The French Revolution

The French Revolution

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  • Towards the end of the 1700s, the French were left impoverished since they had helped fight in the American Revolution.
  • I'm SO hungry!
  • Me too!
  • The Americans were unable to pay their debt to France, so many of the French peasants were victims of starvation.
  • However, Queen Antoinette and King Louis XVI were still taxing the peasants of France, but their nobility weren't required to pay these taxes. This outraged the peasants of France.
  • We love money!
  • On October 5th, 1789, a large group of women, furious at the unfair prices of scarce bread, began to march through the streets of the marketplace in Paris, demanding reasonable prices on loaves of bread. More and more inspiring women joined until there were thousands of marchers.
  • This famous march came to be known as the Women's March on Versailles. It was one of the earliest, and most significant, events of the French Revolution.
  • The peasants of France, fed up with the unfair taxation put on them by the nobility, began to riot. The riots tended to get extremely violent.
  • During a time period known as the Reign of Terror, many French nobility, as well as those who opposed the downfall of the monarchy, were executed on the guillotine, a device that could chop a person's head off.
  • Originally, the guillotine wasn't so efficient, and it took several tries to cleanly decapitate the person being executed. After a while, though, the guillotine was improved.
  • On January 21st, 1793, King Louis XVI was executed by his own people. Ten months later, his wife, Antoinette, met the same fate. 
  • I die innocent of all the crimes imputed to me. I pardon the authors of my death, and pray God that the blood you are about to shed will never fall upon France.
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