The French revolution and Napoleon summary and notes



The French revolution and Napoleon summary and notes


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The French revolution and Napoleon summary and notes




I.        Causes

A.     Background Causes:  The cumulative discontent with the Old Regime ("Ancien Regime")

1.      The inefficient, corrupt government of France

a.      France had an absolute monarchy with centralized, concentrated power based on the “divine right of kings”

b.      There was no means of redress for people unhappy with the government

i.        No representative assembly: The Estates General had not met since 1614

ii.      Legal system (Parlements) was controlled by the nobility, not trusted by the common people

iii.     No uniform code of laws existed; law was applied arbitrarily with respect to privilege

iv.     Middle class had no political input in spite of its growing economic importance

c.      Both the power and the ability to change were held by those with no interest in making change of any kind except to restore the power of the old nobility

2.      Social structure created two classes:  privileged and unprivileged

a.      The Estates system of social classes dated from the Middle Ages

b.      Less than 2% of France's 24 million people (1st and 2nd Estates) held these special privileges including exemption from taxation and special judicial treatment

c.      The Estates system did not correspond to the realities of the classes’ contribution to French society; it did not reflect either wealth or abilities

d.      Peasants still had many feudal obligations in addition to their tax burden

e.      Upper middle class carried an increasing portion of the tax burden because of its ability to pay but had no say in government practices

3.      French economy was worsening due to wars, mercantilist regulations, inflation, high government expenses and the lack of governmental incentives for individual growth

a.      Strong mercantilist regulations stifled the growth of business, trade, and banking in the name of support for the nation

b.      The wealthy Middle Class began to assert its economic power through financial institutions (banks and other lenders)

c.      The Middle Class wanted increased political power to reflect its new growing economic importance

d.      Inflation (1730‑1780) caused rising prices, but wages did not rising at the same rate.

e.      Government income depended on the poorest section of social structure, taxes paid by the Third Estate.

f.        The Third Estate's tax burden increased as government expenses increased and the economy worsened

4.      Spirit of the Enlightenment:  The intellectual movement working for reform in the 18th century inspired criticism and ideas for improvement.

a.      Criticism of the French governmental system and its practices was increasing.

b.      Belief in reform and progress came from the Enlightenment.

c.      Rising expectations of a better life now came from society at large.

d.      Ideas of Locke, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Smith and others were well known.

e.      France had one of the most literate populations in Europe.

B.     Immediate Cause:  Economic mismanagement and financial crisis

1.      French government was heavily in debt.

a.      Wars with the English and aid to the U.S. in the American Revolution were costly.

b.      Large French army and navy were expensive to maintain.

c.      Cost of maintaining the royal court at Versailles in its accustomed style was huge.

2.      Sources of income were lessening due to the declining economy.

3.      Banks of Europe began to refuse loans to the French government due to its poor credit.

4.      French middle class wanted political power

a.      Middle class already gave strongest economic support to the government

b.      Middle class wanted fewer of the restrictions of mercantilism

c.      French banks began to restrict the credit of the government.

C.     The Solution:  Either increase taxes or find some new group to tax.

1.      Since the Third Estate was already over burdened, this suggested taxing the First and Second Estates.

2.      Several finance ministers were dismissed for suggesting such reforms.

3.      The nobility opposed any taxes on their class or any change in their privileged status.

4.      King Louis XVI tried to impose taxation and tax reform by decree feeling this would bring him popular support.

5.      Parlements blocked any change in the tax structure saying that only the Estates General could make such changes.

a.      Louis dismissed the Parlements.

b.      People rioted against Louis’ actions because of the absolutism of his actions.

c.      People had become opposed to law by decree even though the Parlements typically defended the rights of the nobility.

5.      Assembly of Notables was called in 1787 by Louis XVI.

a.      Louis XVI hoped the Assembly of Notables would either adopt a new tax program or remove the restrictions on the taxing of the First and Second Estates.

b.      The Assembly concluded that only the Estates General could make such a change.

c.      Nobility obviously felt that a return to rule by the Estates General (its last meeting was in 1614) would mean a return to medieval ways and their medieval dominance.

d.      Medieval ways:  First and Second Estates would combine against the Third Estate

i.        The nobility hoped to reclaim more of its lost power.

ii.      The absolute monarchy under Richelieu and Louis XIV had centralized power.

e.      The Middle class also hoped to use the Estates General to change the system and increase its own political power.

f.        The Lower class hoped to be relieved of the obligations of feudalism.

g.      Each group favored a meeting of the Estates General but for different, clashing ends.

6.      Louis XVI called a meeting of the Estates General for May, 1789 to deal with the crisis.

a.      The Third Estate objected to the method of representation:  300 from each estate but with voting by order.

b.      Louis XVI increased the representation of Third Estate to 600 (equal to the number of the First and Second Estates combined) but insisted on voting by order

c.      Old voting system, voting by order, still allowed each Estate only one vote

d.      Third Estate demanded a single assembly with each representative having one vote, voting by head.

D.     The Catalyst to Revolution:  Poor harvest of 1788 and severe winter of 1788‑89

1.      Poor harvest lowered the income of peasant farmers and raised the price of food.

2.      Unemployment and inflation were worsening for city workers; prices were rising at double the rate of rising wages.

3.      Landowning nobility wanted to collect on feudal obligations because of its declining income.

4.      Cost of bread rose dramatically for the urban working class; 90% of the wages of the urban working class was spent on bread as food by 1789.

5.      Storming of the Bastille actually came on the very day, July 14, 1789, when the price of bread peaked in Paris.

II.      Meeting of the Estates General, Spring 1789

A.     Convened May 5, 1789 with delegates bringing cahiers d'oleances, notebooks of grievances

1.      Most complaints and calls for reform of the government came from the Third Estate

2.      Some members of the Second Estate (enlightened nobles) and several members of First Estate (priests) sided with the Third Estate in calls for reform.

B.     After six weeks arguing over voting methods (voting by order vs. voting by head), the Third Estate declared itself to be the National Assembly, June 13, 1789.

1.      Louis XVI ordered Estates General disbanded and used the army to close its meeting hall.

2.      Third Estate went instead to an unused indoor tennis court met and swore the "Tennis Court Oath": the vow to not disband until a constitution was written, June 20, 1789

3.      Many First and Second Estate members joined the National Assembly.

4.      Louis recognized the National Assembly but also recalled the army from the frontiers and ordered it to surround Versailles.

5.      This was the first revolutionary act although it was by a small group and lacked popular support

III.     Revolution of the people

A.     Uprising in the city of Paris:  the Storming of the Bastille, July 14, 1789

1.      Anger due to food shortages, high prices, the fear of military repression and royal reprisals continually mounted.

2.      Louis XVI dismissed his Finance Minister Jacques Necker who favored tax reform on July 11.

3.      City workers and tradesmen armed themselves

4.      Bastille prison was stormed July 14, 1789 in a search for arms and ammunition.

5.      New city government for Paris was installed.

a.      Jean Bailly was chosen mayor; Marquis de Lafayette was named head of the National Guard to stop property destruction.

b.      Revolutionary tri‑color (red, white, and blue) was adopted as the emblem:  red and blue were the colors of Paris; white was the color of the king.

6.      Louis XVI went into the city of Paris declaring his sympathy for the people.

7.      Necker was reinstated as finance minister by Louis XVI.

B.     “The Great Fear”

1.      Rumors spread of a coming famine.

2.      Military forces called in from the borders began massing outside Paris.

3.      July‑August 1789, peasants in the countryside attacked manor houses, destroyed records, killed estate managers.

4.      Actions actually resemble peasant revolts of the Middle Ages.

IV.   Early actions under the National Assembly, 1789-90

A.     Feudalism and all privileges of the nobility were abolished, August 4, 1789

B.     Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, August 27, 1789

1.      Embodied the ideals of the early revolution, especially those of the middle class

2.      Proclaimed all men "born and remain free and equal in rights"

3.      “Natural rights” mentioned include "liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression"

4.      Provided for freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly and right to petition government, and freedom from arbitrary arrest and imprisonment

5.      Guaranteed due process of law and recognized the sovereignty of the people

6.      Showed the strong influence of the Enlightenment and the philosophes, especially Rousseau

C.     Women's march on Versailles, October 5‑6, 1789

1.      Mob from Paris led by working class women angry over food prices marched to Versailles.

a.      The royal family still lived at Versailles considered removed from Paris.

b.      Crowd demanded to see “the baker, the baker’s wife, and the baker’s son” (Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the dauphin, Prince Louis) for relief from the high prices

2.      King Louis XVI and his family were moved into Paris to the Tuilleries Palace.

3.      National Assembly also moved its meetings to Paris.

4.      From this point, the city of Paris had great influence on the Revolution.

D.     Secularization of religion

1.      Church property was confiscated, November 1789, to pay off the national debt

2.      The sale of the Church lands was used to back new money, assignats

3.      Civil Constitution of the Clergy, July 12, 1790

a.      Created a French national church under the control of the French government

b.      Church officers would be democratically elected by the people, and the salaries would be paid by the government.

