What impact did the Revolution have on France?

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What impact did the Revolution have on France?. Lecture time!. Aims:. To establish the atmosphere created by the Revolution. To explain how the Terror developed. To assess the long term impact on France. . Louis XVI. Assessment of Louis’s actions.
What impact did the Revolution have on France?Lecture time!Aims:
  • To establish the atmosphere created by the Revolution.
  • To explain how the Terror developed.
  • To assess the long term impact on France.
  • Louis XVIAssessment of Louis’s actions
  • Born in 1754 and in 1770, he married Marie Antoinette, daughter of the emperor and empress of Austria.
  • In 1774, Louis succeeded his grandfather Louis XV as king of France.
  • France is changing – becoming more politicized, bourgeois becoming more self-aware. Role of the Enlightenment is significant.
  • France is near bankrupt due to successive wars.
  • In 1789, to avert the deepening crisis, Louis agreed to summon the 'estates-general' , but refuses to allow them to meet together – leads to 3rd Estate proclaiming itself the “National Assembly”.
  • Bastille stormed on the 14th July 1789 and this marked the start of direct action from the people.
  • Louis was still supported by some moderates, including Mirabeau.
  • Louis was forced to accept the Constitution on the 14th of September 1790, having seen many of his powers removed.
  • This led to the creation of the Legislative Assembly and further undermined Louis’s position.
  • Louis Losing the Love
  • The Constituent Assembly began to rearrange the laws.
  • Still no direct calls to remove Louis, Constitutional Monarchy was supported.
  • Torture was banned and Louis was renamed ‘King of the French’.
  • However, Louis still held onto a belief in Divine Right and Marie Antoinette encouraged this.
  • King forced to stay in Paris, tries to escape to Varennes in 1791.
  • Louis becomes a prisoner in Paris and loses the respect of the people. Refuses to go along with the constitution fully, despite signing it in 1791.
  • Louis believed that European powers would come to his rescue.
  • He did appear, at times, to be settled with Constitutional Monarchy, allowing people into the gardens at Versailles and visiting the Bastille, but this was a façade.
  • War in April 1792 made Louis’s position worse, as France was now fighting to retain the Revolution.
  • Despite the Brunswick Manifesto, In September 1792, the new National Convention abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic. Louis was executed at the guillotine on 21 January 1793.
  • Return of the Royal Family from VarennesPolitical groupsGeneral changeLegislative AssemblyLouis signed constitution 13th September 1791, ending the National Assembly and launching the Legislative Assembly. Suspicion had replaced optimism. Split between left (more radical), right (support limited monarchy) and centre (sat on fence).
  • Become more radical after 1791 flight.
  • Cordeliers persuade Jacobins to argue for dethroning of Louis, Feuillants split away as more moderate and controlled the Assembly.
  • Looks like Jacobins have imploded.
  • Champs de Mar massacre saw 50 protesters die as they tried to sign a republican petition, Lafayette and the National Guard declared martial law = more radical politics and rhetoric.
  • Power Struggle….JacobinsGirondinsAnti-Church, wanted more power to the provinces and wanted a liberal economy.Largely fell from power and popularity in 1793, were seen to have failed to deal with the war and the economic crises that grew out of it. One of their leaders, Dumouriez, defected to Austria in April 1793.
  • Far left group who argued for the Republic over monarchy.
  • Estimated 420,000 supporters across France.
  • Generally attracted richer classes.
  • Became increasingly concerned about counter revolution and helped to lead the Terror.
  • Benefitted from the disenfranchisement of royalist sympathisers in September 1792.
  • The Terror “Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe and inflexible; it is therefore an essence of virtue…Break the enemies of liberty with terror, and you will be the justified founders of the Republic”."To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is barbarity."— Maximilien Robespierre, 1794Spark of Terror
  • The war was going badly and the Vendee and Britanny saw increases in counter-revolutionary riots.
  • Paris sensed that a firm government was needed to ‘give firm voice to the law’.
  • The Committee of Public Safety was set up in April 1793 by the National Convention.
  • Its aim was to tighten control in France and stabilise the situation so that France could win. The government would be ‘revolutionary until the peace’.
