary period in the world: liberty and equality
      2. The call for liberty was first of all a call for individual human rights and liberals of the revolutionary era protested the way the most enlightened monarchs regulated what people wrote and believed (demanded an end to censorship, written and spoken)
        1. Called for a new government and believed that the people were sovereign and alone had the authority to make laws limiting the individual’s freedom of action
        2. Liberals believed that every nation, every ethnic group, had this right of self-determination and thus a right to form a free nation
      3. Liberals argued, in theory, all citizens should have identical rights and civil liberties and above all, the nobility had no right to special privileges based on birth
      4. Most eighteenth-century liberals were men and generally shared with other men the belief that equality between men and women was neither practical nor desirable
        1. Men of the French Revolution limited formal political rights of women, the right to vote, to run for office, to participate in government
        2. Liberals never believed that everyone should be equal economically
        3. The essential point was that everyone should legally have an equal chance
      5. The economic inequality based on artificial legal distinctions were criticized by liberals, not economic inequality itself
      >
    2. The Roots of Liberalism
      1. The ideas of liberty and equality had deep roots in Western history; the ancient Greeks and the Judeo-Christian tradition had affirmed for hundreds of years the sanctity and value of the individual human being
      2. Classical liberalism first crystallized at the end of the seventeenth century and during the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century and reflected the stress on human dignity and human happiness on earth (faith in science, rationality, and progress)
      3. Writers of the Enlightenment preached religious toleration, freedom of press and speech, and fair and equal treatment before the law
      4. John Locke and Baron de Montesquieu were the two important thinkers responsible for joining the Enlightenment’s concern for personal freedom and legal equality to a theoretical justification of liberal self-government
        1. John Locke maintained that England’s long political tradition rested on “the rights of Englishmen” and on representative government through Parliament
        2. Montesquieu believed that powerful intermediary groups, such as the judicial nobility, offered the best defense of liberty against despotism
    3. The Attraction of Liberalism
      1. The belief that representative institutions could defend their liberty and interests appealed powerfully to well-educated, prosperous groups as well as liberal ideas about individual rights and political freedom
      2. Representative government did not mean democracy, which liberal thinkers tended to frown upon, but they envisioned voting for representatives as being restricted to those who owned property (liberalism found broad support among elites in western Europe)
      3. Liberalism lacked from the beginning because of weak popular support
        1. Liberals questioned theoretical and political ideas while common people’s questions were immediate and economic (enough to eat?)
        2. Traditional practices and institutions that they wanted to abolish were important to peasants and urban workers (enclosure of lands and regulation of food prices)
  2. The American Revolution (1775-1789)
  3. The French Revolution (1789-1791)
    1. The Breakdown of the Old Order
      1. Many French soldiers, such as Marquis de Lafayette, left to fight France’s traditional enemy, served in America and were impressed by the ideals of the Revolution
      2. The French Revolution was more radical and more complex, more influential and more controversial, more loved and more hated (opened the modern era in politics)
      3. The French Revolution origin was the financial difficulties of the government and the efforts of monarchy to raise taxes stopped by the Parlement (popular support)
      4. The government was forced to finance all its expenditures during the American war with borrowed money and the national debt and annual budget deficit soared
        1. By 1780s, 50 percent of France’s annual budget went for ever-increasing interest payments, another 25 percent when tot maintain the military, 6 percent absorbed by Versailles, and less than 20 percent left for productive functions of state
        2. One way out would have been for the government to declare partial bankruptcy, forcing its creditors to accept greatly reduced payments on the debt and France declared this after an attempt to establish a French national bank ended in 1720
        3. By the 1780s, the French debt was being held by an army of aristocratic and bour-geois creditors, and the French monarchy had become far too weak for this action
      5. King and his ministers could not print money creating inflation to cover their deficits because France had no central bank, non paper currency, and could not create credit
      6. In 1786, France had no alternative but to try increasing taxes and increased revenues were possible only through fundamental reforms (opens social and political demands)
    2. Legal Orders and Social Realities
      1. France’s twenty-five million inhabitants were still legally divided into three orders, or “estates,” the clergy, the nobility, and everyone else
      2. The first estate, the clergy, numbered about 100,000, owned about 10 percent of the land, paid little taxes to the government every five years