c.      Became the most controversial action taken in the early Revolution

i.        It polarized the people over the question of religion and the state

ii.      It divided the clergy over its loyalty to France or the Church

E.     Government organizational reform:  France was divided into 83 departments for administration replacing the old system of provinces for administration and justice, the system still in use in modern France

F.     Forming of political clubs in Paris

1.      Composed primarily of business and professional men

2.      No political parties existed in France prior to the Revolution

3.      Jacobin Club (the largest and most influential)

a.      Originally held relatively moderate views consistent with the Enlightenment

b.      Gradually became very radical demanding the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic

c.      Produced the most radical leaders such as Maximilien Robespierre

d.      Jacobins split into two factions after the Republic was formed, 1792

i.        "The Mountain", the most radical faction, was joined by radicals from the Cordeliers, and was composed mostly of middle class professionals mostly lawyers

ii.      Girondists, the moderate faction, came mostly from the provinces

2.      Cordeliers

a.      Radicals who favored the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of republican government

b.      Combined with the Jacobins during the early republic

c.      Leaders: Georges‑Jacques Danton, Camille Desmoulins, Jean‑Paul Marat

3.      Feuillants

a.      Moderate‑conservatives that favored a limited constitutional monarchy

b.      Suppressed by the Jacobins after the abolition of the monarchy

G.    “The Flight to Varennes”, June 20, 1791

1.      Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and their children attempted to flee France by carriage.

2.      They were caught at Varennes, less than 25 miles from the border with the Austrian Netherlands.

3.      The royal family was brought back to Paris under guard.

4.      They remained under virtual house arrest for the remainder of their lives.

5.      This was the major action bringing suspicion upon Louis XVI as an opponent of the Revolution

H.     Prussia and Austria issued the joint Declaration of Pillnitz, August 1791

1.      Condemned the Revolution

2.      Declared it their goal to restore the French monarchy to power

I.        Constitution of 1791 established a constitutionally limited monarchy

1.      Louis XVI accepted the Constitution in September 1791: The “Flight to Varennes” and the Declaration of Pillnitz had already damaged the prestige and support for the monarchy.

2.      Supreme governmental power was vested in a one house legislature.

3.      Separation of powers made the King and his ministers the executive branch but the power was limited by the legislature not equal to it.

4.      King had the power to temporarily suspend law, not block it.

5.      Local governments were not forced to follow national law.

6.      Voting was limited by the amount of taxes paid; only about half of the male citizens of France had the right to vote

a.      Voters elected members of an electoral college that elected the legislature

b.      Membership in the electoral college was further limited by a wealth requirement

J. Laissez faire economy was adopted. – Unfortunately it lowered revenue for government.

K. National debt problem was aggravated by the falling national revenue.

1.      Government began to confiscate the property of the Church and the émigrés.

2.      Middle class and the upper class feared the loss of their private property due to mob rule.

3.      International business feared the climate of uncertainty in France.

L.      Success of the Revolution was threatened

1.      Confidence in the monarchy declined as the government was undermined.

a.      Louis XVI was now seen as the chief counter-revolutionary.

b.      Marie Antoinette, as the sister of the Emperor of Austria, was seen as a foreign agent.

2.      French aristocrats resented the loss of power and prestige.

a.      Many aristocrats plotted to overthrow the revolutionary government.

b.      Many fled to Austria putting pressure on Marie Antoinette’s brother to intervene.

3.      Peasant uprising in Vendée supported the Church and the Clergy.

4.      Workers of Paris still wanted relief from high prices and inflation.

5.      Major foreign powers saw the French Revolution as a threat to their own political order.

6.      Radicals in the Legislative Assembly supported more rapid change, many favored republican government instead of the constitutional monarchy.

V.     International Relations

A.     Emigrés, the old aristocracy, left France

1.      The largest group went to Austria

2.      In the homeland of Marie Antoinette, they put pressure on the Austrian government to intervene

3.      Many had diplomatic connections to the aristocracy that ruled most of Europe

B.     The Pope condemned the Civil Constitution of Clergy and the Revolution, February 1791

C.     Louis XVI's attempt to escape France put the monarch and the royal family under virtual house arrest in the Tuileries Palace in Paris.

D.     Declaration of Pillnitz was issued by Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor (and brother of Marie Antoinette), and King Frederick William II of  Prussia

1.      Both rulers promised to intervene to protect the royal family and restore the monarchy if other major powers agreed

2.      The Declaration was actually meaningless because of the British position which did not oppose the Revolution at the time

3.      The Declaration was received in France as an international challenge to the Revolution.

E.     Legislative Assembly declared war on Austria and Prussia.

1.      Girondists believed that war would unify the nation, stop counterrevolutionary activities and bring the best revolutionary leadership to power.

2.      Louis XVI favored war to increase the power of the monarchy or, if France were defeated, to defeat the revolutionaries.

F.     Prussian and Austrian armies began an invasion of France.

G.    "Brunswick Manifesto"

1.      Issued by the Duke of Brunswick, commander of the Prussian army

2.      The Manifesto promised the destruction of Paris if the royal family were harmed

H.     War radicalized the Revolution and the fear of invasion led to the "Second Revolution"

VI.   Second Revolution

A.     New wave of fear swept people in early Summer 1792

1.      The army lost several battles and many high ranking army officers defected.

2.      Prussian and Austrian armies seemed unstoppable in their advance toward Paris.

3.      Distrust of King Louis XVI, Queen Marie Antoinette, and the fear of returning emigrés grew.

4.      Poverty and hunger in the cities, especially Paris, worsened.

B.     Paris mob and troops stormed the Legislative Assembly forcing the abrogation of the Constitution of 1791 (the constitutional monarchy):  the "Second Revolution", August 10, 1792.

1.      King Louis XVI was suspended from office and placed under arrest.

2.      Legislative Assembly, elected by universal manhood suffrage, replaced the National Convention.

3.      Paris Commune, a revolutionary government, was established in Paris.

C.     September Massacres

1.      Prisoners held in Paris jails were slaughtered by the citizens who were in panic due to the advancing Prussian army.

2.      People feared reprisals for the treatment of the royal family and other aristocrats.

3.      Approximately 1200 were killed without trials in a chaotic massacre, the greatest disorder of the entire Revolution.

VII.  National Convention met for the first time, September 20, 1792.

A.     Battle of Valmy, fought the same day the Convention first met, defeated the Prussian army and stopped its advance on Paris.

B.     Jacobin Club dominated the National Convention but split into 2 factions

1.      Girondins, mostly from the provinces, favored a federal system and moderate reform

2.      The Mountain, mostly from Paris, favored radical reform including a republic with a centralized government

C.     Execution of Louis XVI

1.      Girondins  tried to delay the King’s trial for treason.

2.      Louis XVI was tried and convicted by the National Convention; the vote:  361 to 360.

3.      Louis XVI was executed by guillotine, January 21, 1793.

4.      Girondins' defense of Louis caused a loss of their support and a suspicion of their goals.

D.     French army launched a military offensive annexing Nice, Savoy, Basel, and the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium).

E.     War was declared on France by the Netherlands, Prussia, Austria, and Britain, February 1, 1793:  "War of the First Coalition; lasting until the Treaty of Campo Formio, Oct. 17, 1797

F.     Losses by the French army in Belgium caused a fear of invasion from radicals called "enragés"

1.      Enragés invaded the Convention and forced the arrest of the Girondin leaders, May 31, 1793.

2.      “The Mountain” gained control of the National Convention.

3.      Girondins who did not flee Paris were sent to the guillotine.

G.    Problems faced by the National Convention, June 1793

1.      France was threatened by a foreign invasion

2.      Peasants were rebelling against military conscription

3.      Cities refused to follow the centralization of the Parisian-controlled National Convention

4.      Catholics rebelled in support of the clergy

5.      Anarchy prevailed in the countryside where roving groups looted at will

6.      Economy was still worsening especially among Parisian workers

H.     National Convention, dominated by The Mountain, attempted a program to win the war, restore order, and create democratic government.

