Life in the 18th Century notes



Life in the 18th Century notes


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Life in the 18th Century notes


APEH Unit 5 Notes:

I. Life in the 18th Century

A. Marriage and the Family prior to 1750

  1. The nuclear family was the most common in pre-industrial Europe.

    a. Young married European couples established their homes apart from their parents.

    b. 3-generation households usually entailed a parent moving in with a married child.

  2. On average, the age at marriage was higher prior to 1750, especially for the lower classes

    a. Late 20s or older for both men and women

    b. Couples could not marry until they could support themselves economically.

    c. Peasant sons often had to wait until their father’s death to gain land (through inheritance).

    d. Peasant daughters and family had to accumulate a small dowry to help her future husband to buy land or build a house.

  3. Some areas required legal permission or approval of local lord or landowner for marriage.

    a. Austria and Germany had legal restrictions on marriage well into 19th century.

    b. Local governments believed that without regulating marriages, lower classes would create more paupers, abandoned children and more gov’t money would need to be expended on welfare.

    c. This pattern helped maintain some balance between population and resources.

  4. Many men and women never married.

      · Approximately 40% to 60% of women between 15

& 44 were unmarried at any given time.

  5. Children

    a. Rate of births out of wedlock was fairly low

      · Reflected powerful social controls of traditional villages, especially the open-field villages

      · Parents, village elders, priests, and landlords pressured young couples to marry if a pregnancy occurred.

    b. Premarital sex was generally limited to couples who were already thinking about marriage.

    c. Numbers of children per family

      · If wife & husband lived to age 45, odds about 50% of giving birth to 6 or more children.

      · Infant mortality was high.

        o 20% in economically viable areas.

        o 33% in poorer areas.

      · 50% survival rate into adulthood was considered good.

B. New patterns of marriage & legitimacy emerged after 1750

  1. The growth of the cottage industry with its increased

income resulted in higher rates of people marrying for love instead of just purely economic reasons.

    a. Young people did not have to wait as long to become financially independent.

    b. Arranged marriages for economic reasons declined

    c. Laws and regulations on marriage, especially in

Germany, were often ignored.

    d. Factory workers after 1780 followed marriage pattern of cottage workers.


2. The explosion of births was caused by increasing illegitimacy: 1750-1850.

    a. Illegitimacy rates as high as 33% in certain areas.

    b. Fewer girls abstaining from premarital sex and fewer boys married girls they impregnated.

    c. Mobility encouraged new sexual and marital relationships which were less subject to parental pressure and village tradition.

    d. In Germany, illegitimate births were a result of open rebellion against class laws limiting marriage among the poor.

      · Illegitimacy declined when marriage restrictions were rescinded.

  3. Women in cities and factories had limited economic independence.

    a. Young women were not motivated by visions of emancipation and sexual liberation.

    b. Most city women probably looked to marriage and family life as an escape from hard lifestyle.

    c. Many intended marriages did not take place as poor economic and social conditions scared men away from the commitment.

C. Attitudes toward children began to change during the

18th century

  1. Child care and nursing

    a. Poorer women generally breast-fed their infants for much longer periods than in the 20th century.

      · Resulted in spacing births of children from 2 to

3 years apart due to decreased fertility.

      · Infants more likely to survive on mother’s milk than on artificial foods.

    b. Women of aristocracy and upper-middle class seldom breast-fed. This was also true of wives of artisans who lived comfortably

      o Believed it was crude, common and beneath their dignity.

      o Wet-nurses hired to breast-feed their children.

Many babies sent to countryside. Wet-nursing took two to three years.

     · “Killing nurses” were negligent, resulting in the death of many or most babies in their custody.

  2. Infanticide

    a. Early medieval church denounced infanticide; viewed each human life as sacred.

    b. Yet, infanticide was rampant due to severe poverty.

    c. “Overlaying” occurred in many cases with a parent rolling over and suffocating a child in bed.

    d. Foundling hospitals emerged, first in Paris then throughout Europe

      · Many poor women left babies on the doorstep of churches.

      · By 1770, 1/3 of all babies born in Paris were immediately abandoned to the foundling home; 1/3 of those came from married couples.

      · Foundling home in St. Petersburg cared for 25,000 babies in the early 19th century; receiving 5,000 new babies a year.

      · Half of all babies died within a year; at worst,

90% died.

       o Some social critics claimed that foundling hospitals promoted “legalized infanticide.”

  3. Child-rearing

Unit 5 Notes-p.2

    a. Children were often treated indifferently and with strict physical discipline.

      · The use of wet-nurses is a good example.

      · Because of such high mortality rates, parents were reluctant to become too emotionally attached to their children.

    b. Doctors often declined to care for sick children believing there was little that could be done.

    c. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” –term coined by novelist Daniel Defoe

      · Many children worked in factories at a young age and were severely disciplined.

      · Many believed the task of parents was to break their will to make them obedient.

    d. Humanitarianism and Enlightenment optimism regarding human progress emphasized better treatment of children.

      · Rousseau encouraged greater love and understanding toward children.

      · Increasingly, parents grew closer to their children.

D. Work Away from Home

  1. Many young people worked within their families until they could start their own households.

    a. Boys typically ploughed and wove (as part of the cottage industry).

    b. Girls spun thread and tended to the animals.

  2. Increasingly, many boys worked away from home

    a. Boys in towns might be apprenticed to a craftsman for 7 or 14 years to learn a trade and perhaps be admitted to a guild.

      · Not allowed to marry during this period.

    b. More often, young men would drift from one tough job to another

  3. Large numbers of girls also worked away from home at an early age.

    a. Opportunities more limited than for men.

    b. Domestic service in another family’s household was most common job.

    c. Most hoped to save money for their parents and for marriage.

    d. Working away from home benefited parents who had one less mouth to feed.

    e. Servant girls had little real independence

      · Girls were vulnerable to physical mistreatment by their mistresses.

      · Often became sexual victims

        o Upper classes commonly exploited servants sexually

        o If girl became pregnant she was quickly fired.

        o Prostitution and petty thievery often became only alternatives.

E. Education

  1. The beginnings of formal education for the masses took root; largely inspired by Protestantism.

    a. Aristocracy and rich had a two-century head start beginning in the 16th century with special colleges, often run by Jesuits.

    b. “Little schools” of elementary education began to appear in 17th century.

      · Boys and girls from age 7 to 12 were instructed in basic literacy and religion.

    c. The Church of England and “dissenting groups” such as the Puritans founded “charity schools” to instruct poor children.

    d. Scotland created a network of parish schools for all citizens to teach reading of the Scriptures.

  2. France established Christian schools starting in 1682 which taught religion as well as reading and writing.

  3. Starting in 1717, Prussia led the way with universal

compulsory education.

    a. Inspired by old Protestant idea that every Christian should be able to read the Bible

    b. Education also seen as way to make the population effectively serve the state.

  4. Enlightenment commitment to greater knowledge through critical thinking reinforced interest in education during 18th century.

  5. Literacy by 1800:

    a. Almost 90% of Scottish male population; only 1 in 6 in 1600.

    b. 2 out of 3 males in France; in Normandy, 90%; only 1 in 6 in 1600.

    c. Over 50% of male Brits; only 25% in 1600.

    d. Women were increasingly literate but lagged behind men in general.

F. Increased life expectancy

  1. The life spans of Europeans increased from 25 to 35

years in the 18th century.

    a. Largely the result of the disappearance of the plague and starvation.

    b. More time spent by children on education and preparation for adulthood.

  2. Development of public health techniques important breakthrough of 2nd half of 18th century.

    a. Improved practices in sanitation.

    b. Mass vaccinations (see Jenner below)

    c. Better clothing (due to proto-industrialization)

d. Improvements in developing warm dry housing.

    e. Adequate food (due to the agricultural revolution)

3. Diet and nutrition underwent significant changes during the 18th century.

    a. The diet of ordinary people improved.

      · Poor people’s diets usually consisted of grains and vegetables. The potato improved the diet of the poor with vitamins A and C. Most Irish lived almost exclusively on the potato; lived in abject poverty.  Average male ate 8 to 10 lbs a day! The crop produced more food per acre

        o By end of 18th century, potato an important food in much of Europe.

    b. Greater variety of vegetables existed in towns and cities

    c. Upper classes consumed much meat and fish and alcohol.

      · Few fruits and vegetables eaten.

      · Greater affluence meant that some people indulged in less nutritious food (e.g. sugar).

    d. Northern, Atlantic Europe ate better than southern, Mediterranean Europe.

      · The English ate the best of all.

4. Medical improvements

    a. The bubonic plague had largely disappeared from Europe in the 17th century.

    · This was due to the increased resistance to the disease, the displacement of the Asian black rat, and better hygiene, improved public health and sanitation

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    b. The conquest of smallpox was the greatest medical triumph of the 18th century.

      · 17th century: 25% of deaths in Great Britain caused by smallpox

      · Smallpox killed perhaps 60 million people in the 18th century; 400,000 per year on avg.