        1. Church levied a tax (tithe) on landowners, which averaged less than 10 percent
        2. Much of the church’s income was drained from local parishes by political appointees and worldly aristocrats at the top of the church hierarchy
      3. The second legally defined estate consisted of some 400,000 nobles, the descendents of “those who had fought” in the Middle Ages (owned about 25 percent of France)
        1. Taxed lightly, nobles enjoyed certain privileges of lordship (manorial rights) which allowed them to tax the peasantry for their won profit done by exclusive rights to hunt, fish, monopolies on baking bread and making wine, fees for justice
        2. Nobles had “honorific privileges,” such as the right to precedence on public occasions and the right to wear a sword (legal superiority and social position)
      4. Everyone else was a commoner, a member of the third estate; a few commoners were merchants or lawyers and officials (could buy manorial rights), others were urban artisans and unskilled day laborers, but the vast majority consisted of peasants and agricultural workers in the countryside (united by their shared legal status)
      5. There were growing tensions between the nobility and the bourgeoisie (middle class)
      6. Aided by general economic expansion, the middle class tripled to about 2.3 millions people (8 percent) and became exasperated by “feudal” laws restraining the economy and by the growing pretensions of reactionary nobility (closing ranks on bourgeoisie)
        1. The French bourgeoisie eventually rose up to lead the entire third estate in a great social revolution that destroyed feudal privileges and established a capitalist order based on individualism and a market economy
        2. Revisionist historians see both bourgeoisie and nobility as highly fragmented as the nobility was separated by differences in wealth, education
      7. Revisionist historians stress three development, in particular
        1. The nobility remained a fluid and relatively open order (commoners continued to obtain noble status through government service and purchase of positions)
        2. Key sections of the nobility and bourgeoisie formed together the core of the book-hungry Enlightenment public and both groups saw themselves forming part of the educated elite standing well above the common people (peasants and urban poor)
        3. The nobility and the bourgeoisie were not really at odds in the economic sphere in that both looked to investment in land and government services
        4. The ideal of the merchant capitalist was to gain wealth, to retire from trade, purchase estates, and live as a large landowner (mining, metallurgy, foreign trade)
      8. The old Regime had ceased to correspond with social reality by the 1780s and France had already moved toward a society based on wealth and education
    3. The Formation of the National Assembly
      1. The Revolution was under way by 1787 and spurred by a depressed economy and falling tax receipts, Louis XVI’s minister of finance proposed to impose a general tax on all landed property as well as provincial assemblies to help administer the tax
        1. Called an assembly of notables to gain support and the assembled notables, noblemen and clergy, were not in favor and in return for their support, demanded that control over all government spending be given to the provincial assemblies
        2. Government refused and the notables responded that tax changes required the approval of the Estates General, the representative body of all three estates (had not met since 1614); dismissed the notables and established new taxes by decrees
        3. The Parlement specified the “fundamental laws” against which no king could transgress, such as national consent to taxation and freedom for arbitrary arrest
        4. In July 1788, Louis XVI bowed to public opinion, called for the Estates General
      2. Clergy, nobles, and commoners came together in their respective orders to draft petitions for change and to elect their respective delegates to the Estates General
        1. The local assemblies of the clergy frowned upon the church hierarchy and two-thirds of the delegates were chosen from among the parish priests
        2. The nobles, split by wealth and education, remained politically divide and a majority was drawn from the poorer and numerous provincial nobility but one-third of the nobility’s representatives were liberals committed to major changes
        3. There was great popular participation in the elections for the third estate because almost all male commoners twenty-five years or older had the right to vote but most of the representatives selected were well-educated, prosperous members of the middle class (lawyers and government officials)
        4. Social status and prestige were matters of concern and no delegates were elected from the mass of laboring poor, that encouraged the peasants and urban artisans to intervene directly and dramatically at numerous points in the Revolution
      3. The petitions of change coming from the three estates showed general agreement
        1. Royal absolutism show give way to constitutional monarchy, in which laws and taxes would require the consent of the Estates General meeting regularly
        2. Individual liberties would have to be guaranteed by law and that the economic position of the parish clergy would have to be improved
        3. Thought that economic development required reforms (internal trade barriers)
      4. During the electoral campaign: How would the Estates General vote, and who would lead in the political reorganization that was generally desired?
