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French Revolution
Take Home Notes
7-3.1 France Vocabulary
1. pgHuman
2. American patriots
3. Tyranny (not in bold, on pg 163)
4. Estates
5. Aristocracy
6. Bourgeoisie
7. Estates General
8. National assembly
9. Declaration of Rights of Man and of Citizen (not in bold, on pg 165)
10. Radical
11. Reign of Terror
12. Directory (not in bold, on pg 168)
13. Coup d’etat
14. Napoleonic Code
7-3.1 Causes of French Revolution
1. Social Division
• France was divided into 3 estates
1st estate: Catholic Clergy (.5% of population)
2nd estate: Nobles (1.5 % of population)
3rd estate: Commoners (98 % of population)lawyers,
merchants, peasants etc.
• The 3rd estate paid all of the taxes. They had the least money and
they were underrepresented in govt
2. Debt from the Monarch
• King Louis XVI was not a good leader
• Caused debts by helping with the American
• Spent lots of money on the Palace of
• Charged very high taxes and the banks
refused to loan him money
3. Enlightenment Ideas
• French citizens wanted an equal distribution of power
in govt
• They saw the American colonists get a new govt so
they wanted one too
• They wanted popular sovereignty
7-3.1 Leading to Revolution
• Louis XVI called a meeting of the Estates General
(legislative group) and requested more taxes
• The 3rd estate requested that each male citizens vote be
counted instead of one vote per estate
• Their request was denied, they seceded and formed the
National Assembly
• 3rd estate met on the king’s tennis courts and wrote a new
constitution called the Tennis Court Oath, it called for
representative govt.
• July 14, 1789 peasants stormed the Bastille, a large
• Peasants stole weapons and tore the prison down as a
symbol of Louis’ power
• When the Bastille was torn down the French
Revolution officially began
• Riots began throughout France and peasants raided
the homes of nobles killing and looting because they
were so angry about the unfair estate system
7-3.1 Fall of French Monarch
• 1791 a constitutional monarchy was created to weaken
Louis’ power
• The Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen said that
govt got power from people, Louis didn’t want to accept
change and tried to run from France
• Louis was put in jail and radical changes began
• The National Convention took over as the legislature and
declared France a republic with universal male suffrage
• They created an army to protect the revolution from other
European monarchs
• Louis was put on trial and executed
Reign of Terror
• The National Convention
became a radical group
that wanted lots of change
and fast
• Maximilien Robespierre
became an influential
leader and ran the
Committee of Public Safety
in mid 1793
• Robespierre’s power increased and he became a dictator in
• With him began the Reign of Terror
• Violence grew, anyone who was seen as ‘an enemy of the
Revolution’ was executed (mostly nobles)
• 25,000-40,000 people were executed by the guillotine
• National Convention
members thought he was
too radical, they feared
• Robespierre was executed
in July of 1794
7-3.1 Rise of Napoleon
• After Robespierre was executed the revolution became
more conservative
• 1795-1799 France was ruled by 5 men known as the
Directory, they were not very effective leaders
• A general named Napoleon Bonaparte was becoming
popular in the French army
• Napoleon staged a coup d’etat and took over the
government becoming First Consul
• France had been unstable for 10 years, he had a lot of
problems to fix
• He did some good things:
• Ended government corruption
• Improved taxes
• National bank
• He wrote a uniform system
of laws, the Napoleonic
• In 1804 Napoleon crowned
himself emperor
• He expanded the empire of
France and by 1812 he
controlled most of Europe
7-3.2 Napoleon’s Fall from Power
• Napoleonic Wars
• He sent his armies to conquer
countries in Europe
• He took parts of Spain,
Portugal, modern day
Germany and Italy
• At its height his empire
stretched from the English
Channel to the West and
Russia to the East
• Napoleon was never able to take over Britain and Russia,
but he continued to try until his defeat
• Starting in 1812 Napoleon made 3 big mistakes
1. Blockade of Britain (Continental System-blocking
2. Peninsular War (battles with Spain)
3. Invasion of Russia (winter hit and France
couldn’t win)
• 1814- Napoleon surrendered his throne and was sent to
the Island of Elba
• He escaped and gathered allies to tried to regain power
• His final defeat was at Waterloo and he was exiled again