     · 80% of Europeans contracted it; many were scarred for life

     · Lady Mary Wortley Montagu introduced a Turkish technique of vaccination in the 18th century but it was roundly criticized.

    c. Edward Jenner (1749-1823)

      · 1778, created the foundation for the science of immunology with his vaccine for smallpox.

      · Discovered inoculating patients with cowpox would control onset of small pox.

    d. Humanitarianism of late 18th century led to hospital reform.

      ·Ventilation improved and filth eliminated as disease believed to be caused by bad air.

      · Spread of infection was reduced

      · First humane mental hospital founded in England in 1790

G. Religious reform continued in the 18th century.

  1. Pietism and Methodism provided a challenge to established churches

  2. “Pietism” in Germany caused its Protestant revival.

    a. The emotional content of Christian faith was emphasized; enthusiasm in prayer, worship, preaching, and life itself, was the key concept.

    b. Reasserted earlier radical stress on “priesthood of all believers.”

      · Reduced chasm between official clergy and Lutheran laity that had existed since the Reformation.

      · Bible reading and study extended to all classes, thus spurring public education.

    c. Pietists believed in practical power of Christian rebirth in everyday affairs.

      · Reborn Christians expected to lead good, moral lives and come from all sectors of society.

  3. John Wesley (1703-1791) founded Methodism

    a. Influenced by Pietism in Germany

    b. Wesley concerned about complacency of religion in England (also the skepticism of the Enlightenment and deism)

    c. Wesley often preached in open fields to large numbers of people

      · Particularly popular among the lower classes

    d. Rejected the Calvinist idea of predestination

      · He believed all men and women who earnestly sought salvation might be saved.

      · His message was one of hope and joy, of free will and universal salvation.

        e. Methodism eventually developed into a new


V. The Arts in the eighteenth century

A. Visual Arts

  1. Rococo (mid-eighteenth century France)

    a. Identified with the court of Louis XV.

    b. Lighter elements and more curves and natural patterns than the heavier baroque style

    c. Highly decorative

    d. More intimate settings; less grandiose than baroque

    e. Many works focused on playful scenes of the aristocracy and bourgeoisie Watteau: Pilgrimage to Cythera(1721)

Fragonard: The Swing(1767)

    f. Antoine Watteau (1684-1721): first great Rococo painter

      · Pilgrimage to Cythera, (1721)

    g. Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806): The Swing (1767)

  2. Neoclassicism (late-18th, early 19th centuries)

    a. Characteristics

      · Sought a return to the artistic style of ancient Rome, Greek ideals, and the Renaissance

      · Simplicity, balance, symmetry, restraint

    b. Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) was the most important artist of the movement

      · Death of Socrates (1787) is seen as perhaps the first major work of the movement.

      · He painted numerous works glorifying the French Revolution

    c. Neoclassical architecture became popular in many public buildings and private residences.

      · The arch de triomphe is such an example.

      · Washington, D.C. saw numerous buildings created in the “empire” style.

B. Music: Classical Style

  1. The neo-classical ideas in the visual arts influenced music as well with the ideals of balance, symmetry and restraint.

  2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Franz

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), and Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1826) became the masters of the new style

    a. Moved away from the dense baroque textures of

J. S. Bach and Handel

    b. Simple, tuneful melodies and clearer forms

    c. The symphony developed as an important genre

David: The Death of Socrates(1787)

Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Saint-Bernard (1801). David became Napoleon’s official court painter after the coronation in 1804. David (1748-1825) was one of the central figures in the French Neoclassical style of the late-18th century and after 1800 developed his “Empire style” that borrowed from the Venetian style of warm colors. Though planning began in 1806, the Arc de Triomphe was not fully completed until the mid- 1830s. It stands at the western end of the Champs Èlysèes. It is a good example of the Neoclassical style.


The French Revolution (Insert Chart)

Overview: The French Revolution became the most momentous upheaval of the revolutionary age.  It replaced the “Old Regime” with a “modern society.”  It profoundly influenced future revolutions. Chronology and periodization are very important for this unit.

I. Louis XV (r. 1715-1774)

A. The nobility gained influence during his reign

B. His ministers and mistresses exercised undue influence on him, controlling affairs of state and undermining the prestige of the monarchy

      · Madame de Pompadour: most famous mistress of 18th c. who influenced Louis XV in making important gov’t decisions and giving advice on appointments and foreign policy.


Unit 5 Notes-p.4

C. The high court of Paris—the Parlement—was restored with the power to approve or disapprove the king’s decrees.

  1. Once members the middle-class under Louis XIV, these judges had worked their way up to the

“nobility of the robe” (by purchasing their titles).

  2. Louis sought to raise taxes to pay for the War of

Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War but the Parlement of Paris refused. Thus, French kings in the 18th century suffered a similar struggle with taxation that James I and Charles I suffered in England over a century earlier.

  3. Judicial opposition in Paris and the provinces stated that the king could not levy taxes without the consent of the Parlement of Paris, which acted as the

representative of the nation. Received major support from educated public opinion.

  4. 1768, Louis XV appointed René de Maupeou as

chancellor and ordered him to subdue judicial opposition.

    a. Parlement of Paris was abolished and its members exiled to isolated areas in the provinces.

    b. A new and docile parlement of royal officials was created.

    c. Privileged groups were taxed once again.

    d. Philosophes and educated public highly critical of the new parlement and royal authority.

  5. Louis XVI (r. 1774-1792) dismissed Maupeou and repudiated Maupeou’s laws.

a. Old Parlement of Paris reinstated.

b. Although the public hoped for reforms leading to more representative government, it was ultimately disappointed by the stalemate between the monarchy and its judicial opponents.

II. Overview—France in 1789

A. France was in many ways the most advanced country of the 18th century.

  1. Population of nearly 25 million made it the largest country in the world.

  2. Wealthiest country in Europe (but not per capita).

  3. Productive economy: French exports larger than

Britain’s to the European continent.

  4. French culture dominated the continent.

    a. French was the language of official diplomacy and also spoken in most European courts.

    b. France was the center of the 18th century Enlightenment.

    c. French science led the world.

    d. Most powerful military in Europe.

B. The Three Estates were a remnant of medieval France and did not reflect the modern French nation

  1. The clergy (First Estate)

    a. Less than 1% of population but the Catholic Church in France (Gallican Church) owned 20% of the land.

    b. Clergy and the Church were exempt from taxes.

    c. Much of church’s income was drained away from local parishes by political appointees and highranking aristocrats.

    d. However, conditions of the church and the position of the clergy have been much exaggerated as a cause of the French Revolution. Though the French church levied a tithe on all

agricultural products, England did as well.  Bishops both in England and France often played a part in gov’t affairs.

      · The clergy and monastic orders had greatly declined by 1789 in the wake of the Enlightenment

  2. Nobility (Second Estate)

    a. 2-4% of total population; exempt from taxation.

    b. Owned about 25% of the land

    c. Experienced a great resurgence since the death of Louis XIV in 1715.

    d. Enjoyed certain manorial rights that dated back to medieval times that allowed them to tax peasants for their own profit.

  3. The Third Estate consisted of a few rich merchants or professionals, the middle class, urban artisans, unskilled workers and the mass of peasants.

    a. Bore the vast majority of tax burden.

      · Taille: land tax

      · Tithe: church tax equivalent to 10% of annual income.

      · Income tax

      · Poll tax

· Salt tax

    b. Peasants also had to honor feudal obligations such as taxes and fees.

      · Peasants owned about 40% of land in France; occupied nearly all of France.

      · The Second Estate taxed the peasantry for its own profit.

        o The corvèe obligated peasants to work for nobles several days a year.

      · Nobles enjoyed “hunting rights,” or the privilege of keeping game preserves, and hunting on the peasant’s land.

      · Yet, the relation of lord and peasant was not the same as with serfdom in eastern Europe.

    c. The Bourgeoisie demanded that political and social power be congruent with their emerging economic power.

      · Resented the First and Second Estates who held all political and social power.

      · Wanted reduction of privileges for nobility and tax relief for themselves.

      · Hated the Lettre de cachet: Gov’t could imprison anyone without charges or trial.

III. Causes of the French Revolution

A. Long-Term Causes – Breakdown of the old order- ancien regime

  1. The French Revolution was partly influenced by the American Revolution

    a. Many French soldiers had served in America during the American Revolution.

    b. The French bourgeoisie and lower nobility were

intrigued by American ideals of liberty.

    c. Massive French aid to the Americans resulted in

an increase in the already huge French debt

  2. Increased criticism of the French gov’t was spurred

by rising expectations of the Enlightenment.

    a. Political theories of Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu

and other philosophers were popular

    b. Laissez faire economic ideas of French physiocrats (such as Quesnay) and Adam Smith were popular among the middle class. Middle class resented gov’t interference in their economic activities.

    c. Criticism mounted of gov’t inefficiency, corruption,

Unit 5 Notes-p.5

and privileges of the aristocracy. The legal system was chaotic, with no uniform or codified laws.

    d. Divine right theory invoked by the Crown did not

fit in during the age of “enlightened despots”. No representative assembly existed in France

  3. The Three Estates did not reflect the realities of

wealth and ability in French society.

