Chapter 19 Outline
1. The Old Regime
a. Under the ancien regime, everyone in France belonged to one of three classes: the First Estate, made up of the clergy;
the Second Estate, made up of the nobility; or the Third Estate, the vast majority of the population.
b. Members of the third estate were the middle class and the peasants; they could not get jobs as good as or better than the
c. The third estate began questioning the old regime and wanted new laws to better their lives.
2. A Financial Crisis
a. King Henry XIV left France in a financial crisis from the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution.
b. The government would have increased taxes and reduce expenses but the nobles and the clergy strongly opposed the new ideas
c. French Kings had not summoned the Estates of General for 175 years, fearing that nobles would try to recover the feudal
power that they had almost lost under absolute monarchy.
3. The Kings Takes Actions
a. In 1788, Louis XVI finally summoned the Estates General to meet because of France’s poor being.
b. Louis had all the estates prepare cahiers, or note books, listing their grievances.
c. The third estate transformed into the National Assembly so the other two estates couldn’t outvote them.
4. Storming the Bastille
a. On July 14, the National Assembly met at Paris at the Versailles.
b. The Bastille was a prison used to hold political and other prisoners.
c. The angry mob stormed the Bastille, and quickly become known as a symbol of the French Revolution.
5. Revolts in Paris and the Provinces
a. The political crisis of 1789 was punctuated by the worst famine in French memory.
b. The Great Fear were rumors of marauders attacking villages and towns and government troops were seizing peasant crops.
c. A more radical group, the Paris Commune replaced the royalist government.
6. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
a. On August 4, the National Assembly voted to end their privileges; they gave up their old manorial dues, their exclusive
hunting rights, their special legal status, and their exemption from taxation.
b. The Declaration of the Rights of Man was made and modeled after the American Constitution.
c. Uncertain and hesitant, Louis XVI was slow to accept the reforms of the National Assembly.
7. Women March on Versailles
a. France fell into a depression stage and angry mobs rebelling against the government were not a new sight in France.
b. At the palace of Versailles, the mob’s anger was directed at the queen, Marie Antoinette.
c. Women led the crowed to Paris during the engagement with the government.
8. A Time of Reform
a. The National Assembly soon followed the king to Paris; they mostly worked on a new constitution.
b. To pay off the huge government debt-much of it owed to the bourgeoisie- the Assembly voted to take over and Church land.
c. The Constitution of 1791 set up a limited monarchy, a new legislative assembly, and voting rights to males.
9. Reaction outside France
a. The French Revolution was very controversial among the European counties.
b. The Enlightened thinkers supported the revolution; and other European rulers and nobles denounced it.
c. The King of Prussia was willing to intervene if the French did not keep its monarchy.
10. War at home and aboard
a. In Paris and other cities, working class men and women, called sans-culottes, pushed the revolution into more radical action.
b. The Sans-culottes demanded a republic and a guaranteed living wage.
c. The legislative assembly declared war on Austria, Prussia, and the British; the war lasted from 1792 to 1815.
11. Downfall of the Monarchy
a. Battle disasters inflamed revolutionaries who thought the king was in league with the invaders.
b. The radicals took control of the Assembly, and called for the election of new legislative body, the National Convention.
c. The Convention put King Louis XVI on trail as a traitor to France; the king was convicted by a single vote and sentenced
12. The Convention under Siege
a. France was at war with much of Europe, including Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, and Prussia.
b. To deal with the threats to France, the Convention created the Committee of Public Safety; it was 12 people with almost
c. The Committee of Public Safety held a Reign of Terror, killing the rebels against the Republic, including peasants and
middle class men.
13. Reaction and the Directory
a. The French Republic set up a third constitution since 1789.
b. The Constitution of 1795 set up a five man Directory and a two-house legislature elected by male citizens of property.
c. The Directory was a dictatorship with held power from 1795 to 1799, they had ask Napoleon Bonaparte to held but he was
able to take over as Emperor.
14. Women in the Revolution
a. Working class women demonstrated and fought in street battles.
b. Many women were disappointed when the Declaration of the Rights of Man did not grant equal citizenship to women.
c. In 1793, a committee of the National Convention declared that women did not have “the moral and physical strength
necessary to practice political rights.”
15. Changes in Daily Life
a. By 1799, the 10-year old French Revolution had dramatically changed France.
b. New symbols such as the red “liberty caps” and the tricolor confirmed the liberty and equality of all male
c. The revolution and war gave people a strong sense of nationalism.
16. The Man from Corsica
a. Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the French-ruled island of Corsica in the Mediterranean.
b. He became a successful lieutenant at a young age during the turmoil of the revolution.
c. Two years after he took the title First Consul, Napoleon had accumulated enough power into his hands to take the title
Emperor of the French.
17. France under Napoleon
a. During the consulate and empire, Napoleon consolidated power, strengthening the central government.
b. To restore prosperity, Napoleon modernized finance by regulating the economy to control prices, encouraged new industry,
and built roads and canals.
c. Napoleonic Code embodied Enlightenment principles such as the equality of all citizens before the law, religious toleration,
and advancement based on merits.
18. Subduing an Empire
a. From 1804 to 1814, Napoleon was able to suppress the other European powers.
b. Napoleon redrew the map of Europe; he annexed some areas of France including the Netherlands and Belgium.
c. Napoleon’s Continental System failed to bring Britain to its knee, although he was able to make a blockade along
19. Challenges to Napoleon’s Empire
a. Under Napoleon, French armies spread the ideas of the revolution across Europe.
b. In 1808m Napoleon replaced the king of Spain with his own brother, Joseph.
c. Napoleon’s army could not take control of Russia during the cold harsh winter, and only 100,000 troops out of 600,000
survived the tour of Russia.
20. Downfall of Napoleon
a. The disaster in Russia brought a new alliance of Russia, Britain, Austria, and Prussia against a weakened France.
b. Napoleon was abdicated from power and the victors exiled him to Elba, an island in the Mediterranean.
c. Napoleon died in 1812, but his legend lived on in France and around the world.
21. The Congress of Vienna
a. After Waterloo, diplomats and heads of state again sat down at the Congress of Vienna.
b. The Congress met for 10 months, from September 1814 to June 1815.
c. The chief goal of the Vienna decision makers was to create a lasting peace by establishing a balance of power and protecting
the system of monarchy.
22. The Vienna Settlement
a. The diplomats at Vienna redrew the map of Europe; they ringed France with strong countries.
b. To turn back the clock to 1792, the architects of the peace promoted the principle of legitimacy, restoring hereditary
monarchy that the French Revolution or Napoleon had unseated.
c. The Vienna statesmen achieved their immediate goals.