1.      National Convention established the Committee of Public Safety.

a.      12‑man committee with absolute power to meet the crisis

b.      Members were democratically elected monthly by the National Convention.

c.      Dominant member of the Committee:  Maximilien Robespierre, Parisian lawyer

2.      Established the Committee of General Security supervising police, arresting anyone suspect of opposing the revolution

3.      Established Revolutionary Tribunal: revolutionary courts that carried out the "Reign of Terror" meant to eliminate all opponents of Revolution

a.      Executed 20,000‑40,000 between June, 1793 and July, 1794

b.      2,639 documented executions in Paris

c.      Queen Marie Antoinette executed October 16, 1793

d.      Most affected groups:  the clergy, Girondins and other political dissidents, protesting laborers, aristocrats, Catholics of the Vendée, royalists

e.      Committee crushed Hebertists (extreme radicals who opposed merchants and the bourgeoisie); leaders executed by Spring 1794

f.        Destroyed the radical Paris Commune:  It never regained the support of the workers and it lost the support of the radicals in the Convention

g.      Executed the followers of Danton losing the support of the conservatives in National Convention

4.      Lazare Carnot, Minister of War, reorganized the French army

a.      Convention passed levée en masse, conscripting all able‑bodied men

b.      By Spring 1794, France had an 800,000 man army, the largest in Europe, dedicated to defending France, French interests, and winning the Revolution

c.      Committee of Public Safety crushed provincial and urban revolts ruthlessly

5. Committee imposed economic controls on wages and prices

I.        Constitution of 1793 established the Republic (France’s “First Republic”)

1.      1793 was declared as the “Year I” under the new republican government.

2.      Universal manhood suffrage was to be the basis for the new rule.

3.      The Constitution never took effect because of the war emergency.

J.      Committee abolished slavery in France and its colonies

K.     Committee established schools for boys; schools lacked money and teachers so they were never implemented

L.      Success of the Committee actually brought its demise

1.      Reorganized French armies drove out invading armies and captured the Low Countries;  Austrians and Prussians were distracted as they were involved with the partition of Poland

2.      Execution of Hebertists and Dantonists caused a growing fear of Robespierre and his followers in the Convention

3.      Abolition of the Paris Commune and the dropping of wage and price controls angered workers and shopkeepers in Paris

M.    Thermidorean Reaction (called "The White Terror" in the provinces) ended the rule of the Committee of Public Safety and the Reign of Terror

1.      The Convention ordered the arrest of Robespierre and his associates on July 27, 1794; they were executed July 28, 1794

2.      The Revolution began a shift to more conservative policies

a.      The effort was now on economic stability for the property-owning middle class

b.      The Convention removed controls on wages and prices

c.      Inflation returned

3.      May 1795, Parisian mob of workers threatened the Convention now the under control of the middle class demanding the return of order and stability

4.      The Middle class favored some gains of the Revolution, such as equality and republican government with a written constitution, but feared democracy since it lead to mob rule

5.      National Convention produced the Constitution of 1795 (Constitution of the Year III)

VIII. The Directory (Le Directoire):  This name identified with the French government, 1795-1799

A.     Conservative constitution (Constitution of the Year III) returned rule to the middle class

1.      Literate French men could vote but only for "electors" who voted for the Council of 500 and the Council of Ancients

2.      Electors had to be property owners; political power was returned to property‑owning class

3.      The two legislative bodies chose the Directory, the 5‑man group with executive power.

B.     Constitution of 1795 annexed Belgium

1.      Other European nations, especially Britain and Austria, opposed the annexation of Belgium

2.      France was now committed to a pro-war policy to defend the annexation.

C.     The Directory had opposition on both the political right and political left

1.      The Right favored the restoration of the monarchy; many monarchists were in the army.

2.      City workers still favored more radical policies and a return to democratic rule.

3.      The “conspiracy of equals” was led by Babeuf in 1796.

a.      These radicals favored the abolition of all private property and parliamentary government

b.      The attempted coup was defeated by the military under the control of The Directory

c.      The government troops that defended The Directory were commanded by the young General Napoleon Bonaparte.

D.     War of the First Coalition continued as the Directory took power

1.      The Directory, like earlier governments of the Revolution, saw war against the other European powers as the best unifier for the French people

2.      Napoleon Bonaparte was sent to take over the under-supplied French army in Italy fighting the Austrians

3.      Napoleon was victorious and forced the Treaty of Campo Formio, 1797, ending the War of the First Coalition, gaining a victory for the Directory and making Napoleon the most popular man in France

a.      Cisalpine Republic (the Duchy of Milan and part of the Papal States in northern Italy) was established under French control

b.      Austrian Netherlands and most of the  west bank of the Rhine was ceded to France

c.      Austria received the republic of Venice as compensation; France received the Ionian islands

E.     Free elections were held in 1797 electing a majority that favored a constitutional monarchy

1.      Coup d'etat of Fructidor

a.   Republican Directors and legislators nullified the election results

b.   Two Directors many legislators who favored monarchy were dismissed

2.      Republican coup leaders were backed by the troops of Napoleon

3.      Coup left the Directory dependent upon the backing of Napoleon and the army loyal to him

F.     Napoleon invaded Egypt, under the rule of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, in an attempt to cut the British supply line to India

1.      The invasion caused the entry of Russia into the war because of the Russian desire to expand into the Middle East

2.      The Second Coalition was formed:  Britain, Russia, Austria, the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, and the Kingdom of Naples.

3.      British fleet under Lord Horatio Nelson defeated the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile preventing supplies from reaching Napoleon's army

4.      Napoleon was forced to abandon his French army in Egypt and return to France

G.    Coup d'etat of Brumaire, November, 1799, was led by Napoleon Bonaparte

1.      The Directory was criticized for its lack of dynamic leadership and corruption

2.      Property owners and other conservatives feared a coup from the left

3.      The only successes in rule of The Directory came from the army under Napoleon

4.      Napoleon with his army conspired with 2 of the Directors to oust the remaining 3 Directors and establish a new government: "The Consulate"

IX.    French Government under Napoleon, 1799-1815

A.     Background of Napoleon Bonaparte

1.      Born 1770 on the island of Corsica; Corsica was claimed by France from the Italian state of Genoa the year before Napoleon was born

2.      Schooled at the French military academy and entered the military as a career; rank limited by the status of his birth

3.      Wars of the French Revolution gave opportunities for young, ambitious military figures like Napoleon to rise rapidly

4.      Became general at 24 and became a hero in battle against the British for the port of Toulon

5.      The Directory adopted a war for unification policy in 1796 and sent Napoleon to command the troops in Italy fighting the Austrians

6.      Napoleon defended the republican Directors and republican legislators in the Coup d'etat of Fructidor

7.      Napoleon was sent by The Directory to take over the failing campaign in Italy

a.      Napoleon succeeded against an even greater Austrian force

b.      Napoleon drove the Austrians from Italy claiming the territory for France

8.      Napoleon emerged as the leader of the victorious army that was personally loyal to him

9.      Governments of the French Revolution had been unstable and/or corrupt; the Army under Napoleon was stable and successful

B.     The Consulate was established by the Constitution of the Year VIII, 1799

1.      The new constitution established an executive branch of 3 consuls with Napoleon as the First Consul, a virtual dictator

2.      Constitution provided universal manhood suffrage voting for the "notables" or "electors"

3.      Legislators were elected by electors under the control of Napoleon or appointed by Napoleon

4.      Tri-cameral legislature dealt with laws proposed by the Council of State presided over by Napoleon

a.      Tribunate debated laws but did not vote for them

b.      Legislative Corps voted for laws but did not debate

c.      Senate had the right to veto legislation

5.      First Consul appointed a prefect of police to run each of France's 83 departments; secret police helped to keep order

C.     Program of Napoleon

1.      Instituted a strong central government with administrative efficiency

a.      Prefect headed each of the 83 Departments and reported directly to Napoleon; this resulted in increased efficiency

b.      Political liberty and the freedom of expression were frequently curbed for order

2.      Financial reforms

a.      Corruption and waste were largely eliminated

b.      Tax collection was reorganized and centralized

c.      French currency and financial status were stabilized for the first time since the beginning of the Revolution

i.        Bank of France (the unofficial national bank) was created

ii.      Budget was balanced based largely on the value of captured territory

3.      Judicial reform:  The Napoleonic Code (Code Napoléon)

a.      Contained five law codes:  civil code, civil procedure code, code of criminal procedure, penal code, and commercial code

b.      All codes emphasized equality before the law without regard to class

c.      Protected private property; provided for contracts, leases, and business organizations including corporations

d.      Banned labor unions

e.      Recognized civil marriages and divorces giving the man preferential status

f.        Criminal code gave advantage to the government in detecting crime and the disadvantage to the accused in defense (“guilty until proven innocent”)

g.      Code Napoléon is still the basis of law in France, many Latin American countries and the state of Louisiana

h.      Little attention was paid to civil liberties and individual rights if they brought disorder

4.      Economic reforms were offered to stimulate the economy

a.      Land reform allowed peasants to keep all land seized from aristocrats during Revolution

b.      Employment increased; food prices dropped

5.      Religious unity was restored

a.      Peace with the Catholic Church was achieved through the Concordat of 180

i.        This settle the dispute existing since the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, 1790

ii.      Catholic Church was given special status as the religion of the majority of the French but not as the established church

iii.     French government (Napoleon) would nominate bishops to be invested by the Pope

iv.     Bishops would appoint all priests; the system of electing priests established by the Civil Constitution of the Clergy was ended

v.       Government supervised the organization of the Catholic Church

vi.     Papal states were returned to the Pope (as long as he supported Napoleon’s gains)

b.      Salaries of the clergy were paid by the French government

c.      Napoleonic Code guaranteed religious toleration

d.      Napoleon was not a Catholic but an atheist or a deist but he understood the need for religious peace within his empire