  4. Historical interpretations of class conflict leading to the French Revolution

    a. Traditional view:

      · Bourgeoisie was united by economic position

and class interest and frustrated by feudal laws

      · Eventually, rose up to lead the Third Estate in the Revolution which resulted in abolition of feudal privileges and established a capitalist order based on individualism and a market economy.

    b. Recent research has challenged the traditional


      · Revisionist historians have questioned the existence of a growing social conflict between the bourgeoisie and feudal nobility.

      · Bourgeoisie and nobility were not monolithic but were plagued by internal rivalries.

      · Both groups formed two parallel social ladders, increasingly linked at the top by wealth, marriage, and Enlightenment culture.

        o Nobility continued to accept the wealthiest members of middle class into its ranks (as the “nobility of the robe”)

        o Many nobles shared liberal ideas with the middle class.

        o Until the revolution, the middle class was supported by judicial opposition led by Parlement of Paris.

B. Immediate Cause: Financial Mismanagement

  1. During the reign of Louis XVI, France was nearly


    a. By the 1780s half of France’s annual budget went for payment of interest on the mounting debt.

    · Colonial wars with England.

    · French participation in the American Revolution

   · Yet, debt was only 50% of Britain’s and less than 1/5 as heavy per capita; also less than Dutch Republic; about the same as sum left by Louis XIV.

    b. Major issue: Gov’t could not declare bankruptcy as

it had done in the past

      · Aristocratic and bourgeois creditors did not allow their loans to be repudiated by the monarchy.

    c. France had no central bank, no paper currency, and no means of creating credit. Only way for gov’t to get revenue was to increase taxes

  2. Gov’t was dependent on the poorest classes in society for revenue despite it’s having been taxed to its limit. Inefficiency and corruption of tax system hurt revenues.

  3. Businessmen and merchants attacked France’s state controlled mercantilist economy for its restrictive features.

  4. Inflation between 1730 and 1780s resulted in dramatic price increases while wages did not keep up. Prices of consumer goods rose 65% while wages rose only 22%.

  5. Privileged classes refused to pay increased taxes.

      · Jacques Necker, Louis XVI’s director of finances

tried to raise taxes but was dismissed.

  6. Louis XVI summoned an Assembly of Notables (1787) hoping they would either approve the king’s new tax program or consent to remove their tax exemptions.

    a. Nobles refused tax increases and demanded that

control over all gov’t spending be given to the provincial assemblies (that nobles controlled).

    b. Louis refused. Nobles demanded that sweeping tax changes required approval of Estates General.

    c. The king then dismissed the nobles and established new taxes by decree.

  7. The Parlements controlled by the nobility, blocked tax

increases as well as new taxes in order to force the king to share power with the Second Estate.

    a. Asserted some “fundamental laws” against which no king could violate such as national consent to taxation and freedom from arbitrary arrest and imprisonment.

    b. King tried to exile judges but protests swept the country and investors refused to advance more loans to the state.

    c. On July 5, 1788, king reluctantly summoned for a spring session of Estates General. King asked that all parties study the tax situation and make proposals on the organization of the Estates General under modern conditions. Ironically, by forcing the summoning of the Estates General, the nobility unwittingly initiated the Revolution.

C. Estates General-- May, 1789

  1. Feudal assembly that represented the Three Estates

      · Had only met twice: 1302 (its inception) & 1614.

  2. 1788-89 excitement swept over France on the eve of

its very first election.

  3. “Cahiers de doléances”: Each estate was instructed

to compile a list of suggestions and grievances and present them to the king.

  4. Common agreement among the Three Estates:

    a. France should have a constitutional monarchy

    b. Individual liberties must be guaranteed by law

    c. Position of parish clergy had to be improved

    d. Abolition of internal trade barriers

  5. The main issue dividing the three estates was how

the Estates General should vote

    a. Each Estate expected to elect its own representatives.

    b. Louis XVI doubled number of representatives in Third Estate as a gesture to its size.

      · Almost all male commoners 25 years or older had the right to vote.

      · Most representatives were well-educated and prosperous members of the middle class (lawyers and gov’t officials).

      · There were no delegates from the ranks of the peasantry and artisans.

    c. Parlement of Paris ruled that voting in the Estates General would follow the tradition of each Estate voting separately.

      · First and Second Estates would thus control the

Estates General as both had similar interests to protect, despite increased size of Third Estate.

      · The Abbé Sieyès was the most influential writer in the 3rd Estate: wrote, What is the Third Estate?

        o Claimed the Third Estate should have the power in France.

Unit 5 Notes-p.6

        o Stated nobility should be abolished.

        o Believed the Third Estate represented the vast majority of French society

        o Brought the ideas of Rousseau’s Social Contract to the forefront.

    d. The election took place during the worst depression in 18th century France.

      · Grain shortages, poor harvests, and inflated bread prices.

    e. May 5, 1789: the Estates General met and the Third Estate was furious that the voting method was by Estate and not per capita.

      · Each estate was ordered to meet and vote separately.                            

      · The Third Estate refused and insisted that the entire Estates General vote together.

      · A 6-week deadlock followed until the Third Estate asserted its power in June, aided by some parish priests who defected from the First Estate.

IV. The French Revolution and the “Age of Montesquieu”

A. National Assembly, 1789-1791

  1. June 17, the Third Estate declared itself the true

National Assembly of France.

    a. When locked out of their meeting place by Louis

XVI they met instead in an indoor tennis court.

    b. Tennis Court Oath: The Third Estate swore to

remain together until it had given France a


    c. Third Estate thus assumed sovereign power on

behalf of the nation.

      · In response, Louis XVI brought an army of

18,000 troops to Versailles

    d. Defections from the 1st and 2nd Estates caused

Louis XVI to recognize the National Assembly on June 27, after he dissolved the Estates General.

    e. National Assembly dominated by the bourgeoisie

    f. Point of no return: the king was now allied with

the nobles while the Third Estate now feared the nobles more than ever.

  2. Storming of the Bastille – July 14, 1789

    a. “Parisian” revolution began in response to food shortages, soaring bread prices, 25% unemployment, and fear of military repression.

      · The king’s dismissal of his liberal finance minister created fear of subjugation by aristocratic landowners and grain speculators. Workers and tradesmen began to arm themselves in response to the king’s summoning of troops to Versailles.

    b. On July 14, an angry mob stormed the Bastille in

search of gunpowder and weapons. The heads of the prison’s governor and the mayor were put on pikes and paraded through the streets. Citizens appointed marquis de Lafayette commander of the city’s armed forces.

      · Paris was lost to the king.

    c. The storming of the Bastille inadvertently saved the National Assembly. The king had been prepared to use force to put down the new government

  3. The “Great Fear” of 1789

    a. Spirit of rebellion spread to the French countryside, sparking a wave of violence.

    b. Peasants attacked manor houses in an effort to destroy the legal records of their feudal obligations.

    c. Middle class landowners were also attacked.

    d. Recent enclosures were undone, old common lands were reoccupied, and forests were seized.

    e. Taxes went unpaid.

    f. Middle class responded by forming a National Guard Militia to protect property rights.

  4. August 4, National Assembly voted to abolish feudalism in France and declared equality of taxation to all classes.

    a. Constituted one of the two great social changes of the Revolution (the other was the abolition of guilds)

    b. This was an attempt to stop further violence.

    c. Amounted to a peaceful social revolution

    d. Ended serfdom (where it existed), exclusive hunting rights for nobles, fees for justice, village monopolies, the corvée, and other dues.

    e. Peasantry thus achieved a great and unprecedented victory.

      · Henceforth, they would work to consolidate their gains.

      · As the Great Fear ended, peasants became a force for order and stability.

  5. Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen issued August 26, 1789

    a. Became the constitutional blueprint for France.

      · Influenced by American constitutional ideas

      · Guaranteed due process of law; a citizen was innocent until proven guilty.

      · Sovereignty of the people.

    b. Enlightenment philosophy: classical liberalism

      · “Men are born and remain free and equal in


      · Natural rights are “liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.” (Locke)

      · Law is expression of the “General Will” (Rousseau)

    c. Freedom of expression and religion.

    d. Liberty defined as freedom to do anything not injurious to others, as determined only by law.

    e. Taxes could be raised only with common consent.

    f. All public servants accountable for conduct in office.

    g. Separation of powers through separate branches.

    h. Confiscation of property from private persons had to be done with fair compensation.

    i. “Citizen” applied to all French people, regardless of class.

  6. The unity of the National Assembly began to unravel when dealing with the issue of the monarch’s power.

      · This occurred shortly after the adoption of Declaration of Rights of Man.

  7. Rights of Women

    a. Women gained increased rights to divorce, to inherit property, and to get child support from the fathers of their illegitimate children.

    b. Drawback of Declaration of Rights: Women did not

share in equal rights. Women could not vote or hold office while the existing system gave males the advantage in family law, property rights, and education.

      · At this point in history, there were very few that believed in gender equality.

      · Among the leaders of the revolution, only Condorcet argued for gender equality.

