What was the original reason for the calling of the Estates General?

Solve the tax crisis (raise taxes on someone, modify feudal privilages)

What problems did the Estates General have?

What was the National Assembly (How did it form, why was it important?)

·         3rd estate breaks away from the E.G…after being locked out.  They start their own government where they have most of the power.  Somehow this totally works and the other estates join.

What are some other social problems that faced France prior to the French Revolution?

How did the following incidents affect the French Revolution:

·         The Storming of the Bastille

·         The Formation of the National Assembly

·         The Women’s March for Bread

·         The Creation of the New Constitution

o   Denied the government experienced politicians

o   Poor separation of powers made conflict between the King and the Assembly a crisis (Checks and Balances were too extreme)

o   King signs it, but hates it and tries to “show everyone it won’t work”

·         The Creation of political “clubs” like the Jacobins and the Mountain

o   Pulled the extremists together

o   Recruited unemployed people to go yell at the National Assembly, which made the government more radical

o   All the experienced politicians are running these, so they have “legitimacy”

o   Creates division and rivalry among the National Assembly

·         The Trial of the King

·         The Purge of the Girondans

o   Eliminates (with violence/death) the “moderate” voice in government.

o   Sign of radicalism, but also leads to more radicalism.

o   Solidifies the power of the Jacobins and Robespierre

o   Beginning of the Reign of Terror

What was the Reign of Terror?  Who was involved?

What are some reasons that France (both under the Constitutional Monarchy, Revolutionary Governments, and Napoleon) declared war on their neighbors?

How did the French Revolution change the world?  Think about the following:

·         The Relationship of Government to People        

·         Ideas of Citizenship        

·         Government and Religion
Overseas Colonization                  

·         Science and Rational Thought

What was France like during each of the following governments:

·         The Ancien Regime

o   Absolute Monarchy

o   Feudal Estates (Clergy, Aristocracy, Commoners)

o   Powerful Church (Roman Catholic)

o   Richest Country in Europe…hugely in debt

·         The National Assembly

o   Estates abolished (No more classes or Nobility)

o   Clergy is nationalized (taken over by the government)

o   Limited democracy

o   Richest Country in Europe…hugely in debt, but it needs to pretend it isn’t.

o   More rights for people (Commoners)

·         The Constitutional Monarchy

o   As above, but with tremendous conflict between the King and the Assembly, leading to his death.

o   Political clubs wield disproportionate power.

o   Political division will lead to executions, treason accusations

·         The Committee of Public Safety

o   Reign of Terror

·         The Directory

o   Inefficient

o   Corrupt

o   Not very murderous

·         The Consulate (Napoleon)

o   What is the Consulate?  “It’s Napoleon”

o   Napoleon as 1st Consul rules as a dictator, when he is in the country.

o   Napoleon rules with two other “consuls,”

·         The Empire (Napoleon)

o   Napoleon just goes ahead and names himself Emperor

o   Theoretically has more power, realistically, has the same.

o   Reinstates the Catholic Church

o   Period of false economic prosperity based on looting.

How did the French Revolution demonstrate both the strengths and weaknesses of democracy?


·         Able to run the country with a democratic government

·         Regular people get more rights, and more say in the government


·         General Will leads to “Mob-ocracy” or rule with the support of large groups of people that make demands which must be met. (Bribe the people to let you be in charge.)

·         People claim that the “will of the people” demands the death of those who do not agree with the government (no minority party rights/loyal opposition)

·         Failure of many forms of democratic government.

·         Sometimes nothing gets done

How did the French Revolution “Eat its own”?

·         The French Revolution moves in a more radical direction until the end of the Reign of Terror

o   Anyone “less” radical than the people in charge was an “enemy”

o   People got noticed/promoted by being extreme

o   This means anyone who achieved their goals, might become an enemy, especially early heroes