6.      Educational reform:  public education was established under state control

a.      Secondary schools established, the lycées, and professional and technical schools

b.      University of France, under government organization, supervised most education

D.     Napoleon was declared Consul for life and confirmed by a plebiscite, 1802

E.     The Empire, 1804-1814

1.      Napoleon was declared “Emperor of the French” by the Senate

2.      Declaration of the Empire was confirmed by a plebiscite

3.      Pope Pius VII came to Paris for the coronation

a.      Pius VII only assisted in the coronation; Napoleon crowned himself

b.      Josephine Beauharnais, his wife, was crowned Empress by Napoleon

F.     Evaluation of Napoleon's rule

1.      The highest goals of the Revolution for parliamentary government were not achieved

2.      Most of the French were satisfied by Napoleon's restoration of order and the resulting economic prosperity

3.      Napoleon’s loss of popularity came with the army's defeats beginning in 1812

X.      Wars of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars - Overview, 1792-1815

A.     General causes

1.      Revolution, its ideals, and the execution of Louis XVI threatened the established monarchies

2.      Emigrés agitated for intervention especially in Austria (Marie Antoinette was the sister of the Emperors Joseph II and Leopold II)

3.      Radicals felt that war would serve to unify the people behind the revolutionary government

4.      Republicans felt that war would bring down the monarchy and destroy monarchies across Europe

5.      Louis XVI felt that war would strengthen the monarchy and destroy the radicals

6.      Legislative Assembly annexed Avignon and Alsace without the consent of the Papacy and the German princes

B.     Beginning of war

1.      Declaration of Pillnitz:  Prussia and Austria declared their readiness to intervene to protect the royal family, August 27, 1791

2.      Austria and Prussia concluded an alliance, February 1792

3.      Legislative Assembly of France declared war on Austria, April 20, 1792

4.      French army was in disarray as a result of the Revolution

a.      Many experienced officers with aristocratic ties had fled France

b.      French government had the problem of establishing domestic order as well as fighting a war against invading enemies

C.     War of the First Coalition, 1792-1797

1.      Austrian and Prussian armies invaded France

a.      French armies were in retreat until the Battle of Valmy, September 1792

b.      Brunswick Declaration:  Duke of Brunswick, commander of the Prussian army, threatened to punish anyone who harmed the royal family

c.      Invasion by Prussia and Austria caused the "Second Revolution": the fall of the monarchy and the establishment of the First Republic, August-September, 1792

2.      Membership in the coalition grew after the execution of Louis XVI and the invasion of the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium) by France:  Austria and Prussia were joined by Great Britain, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Sardinia, Naples

3.      Lazare Carnot reorganized the French armies and the government issued the levée en masse conscripting all able-bodied men, 1793

4.      French victories

a.      French took the offensive, 1794-1795

b.      French armies conquered and occupied the United Netherlands, the Austrian Netherlands, the Rhineland, part of Spain, Switzerland, and Savoy

c.      Treaties of Basel, 1795, ended the war with Prussia and Spain

d.      French army under Napoleon invaded Italy, 1796, and defeated Austria and  Sardinia

5.      Napoleon dictated the terms of the Treaty of Campo Formio, October 1797

a.      War ended with all of the First Coalition except Great Britain

b.      Established the Cisalpine Republic composed of the Duchy of Milan and part of the Papal states under French domination

c.      Austrian Netherlands and the Ionian Islands were ceded to France; Austria was given the republic of Venice (Venetia)

d.      Most of the west bank of the Rhine was annexed by France

D.     War of the Second Coalition, 1798-1801

1.      Napoleon's army invaded Egypt

a.      Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire and governed by the Mamelukes, military leaders descendents of former slaves of the Turks

b.      Napoleon defeated the Mameluke army at the Battle of the Pyramids

c.      Control of Egypt threatened the interests of Russia and Britain

i.    The route to the British colony of India crossed Egypt at the Isthmus of Suez

ii.    Russia was increasing its power and becoming interested in the Middle East

2.      Russia allied with Britain and Austria to form the Second Coalition; joined later by Portugal, Naples, and the Ottoman Empire

3.      French fleet was defeated by the British fleet under Lord Horatio Nelson at the Battle of the Nile forcing Napoleon to abandon his army and return to France

4.      British occupied Malta; Russia invaded Switzerland and northern Italy

5.      Russia began to fear growing British power in the eastern Mediterranean more than they feared the French causing the break up of the Second Coalition

6.      Losses in Italy and the German states caused the fall of the Directory and the establishment of the Consulate, the dictatorship of Napoleon, 1799

7.      Napoleon defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Marengo in northern Italy and the Battle of Hohenlinden in Bavaria, 1800

8.      Austria signed the Treaty of Luneville dropping out of the war

9.      Britain and France signed the Treaty of Amiens, 1802, returning to France its conquered lands in Europe

E.     Colonial problems for France were caused by British naval power

1.      Louisiana was returned to France by Spain in 1802, then sold to the United States in 1803

2.      Haiti revolted beginning in 1791 and won its independence in 1804

F.     War of the Third Coalition, 1805-1807

1.      Britain began war again in 1803

2.      Austria and Russia joined with Britain in the Third Coalition in 1805

3.      Napoleon led French armies across Europe in a march of conquest

a.      Austrians were defeated at the Battle of Ulm, October 1805

b.      Combined Russian and Austrian armies were defeated at the Battle of Austerlitz, December 1805 (probably Napoleon’s greatest military victory)

4.      Treaty of Pressburg transferred Austrian lands in Italy to France as Austria dropped out of the war

5.      Napoleon created the Confederation of the Rhine from several conquered German states

6.      Holy Roman Empire dissolved, 1806; Holy Roman Emperor Francis II became Francis I, Emperor of Austria

7.      Prussia entered the war

a.      Napoleon defeated the Prussian army at the Battle of Jena, 1806

b.      Second French army defeated the Prussians at the Battle of Auerstaedt, 1806

8.      Russian army defeated at the Battle of Friedland, 1807

9.      Treaties of Tilsit brought the surrender of Prussia and Russia, 1807, and the end of the Third Coalition

a.      Napoleon's brothers were recognized as kings:  Joseph, King of Naples; Louis, King of Holland; Jerome, King of Westphalia

b.      Prussia lost territory to Saxony and the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, allies of Napoleon

c.      Russia promised support for France against Britain; in exchange, Russia was given a free hand against the Ottoman Empire to take Constantinople

10.  British fleet defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets under Lord Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, October 1805, preventing a threatened French invasion of the British Isles

a.      Loss prevented any attempted invasion of England since the British Navy controlled the English Channel

b.      Nelson was killed in the Battle of Trafalgar

11.  Continental System established by Napoleon

a.      Created by the Berlin Decree, 1806; expanded by the Milan Decree, 1807

b.      Meant to destroy Britain economically by making it impossible for Britain to trade on the European continent

i.        All European ports were closed to British trade

ii.      French privateers were authorized to attack British ships and all neutrals that traded with Britain

iii.     All Napoleon’s allies and satellite states were to follow the system

c.      Continental System was impossible to enforce:  It hurt the French economy and other member nations more than it hurt the British

G.    Peninsular War, 1807-1814

1.      French troops invaded Portugal when it defied the Continental System

a.      The Portuguese monarchy fled to Brazil

b.      Britain came to the aid of Portugal landing an army on the Iberian Peninsula

2.      French occupied Spain

a.      Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, was made King of Spain, 1808

b.      Marshal Murat, Napoleon's brother-in-law, was made King of Naples

3.      Spanish revolted against French occupation; British sent the army under Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) from Portugal into Spain

4.      Peninsular War caused a serious drain on French military resources and encouraged Napoleon's enemies

H.     Continuing war, 1808-1810

1.      Austria renewed war, 1809

a.      Napoleon defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Wagram and occupied Vienna

b.      Treaty of Schönbrunn (October 1809)

i.        Austria ceded Salzburg and the surrounding area to Bavaria

ii.      Austrian Poland was ceded to the Grand Duchy of Warsaw

2.      The Papacy refused to support the Continental System

a.      French army occupied Rome and imprisoned Pope Pius VII

b.      France annexed most of the Papal States

3.      Napoleon deposed his brother Louis as King of Holland after Louis’ objections to the Continental system

I.        War of the Fourth Coalition, 1812-1814

1.      Czar Alexander I could no longer support the Continental System because of its damage to the Russian economy and his prestige as Czar

a.      Napoleon invaded Russia with an army of 600,000

b.      Russians retreated using the scorched earth policy

i.        Turned to fight the Battle of Borodino 75 miles west of Moscow

a)      Heavy casualties were suffered by both sides

b)      Napoleon captured Moscow but the city was burned by Russians

c.      French army began retreat harassed by Russian army and severe winter weather