Unit 5 Notes-p.7

    c. Olympe de Gouges: The Rights of Woman, 1791

· Following official Declaration in each of its 17 articles, she applied them to women explicitly in each case.

      · Also asserted the right of women to divorce

under certain conditions, to control property in

marriage, and equal access to higher education and civilian careers and public employment.

    d. Mary Wollstonecraft in England published

Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792.

      · Ideas similar to de Gouges

    e. Madame de Stael

      · Ran a salon and wrote widely read books.

      · Deplored subordination of women to men that the Revolution had done so little to change.

  8. Women’s march to Versailles (Oct. 1789)

    a. Women pushed the revolution forward in October

when shortages of bread persisted.

    b. Incited by Jean-Paul Marat, 7,000 women (along

with the Paris national guard) marched 12 miles from Paris to Versailles demanding the king redress their economic problems.

      · Unemployment resulting from reduced demand

for garments devastated women in the puttingout


      · Women invaded royal apartments, slaughtered

bodyguards while searching for Queen Marie Antoinette.

      · King and Queen forced to move to Paris to live at the Tuleries, the royal residence in Paris

      · Louis XVI met with a group of women in the palace and signed decrees guaranteeing bread in Paris at reasonable prices.

    c. National Assembly also moved to Paris and was

intimidated by the Parisians.

      · King’s power reduced to temporary veto in lawmaking process.

      · King and Assembly made sure bread was available to the masses.

      · The more conservative revolutionaries began to drop out of the Assembly due to disillusionment by mob violence.

  9. Creation of the constitution

    a. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790)

      · In essence, secularized religion

      · Created a national church with 83 bishops and


      · Biggest mistake made by the National Assembly; represented its first significant failure

      · Convents and monasteries abolished.

        o Church property was confiscated to pay off the national debt.

        o Significantly undermined religious orders and schools

      · Archbishoprics abolished.

      · All clergymen would be paid by the state and elected by all citizens.

      · Protestants, Jews, and agnostics could legally take part in the elections based on citizenship and property qualifications.

      · Clergy forbidden to accept the authority of the pope.

      · Clergy forced to take a loyalty oath to the new gov’t (since the pope had condemned the Revolution).

      · Result: deeply divided France over the issue of


        o Pope condemned the act as an attempt to subjugate the church.

        o Half of French priests refused to accept it-“refactory clergy”

           They had the support of the king, former aristocrats, peasants, and the urban working-class.

        o The backlash later led to increased papal influence on the French church during Napoleon’s rule and beyond.

    b. France became a constitutional monarchy with a unicameral Legislative Assembly

      · Middle class controlled the gov’t through an indirect method of voting and property qualifications.

      · Half of males over 25 years eligible to vote

      · Nobility was abolished

    c. The National Assembly divided France into 83 departments governed by elected officials.

      · Replaced the old provincial boundary lines

    d. New system of law courts gave France a uniform

administrative structure: 83 dioceses, departments and judicial districts.

    e. Weakness: Local communities enforced national legislation at their discretion; proved ruinous when war came.

  10. Economic reform-favored the middle rather than

the lowest classes.

    a. Metric system replaced sloppy system of weights and measures.

    b. Le Chapelier Law (1791) outlawed strikes, workers

coalitions and assemblies

      · Monopolies also were prohibited

    c. Internal tariffs abolished.

    d. Assignats became new paper currency.

      · Former church property was used to guarantee value of assignats.

    e. Church land sold to pay off national debt

      · Much of it purchased by peasants.

  11. Flight to Varennes: Louis XVI tried to escape France in June, 1791 to avoid having to approve the Constitution of 1791 and to raise a counterrevolutionary army with émigré noblemen and seek help from foreign powers.

    a. He was captured and the King and Queen became prisoners of the Parisian mobs.

    b. King forced to accept a constitutional monarchy.

  12. International Reaction

    a. Edmund Burke (1729-1797): Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)

      · One of the great intellectual defenses of European conservatism.

      · Defended inherited privileges, especially those of English monarchy and aristocracy.

      · Predicted anarchy and dictatorship in France.

      · Advised England to go slow in adapting its own liberties.

      · Denounced political philosophy based on abstract principles of right and wrong.

      · Believed nations should be shaped by national circumstance, national history, and national character.

      · Eventually, Burke came to urge war as an ideological struggle against French barbarism.

    b. Thomas Paine: Rights of Man (1791)

      · Responded to Burke’s argument by defending Enlightenment principles and France’s revolution.

Unit 5 Notes-p.8

      · Saw triumph of liberty over despotism.

      · Kings and nobles of Europe, some of which

initially welcomed the Revolution, began to feel


B. Legislative Assembly, 1791-1792

  1. A completely new group of legislators replaced the

National Assembly in the new government.

    a. Members of the National Assembly had agreed

that no one in that group would take part in the new gov’t.

    b. New gov’t reflected emergence of political factions

in the revolution competing for power—most important were republican groups.

    c. Members were younger and less cautious than members of the National Assembly.

    d. Jacobins, named after their political club, came to dominate the Legislative Assembly

      · The Girondins, a group of Jacobins, became the left or advanced party of the Revolution in the Legislative Assembly and led the country into war.

      · Passionately committed to liberal revolution.

    e. Domestic problems

      · Nation became sharply polarized.

      · Economic and political chaos mounted.

  2. War was the main issue during the period of the

Legislative Assembly

    a. Declaration of Pillnitz issued by Prussia and Austria in August, 1791.

      · Émigrés, French nobles who fled France beginning in 1789, influenced Prussia and Austria to declare the restoration of the French monarchy as their goal.

        o Preached a kind of holy war.

      · The Austrian Emperor, Leopold, would be willing to take military steps to restore order to France if all other powers joined him.

        o He did not expect to receive unanimous agreement among all the Great Powers

      · The Declaration was really a bluff intended to slow down the revolution and rid himself of French émigrés.

      · Leopold misjudged French revolutionary sentiment and Republican sentiment in France gained strength in response to the Declaration

    b. Legislative Assembly declared war on Austria in

April, 1792.

      · Fueled by ideological fervor and anti-Austrian


      · Girondins became the party of international


        o Claimed the Revolution could never be secure in France until it spread to the world.

    c. War of the First Coalition

      · French revolutionary forces were soundly defeated by the Austrian military.

      · Only the conflict between eastern monarchs over the division of Poland saved France from defeat.

      · Intensified existing unrest and dissatisfaction of unpropertied classes.

    d. Jacobins blamed their defeat on Louis XVI, believing him to be part of a conspiracy with Prussia and Austria.

    e. July 25, 1792: Brunswick Manifesto issued by

Prussia and Austria and threatened to destroy Paris if the royal family was harmed.

      · In response to Brunswick Manifesto, Jacobinincited mobs seized power in Paris.

      · Revolutionary sentiment was stoked by Robespierre, Danton, and the journalist, Marat. August 10, 1792: Tuleries (the king’s palace in Paris) was stormed and the King was taken prisoner, after fleeing to the Legislative Assembly.

        o Swiss Guards were defeated and many were murdered by the Parisian mob.

      · Marked the beginning of the “Second Revolution”

  3. Paris Commune

    a. Revolutionary municipal gov’t set up in Paris, which effectively usurped the power of the Legislative Assembly.

   b. Led by Georges-Jacques Danton

    c. At the urging of radicals, the Legislative Assembly

suspended the Constitution of 1791.

    d. Ordered new elections based on universal male suffrage to summon a new national convention to give France a republican form of gov’t.

  4. September Massacres: (led by Paris Commune)

    a. Rumors spread that imprisoned counterrevolutionary

aristocrats and priests were plotting with foreign invaders.

    b. Mobs slaughtered over a thousand priests, bourgeoisie, and aristocrats who opposed their program; many were in prison.

    c. Most of the revolution’s remaining foreign supporters were shocked by the violence.

V. The “Age of Rousseau”: 1792-1799

A. The National Convention, 1792-1795

  1. France was proclaimed a republic on Sept. 21, 1792

    a. Abolished the monarchy; installed republicanism.

    b. Based on the ideas of Equality, Liberty, Fraternity

    c. A majority of the members of National Convention were Jacobins and republicans, largely well educated middle class.

  2. Two factions emerged among the Jacobins:

    a. The Mountain: radical republicans; urban class

      · Its leaders, Danton and Robespierre, sat on the uppermost left-hand benches of the assembly hall.

    b. Girondins: more moderate than the Mountain and predominantly rural

  3. The sans-culottes became very influential on the National Convention

    a. Predominantly from the working-class; extremely radical.

    b. Were a separate faction from those of the National

Convention and had an economic agenda.

    c. Their violence and influence kept the revolution moving forward

      · Responsible for storming Bastille, marching to Versailles, driving the king from Tuleries, and the September Massacres.

      · They feared the National Convention might be

too moderate.

d. Favored direct democracy in their neighborhood

clubs and assemblies, together with a mass rising

if necessary against the Convention itself.

An image of sans culottes

4. Revolutionary army victories

a. Prussians were stopped at the indecisive Battle of

Valmy on Sept. 20, 1792.

