French Revolution


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  • People Became Enlightened
  • Unfair Taxation
  • Our wages are already low!
  • The taxes are so high!
  • A Weak Monarch
  • King Louis XVI  and his wife Marie Antoinette took the throne of France in 1774.
  • Yeah!
  • The Bourgeoise, the educated middle class, became enlightened thinkers by reading and educating themselves. They also promoted ideas of enlightened philosophers like Jefferson, Locke, and Voltaire. This caused them to change their opinions and ideas about government and society.
  • The Tennis Court Oath
  • I can't believe they locked us out and are trying to outvote us!!
  • Many people of the 3rd Estate were well educated and often paid very high taxes. The nobles and clergy didn't have to pay any taxes though. They felt that they were entitled to greater social status and political power. The heavy taxes upset peasants of the 3rd estates and were eager for a change.
  • Storming Of The Bastille
  • When the couple took the throne, Louis inherited a lot of debt from previous kings. He also borrowed a lot of money to finance American revolutionaries in their war against Great Britain. He nearly doubled the government's debt. Also, Marie spent lots of money on jewelry, clothing and other items.  This was just one of the many serious problems he encountered, making him a weak leader.
  • The Reign of Terror
  • The Tennis Court Oath, happened when members of the 3rd Estate were locked out of their meeting hall. The 1st and 2nd Estates were trying to outvote them. They moved to a nearby indoor tennis court and took an oath to not separate until France had a constitution. 
  • We will not separate until France has a written constitution!
  • Many people began gathering weapons to protect the city from attack. A mob of people stormed into a Paris prison, Bastille, looking for arms and gunpowder. The people overwhelmed the guards and took control of the prison.  They killed many of the guards and cut off their heads. This act, of storming the Bastille, became known as an act of French revolution. It is comparable to our 4th of July. 
  • They took control of the prison!
  • Ahhhh!
  • Maximilien Robespierre was a Jacobin leader and founded a committee of public safety. His rule became known as the "Reign of Terror". This is because many French citizens were often sentenced to death. One of these people being King Louis. The Reign of Terror may not have happened if the events leading up to the French Revolution & the revolution never occurred. 
  • Release the rope!
  • Yeah!
  • Kill the King!
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