2.      Prussia, Russia, Austria and Britain formed the alliance of the Fourth Coalition

3.      French army was defeated by the combined Russian, Prussian, and Austrian armies at Leipzig in the Battle of the Nations, October 1813

4.      British army invaded southern France from Spain; the British unable to fully commit to the continental war due to war with the United States (1812-1814)

5.      Dutch revolted against French rule, 1813

6.      Russian, Prussian, and Austrian armies invaded France, January 1814; armies entered Paris, March 31, 1814

J.      Napoleon abdicated as Emperor; Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba

K.     Allies restored the Bourbon dynasty under Louis XVIII

L.      The Hundred Days, 1815

1.      Napoleon escaped Elba and returned to France, March 1, 1815

2.      Napoleon returned to Paris as Emperor, March 20, 1815

3.      Louis XVIII fled to London

4.      Officer corps and many soldiers were still loyal to Napoleon; a new army was raised and marched into the Low Countries toward the Rhineland

M.    Combined army of British under the Duke of Wellington and Prussians under General von Blücher defeated Napoleon's army at Battle of Waterloo, June 18, 1815

XI.    Napoleon abdicated a second time and was exiled to the island of St. Helena

A.     Exiled to the island of St. Helena under British military guard

B.     Louis XVIII was restored to the throne as a constitutional monarch

C.     Napoleon died on St. Helena, 1821

XII.   Effects of the French Revolution and the rule of Napoleon

A.     European boundaries needed to be restored after 24 years of revolution and warfare

B.     Rise of modern nationalism was based on loyalty and duty to the nation belonging to the people as opposed to the nation belonging to the monarch

C.     Latin American independence resulted from revolutions that came after Joseph Bonaparte was made King of Spain; all Spanish colonies in North and South America were lost by 1823

D.     Rise of liberal movements to extend civil rights to the common people; the old hereditary class system was replaced by one based on achievement usually judged by wealth

E.     Warfare changed to the use of large armies composed of volunteers and conscripts committed to fighting to defend or extend their homeland from a nationalist sense of duty


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The French revolution and Napoleon summary and notes

The French Revolution & Napoleon





            1.   complex chain of events

            2.   if rule of Napoleon is included,

            3.   Revolution lasted an entire generation

            4.   has become "Mother" & model of all revolutions

            5.   at one point French Revolution all countries of Europe at war w/France

            6.   what brought France to the revolution?

            7.   historians still don't agree on causes

            8.   French Rev. still subject of great study

            9.   agreed structure of 18th c. France major factor




            1.   structure of 18th c. French society on eve of Revolution gives us starting point

            2.   called Ancien Regime = old regime

            3.   age of great social contrasts & social tensions

            4.   realities of social & power contrasted sharply w/ideas of individual liberty, equality

                  a.   their ideal - Glorious Revolution 1688 England


            1.   death of Louis XIV in 1715 began least glorious era of French monarchy

            2.   Louis XV (1715-74) & Louis XVI (1774-93) continued absolutism of sun king Louis XIV

                  a.   but lacked his personal capabilities

            3.   Like the first 2 Georges in England, 18th c French kings had no interest in politics of govt

            4.   but whereas England had strong parliamentary system & able ministers

            5.   Estates General had not met for 175 yrs on eve of Revolution

            6.   to operate effectively, absolutism required a strong ruler

                  a.   willing to take vigorous action on issues

            7.   France was not to see this kind of leadership until Revolution

            8.   Louis XV ruled under a regency for 8 yrs then allowed his minister Cardinal Fleury

            9.   & then his mistress Madame de Pompadour to rule for him

            10. he spent more time organizing erotic entertainment

            11. but he had foresight to recognize problems

                  a.   Apres moi le deluge - his attitude

            12. New ruler - Louis XVI inept

            13. king's devotion to his Austrian wife Marie Antoinette resulted in scandalous extravagances

            14. when her 2nd child was born he gave her a palace that cost him 6 million lives

            15. she became known as "Madame Deficit"

            16. rumors about her own lavish spending & romantic intrigues together w/her being an Austrian

                  a.   always traditional enemy of France

            17. made her perhaps most unpopular woman in France

      C.   1st Estate - Church -

            1.   France divided into 3 estates

            2.   1st estate - church

            3.   170,000 clergy

                  a.   1/2 of 1% of French people

            4.   top officials of church enjoyed large incomes

            5.   from property willed to church over centuries

            6.   church owned 10% of land

            7.   church collected tax - tithe- on all land under cultivation

                  a.   1/10-1/15 of annual harvest

            8.   income from tax not equally distributed among ranks of clergy

                  a.   top officials & monasteries took lion's share

                  b.   peasants saw their poor parish clergy receiving little

            9.   well-to-do peasants & townspeople coveted these rich estates

            10. bourgeoisie came to accept anti-clericalism of Enlightenment

                  a.   Voltaire's pleas "to crush infamous thing"

                  b.   interpreted as mandate to strip church of wealth & power

D.  2nd Estate - nobility

            1.   400,000 or nearly 2% of French people

                  a.   1.72% of French society

            2.   but controlled 20-25% of all land

            3.   exempt from taxes

            4.   steadily increased their power since death of Louis XIV

            5.   aristocracy not a single unit - stratified

            6.   top - hereditary "Nobles of the sword"

            7.   inherited title from royalty or feudal lords in Middle Ages

                  a.   traced lineage back to 1400 at least

            8.   viewed lower nobles as vulgar upstarts

            9.   dreamed of ruling France again as in MA

            10. ill-fitted either to rule or earn public pensions the king gave them

                  a.   educated chiefly in swordsmanship & gallantry

                  b.   only sons of bourgeoisie attended university

            11. men who loved their wives & found fidelity satisfying

                  a.   forced to keep official mistresses in imitation of French court

            12. fashionable women looked on as odd if they did not take lovers

            13. to keep from having bastards women had abortions

            14. there were 1200 wigmakers in Paris

                  a.   styles ranged from "Voltaire" to "sleeping dog" to "chivalrous despair"

            15. fashionable to look old

                  a.   powered hair added 20 yrs even to young faces

            16. mania for fine clothes dyed in subtlest of colors led to new fads every season

            17. orders for dresses & coats in such shades as

                  a.   young puce, old puce, puce belly, sick Spaniard, small pox & constipation

            18. kept luxury industries of Paris growing

            19. nobility of letters next level

                  a.   noble families that had purchased their titles relatively recently

                        (1)  during past 200 or 300 yrs

            20. middle - "Nobles of the robe"

                  a.   purchased nobility

                  b.   public offices w/incomes & titles attached

                  c.   justices of parlements & other key offices

                  d.   intermarried w/nobles of sword

                  e.   these most tenacious holders of ancien regime

                  f.    monopolized army commissions & appts to high church offices

                  g.   many men from this group played prominent roles in Revolution

                        (1)  Montesquieu, Mirabeau, Lafayette

                        (2)  moderate noble who advocated constitutional monarchy

            21. at bottom of nobility class = poor gentry

                  a.   this group needed tax exempt status to survive

                  b.   insisted on feudal & manorial dues from peasantry

      E.   3rd estate - commoners

            1.   everyone else not in first 2 estates

            2.   98% of French society

            3.   no social unity

            4.   from wealthiest merchants down to beggars & peasants

            5.   industrial & commercial leaders from 3rd estate

            6.   most influential group in Rev

            7.   familiar w/works of philosophers

            8.   anti nobility & high clergy

            9.   liberal professions vast spokesmen for rev

                  a.   especially lawyers

                        (1)  1st hey day of lawyers in politics

            10. these lawyers together w/shopkeepers, craftsmen, professional men

                  a.   petite bourgeoisie

                        (1)  or true middle class

            11. urban workers

                  a.   small group

                  b.   lived on marginal existence

                        (1)  bread riots occurred frequently from 1750's on

                              (a)  1 writer prophesied hunger can drive men farther than kings

                  c.   women earned half as much as men or less

                  d.   urban workers influential in radical dev of rev -as concentrated in cities esp in Paris

            12. peasants

                  a.   largest group within 3rd estate & France

                        (1)  21 million = 3/4 population of France

                  b.   while 3 of 4 owned land

                  c.   only controlled about 1/3 land of France

                  d.   average holdings small

                  e.   in poor crop yrs starvation real presence

                  f.    many poor people France

                  g.   English traveler to France Arthur Young noted poverty of France

                  h.   many women & children without shoes-  & -stockings

                  i.    women & children first to succumb to starvation or malnutrition

                  j.    one can only imagine desperation of mothers of Masannay

                  k.   who in May 1794 demanded elimination of all people over 60 so that young might be fed enough to survive

                  l.    peasants employed backward farm methods

                  m.  efficient techniques of agricultural rev had not come to France on eve of Rev as in England

                        (1)  large fallow areas

                  n.   constant increase in rural pop could not find steady employment

                  o.   owed heavy tax burden

                        (1)  tithe to church (dime)

                        (2)  feudal & manorial dues to nobility

                        (3)  state

                              (a)  land tax - taille

                              (b)  income tax

                              (c)  poll tax

                              (d)  gabelle - salt tax

                  p.   Fr  - long history of peasant unrest from days of MA

                  q.   peasants did not want to change Govt

                  r.    also ignorant of Enlightenment ideas

                  s.    wanted more land

                        (1)  land from nobility, church

                  t.    wanted end to obsolete manorial dues

                  u.   wanted relief from unfair tax burden

            13. 3rd estate's goal was to destroy privileges of first 2 estates

            14. Abbey Sieyes in a 1789 pamphlet best sums this up

                  a.   "what is the 3rd estate? Everything. What has it been in the political order up to the present? Nothing. What does it ask? To become something."