      5. Any action had required the agreement of at least two branches, a requirement that virtually guaranteed control by the nobility and the clergy
      6. The Parlement of Paris ruled that the Estates General should once again sit separately
      7. Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes argued in 1789 in his famous pamphlet What is the Third Estate? that the third estate constituted the true strength of the French nation
      8. The government agreed that the third estate should have as many delegates as the clergy and nobility combined then negated the act by enforcing separate order
      9. In May 1789 the twelve hundred delegates of the three estates went into Versailles but the delegates of the third estate demanded that the group sit as a single body
      10. After six weeks, a few parish priests joined the third estate, which on June 17 called itself the “National Assembly” and on June 20, the third estate excluded because of “repairs” moved to a large indoor tennis court where they swore the famous Oath of the Tennis Court, pledging not to disband until they had written a new constitution
      11. On June 23, he urged the estates to meet but at the same time following advice of court nobles called an army to Versailles and dismissed his liberal ministers
      12. Facing opposition, Louis XVI resigned himself to bankruptcy and now sought to reassert his historic “Divine right” to rule (delegates disbanded at bayonet point)
    4. The Revolt of the Poor and Oppressed
      1. Grain was the basis of the diet of ordinary people in the eighteenth century and in 1788 the harvest had been poor and the price of bread began to soar (bread could cost 8 sous per pound even though the poor could barely afford to pay 2 sous per pound)
      2. Harvest failure and bread prices unleashed a classic economic depression of the pre-industrial age and the demand for manufactured goods collapsed (half needed relief)
      3. The people of Paris entered decisively onto the revolutionary stage and believed that the they should have steady work and enough bread at fair prices to survive and feared that the dismissal of the king’s moderate finance minister would put them at the mercy of aristocratic landowners and grain speculators
        1. On July 13 the people began to seize arms for the defense of the city and marched to Bastille to search for gunpowder (gunpowder was in a medieval fortress)
        2. The prison surrendered; the prison governor and the mayor of Paris were killed
        3. The next day, a committee of citizens appointed the Marquis de Lafayette commander of the city’s armed forces and the king was forced to recall the finance minister and disperse his troops (uprising saved the National Assembly)
      4. All across France, peasants began to rise in spontaneous, violent, and effective insurrection against their lords, ransacking manor houses and burning obligations
      5. Fear of vagabonds and outlaws—called the Great Fear—seized the countryside and fanned the flames of rebellion (free themselves from manorial rights and exploitation)
      6. Some liberal nobles and middleclass delegates responded to peasant demands at Versailles with a maneuver on the night of August 4, 1789 (duke of Aiguillon, one of France’s greatest nobles, urged equality in taxation and elimination of feudal dues)
      7. All the old exactions imposed on the peasants—serfdom, hunting rights, fees for justice, village monopolies, and others—were abolished (without compensation)
      8. Peasants never paid feudal dues and the French peasants now protected their triumph
    5. A Limited Monarchy
      1. On August 27, 1789, the National Assembly issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man, which states, “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights”
        1. Maintained that mankind’s natural rights are “liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression” and “everyman is innocent until proven otherwise”
        2. Law is an expression of the general will; all citizens have the right to concur personally or through their representatives in its formations”
        3. Every citizen may therefore speak, write, and publish freely (free expression)
      2. Call for the liberal revolutionary guaranteed equality before the law, representative government for a sovereign people, and individual freedom
      3. The questions of how much power the king should retain and whether he could permanently veto legislation led to another deadlock, decided by poor women of Paris
        1. Women customarily bought the food and managed the poor family’s resources and in Paris great numbers of women also worked for wages (garments)
        2. Plummeting demand for luxuries intensified the general economic crisis and increasing unemployment and hunger resulted in another popular revolt
        3. On October 5, seven thousand desperate women marched to Versailles, demanding action, invaded the Assembly, invaded the royal apartments searching for the queen, Marie Antoinette, and the intervention of Lafayette and the National Guard saved the royal family (the king was ordered to live in Paris)
      4. The next day, the royal family and the National Assembly, followed the king to Paris until September 1791, saw the consolidation of the liberal Revolution
        1. The National Assembly abolished the French nobility as a legal order and created a constitutional monarchy, which Louis XVI reluctantly agreed to in July 1790