· Great moral victory for the National Convention

b. Battle of Jemappes: first major victory for France

Unit 5 Notes-p.9

resulted in the occupation of the entire Austrian

Netherlands by November 1792.

    c. In February 1793, National Convention declared

war on Britain, Holland and Spain, in addition to

its war with Austria and Prussia—First Coalition

  5. Louis XVI convicted of treason and executed in

January 1793.

    a. Those who voted for regicide now had to preserve

the gov’t for they would lose their lives if royalists

returned to power.

    b. Republic’s military fortunes were in a state of

crisis by spring of 1793

  6. May 1793: The “Mountain” (“Jacobins”) supported

by the sans-culottes ousted the Girondins

    a. The Mountain believed the Girondins would ally

with conservatives and royalists to retain power.

    b. Enragés—radical working class leaders of Paris—

seized & arrested 31 Girondist members of National Convention and left the Mountain in control.

      · Even more radical than the sans-culottes

    c. The revolutionary government had finally lost the

confidence of much of France.

   d. Many Girondins fled Paris and worked against the


      · Marat was stabbed by Charlotte Corday, a supporter of the Girondist faction, in 1793. See Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) famous neoclassical painting “The Death of Marat”

  7. Jacobins closed women’s political clubs by 1793-94

B. Committee of Public Safety (1793-94)

  1. By the summer of 1793, the Committee of Public

Safety became an emergency gov’t to deal with internal and external challenges to the revolution.

  2. Led by Maximilien Robespierre

    a. Influenced heavily by the ideas of Rousseau and

fanatically supported revolutionary idealism

    b. Louis Saint-Just also was a major leader alongside Robespierre

  3. Committee closely collaborated with sans-culottes.

  4. Law of Maximum: a planned economy to respond to

food shortages and related economic problems.

    a. Would enable France to urge total war against its

external enemies.

    b. Gov’t decreed maximum allowable prices, fixed in

paper assignats, for key products.

   c. Price of bread fixed at levels poor could afford.

    d. Rationing introduced to make sure bread was shared fairly.

    e. Gov’t nationalized many small workshops and

requisitioned raw materials and grain from peasants.

    f. Arms and munitions produced for war effort.

    g. In effect, it was an early version of socialism.

  5. Slavery abolished in the French colonies (Santo

Domingo and Haiti)

  6. Military victory

    a. Lazare Carnot reorganized the French army.

      · Lévee en masse: the entire nation conscripted into service as war was defined as a national mission.

      · Size of army grew to 1 million men; unprecedented in history of European warfare.

      b. By July 1794, Austrian Netherlands and the

Rhineland were once again controlled by France.

    c. The First Coalition was falling apart.

    d. The planned economy made mobilization effective.

    e. Nationalism became a strong force uniting French


    f. Victories led to relaxation of emergency controls

but the Reign of Terror extended.

  7. Reign of Terror (1793-94)

    a. Most notorious event of the French Revolution.

    b. Law of Suspects: Alleged enemies of the revolution were brought before Revolutionary Tribunals that were created to hear cases of treason

      · Instituted as an alternative to the lynch law of

the September massacres.

    c. Louis XVI convicted of treason and executed on

January 21, 1793.

    d. Queen Marie Antoinette executed later in the year.

    e. About 40,000 people throughout France executed or died in prison; many by the guillotine.

    f. Executions became a spectator sport.

    g. The terror became a political weapon; not directed at any class in particular.

      · 8% were nobles

      · 14% bourgeoisie (mainly from rebellious southern cities)

      · 6% clergy

      · 70% peasant and laboring classes.

      · Most deaths occurred in places in open revolt against the Convention, such as the Vendée in western France.

      · Another 300,000 imprisoned

    h. Eventually, no one could feel safe from Robespierre’s reign of terror as leading Jacobins who opposed Robespierre were eventually executed

      · Girondists executed in September of 1793 (including Charlotte Corday who assassinated Marat)

      · Jacques Hébert, radical social democrat who led the “angry men”—Hébertistes were his followers.

        o Hébertistes were a party of extreme terror

        o Most of its leaders were executed in March 1794.

        o Had been responsible for deaths of 2,000 people at Nantes where they were loaded on barges and deliberately drowned.

        o Paris Commune was thus destroyed.

      · Danton and his followers were executed in April, 1794

  8. “Republic of Virtue” emerged as new political culture

under Robespierre to inculcate revolutionary virtue

    a. Cult of the Supreme Being introduced in June, 1794

Deistic natural religion, in which the Republic was declared to recognize the existence of God and the immortality of the soul.

      · Notre Dame Cathedral was converted into the “Temple of Reason”

    b. Catholics were now firmly against Convention.

  9. Thermidorian Reaction, 1794

    a. Opposition to Robespierre mounted in July, 1794

      · Some followers of the Enlightenment who were

influenced by the ideas of Voltaire, helped bring about Robespierre’s downfall.

      · July 27, 1794, Robespierre was denounced in the Convention, arrested, and executed the next day, along with his close associates.

     · After death of Danton, many in the National Assembly feared they might be next.

Unit 5 Notes-p.10

      · Working-class radicals no longer supported him

after deaths of Hébert and other left-wing radicals.

    b. Thermidorian Reaction (1794): ended reign of


      · Constituted a significant swing to the right (conservatism).

      · Respectable bourgeois middle-class lawyers and professionals who had led liberal Revolution of 1789 reasserted their authority.

      · Reduced powers of the Committee of Public Safety and closed the Jacobin club.

      · Girondins readmitted.

C. The Directory: 1795-1799

  1. New constitution written in 1795 which set up a

republican form of gov’t.

    a. A new assembly chose a five-member executive to

govern France: the Directory

    b. Bicameral legislature

    c. Executive was the Directory, made up of 5 directors.

    d. Almost all adult males were able to vote but they

only voted for “electors.”

    e. Office holding reserved to property owners.

  2. Middle class controlled the government.

    a. This became the Directory’s major weakness as

it’s support came from a narrow band of French society.

    b. All economic controls were removed which ended

the influence of the sans-culottes.

      · More paper money was printed.

      · Allowed prices to rise sharply.

      · Middle class sought peace in order to gain more wealth and to establish a society where money and property determined prestige and power.

    c. Directory in 1795 disbanded women’s workshops and urged women to tend to their homes

  3. Challenges to the Directory

    a. October, 1795, the aristocracy attempted a royalist uprising.

      · Reaction to a provision in the constitution stated that 2/3 of men elected to the legislature had to be ex-members of the National Convention of 1789-91.

      · Rebellion put down with the help of Napoleon Bonaparte who happened to be in Paris at the time.

      · Thus, the constitutional republic made itself dependent on military protection at the outset.

    b. Sans-culottes repeatedly criticized the gov’t and its economic policies but did not have the influence to force change

    c. Conspiracy of Equals led by “Gracchus” Babeuf formed to overthrow the Directory and replace it with a dictatorial “democratic” gov’t which would abolish private property and enforce equality.

      · Regarded as a precursor to modern communism.

      · Directory repressed the Conspiracy of Equals

without difficulty and guillotined Babeuf

    d. Growing inflation and mass public dissatisfaction

mounted but ignored by the Directory.

      · Gov’t was bankrupt, corrupt and unwilling to control inflation that severely hurt the impoverished masses of French peasants.

    e. Elections in April 1797 resulted in victory for

royalists right but the results were annulled by the


      · A dictatorship favorable to the revolution established—“Post Fructidorian Terror”

      · Idea of maintaining the republic as a free or constitutional gov’t was abandoned.

  4. Military successes during the Directory enabled it to remain in power until 1799.

    a. First Coalition effectively defeated by 1797.

    b. England was isolated; removed its army from the


    c. France defeated English armies in Egypt—Battle of the Pyramids (1798)

      · However, Napoleon later had his navy destroyed by England’s Lord Horatio Nelson in the Battle of the Nile (1798)

  5. End of the Directory

    a. A conspiracy emerged to save the Revolution and prevent a royalist return to power.

    b. Abbé Sieyès, the leader of the conspiracy, invited Napoleon to join conspirators and overthrow the Directory; he did so upon returning from Egypt with his forces.

    c. Coup d’Ètat Brumaire, November, 1799

      · Upon returning from Egypt with his forces, Napoleon drove legislators from the Legislative Assembly.

    · A new constitution established beginning the Consulate Era.

    · A plebiscite (general referendum) overwhelmingly approved: 3,011,007 to 1,562.




The Napoleonic Era: 1799-1815

Chronology and periodization are very important for this unit.