            15. 3rd estate found it galling to be snubbed by nobility,

                  a.   treated as 2nd class subjects by the king,

                  b.   excluded from posts of power in govt, church, army

            16. middle class realized their growing economic importance

            17. and they wanted social & political rights to match

            18. but basic issue was personal equality


            1.   unfair taxation of 3rd estate

            2.   3rd estate owed taxes without political privileges

            3.   when France lost her empire in the new world & India to England in 1763

                  a.   1763 Peace of Paris ending Seven Years' War

                  b.   an important source of govt revenue ended

            4.   trade barriers in France permitted some provinces to suffer famine while others produced surpluses

            5.   as one foreign ambassador remarked

                  a.   in France nine tenths of the population die of hunger & one tenth of indigestion

            6.   under Louis XVI financial crisis worsened

            7.   king went through a series of ministers for 15 yrs of his reign,

                  a.   attempting to solve financial problems

            8.   but they were hampered by inadequate tax structure

            9.   reforms blocked by nobility

            10. now new expenses added to financial burden

                  a.   support of America War of Independence

            11. debts were estimated to be nearly 700,000,000 francs

                  a.   yet treasury held only 360,000 francs

                  b.   debts were now increasing geometrically

            12. only solution- to borrow money

            13. for a few years it seemed that would suffice

            14. eventually govt couldn't even borrow money

            15. in year before outbreak of Rev drought stunted French wheat crop

            16. then severe hailstorms destroyed what poor yield that was left

                  a.   led to scarcity of foods

                        (1)  prices skyrocketed

            17. then there was very cold winter 1788-9

                  a.   churches, charities, private persons tried to alleviate hunger by distributing food

                  b.   but many did not survive

            18. survivors had tendency to blame on monarch


            1.   3rd estate assessed very severe penalties in comparison to 1st & 2nd estates

            2.   over 350 different law codes

            3.   overlap of roman & feudal law

            4.   led to different punishments same crime

                  a.   included torture, branding, mutilation


            1.   ideas of Enlightenment

                  a.   freedoms & liberties to be enjoyed by all

            2.   together with American Revolution gave to Frenchmen the mindset revolution possible

            3.   war of independence in many ways struggle to realize ideals advocated by Enlightenment

            4.   example of Americans a potent force for French

            5.   people disconcerted by France's lost of grandeur

            6.   hard to pin-point but evident to people in light of downward trend from age of Louis XIV

            7.   Napoleon used this aspect for his rise to power

            8.   for want of a good mechanic

            9.   machinery of centralized royal absolutism gradually falling apart




            1.   Louis XVI appealed to his advisors - Assembly of Notables

            2.   to change tax structure to help solve his financial problems

            3.   they refused to cooperate & approve his new financial edicts

            4.   so Louis called the Estates-General


            1.   when 3rd Estate proposed to change voting system to give more influence to them

            2.   leaders of clergy & nobles refused to acquiesce

            3.   delegates of 3rd estate split off & formed National Assembly

                  a.   said they real representatives of French

            4.   3rd estate took 1st steps toward revolution

            5.   when locked out by king's order from their meeting hall moved to indoor tennis court

            6.   swore not to disband until gave France a constitutional monarchy

            7.   Tennis court oath June 1789

                  a.   one of real beginnings of French Revolution

            8.   if nothing further had occurred it is probable 3rd Estate would have transformed France into a Constitutional Monarchy

            9.   but new forces intruded

            10. & the Fr rev took off for a long course of terror, destruction & complicated power machinations


            1.   Louis XVI's decided to circumvent National Assembly’s move to form a constitutional monarchy

                  a.   wanted to retain his absolutism

            2.   he mustered royal troops near Paris

            3.   rumor spread that 30,000 troops had already begun to massacre inhabitants of poor part of Paris

            4.   populace of Paris reacted w/looting, etc.

            5.   why?

            6.   economy was dreadful in Paris

                  a.   poor harvests had led to soaring bread prices

                  b.   half a person's wages going for bread

                  c.   classic depression

                  d.   with food so expensive demand for manufactured goods collapsed

                  e.   led to 25% unemployment for artisans, small shopkeepers, laborers = sans-culottes

            7.   rumors abounded that aristocracy didn't care about plight of poor

                  a.   poor should eat grass, like my horse

                  b.   let them eat cake - Maria Antoinette

            8.   people feared starving to death

            9.   there followed 3 popular uprisings showing extent of unrest in France

                  a.   urban poor, peasants & women rose up in arms

            10. first uprising Fall of Bastille

            11. people began to seize arms for defense of city

            12. to form their own militia

            13. rallying cry to the bastille for gunpowder

            14. BASTILLE represented Old Regime

                  a.   old medieval castle guarding 1 of entrances to Paris

                  b.   Bastille symbol of absolute monarchy & repression by the state

                  c.   a prison for persons of influence & substance

                        (1)  political & aristocratic prisoners

                  d.   prisoners had been taken there secretly w/o charges (letters of cachet)

                        (1)  & left for days, months, years

                  (2)  even Voltaire spent 1 year there

            15. so crowd decided to demolish it

            16. people successful

            17. marked entry of urban masses into Fr Rev.

            18. & committee of citizens appointed Lafayette commander of city's armed forces = national guard

            19. Paris now lost to the king

            20. who was forced to rescind his edicts against National Assembly

            21. uprising of masses had saved National Assembly

            22. July 14, 1789 Bastille stormed

                  a.   considered by French their independence day

      D.  GREAT FEAR

            1.   consequences of storming of Bastille

            2.   "great fear" of king's army swept through countryside as well as in Paris

            3.   peasants convinced nobles sending armed men to devastate rural population

            4.peasants went on warpath

                  a.destroying manors, tax rolls

                  b.burning fields & records showing their owing lord labor

            5.   peasants goal to destroy last vestiges of feudalism

            6.   this revolt of peasants forced National Assembly to abolish feudal dues

            7.   peasants never paid feudal dues again

                  a.   ended corvee - labor on roads, etc.

                  b.   ended aristocratic monopoly on hunting rights

                  c.   ended fee for justice


            1.   after fall of Bastille

            2.   many French nobles fled France

            3.   resulting in unemployment for Parisian women who supplied their luxurious items

            4.   had terrible repercussions for family as women's work & income necessary

            5.   even though women earned half as much as men

            6.   on Oct 5, 7000 desperate women marched 10 miles or so from Paris to Versailles to demand action to their plight

            7.   they centered their hatred on the Queen, Marie Antoinette

            8.   Only intervention of Lafayette & National Guard saved royal family

            9.   Louis & Marie forced into captivity in Paris to watch over them


            1.   meanwhile National Assembly completed its new constitution

            2.   landmark in social transformation of France

            3.   issued Declaration of Rights of Man & Citizen

            4.   established a constitutional or limited monarchy

            5.   w/separation of powers into executive, legislative & judicial

            6.   w/governing body - Legislative Assembly

                  a.   like Parliament in England

            7.   the Declaration stated

                  a.   all men are free and equal & are true source of all political authority

                  b.   governments exist to preserve individual freedom & private property

                  c.   law exists to protect citizens rather than restrict their freedom

                  d.   among the basic rights of citizens are free speech, equal taxation & scrutiny of govt officials

            8.   used political principles from

                  a.   British Bill of Rights

                  b.   US Bill of Rights & Constitution

                  c.   ideas of Enlightenment

            9.   in fact, Lafayette discussed his draft in detail w/Thomas Jefferson

                  a.   American ambassador in Paris at time

            10. king forced to sign on

            11. next 2 yrs National Assembly completed France’s first constitution

            12. all France's institutions & governing bodies reorganized

            13. National Assembly abolished French nobility

            14. major problem remained

            15. by nationalizing the church & requiring clergy to take loyalty oath to new govt

            16. many people both clergy & laity failed to comply

            17. attack on church turned many people against Rev.


            1.   what about reaction of those outside France to Revolution?