  • Law of Suspects – September 1793
  • Stirred up ‘revolutionary paranoia’.
  • Proposed by Merlin de Douai and de Cambaceres. Had been debated since June 1793.
  • Committee of Public Safety given powers to arrest individuals by the National Convention.
  • Surveillance Committees were responsible for drawing up lists of suspects.
  • Approximately 500,000 listed as suspects and between 35,000 and 50,000 deaths.
  • "who, by their conduct or their relationships, either by their words or writings, have been partisans of tyranny or federalism and enemies of freedom, those whose [actions] cannot justify, in the manner prescribed by the decree of March 21, their financial means and remunerations from their civic duties; those to whom have been denied citizenship certificates, removed by public officials or suspended from their functions by the National Convention or its commissioners and have not been reinstated; those former nobles, all the husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, son or daughters, brothers or sisters, and agents of émigrés, who have not consistently demonstrated their commitment to the Revolution, those who emigrated from the interval between 1 July 1789 and its release between 30 March–8 March 1792, even though they returned to France within the time prescribed by such order or earlier”.Causes and Consequences of the Terror
  • 5 September 1793 – 28 July 1794.
  • Time of great uncertainty and rumour – constant discussion of threats both internal and external.
  • Saw mass executions of "enemies of the revolution." The death toll ranged in the tens of thousands, with 16,594 executed by guillotine (2,639 in Paris), and another 25,000 executions.
  • Saw successive scores settled with even Robespierre executed.
  • Counter revolutions sparked in the Vendee, in Brittany and Lyon.
  • Belief that emigres were a threat to the Revolution.
  • Peasant attacks on grain depots also saw the death penalty brought in for more minor crimes.
  • Consequences of the Terror
  • Range of massacres, including Nantes drownings in 1794.
  • Anti-clerical attacks and actions carried out, began to tear people away from the Revolution.
  • By June 1794, Robespierre was overthrown and replaced by more moderate politicians.
  • European Reaction to the RevolutionThe First Coalition
  • Revolution created belief in a new system of government – French believed it should spread Europe wide.
  • In 1792, Prussia and Austria joined forces to contain France.
  • Brunswick Manifesto issued that threatened France should they harm the King. This led to the storming of the Tuileries Palace, killing 600 of the King’s Swiss Guards.
  • Led to further executions in the prisons of Paris.
  • Execution of Louis and his family on 16th Jan. 1793 increased European anger.
  • Threat increased Terror and rural disturbances, particularly following the levee en masse.
  • Early campaigns saw French defeats, armies suffered from officer desertion to join émigrés. Rebellions in the Vendee also damaged morale.
  • France staged a dramatic comeback between 1792-5 and continually pushed First Coalition back from French territory, despite overwhelming odds.
  • Battle of Valmy on 20th September 1793 was won with French artillery and the Prussians withdrew.
  • Execution of Louis united opposition and by March 1793 France was against Britain, Spain, Naples, the Netherlands and Austria.
  • This established the early belief in la Gloire and supported the Revolutionary fervour within France.
  • Financial SituationFinancial Strains
  • Under Louis XVI, the Finance Minister Necker underestimated the national deficit by 36m livres.
  • The chaotic, archaic tax system failed to meet the country’s outgoings.
  • The Revolution continued this financial meltdown.
  • Assignats were introduced in 1790 as paper currency. Not originally meant to be main currency.
  • They were used as a certificate to represent the value of land confiscated from the Church.
  • The use of assignats and the increased printing saw the notes lose value from 1792.
  • The war, begun in 1792, made things worse with the sans-culottes rioting.
  • This caused hyperinflation, food prices rose, which had knock on effects.
  • The Law of the Maximum set food prices and executed those that forced a black market.
  • The Maximum set ceiling prices for grain, flour, meat and onions at the price of 1790 + 1/3.
  • The Committee of Public Safety sent soldiers to find food in the countryside and take it to Paris.
  • The National Convention was only able to bring sufficient money in by plundering areas the army had invaded.
  • Napoleon gained great credit for sending artwork back from the conquered territories.
  • The army could not be allowed to form peace, for fear of their return to a lack of jobs.
  • History of Revolutionary FranceWh?
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