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The French Revolution: Was
it Successful?
Figure 1: You Should Hope this Game Will Be Over Soon (political cartoon)
Figure 2: The Three Estates in Prerevolutionary France (graph)
Document A: Declaration of the Rights of Man
Document B: Timeline of the Reign of Terror
Document C: The Outside and Inside Threats (map)
Document D: Letter from the Vendée
Document E: The Committee of Public Safety
Document F: The Guillotine (image)
Document G: Robespierre, “Report of the Principal of Public Morality”
Document H: Timeline of Events, French Government
Figure 1
Source: Political cartoon from 1788, artist unknown.
(2nd )
You Should Hope this Game Will be Over Soon.
Document Analysis:
1) This political cartoon depicts the three main social classes (or “Estates”) in pre-revolutionary
France. According to the image, who is included in each Estate? How do you know? (What
symbols provide clues to their identity?)
3rd - The People, 2nd - Nobility, 1st - Clergy
2) Why is the one figure carrying the others? What might this represent?
Because it is a representation of how the other 2 estates are only in check because of the
people and you can’t have them without the people
3) Based on the title of the cartoon, You Should Hope this Game Will Be Over Soon, which group
was the intended audience? Explain.
The People
Figure 2:
Source: Graph, Agate Publishing, 2015.
The Three Estates in Prerevolutionary France
First Estate: CLERGY
Third Estate:
Second Estate: NOBILITY
Church leaders.
Head of the Catholic
Church acted as advisor to
the King.
Those with hereditary titles
granted by King. - Held
leadership positions in the
government, church, army,
and courts.
Mostly wealthy.
Middle class with some
property, wealth and
Skilled laborers/artisans. Lower class: laborers and
peasant farmers; mostly
Document Analysis:
1) Based on the data shown, what inequalities existed in France prior to the revolution?
The taxation of the Commoners
2) Based on the data, which “Estate” would be most likely to support a revolution? Explain.
The commoners. They are the people and are being taxed relentlessly
3) Which “Estate(s)” would be most likely to resist a revolution? Explain.
The Nobility. They are the ones enforcing everything and are basically the government
7. Define new terms, events, or individuals on the list that appears on the last page of this
The National Assembly
The protection of natural rights
Article 9
Absolute Monarchy
The attempted fleeing of France
12 / A year
Public Security cracks down on rebels, Executions rise,
Suspects passed which limited rights of the accused
Suspects passed the which limited rights of the accused, Executions rise, Public Safety cracks down on
rebels, Churches are closed
5. How might this document be used to prove that the French Revolution was or was not a
success? It was able to show how many tragedies occurred during the time, it kept track
of everything
Document C
An 80,000 man army showed up made of Austrians and Prussians
People who betrayed France and sided with their foreign enemies
A counter-revolution made up of the people, priests, and other special people
Because of because of the amount of danger and death was in it
5. How might this document be used to prove that the French Revolution was or was not a success?
It shows how bad of a place France was in and it would show the counter-revolution to
4. What evidence in the text helps you to measure the size of the revolt? Explain.
5. How might this document be used to prove that the French Revolution was or was not a success?
5. How might this document be used to prove that the French Revolution was or was not a
5. In your opinion, was Robespierre right in his use of violence to achieve the goals of the
revolution? Why/why not?
Document H
Source: Timeline compiled from various sources.
Timeline of Changes in the French Government
1789 First Republic is established at the start of the French Revolution.
1791 Constitution written but disliked by the radical revolutionaries.
1792 New Constitution written; criticized by the revolutionaries.
1795 New Constitution written that set up a Directory consisting of 500 members with
five members being appointed as Directors.
1799 Using rumors of an impending uprising as an excuse, Napoleon Bonaparte
uses the military to overthrow the government.*
1800 New Constitution replaces Directory with three-member Consulate, led by
Napoleon Bonaparte as First Consul. Uses his power to reform the economy,
legal system, and education. Forbids hereditary privileges, reinstates Catholic
Church as state religion; negotiates peace with European powers.
1802 Napoleon elected First Consul for life. Within a year he begins a military
conquest that brings most of Europe under his control.
1804 Napoleon declared himself to be Emperor of France.
1812 Disastrous invasion of Russia signals beginning of the end of French domination
of Europe.
1814 Napoleon defeated by a coalition of European forces in 1814, is removed from
office and sent into exile. Louis XVIII made the King of France.
1815 Napoleon gathers an army and tries to regain power before being defeated by a
coalition of forces at the battle of Waterloo; is sent into exile again. New political
boundaries drawn for France and the rest of Europe.
1824 Louis XVIII died in 1824 and was succeeded by Charles X.
1830 France has a second revolution. Charles X flees from France. The Duke of
Lance, known as King Phillips, is elected by the people as a constitutional
monarch. A parliamentary system was set up in France.
1848 Third revolution directed against the monarchy took place. King Phillips ousted.
A new Republican Constitution with a presidential system of government on the
model of the American system is adopted. Louis Napoleon, a nephew of
Napoleon Bonaparte, elected as the first President of the Second Republic.
1851 Louis Napoleon seizes power using the military just before presidential election.
1852 Louis Napoleon proclaims himself king of France.
1870 Civil war erupts following defeat by Germany. Rule of Louis Napoleon ends.
1875 New constitution adopted; became known as the Constitution of the Third
Republic. Established a parliamentary form of government.
1940 A new (occupied) government was established after the defeat of France by
Germany. Remained in effect until the defeat of Adolf Hitler in 1945
1946 New constitution was written after the end of WWII. It set up a Republic.
1958 Constitution rewritten. Established what is known as the Fifth Republic. Set up a
government modeled after the American system. It is still in use today.
*Considered the end of the French Revolution
Document H: Timeline of Changes in the French Government Document
1. Describe the changes that occurred in the French Government between 1789 and 1799:
2. The time period between 1799 and 1815 is known as the “Napoleonic Era”. Summarize the events
of that time period.
3. Describe the changes that occurred in the French Government between 1815 and present times.
4. How might this document be used to prove that the French Revolution was or was not a success?
French Revolution: Key people, events, and terms
Absolute monarchClergy- CommonersConservativeCounterrevolutionariesDeclaration of the Rights of ManEmigres- Estates
GeneralFraternityGuillotine- King Louis
XVI- Maximilien
RobespierreNapoleon BonaparteNational AssemblyNobility- RadicalReign of TerrorThree EstatesFirst Estate- Second
EstateThird EstateVendee Region-