The French Revolution "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
What it Was:
- began in 1789
- overthrew the Bourbon monarchy
- created a republic
- ended with Napoleon's rise and the creation of his empire
- changes in ideology (the Enlightenment)
- social changes (population growth --> not enough food)
- First Estate and Second Estate were the clergy/nobles, who were small social class: most of the people were the Third Estate, or the day laborers.
- Sharp economic slump, that King Louis XVI tried to fix with unpopular tax reforms
- Third Estate formed a new assembly (National Assembly), made of non-noble property owners
- They wrote Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen --> advocated freedom of thought/equality for all
- They formed a strong parliament
- Stormed the Bastille (a prison), where they didn't free many but started the rev
- Eventually captured the king and queen -- Queen Marie Antoinette organized an escape for the royal family, but failed.
The Reign of Terror:
- Led by Robespierre and his Committee of Public Safety
- excessive use of the guillotine (including on King Louis)
- try to replace the church/religion with nationalism and Enlightenment reason
- Robespierre himself is eventually beheaded by the guillotine
The Final Phase:
- Napoleon Bonaparte takes charge, becomes emperor
- reduced parliament, limited freedome of expression
- powerful police system, universities to train bureaucrats, male equality, religious freedom
- Aggressive expansionism, gaining territory for France all through Europe
- Eventually stopped by Russia --> it was winter, in Russia... his soldiers could not survive.
- Congress of Vienna (1815) --> France not punished as long as European balance of power is restored.
- Revolutionary ideas spread across Europe inspiring other revolutions and demanding changes (and to other parts of the world, i.e. Latin America)
Now, this scrapes the bare minimum of the French Rev. This is all I gleaned from my notes, since I'm in a bit of a rush. There's a TON more stuff about this particular topic, and it's quite fascinating. I recommend at least googling it.
This is one of my favorite topics, actually. I don't know why, it's just all the... blood, and spirit, and how everyone really believed that killing the King and Queen would solve an economic/social crisis. I mean, America did something similar, in declaring their rights as equal to their "superiors", Britain, but America always struck me as less bloody, perhaps because it was a formal war.
I didn't really put how all this affected other places, but it did. It seriously screwed up Europe: part of the Congress of Vienna was going back and rearranging the borders of all the countries again, because France took so much. And it disturbed American politics, as well, and as I said, inspired a bunch of other revolutions in Europe. But this post is more on the Rev itself, on France in this time period. If you want more specifics, Google it.
Again, I have a historyteachers Youtube video. It'll give you a bit more specifics.
[I used my history notes from AP World History last year on this post. And a spot of info from a notebook I kept in elementary school, which I didn't remember until I flipped through it. Weird. Anyways, citing my sources and all that.]
What do you think of the French Revolution? Have a blessed day!