            2.   many Europeans excited about apparent success of the ideas of liberty, equality & fraternity

                  a.   but some people concerned

            3.   Edmund Burke 1790 published

                  a.   Reflections on the Revolution in France

                        (1)  he against such radical changes as doing away with aristocracy

                        (2)  & he predicted no good would come of it

                        (3)  that a dictator would eventually take over after chaos

            4.   Mary Wollstonecraft

                  a.   Vindication of the Rights of Women

                        (1)  reaction to Burke's work

                  b.   she wanted equality for women now

                  c.   not just for men of the 3rd estate

                  d.   considered radical even for feminists until recently


            1.   rulers & nobility now began to feel threatened about revolutionary ideas

            2.   feared ideas might spread to their countries

            3.   Declaration of Pillnitz

                  a.   Austria & Prussian rulers issued this

                  b.   willing to intervene in France if got ok from other great powers too

            4.   in retaliation France declared war on Austria

            5.   Prussia came in to support Austria

            6.   war did not go well for France

            7.   when rumors of treason by king & queen spread in Paris,

            8.   revolutionary crowed attacked royal palace at Tuileries

            9.   king & queen fled for their lives 1791

            10. 5 days into flight recognized at Varennes

            11. they were arrested & brought back to Paris

            12. Legislative Assembly suspended king from all his functions

            13. Constitutional monarchy was dead




            1.   fall of monarchy led to radicalization of Revolution

            2.   leading to thousands of unnecessary killings & much terror & fear

            3.   which historians often call second revolution

            4.   gave Revolution bad name to its supporters

            5.   September Massacres  1792 

                  a.1st step in this radical movement

            6.   when news of Prussia & Austria victories over France hit Paris

            7.   wild stories seized the city

            8.   panic swept Paris & crowds of angry people went on warpath

                  a.   killing nearly 1000 people 


            1.   new assembly ( National Convention) now declared France a Republic in 1792

                  a.   from 1792-1804

            2.   if you are a republic you don't need a king

            3.   large majority condemned Louis of treason

            4.   next sentenced him to death by 1 vote

            a.   guillotine - 1793

                  b.   his wife Marie Antoinette followed him 9 months later

                  c.   when revealed she had been conniving w/her Austrian countrymen to subvert French Revolution

                  d.   she too declared a traitor & guillotined


            1.   international tensions mounted as France now declared war on Britain, Holland & Spain

                  a.   in addition to Prussia & Austria

            2.   this great war will last almost without interruption until 1815 Battle of Waterloo


            1.   meanwhile republicans struggled for political power

            2.   as they were now divided

                  a.   Girondists

                        (1)  more moderate

                  b.   Mountain (formerly called Jacobins)

                        (1)  more radical

            3.   then as increasing hardships came down on sans-culottes in Paris

                  a.   sans-culottes = without breeches

                        (1)  wore trousers instead of knee breeches of aristocracy

                  b.   artisans & shop keepers & laborers

                  c.   rapid inflation, unemployment & food shortages again

            4.   sans-culottes allied w/Mountain men

            5.   Girondists not able to solve problems &

            6.   so radicals - Mountain men took over

            7.   they expelled less radical group from govt

            8.   became a dictatorship of small group of men

                  a.   known as Committee of Public Safety

                  b.   granted dictorial power to deal with national emergency

                  c.   of waging total war w/Europe & aiding poor

                  d.   fixed prices on goods & food,

                  e.   issued ration cards & rationing

            9.   they told people what to produce & how much to produce of armaments & other necessary things

            10. scrapped much of gains of Constitution of 1791

            11. leader Robespierre (1758-94)

                  a.   his slogan virtue & terror

      E.   REIGN OF TERROR 1793-4

            1.   once economy & war needs dealt w/Robespierre began a campaign to exterminate enemies of Revolution

            2.   under Law of Suspects everyone who criticized govt seized along w/all relatives

            3.   "Watch Committees" in every neighborhood ordered to keep lists of suspects & arrest them periodically

            4.   local courts ignored normal legal procedures & judged severely

                  a.   no defense counsel

                  b.   no preliminary questioning

                        (1)  ie grand jury

                  c.   courts could only hand down 2 verdicts

                        (1)  acquittal or death

            5.   from fall 1793-summer 1794 (nearly 1 yr)

            6.   most famous or infamous period of Revolution

            7.   at least 40,000 French men & women executed or died in prison

            8.   another 300,000 suspects imprisoned & came close to death

            9.   who were victims?

                  a.   majority of victims obscure men & women

                  b.   of 14,000 whose social origin known only

                        (1)  1158 came from nobility

                        (2)  nearly 2000 from upper middle class

            10. actually of 400,000 nobility c 1789

                  a.   1158 executed, another 16,431 fled country

            11. 1 known victim

                  a.   Marie-Jeanne Philipon (1754-1793)

                  b.   better known by her married name

                        (1)  Madame Roland

                              (a)  husband inspector of manufactures for province of Picardy

            12. well-educated dau of Parisian engraver

            13. profoundly influenced by Rousseau

            14. she became writer against ills of society

                  a.   American Revolution fired her enthusiasm for war on Kings

                  b.   terrible gulf between rich & poor in France

                  c.   absence of rep govt

                  d.   monarchy's use of force to stifle dissent

                  e.   which in prophetic crystal ball, she denounced as reign of terror

            15. Madame Roland saw revolution as only hope for France

            16. From moment Rev began in 1789 she lived for little else

            17. she est salon that attracted such figures as Robespierre & Thomas Paine

            18. but also became embroiled in intrigue & machinations of revolution

            19. eventually because of her part in revolution she condemned to guillotine

            20. & as she was about to die she uttered most famous words of French Revolution

                  a.   o Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name

            21. Madame Roland became heroic figure to 19th c. historians

            22. terror of guillotine created widespread popular perversion

            23. but Dr. Guillotine himself appalled by it all

            24. temporary guillotine-mania

            25. members of revolutionary tribunal complained guillotine able to cut off only 1 head per minute

            26. so enthusiastic terrorists in Bordeaux ordered a four-blade model built

            27. 1 city no guillotine so drowned them

                  a.   2000 chained to leaky barge

            28. attitudes toward decapitating machine mixture of fear, reverence & joking familiarity

            29. called - people's avenger, the national razor, patriotic shortener

            30. Robespierre ordered it draped in velvet during patriotic ceremonies

            31. while another leading revolutionary referred to its functions as the Red Mass

            32. women wore them as earrings

            33. dishes & china w/guillotine motif on many dinner tables

            34. but mania reached its most extreme form

                  a.   when provincial officials found children given toy guillotines to play with using them to execute mice & birds

            35. terror left long memory & French historians don't like to mention it

                  a.   difficult for them to accept this part


            1.   finally reacting to excesses of Robespierre

            2.   moderate elements of National Convention arrested Robespierre & his key followers

                  a.   sent them to guillotine

            3.   new dish named after this movement

                  a.   Lobster Thermidor

            4.   More conservative Constitution of 1795 adopted

            5.   provided for new government

                  a.   Directory

            6.   still another form of govt for France

            7.   bicameral legislature modeled after ancient Athens

            8.   not made up of great leaders

            9.   ablest political leaders had either been purged during reign of terror

            10. or had been driven out of country

            11. financial difficulties once more promised to ruin country

            12. government increasingly incompetent

                  a.   acute financial crisis

                  b.   war against other nations of Europe

                        (1)  done as much to solve unemployment problem

                        (2)  as able to live off territories they conquered & plundered

                  c.   threatened by conspiracies

            13. sent 3 armies out against foreign foes to invade Austrian territory

                  a.   Napoleon's army only one successful

            14. Parisian mob elements once again appeared to be getting out of hand

            15. Napoleon summoned to protect National Convention

                  a.   dispersed Parisian mob

            16. coup d'etat & established Consulate

            17. all happened just as Edmund Burke had predicted

                  a.   in the weakness of authority...some popular general shall draw the eyes of all men upon himself.  Armies will obey him on his personal account...The person who really commands the army is your master.