Nat’l Assembly: 1789-1791

· Tennis Court Oath

· Storming of the Bastille

· Great Fear and abolition of feudalism

· Civil Constitution of the Clergy

· Declaration of the Rights of Man

Nat’l Convention: 1792-1795

· Creation of the Republic

· Execution of Louis XVI

· Committee of Public Safety

· Reign of Terror

· Thermidorian Reaction

Consulate: 1799-1804

· Code Napoleon

· Concordat of 1801

· War of the 2nd Coalition

Legislative Assembly: 1791-92

· Jacobins vs. Girondins

· War of the First Coalition

· Paris Commune

· September Massacres

The Directory: 1795-99

· Ruling bourgeoisie vs. aristocracy and sans-culottes

· Coup d’etat Brumaire

Napoleonic Empire: 1804-15

· Confederation of the Rhine

· Continental System

· Treaty of Tilsit

Unit 5 Notes-p.11

· Peninsular War

· Russian Campaign

· Waterloo

I. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

A. Born of Italian descent to a prominent Corsican family on the French island of Corsica.

B. Military genius; specialized in artillery

C. An avid “child of the Enlightenment” and Revolution.

D. Associated with the Jacobins and advanced rapidly in the army due to vacancies caused by the emigration of

aristocratic officers.

E. Eventually inspired a divided country during the

Directory period into a unified nation but at the price of

individual liberty.

II. Consulate Period: 1799-1804 (Enlightened Reform)

A. Took power on December 25, 1799 with the constitution

giving supreme power to Napoleon.

  1. As First Consul, Napoleon, behaved more as an

absolute ruler than a revolutionary statesman.

  2. Sought to govern France by demanding loyalty to the

state, rewarding ability and creating an effective hierarchical bureaucracy. However, wealth determined status

  3. Napoleon may be thought of as the last and most

eminent of the enlightened despots.

B. Reforms

  1. Napoleon Code-Legal unity provided first clear and complete codification of French Law

    a. Perhaps the longest lasting legacy of Napoleon’s

rule. Included a civil code, code of criminal procedure, a commercial code and a penal code. Emphasized the protection of private property

    b. Resulted in strong central gov’t and administrative unity.

    c. Many achievements of revolution were made permanent.

      · Equality before the law: no more estates, legal

classes, privileges, local liberties, hereditary offices, guilds, or manors.

      · Freedom of religion

      · State was secular in character

      · Property rights

      · Abolition of serfdom

      · Gave women inheritance rights

    d. Denied women equal status with men (except

inheritance rights)

      · Women and children were legally dependent on

their husband or father.

      · Divorce more difficult to obtain than during the


      · Women could not buy or sell property or begin

a business without the consent of their husbands.

      · Income earned by wives went to their husbands

      · Penalties for adultery were far more severe for

women than men

  2. “Careers Open to talent”

    a. Citizens theoretically were able to rise in gov’t

service purely according on their abilities.

    b. Creation of new imperial nobility to reward most

talented generals & officials.

    c. Wealth determined status

      · The middle class benefited significantly

      · The gov’t rewarded wealthy people who effectively served the state with pensions, property or titles.

        o Over ½ of titles were given to those who had served in the military

      · Napoleon created 3,600 titles between 1808 and 1814

        o Yet, the number of nobles in France in 1814 only totaled 1/7 of the nobles that had existed in the Old Regime.

    c. Neither military commissions nor civil offices could

be bought and sold.

    d. Granted amnesty to 100K émigrés in return for a loyalty oath. Many soon occupied high posts in expanding state.

    e. Some notables from foreign countries (e.g. Italy, Netherlands and Germany) served the empire with distinction

    f. Working-class movement (e.g. Sans-Culottes) was no longer politically significant.

      · Workers were denied the right to form trade unions

  3. Religious reforms:

    a. Concordat of 1801 with Roman Catholic Church

      · Napoleon’s motives:

        o Making peace with the Church would help weaken its link to monarchists who sought a restoration of the Bourbons.

        o Religion would help people accept economic inequalities in French society

      · Provisions:

        o Papacy renounced claims to Church property that had been seized during the Revolution

        o French gov’t allowed to nominate or depose bishops.

        o In return, priests who had resisted the Civil Constitutions of the Clergy would replace those who had sworn an oath to the state.

        o Since the pope gave up claim to Church lands, those citizens who had acquired them pledged loyalty to Napoleon’s gov’t.

        o Catholic worship in public allowed.

        o Church seminaries reopened.

        o Extended legal toleration to Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and atheists who all received same civil rights.

        o Replaced the Revolutionary Calendar with the Christian calendar.

    b. To dispel notion of an established church, Napoleon put Protestant ministers of all denominations on the state payroll.

  4. Financial unity

    a. Bank of France (1800) served interests of the state and financial oligarchy.

      · A revived version of one of the banks of the

Old Regime.

    b. Balanced the national budget

    c. Established sound currency and public credit.

      · This was far superior to the chaos surrounding the assignats during the Revolution.

    d. Economic reform to stimulate economy:

      · Provided food at low prices.

      · Increased employment.

      · Lowered taxes on farmers

      · Guaranteed that church lands redistributed during the Revolution remained in hands of the new owners, mostly peasants.

      · Created an independent peasantry that would be the backbone of French democracy.

Unit 5 Notes-p.12

      · Tax collections became more efficient.

      · Workers not allowed to form guilds or trade


        o Retained the Le Chapelier Law of 1791

  5. Educational reforms based on system of public

education under state control

    a. Rigorous standards; available to the masses

    b. Secondary and higher education reorganized to

prepare young men for gov’t service and professional occupations.

    c. Education became important in determining social

standing: one system for those who could spend 12 or more years at school; the other for boys who entered work force at age of 12 or 14.

  6. Creation of a police state.

    a. Spy system kept thousands of citizens under

continuous surveillance.

    b. After 1810, political suspects held in state prisons,

as they had been during the Terror.

      · 2,500 political prisoners existed in 1814.

    c. Ruthlessly put down opposition, especially guerrillas in the west in provinces of the Vendèe and Brittany.

    d. Most publicly notorious action was the 1804 arrest

and execution of a Bourbon, the duke of Enghien, who had allegedly took part in a plot against Napoleon.

      · There was no evidence he was involved with the plot

      · European public opinion was livid

  7. Drawbacks of Napoleon’s Reforms

    a. Severe inequality for women (see above)

    b. Workers not allowed to form trade unions

    c. Repressed liberty, subverted republicanism, and

restored absolutism in France through the creation of a police state

    d. Practiced nepotism by placing his relatives on the

thrones of nations he conquered (see below)

III. Napoleonic Wars during the Consulate Era

A. The series of wars were usually short and distinct.

  1. Only Britain was at war continually with France at this time.

  2. The four Great Powers (Britain, Austria, Prussia,

Russia) did not fight France simultaneously until 1813.

    a. Nations were willing to ally with Napoleon for their

own foreign policy benefit.

    b. Only gradually, after Napoleon had conquered Italy, did they decide Napoleon had to be defeated for a peaceful Europe.

B. War of the Second Coalition: 1798-1801

  1. Napoleon had his navy destroyed by England’s Lord

Horatio Nelson in the Battle of the Nile (1898).

      · Napoleon and the French army isolated in North


  2. Napoleon victorious in the war, nevertheless

  3. Treaty of Lunèville (1801)

    a. Ended the Second Coalition.

    b. Resulted in Austria’s loss of its Italian possessions.

    c. German territory on the west bank of the Rhine

incorporated into France.

    d. Russia retreated from western Europe when they

saw their ambitions in the Mediterranean blocked

by the British.

    e. Britain again was isolated.

C. Peace Interim, 1802

  1. Treaty of Amiens with Britain in 1802

    a. Hoping to increase its trade with the Continent, Britain agreed to return Trinidad and Caribbean islands it had seized from France in 1793.

    b. France remained in control of Holland, Austrian Netherlands, west bank of the Rhine, and most of Italian peninsula.

    c. To the dismay of Britain, the treaty did not expand

commerce between Britain and the Continent.

      · Treaty clearly a victory for Napoleon.

    d. Britain technically violated treaty by failing to evacuate the island of Malta, thus provoking a new war with Napoleon

  2. Napoleon reorganized the Confederation of Switzerland.

  3. Sent large army to Haiti to subdue a slave rebellion

    a. Forces decimated by disease and slave rebels.

    b. Sold Louisiana to U.S. as his hopes for re-creating an American empire were squelched by problems in the Caribbean and an impending war with Britain.

IV. Empire Period, 1804-1814 (War and Defeat)

A. Dec 2, 1804, Napoleon crowned himself hereditary

Emperor of France in Notre-Dame Cathedral.

  1. Hoped to preempt plans of royalists to return the Bourbons to the throne

  2. Believed an empire was necessary for France to maintain and expand its influence throughout Europe.

  3. Napoleon viewed himself as a liberator who freed foreign peoples from the absolute rulers who oppressed them.

  4. His domination over other nations unleashed the forces of nationalism in those countries which ultimately resulted in his downfall

Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Saint-Bernard (1801). David became Napoleon’s official court painter after the coronation in 1804. David (1748-1825) was one of the central figures in the French Neoclassical style of the late-18th century and after 1800 developed his “Empire style” that borrowed from the Venetian style of warm colors.

B. The Grand Empire

  1. Beginning in 1805, Napoleon engaged in constant warfare

  2. Eventually, Napoleon achieved the largest empire since Roman times (although it was only temporary)

    a. France extended to the Rhine, including Belgium and Holland, the German coast to the western Baltic, and the Italian coast extending down to Rome.

    b. Dependent satellite kingdoms where Napoleon put his appointees on the throne:

      · Confederation of the Rhine

      · Brother, Joseph Bonaparte, became king of Spain in 1808.