        2. In the final constitution, the king remained the head of state, but all lawmaking power was given to the National Assembly, elected by the economic males
      5. New laws broadened women’s rights to seek divorce, to inherit property, and to obtain financial support from fathers for illegitimate children
        1. Majority of National Assembly believed that women should raise the child, complete domestic duties and leave politics and most public activities to men
        2. Delegates were convinced that political life in absolutist France had been corrupt and one way was immoral aristocratic women had used their sexual charms
      6. The National Assembly replaced the historic provinces with eighty-three departments of approximately equal size, introduced the metric system in 1793, promoted liberal concept of economic freedom and prohibited monopolies, guilds, and worker’s combinations and abolished barriers to trade within France
      7. Assembly imposed a radical reorganization on the Catholic church by nationalizing the church’s property and abolished monasteries as useless relics of a distant past
      8. The government used all former church property as collateral to guarantee a new paper currency, the assignats, then sold these properties to support the state’s finances
      9. Reorganization of France brought the new government into conflict with the Catholic church and Christians, but many delegates harbored a deep distrust of popular piety
      10. The Assembly established a national church, with priests chosen by voters then required the clergy to take a loyalty oath to the new government and this resulted in a division within both the country and the clergy on the religious question
      11. Policy toward the church was the revolutionary government’s first important failure
  4. World War and Republican France (1791-1799)
    1. Foreign Reactions and the Beginning of War
      1. France was seen as a mighty triumph of liberty over despotism and in Great Britain, people hoped that this would lead to a fundamental reordering of the political system
        1. The system consolidated in the revolution of 1688 to 1689, placed Parliament in the hands of the aristocracy and a few wealthy merchants
        2. Conservative leaders such as Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790) defend inherited privileges of English monarchy and aristocracy, glorified the unrepresentative Parliament, and predicted that thoroughgoing reform, like in France, would lead only to chaos and tyranny
        3. Mary Wollstonecraft was incensed by Burke’s book and wrote (A Vindication of the Rights of Man) then developed for the first time the logical implications of natural-law philosophy in her masterpiece, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
        4. Wollstonecraft set high standards for women, advocated coeducation, and marked the birth of the modern women’s movement for equal rights (give women chance)
      2. among European kings and nobility that revolution would spread resulted in the Declaration of Pillnitz (1791), which threatened the invasion of France by Austria and Prussia (expected to have a sobering effect on revolutionary France w/o causing war)
      3. When the National Assembly disbanded, it sought popular support be decreeing that none of its members be eligible for election to the new Legislative Assembly
        1. The great majority of the legislators were still middle-class men but were younger and less cautious than their predecessors (called “Jacobins,” after the name of their political club and were passionately committed to liberal revolution)
        2. The Jacobins lumped “useless aristocrats” and “despotic monarch” together and believed that if the courts o Europe were attempting to incite war of kings against France, ten million Frenchmen would be able to change the face of the world
      4. France declared war on Francis II, the Habsburg monarch but the crusade went poorly at first because Prussia joined Austria in the Austrian Netherlands and French forces broke and fled at first encounter with armies of this First Coalition
        1. It is possible that only conflict between the eastern monarchs over the division of Poland saved France from defeat (as the road to Paris lay wide open)
        2. Military reversals and Austro-Prussian threats caused a wave of patriotic fervor to sweep France and the Legislative Assembly declared the country in danger
        3. Volunteer armies from the provinces stream through Paris singing (Marseillaise)
        4. On August 10, 1792, on news of treason by the king and queen, a revolutionary crowd attacked the royal palace at the Tuileries capturing the palace, while the royal family fled to the Legislative Assembly, which suspended the king from all his functions, imprisoned him, and called for a new National Convention to be elected by universal male suffrage
    2. The Second Revolution
      1. The fall of the monarchy marked radicalization of the Revolution (second revolution)
        1. Louis’s imprisonment was followed by the September Massacres where stories seized the city that imprisoned counter-revolutionary aristocrats and priests were plotting with the allied invaders and half the men and women were slaughtered
        2. The new, popularly elected National Convention proclaimed France a republic
      2. The republic sought to create a new popular culture that glorified the new order by adopting a revolutionary calendar, addressing each other with “thou” instead of “you,” promoting democratic festivals (brought the entire population together)