      G.  CONSULATE 1799-1804

            1.   govt of 3 consuls

            2.   consul form of govt dates back to Roman Empire

            3.   Napoleon then First Consul for term 10 yrs

            4.   other 2 consuls appointed by him & subordinated to him

            5.   in 1802 Napoleon became First Consul for life

            6.   1804 Napoleon submitted new constitution which changed Consulate to the French Empire

            7.   Napoleon I proclaimed emperor of French




            1.   he mixture of ambition, charisma, & military genius

            2.   it drove Napoleon from obscurity to utmost power

            3.   1 of greatest military commanders of all time

            4.   w/in a decade conquered most of Europe in a series of military campaigns that astonished world

            5.   w/his grand army N built his grand empire

                  a.   an ever-expanding France that at 1 time included Belgium, Holland, Italy, much of German territory on East bank Rhine

            6.   France's victories changed map of Europe

            7.   est. satellite kingdoms & placed his relatives on their thrones

            8.   only Great Britain able to hold out against N

            9.   but in end all nations he had subdued aligned against him for final rout

                  a.   Russia, Prussia, Austria, & England


            1.   born of Italian descent - Corsica

                  a.   French won island year before Napoleon born

            2.   age 10-15 French military school

            3.   graduation at 16 & 2nd Lt in artillery regiment

            4.   out of 8 yrs spent nearly 5 yr on regular furloughs in Paris

            5.   during these 8 yrs read voraciously

                  a.   anything at hand

                  b.   took abundant notes on Voltaire, Rousseau, other writers Enlightenment

                  c.   history & military tactics

            6.   from age 22 Lt to age 25 Brigadier General

            7.   age 26 - commander of Interior Army

            8.   age 27 - made commander of Italy 1796 by Directory

            9.   age 30 - Emperor


            1.   self-confident, determined

            2.   high IQ - highly imaginative

            3.   relationship & subsequent marriage to widow Josephine,

                  a.   she had many political connections

                  b.   & responsible for his first military commands

            4.   revolutionary society open to men of talent where a gifted man could rise quickly

            5.   by late 1804 he proclaimed himself emperor

            6.   even though invited pope, crowned himself so no quarrel over investiture

            7.   Napoleon seen as liberator of oppressed people

            8.   organized new dynasty a prestige comparable to monarch's court

                  a.   new nobility created

                        (1)  based on military exploits or civilian services

                  b.   est Legion of Honor 1802

                        (1)  still in France today

            9.   supervised everything

                  a.   bldg highways

                  b.   mfg porcelain

            10. his authority tighter than enlightened despotism

            11. foreshadowed modern totalitarianism


            1.   Married widow Josephine - 1796 (she 33, he 27)

            2.   1810 (Josephine 46 divorced her)-

                  a.   no children

                  b.   all thru yrs, in spite of her infidelities, barrenness of their union,

                  c.   even of his repudiation of her in 1810

                  d.   he always had a deep & warm feeling,

                  e.   her death in May 1814 caused him genuine sorrow

            3.   next married dau of Austrian emperor - Maria-Louise

                  a.   had 1 son by her, who lived to 21

            4.   another son from liaison w/Polish countess

                  a.   served in French Govt in 19th c


            1.   Italian campaigns

                  a.   1796-1797 - 20 months

                  b.   revealed his military genius

                  c.   FR 38,000 troops - against 30,000 Austrians, 25,000 Piedmontese

                  d.   won

            2.   Austerlitz 1805

                  a.   N most brilliant & decisive victories

                  b.   against Russians, Austrians

            3.   battles against Prussians & Russians next saw France victorious


            1.   under this latter-day Caesar almost all Europe could be divided into three parts

            2.   French Empire

                  a.   included France & territories annexed since 1789

            3.   Satellites

                  a.   ruled in many cases by relatives of Napoleon

                  b.   Confederation of the Rhine (germanies)

                  c.   Duchy of Warsaw

                  d.   Italy, Switzerland, Spain

            4.   allies

                  a.   Austria, Prussia & Russia

                        (1)  forced by defeat to become F allies

            5.   only Britain & Sweden outside this system


            1.   his tactics influenced European & American armies for several generations

                  a.   generals studied his tactics for years at West Point

                  b.   American Civil War generals studied

            2.   dev a citizen army  non-conscriptive

                  a.   volunteer soldiers could be trusted in skirmish lines

                  b.   no fear they would run away

                  c.   didn't have to be disciplined as much

            3.   changed officer corp

                  a.   officers no longer just nobles but qualified people

                  b.   opened to non-Frenchmen

                  c.   officer corp permanently not just in war time

                  d.   thus generals in on dev of tactics before battles & N knew generals & could command rapidly


            1.   planning

                  a.   leave nothing to chance

                  b.   3-4 months advance planning

                  c.   plan for worst contingencies

            2.   went on offensive

                  a.   main attack must try to cut off army from supply & communication centers

                  b.   & divide enemy's forces

            3.   deception

                  a.   master at splitting army & reassembling it another place

                  b.   catching other armies unawares

            4.   speed & mobility

                  a.   Marches of 30-40 miles per day not uncommon

                  b.   once 75 miles in 48 hours

                  c.   I may lose a battle, but I never lose a minute"

            5.   summation

                  a.   soldiers & offices devoted to N

                  b.   followed him from one end of Europe to the other

                  c.   often badly fed, rarely paid & blind to all but glory of continual victory

                  d.   had flair for PR & public relations w/army


            1.   N decides to invade England to eliminate her

            2.   October 21, 1805

            3.   British under command of Lord Nelson who lost his life but not before he had destroyed half of his adversaries' ships w/o sacrificing a single one of his own

            4.   Britain defeated combined navy forces of France & Spain

            5.   put end to French hope for invasion of Britain

            6.   guaranteed British control of sea for rest of war


            1.   devised to stifle British economy

            2.   prohibited importation of British goods into Eur

                  a.   contraband & smuggling negated it

            3.   Russian abandoned it when making czar unpopular

                  a.   & declared war on Napoleon 1812

      K.  MARCH ON MOSCOW 1812

            1.   600,000 FR army against 150,000 Russians

                  a.   3:1 odds

            2.   Napoleon's plan to launch frontal attack against Russian army

            3.   problems supply line as Russians used scorched earth policy

            4.   Russian army fled from attack

            5.   Russian’s burning of Moscow & surrounds, not able to live off Russian land

            6.   Russian winter destroyed all but 30,000 N's army

                  a.   95% army destroy

                  b.   1 of greatest military disasters in history


            1.   Allies invaded France & Paris

            2.   Napoleon agreed to unconditional abdication

            3.   unsuccessfully attempted suicide by poison

            4.   allies granted him sovereignty over island of Elba

            5.   100 days there

      M.  WATERLOO

            1.   escape from Elba & able to garner support

            2.   June 18, 1815 - Belgium

            3.   England's Duke of Wellington w/Prussia's aid defeated N

            4.   died St. Helena off western coast of Africa 5500 miles from France

            5.   N survived countless battles but may have been slain by medicines provided to aid him

            6.   autopsy revealed stomach cancer to be immediate cause of death

            7.   but toxicologic studies done in 1962 on locks of his hair uncovered high levels of arsenic

                  a.   can be detected centuries after death

            8.   possibility remains he died of chronic arsenic poisoning from lifelong ingestion of medicines

                  a.   arsenic widely used in medications during Napoleonic era

            9.   1840 his body brought back triumphantly to Paris

            10. success of plebiscite of his nephew Napoleon III in 1851


            1.   as N conquered areas

            2.   put an end to old regime & its feudal trappings in Western Eur

            3.   he took reforms of French rev w/him & placed them on the people

            4.   established Napoleon Code

                  a.   code promulgated in all countries he conquered

                  b.   & in some countries it remained long after N

                  c.   equality of all citizens regardless or rank before the law

                  d.   absolute security of private property

                  e.   freedom of religion

            5.   N also left legacies for France in administrative & educational reforms still in effect today

                  a.   est Bank of France

                        (1)  fixed valuation of franc w/gold & silver

                        (2)  standard was to last until 1926

                  b.   rev & N cost the church its monopoly over education

                  c.   created University of France

                        (1)  really a ministry of education

                        (2)  licensed teachers

                        (3)  set the program of studies

                        (4)  controlled examinations

                  d.   centralized & near-monopolistic conceptions of ed has prevailed in France to today

                  e.   civil service

                        (1)  solidified french civil service

                        (2)  retained till today

            6.   w/his military victories & domestic ordering,

            7.   he gave national unity to France lasted for 100 yrs.

            8.   French people consider N as the consolidator of French Revolution

            9.   legend of Napoleon is still strong in France today

            10. concept of "great powers" seen today in permanent membership in the Security Council of United Nations

                  a.   outgrowth of Napoleonic wars

            11. plus Europe's view to settle international problems by series of congresses

            12. his policies did much to further romanticism, individualism, & nationalism



      A.  general remarks

            1.   many historians think French Rev. ended in failure

                  a.   w/dictatorships of Robespierre & Napoleon

            2.   but nobility had lost its power & prestige

            3.   middle class had gained political power

            4.   lower orders of peasants had thrown off their feudal chains

            5.   France in the course of 15 yrs went through 7 types of government

                  a.   absolute monarchy

                  b.   constitutional monarchy

                  c.   republic

                  d.   dictatorship

                  e.   directory

                  f.    consulate

                  g.   imperial - emperor

            6.   if nothing else France was innovative

            7.   but most important legacy of French Revolution

                  a.   it became a modernizer of Europe

            8.   ideas of Revolution & Enlightenment will spread to rest of Europe

            9.   3 famous words of revolution will continue to inspire

                  a.   liberte, egalite, & fraternite

                        (1)  liberty, equality and fraternity

            10. over course of 19th c. many areas in Europe will go through similar throes of revolt & revolution

            11. & evolve into national states

                  a.   i.e. Germany, Italy

            12. & even Latin America will utilize ideas of American & French revolutions to throw off yolk of Spain & Portugal


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