      · Youngest brother, Jerome, became king of Westphalia.

      · Brother, Louis, was king of Holland for 6 years before Napoleon had him removed and incorporated Holland into France.

      · Italy

        o His sister, Caroline, became Queen of Naples.

        o Lombardy, Venice and Papal States ruled by his step-son

        o Abolished feudalism and reformed the social, political, and economic structures.      


Unit 5 Notes-p.13            

        o He decided against creating a unified Italy since it might one day threaten his influence.

      · Duchy of Warsaw

      · Illyrian Provinces, which included Trieste

and the Dalmatian coast.

  3. Independent but allied states included: Austria,

Prussia and Russia.

  4. All countries of the Grand Empire saw the

introduction of some of the main principles of the

French Revolution.

    a. Notable exception: no self-gov’t through elected

legislative bodies.

    b. Initially, Napoleon was supported by commercial

and professional classes who supported the Enlightenment.

    c. Repression and exploitation eventually turned his

conquered territories against him.

      · Conscription into the French army

      · Higher taxes (while taxes in France were lowered)

      · Continental System

    d. Enlightenment reformers believed Napoleon had

betrayed the ideals of the Revolution.

C. War of the Third Coalition: (1805-1807)

  1. In 1803, Napoleon began preparations to invade

Great Britain.

  2. In 1805, Austria signed an alliance with Britain.

  3. Coalition was complete with the addition of Russia

under Tsar Alexander I (grandson of Catherine the Great) and Sweden

  4. Napoleon’s conquest of Italy convinced Russia and

Austria that Napoleon was threat to balance of power.

  5. Battle of Trafalgar, October 21, 1805

    a. French and Spanish fleets were destroyed by the British navy under the command of Lord Horatio Nelson, off the Spanish coast.

      · Established supremacy of British navy for over a century.

    b. French invasion of Britain no longer feasible

    c. Though killed in the battle, Nelson became one of the great military heroes in English history.

  6. Battle of Austerlitz, December, 1805 (Moravia)

    a. Alexander I pulled Russian troops out of the battle, giving Napoleon another victory

    b. Austria accepted large territorial losses in return for peace.

    c. Third Coalition collapsed.

    d. Napoleon was now the master of western and central Europe

    e. In commemoration of his victory, Napoleon commissioned the Arc de Triomphe in 1806

      · Using a classical style, the Arc hearkened back to the Roman Empire when caesars would build arches to signify important victories.

      · Napoleon was clearly emphasizing the conquest of an empire

  7. Prussia was twice defeated by Napoleon in 1806 at

the Battle of Jena and at Auerstadt

  8. Alexander I of Russia sought peace after Napoleon

won another victory in spring of 1807. Though planning began in 1806, the Arc de Triomphe was not fully

completed until the mid-1830s. It stands at the western end of the Champs Èlysèes. It is a good example of the

Neoclassical style.

  9. Treaty of Tilsit, June 1807

    a. Provisions:

      · Prussia lost half its population in lands ceded to France.

      · Russia accepted Napoleon’s reorganization of western and central Europe.

      · Russia also agreed to accept Napoleon’s Continental System.

    b. In many ways, the treaty represented the height of Napoleon’s success.

      · French and Russian empires became allies, mainly against Britain.

      · Alexander accepted Napoleon’s domination of western Europe

      · France continued to occupy Berlin and enjoyed increased control in western Germany

D. Reorganization of Germany

  1. After soundly defeating the two most powerful and influential German states-Austria and Prussia-Napoleon reorganized Germany.

  2. He consolidated many of the nearly 300 independent

political entities.

    a. Confederation of the Rhine: 15 German states minus Austria, Prussia, and Saxony.

      · Napoleon named himself “Protector” of the Confederation.

      · Many tiny German states abolished.

    b. Holy Roman Empire was abolished; emperor had traditionally been ruler of Austria.

    c. A new kingdom of Westphalia was created out of all Prussian territories west of the Elbe and territories taken from Hanover.

    d. Abolished feudalism and carried out reforms.

    e. Napoleon unwittingly awakened German nationalism due to France’s domination and repression of the German states.

E. The Continental System

  1. Napoleon decided to wage economic warfare against

Britain after his loss at the Battle of Trafalgar.

  2. Through shifting alliances, Britain had consistently

maintained the balance of power against France.

  3. Berlin Decree, 1806: Napoleon sought to starve Britain out by closing ports on the continent to British commerce.

    · Napoleon coerced Russia, Prussia, neutral Denmark and Portugal, and Spain all to adhere to the boycott in the Treaty of Tilsit (1807).

  4. England, in response, issued the “order in council”: neutrals might enter continental ports only if they first stopped in Great Britain.

    a. Regulations encouraged these ships to be loaded with British goods before continuing on to the Continent.

    b. British sought to strangle French trade, not French  imports of British goods.

  5. Milan Decree, 1807: Napoleon’s response to the “order in council”

      · Any neutral ship entering a British port, or submitting to a British warship at sea, would be confiscated by if it attempted to enter a Continental port.

  6. War of 1812: U.S. eventually declared war against Britain in defense of its neutral shipping rights.

  7. Continental System ultimately was a major failure

Unit 5 Notes-p.14

    a. Caused widespread antagonism to Napoleon’s rule in Europe.

    b. Imports from America were too much in demand in Europe.

    c. European industries could not equal Britain’s industrial output.

    d. Without railroads, the Continental system was impossible to maintain.

    e. Shippers, shipbuilders, and dealers in overseas goods, a powerful element of the older bourgeoisie, were ruined.

      · Eastern Europeans especially were hard hit as

they had no industry and were dependent on imports.

    f. British made up lost trade with Europe by expanding exports to Latin America.

F. The Peninsular War (1808-1814)

  1. First great revolt against Napoleon’s power occurred

in Spain.

  2. When Napoleon tried to tighten his control over Spain by replacing the Spanish King with his brother,

Joseph, the Spanish people waged a costly guerrilla war.

    a. Aided by the British under one of their ablest commanders, Duke of Wellington.

    b. France suffered from Britain’s counter-blockade

resulting in the Continental System’s failure.

   c. Looking for a scapegoat, Napoleon turned on

Alexander I of Russia, who had actually supported his blockade against Britain.

G. 1810, Napoleon married Marie Louise, the 18-year-old daughter of the Austrian emperor and niece of Marie


      · By marriage, Napoleon was now nephew of Louis XVI and he began to show more consideration to French

noblemen of the Old Regime.

H. Russian Campaign (1812)

  1. Napoleon invaded Russia in June of 1812, with his

Grand Army of 600,000

    a. Only 1/3 of his forces were French.

    b. Cause: Russians withdrew from the Continental

System due to economic hardships it had caused.

  2. Battle of Borodino, 1812, ended in a draw with the

Russians retreating in good order.

      · Napoleon had thus overextended himself.

  3. Napoleon forced to retreat from Moscow after 5

weeks during the brutal Russian winter due to the

“scorched earth” tactic of the Russians.

      · Russians evacuated, then burned Moscow and

refused to negotiate.

  4. Only 30,000 men in Napoleon’s army returned to

their homelands.

    a. 400,000 died of battle casualties, starvation, and


    b. 100,000 were taken prisoner.

  5. Napoleon raced home to raise another army while

Austria and Prussia deserted Napoleon and joined Russia and Great Britain in the Fourth Coalition.

I. War of the Fourth Coalition: (1813-1814) Britain,

Russia, Austria & Prussia

  1. Battle of Leipzig (“Battle of Nations”), October,

1813: Napoleon finally defeated a. Napoleon lost 500K of his 600K Grand Army

    b. Largest battle in world history until 20th century.

  2. Napoleon refused to accept terms of Austrian foreign

minister Metternich’s “Frankfurt Proposals” to reduce France to its historical size in return for his remaining on the throne

  3. Quadruple Alliance created in March, 1814

      · Each power agreed to provide 150,000 soldiers to

enforce peace terms.

  4. Napoleon abdicated as emperor on April 4, 1814 after

allied armies entered Paris.

  5. Bourbons were restored to the throne; Louis XVIII.

    a. Charter of 1814: King created a two-house legislature that represented only the upper classes.

      · First constitution in European history issued by a monarch.

    b. Restoration maintained most of Napoleon’s reforms such as the Code Napoleon, the Concordat with the pope, and the abolition of feudalism.

  6. The “first” Treaty of Paris, May 30, 1814

    a. France surrendered all territory gained since the Wars of the Revolution had begun in 1792.

    b. Allied powers imposed no indemnity or reparations (after Louis XVIII had refused to pay).

  7. Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba as a sovereign with an income from France.

  8. Quadruple Alliance agreed to meet in Vienna to work out a general peace settlement.

V. Congress of Vienna (September 1814-June 1815)

A. Representatives of major powers of Europe, including

France, met to redraw territorial lines and to try and

restore the social and political order of the ancien regime

B. The “Big Four”: Austria, England, Prussia, and Russia

  1. Klemens Von Metternich represented Austria.

    a. Epitomized conservative reaction.

    b. Opposed to the ideas of liberals and reformers because of the impact such forces would have on the multinational Hapsburg Empire.