      3. All the members of the National Convention were Jacobins and republicans but the convention was divided into two bitterly competitive groups—the Girondists, named after a department in the France, and the Mountain, led by Robespierre and Georges Jacques Danton (called this because members sat on uppermost benches of hall)
      4. By a single vote (361 of 720), the National Convention convicted Louis XVI of treason and sentenced him to death in January 1793 (died on guillotine)
      5. The Prussians had been stopped at the indecisive Battle of Valmy on September 20, 1792; republican armies captured Nice, the city of Frankfurt, won their first major battle at Jamappes and by November 1792, occupied the entire Austrian Netherlands
      6. French armies found support among peasants and middleclass people but lived off the land, requested food and supplies; started to look like invaders and tensions mounted
        1. In February 1793, the National Convention, already at war with Austria and Prussia, declared war on Britain, Holland, and Spain (France was now at war with almost all of Europe, a war that would last almost without interruption until 1815)
        2. Driven from the Austrian Netherlands, peasants did not want to be drafted and were supported in their resistance by devout Catholics, royalists, foreign agents
      7. The National Convention found itself locked between Girondists and the Mountain
        1. The two groups were in general agreement on questions of policy but the Girondists feared a dictatorship by the Mountain and the Mountain was convinced that the more moderate Girondists would turn to conservatives even royalists
        2. With the middle-class delegates divide, the laboring poor of Paris decided
      8. The laboring men and women had drove the Revolution forward and petty traders and laboring poor were often known as the sans-culottes (“without breeches”) because men wore trousers instead of the breeches of the aristocracy and the solid middleclass
        1. In the spring of 1793, rapid inflation, unemployment, and food shortages encouraged by so-called angry men, such as journalist Jacques Roux, sans-culottes men and women demanded political action to guarantee them daily bread
        2. The Mountain joined the Girondists in rejecting these demands but the Mountain and Robespierre became more sympathetic, joined with sans-culottes in a popular uprising forcing the Convention to arrest 31 Girondists deputies for treason on June 2 and all the power passed to the Mountain
    3. Total War and the Terror
      1. In July 1794, the Austrian Netherlands and the Rhineland were under the French and the First Coalition was falling apart and was due to the government’s success in harnessing the explosive forces of a planned economy, revolutionary terror, and modern nationalism in a total war effort
      2. Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety advanced with resolution (1793-94)
        1. Collaborated with patriotic and democratic sans-culottes, who retained the common people’s faith in fair prices and a moral economic order; established a planned economy with egalitarian social overtones
        2. The government decreed the maximum allowable prices for a host of key products, rationing was introduced, and quality was also controlled
        3. Production of arms and munitions for the war effort were controlled and craftsmen and manufacturers were told what to produce and when to deliver
        4. The second revolution and the ascendancy of the sans-culottes had produced an embryonic emergency socialism (subsequent development of socialist ideology)
      3. During the Reign of Terror (1793-1974), special revolutionary courts responsible only to Robespierre’s Committee of Public Safety tried political crimes and some 40,000 French died and another 300,000 suspects crowded the prisons
        1. Robespierre’s Reign of Terror was a political weapon directed against all who might oppose the revolutionary government (secular ideology)
        2. Strengthened belief that France had replaced a king with a bloodily dictatorship
      4. The most decisive element in the French republic’s victory over the First Coalition was its ability to continue drawing on the explosive power of patriotic dedication to a national state and a national mission (French people stirred by a common loyalty)
      5. All unmarried young men were subject to the draft; the French armed forces grew to one million men in fourteen armies and were led by generals who had risen rapidly from the ranks and personified the opportunities the Revolution offered to the people
      6. By the spring of 1794, French armies were victorious on all fronts (republic saved)
    4. The Thermidorian Reaction and the Directory, 1794-1799
      1. Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety relaxed the emergency economic controls but extended the political Reign of Terror; their goal was an ideal democratic republic where justice would reign and there would be neither rich nor poor
        1. Unrestrained despotism and the guillotine struck down on any who opposed order
        2. Robespierre’s Terror wiped out many men who had criticized him for being soft on the wealthy and who were led by the radical social democrat Jacques Hebert
        3. After March 1794, several of Robespierre’s collaborators led by Danton, marched up the steps on the guillotine when howled down Robespierre on 9 Thermidor (July 27, 1794) and the next day, Robespierre was guillotined to death
      2. France experienced a reaction to the despotism of the Reign (Thermidorian reaction)
