Phases of the French Revolution

Phases of the French Revolution

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  • Tennis Court Oath
  • Storming of the Bastille
  • Radical Phase
  • After the Estates-General was called, and many of the representatives of the third estate were locked out, they met outside the palace at a tennis court and made an oath not to disband until the king made constitutional reforms. 
  • Reign of Terror
  • Off with their heads!
  • The storming of the Bastille was an important part of the French revolution. As another part of the radical phase, it was the beginning of the people taking control by taking over the country's largest store of weapons and gunpowder.
  • The Directory
  • As the monarchy lost hold of France, the country descended into turmoil. Fights broke out and civilians stormed the Royal castle at Versailles. Thousands perished in riots in Paris. The chaos culminated with the trial and execution of Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette. This was a massive event, with thousands in attendance, like a modern sporting event.
  • Napoleonic Era
  • The Reign of Terror was a time when many people even rumored to be royal loyalists were indiscriminately guillotined. At its height, the reign killed 500 in a single day and over 17,000 total. Ironically, Robespierre, the founder of the Reign of Terror, was eventually detained and guillotined, signaling the end of the chaos.  
  • Part of the new, more conservative phase, the Directory was an oligarchy run by the rich that targeted the Jacobins. Napoleon Bonaparte was a military genius who worked his way into the ranks of the Directory. He was a conservative in liberal's clothing, appealing to the people in order to earn their respect. Soon he would take over.
  • In the Coup of 18 Brumaire, Napoleon seized control of France with the help of his army and the support of the people. He would go on to conquer most of Western Europe before being defeated at Waterloo and exiled.
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