  2. England represented by Lord Castlereagh.

      · Sought a balance of power by surrounding France with larger and stronger states.

  3. Prussia sought to recover Prussian territory lost to

Napoleon in 1807 and gain additional territory in northern Germany (Saxony).

  4. Czar Alexander I represented Russia

      · Demanded “free” and “independent” Poland, with

himself as its king.

  5. France later became involved in the deliberations.

      · Represented by Talleyrand, the French Foreign Minister.

C. The “Dancing Congress”

  1. The Congress was held amid much pageantry, parties, balls and banquets.

  2. This was intended to generate favorable “public opinion” and occupy the delegates, since they had little to do of any serious nature.

D. Principles of Settlement: Legitimacy, Compensation, Balance of Power

  1. “Legitimacy” meant returning to power the ruling families deposed by more than two decades of revolutionary warfare.

    a. Bourbons restored in France, Spain, and Naples.

    b. Dynasties restored in Holland, Sardinia, Tuscany and Modena.

    c. Papal States were returned to the Pope.

Unit 5 Notes-p.15

  2. “Compensation” meant territorially rewarding those

states which had made considerable sacrifices to

defeat Napoleon.

    a. England received naval bases (Malta, Ceylon,

Cape of Good Hope)

    b. Austria recovered the Italian province of Lombardy

and was awarded adjacent Venetia as well as Galicia (from Poland), and the Illyrian Provinces along the Adriatic.

    c. Russia was given most of Poland, with Czar as

King, as well as Finland and Bessarabia (modern day

Moldova and western Ukraine).

    d. Prussia awarded the Rhineland, 3/5 of Saxony and

part of Poland.

    e. Sweden received Norway.

  3. “Balance of Power”: arranged the map of Europe so

that never again could one state upset the international order and cause a general war.

    a. Encirclement of France achieved through the


      · A strengthened Netherlands.

      o United the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium) with Holland to form the Kingdom of the United Netherlands north of France.

      · Prussia received Rhenish lands bordering on

the eastern French frontier (left bank of the Rhine)

     · Switzerland received a guarantee of perpetual


    b. End of Hapsburg Holy Roman Empire

      · Enhanced Austrian influence over the German

states by creating the German Confederation (Bund) of 39 states out of the original 300, with Austria designated as President of the Diet (Assembly) of the Confederation.

      · Maintained Napoleon’s reorganization

      · Loose confederation where members remained

virtually sovereign.

    c. Sardinia (Piedmont) had its former territory restored, with the addition of Genoa.

    d. A compromise on Poland reached—“Congress

Poland” created with Alexander I of Russia as king; lasted 15 years.

    e. Only Britain remained as a growing power—began

their century of world leadership from 1814 to 1914.

E. Hundred Days (March 20-June 22, 1815)

  1. Napoleon capitalized on the stalled talks at Vienna

and left Elba for France.

  2. Hundred Days began on March 1, 1815, when Napoleon landed in the south of France and marched

with large-scale popular support, into Paris.

      · Seized power from Louis XVIII, who fled Paris.

  3. Napoleon raised an army and then defeated a

Prussian army in Belgium on June 16, 1815.

  4. Battle of Waterloo, June 1815

    a. Last battle of the Napoleonic Wars

    b. Napoleon was defeated in Waterloo, Belgium, by

England’s army led by the Duke of Wellington and Prussian forces

  5. Napoleon was exiled to the South Atlantic island of

St. Helena, far off the coast of Africa, where he died in 1821.

  6. The “second” Treaty of Paris (1815): Allies now dealt

harshly with France in subsequent negotiations.

    a. Minor changes of the frontiers previously agreed to.

    b. France had to pay an indemnity of 700,000,000 francs for loss of life

VI. Evaluation of Napoleon’s rule

A. First egalitarian dictatorship of modern times.

B. Positive achievements.

  1. Revolutionary institutions consolidated.

  2. Thoroughly centralized French government.

  3. Made a lasting settlement with the Church.

  4. Spread positive achievements of French Revolution to the rest of Europe.

C. Liabilities

  1. Repressed individual liberty

  2. Subverted republicanism

  3. Oppressed conquered peoples throughout Europe.

  4. Caused terrific suffering as a result of war.

VII. Concert of Europe (1815-1848)

A. Included arrangements to guarantee enforcement of the status quo as defined by the Vienna settlement

· Highly conservative in nature

B. Quadruple Alliance: Russia, Prussia, Austria & Britain

  1. Provided for concerted action to put down any threat

to the peace or balance of power.

  2. France was usually seen as the possible violator of

the Vienna settlement. No Bonaparte should ever again govern France.

  3. Austria believed concerted action meant the great

powers defending status quo as established at Vienna

against any change or threat to the system. Liberalism and nationalism were seen as threats to the existing order.

C. Congress System: 1815-1822

  1. European international relations were controlled by

series of meetings held by great powers to monitor and defend the status quo.

  2. Principle of collective security required unanimity

among members of the Quadruple Alliance.

  3. Britain eventually bowed out

D. Evaluation of the Concert of Europe

  1. Congress of Vienna has been criticized for ignoring

liberal and nationalist aspirations of Europeans.

      · Underestimated the new nationalism generated by

the French Revolution

  2. Yet, the Congress of Vienna may have been more

successful in stabilizing the international system than

those in the 20th century.

    a. Not until the unification of Germany in 1870-71

was the balance of power in Europe upset.

    b. Not until WWI did Europe have another general


E. The “Holy Alliance” of Czar Alexander I of Russia

  1. Proposed for all monarchs to sign a statement agreeing to uphold Christian principles of charity and peace throughout Europe.

  2. All signed it except the pope, the sultan, and Britain

  3. No one except Alexander took it seriously.

  4. Liberals came to view it as a sort of unholy alliance of

monarchies against liberty and progress.

VII. French Revolution Evaluated

A. Results of the Revolution.


Unit 5 Notes-p.16

  1. Old social system destroyed and replaced with a new one based on equality, ability and the law.

  2. Guaranteed triumph of capitalism

  3. Gave birth to notion of secular democracy

  4. Laid foundations for establishment of modern nationstate.

B. Some modern historians have challenged the traditional

view of the origins of the French Revolution.

  1. Some argue that key sections of the nobility were


  2. Others point out that the nobility and the bourgeoisie

were not necessarily economic rivals.

C. Historians have traditionally concluded the French

Revolution ended in failure.

D. The Revolution can be seen as having numerous


  1. After fall of Robespierre, solid middle class, with its

liberal philosophy and Enlightenment world-view,

reasserted itself.

    a. Under the Directory, it salvaged a good portion of social and political gains that it and the peasantry had made between 1789 and 1791.

    b. Old pattern of separate legal orders and absolute monarchy was never re-established.

  2. Napoleon built on the policies of the Directory

    a. Added support of old nobility and the Church to that of the middle class and the peasantry.

    b. Promoted reconciliation of old and new orders.

    c. Centralized government.

    d. Careers open to Talent

3. Louis XVIII had to accept French society based on wealth and achievement.

    a. Granted representative gov’t and civil liberties.

    b. Core of the French Revolution thus survived a generation of war and dictatorship.

VIII. How did the French Revolution embody the ideas of the Enlightenment?

A. Scientific and rational thought led to a desire for political


  1. Progress in all fields, including government, was seen as necessary and possible.

  2. Political science could be based on natural laws. The

economy, too, was made more “rational” through the

ending of internal barriers to trade.

B. Phase One-The Age of Montesquieu: Pre-1789—

The Monarchy

  1. In The Spirit of the Laws (1753), Montesquieu argued

for a constitutional monarchy and a liberal government.

· Advocated a separation of powers (three branches) among the nobles, the monarchy, and the representatives of the cities to replace the Old Regime.

  2. The Declaration of the Rights of Man called for the freedom of expression, representative government, and equality before the law.

C. Phase Two-The Age of Rousseau: September

1792-November 1799—The Republic

  1. The Social Contract expressed the following republican views:

    a. Popular Sovereignty—To have freedom, the people

must control their own government.

    b. Christianity should be replaced by a civil religion.

    c. Force might legitimately be used to bring about

freedom; a strong government might be needed to express the “general will.”

  2. These ideas were adopted not only by the Republic,

but also by the Committee of Public Safety.

D. Phase Three. The Period of Voltaire: 1799-1815—


  1. Voltaire had argued for “enlightened absolutism.”

    a. An efficient, organized state was the best design

to bring about “progress.”

    b. A centralized state was not necessarily a threat to

freedom; in fact it might increase freedom by reducing the power of the Church and the Parlements.

  2. Napoleon was attracted to Voltaire’s updating of the

“philosopher-king” concept.

    a. Napoleon believed he was bringing “scientific”

government to France and to Europe.

    b. Napoleon’s use of the plebiscite had not been contemplated by Voltaire, nor would Napoleon’s military campaigns been approved of by Voltaire.







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