      3. Respectable middle-class lawyers and professions who led the liberal revolution of 1789 reasserted their authority and the National Convention abolished many economic controls, printed more paper currency, and let prices rise sharply
      4. The Convention restricted local political organizations and speculators celebrated the end of the Terror with self-indulgence and ostentatious luxury (worsen working poor)
      5. The sans-culottes believed in small business, decent wages, and economic justice and finally revolted in Paris against the new order in early 1795 (used army to control)
      6. As the government began to retreat on the religious issue from 1796 to 1801, the women of rural France brought back the Catholic church and open worship of God
      7. National Convention wrote another constitution in 1795, which would guarantee their economic position and political supremacy where the mass voted for electors who elected members of a legislative assembly, who in turn chose the Directory (five men)
      8. The Directory continued to support French military expansion abroad and unprin-cipled action of Directory reinforced widespread disgust with war and starvation
      9. After the national elections of 1797 (conservative and monarchist deputies) and the Directory used the army to nullify the elections and began to govern dictatorially
      10. Napoleon Bonaparte ended the Directory in a coup d’etat and substituted a strong dictatorship; effort to establish stable representative government had failed
  5. The Napoleonic Era (1799-1815)
    1. Napoleon’s Rule of France
      1. In 1799, young General Napoleon Bonaparte was a national hero and seized power; (born in Corsica in 1769) Napoleon rose rapidly in the army and placed in command of French forces in Italy where he won brilliant victories in 1796 and 1797 (Egypt)
      2. Napoleon learned of members of the Legislative Assembly who were plotting against the Directory (weak dictatorship and firm rule had more appeal than liberty)
        1. Abbe Sieyes wrote that the nobility was over privileged and that entire people should rule the French nation; wanted a strong military ruler like Napoleon
        2. The conspirators and napoleon organized a takeover and on November 9, 1799, they ousted the Directors, and the following day soldiers disbanded the Assembly
        3. Napoleon was named first consul of the republic and a new constitution consolidating his position was approved in December 1799
      3. Essence of Napoleon’s domestic policy was to use powers to maintain order and end civil strife and did so by working out unwritten agreements with powerful groups in France where groups received favors in return for loyal service
        1. Napoleon’s bargain with the middle class was codified in the famous Civil Code of 1804, which reasserted principles of the revolution of 1789: equality of all male citizens before the law and absolute security of wealth and private property
        2. Napoleon and leading bankers of Paris established the privately owned Bank of France, which loyally served the interests of the state and the financial oligarchy
        3. Napoleon’s defense of the new economic order also appealed to the peasants, who had gained both land and status from the revolutionary changes
        4. Napoleon reconfirmed the gains of the peasantry and reassured the middle class
      4. Napoleon also accepted and strengthened the position of the French bureaucracy and building on the government from the Old Regime, he perfected a centralized state
      5. A network of prefects, subprefects, and centrally appointed mayor s depended on Napoleon and in 1800 and 1802, Napoleon granted official pardon to the nobles on the condition that they return to France and take a loyalty oath (occupied high posts)
      6. In 1800, the French clergy was divided into those who had taken the oath of allegiance to the revolutionary government and those in exile who had refused
        1. Napoleon, personally uninterested in religion, wanted a united Catholic church in France that could serve as a bulwark of order and social peace
        2. Napoleon and Pope Pius VII signed the Concordat of 1801 where the pope gained for French Catholics the right to practice religion freely, but the government now nominated bishops, paid the clergy, and exerted influence of the church of France
      7. Napoleon’s domestic initiatives gave the great majority of French people a welcome sense of order and stability and Napoleon added the glory of military victory
      8. Under Napoleon’s authoritarian rule, women lost many of the gains and could not make contracts or even have bank accounts in their name and re-established a “family monarch” where the power of the husband and father was absolute over the rest
      9. Free speech and freedom of the press, rights of the liberal revolution in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, were continually violated where number of newspapers in Paris were reduced (government propaganda), harsh penalties for politic offense, Napoleon left control of police state in France to Joseph Fouche who organized an efficient spy system and by 1814, there were 2,500 political prisoners
    2. Napoleon’s Wars and Foreign Policy
      1. After coming to power in 1799, he sent peace feelers to Austria and Great Britain, the two remaining members of the Second Coalition, which had been formed in 1798
        1. After being rejected, French armies led by Napoleon defeated the Austrians; in the Treaty of Luneville (1801) were Austria lost almost all of its Italian possessions and German territory on the west bank of the Rhine
        2. Napoleon concluded the Treaty of Amiens with Great Britain in 1802 where France remained in control of Holland, the Austrian Netherlands, the west bank of the Rhine, and most of the Italian peninsula (diplomatic triumph)
      2. Redrawing the map of Germany to weaken Austria and attract the secondary states of Germany toward France, Napoleon threatened British interests in the eastern Mediterranean and tried to restrict British trade with all of Europe
        1. Deciding to renew war with Britain in May 1803, Great Britain remained dominant on the seas and a combined French and Spanish fleet was annihilated by Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805; invasion of England was impossible but renew fighting allowed to proclaim himself emperor in 1804
        2. Austria, Russia, and Sweden joined Britain to form the Third Coalition against France before the Battle of Trafalgar and assumption of the Italian crown had convinced Alexander I of Russia and Francis II of Austria of Napoleon’s threat
        3. Napoleon scored a brilliant victory over the Austrians and Russians at the Battle of Austerlitz in December 1805 and accepted territorial losses for peace
      3. Napoleon abolished many of the German states in 1806 and established by decree the German Confederation of the Rhine (minus Austria, Prussia, and Saxony) and named himself “protector” of the confederation (firmly controlled western Germany)
        1. Prussians mobilized, Napoleon attacked, and won two more brilliant victories in October 1806 at Jena and Auerstadt and after Prussia, joining with Russia, lost to Napoleon’s larger armies, Alexander I of Russia wanted peace
        2. In June 1807, the tsar and emperor negotiated and finally at the treaties of Tilsit, Prussia lost half of its population, while Russia accepted Napoleon’s reorganization of Europe and also promised to enforce the economic blockade
      4. Napoleon saw himself as the emperor of Europe (“Great Empire”), which was consisted of three parts, the expanding France as the core, a number of dependent satellites and allies that were expected to support Napoleon’s continental system after 1806, and the independent but allied states of Austria, Prussia, and Russia
      5. In the areas incorporated into France and in the satellites, Napoleon introduced many French laws, abolished feudal dues and serfdom, and put the prosperity and special interest of France first in order to safeguard his power base (conquering tyrant)
      6. The first great revolt occurred in Spain where in 1808 a coalition of Catholics, monarchists, and patriots rebelled against attempts to make Spain a French satellite
      7. In 1810, Britain remained at war with France, helping the guerrillas in Spain and Portugal, the economic blockage was a failure creating hard times for French artisans and middle class, and Napoleon turned on Alexander I of Russia (scapegoat)
      8. Napoleon’s invasion of Russia began in June 1812 with a force that had 600,000 and although planning to winter in the Russian city of Smolensk, Napoleon pressed on a
        1. Defeated the Russians at the battle of Borodino, but Alexander ordered the evacuation of Moscow, which then burned, and Alexander refused to negotiate
        2. After five weeks in the burned-out city, Napoleon ordered a retreat, one of the great military disasters in history; the Russian army and Russian winter cut Napoleon’s army to pieces and only 30,000 men returned to their homelands
      9. Prince Klemens von Metternich, offered the proposal that France get reduced to its historical size but Austria and Prussia joined Russia and Great Britain in the fourth Coalition and was cemented by the Treaty of Chaumont, intended to last twenty years
      10. On April 4, 1814, Napoleon abdicated his throne and granted him the island of Elba off the coast of Italy as his own state and allowed him to keep his imperial title
      11. The allies agreed to the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty and the new monarch, Louis XVIII tried to consolidate that support by issuing the Constitutional Charter, which accepted many of France’s revolutionary changes and guaranteed civil liberties
      12. A constitutional monarchy established in 1791 allowed few people to vote for repre-sentatives to the resurrected Chamber of Deputies and was treated leniently by allies\
      13. Louis XVIII lacked the glory and magic of Napoleon and hearing of political unrest in France, Napoleon stage an escape from Elba in February 1815, used appeals for support and French officers and soldiers who had fought for him responded but the allies were united against him at the tend of a period known as the Hundred Days, the Duke of Wellington crushed Napoleon at Waterloo on June 18, 1815
      14. Napoleon was imprisoned on the island of St. Helena and Louis XVIII returned “in the baggage of the allies” but now the allies now dealt more harshly with the apparently incorrigible French (Napoleon wrote memoirs and an era had ended)

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Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Chapter 21: The Revolution in Politics (1775-1815)" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 29 Dec. 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2018. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/european-history/outlines/chapter-21-the-revolution-in-politics/>.

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