Part I

Part I
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  • Introduction
  • Let's invite the Estate Generals to talk about the financial crisis!
  • The Meeting of the Estates-General
  • We must tax all the people in the kingdom, including nobles.
  • Let's be reasonable and try to work this out...
  • The Forming of the National Assembly
  • We should form our own National Assembly!
  • Maybe now we won't be overruled!
  • Yes!
  • During the late 1780s, King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette ruled over France. They were irresponsible rulers who did not care for the well-being of their kingdom. They abused their power, spending the kingdom’s money unwisely and extravagantly. Eventually, France was caught deep in debt, which forced the monarchy to tax the Third Estate. This caused a revolution.
  • The Tennis Court Oath
  • We shall stay here until anew constitution is written!
  • They locked us out of the meeting of the Estate General!
  • In the 1780s, France was deep in debt due to many factors. In 1786, when bankers refused to lend the government any more money, Louis faced serious problems. At this point, the French economy was plummeting. This caused the king to tax the people in the kingdom. King Louis eventually ended up having to tax the nobles as well. When he attempted to do this, the nobles forced him to call a meeting of the Estates General.
  • Storming of the Bastille
  • Let's get some weapons!! We demand gunpowder!!
  • Each estate’s delegates met in a separate hall to vote, and each estate had one vote. The Third Estate delegates were eager to make changes in the government and insisted that all three estates meet together and that each delegate have a vote. The king ordered the Estates-General to follow the medieval rules. On June 17, 1789, the Third Estate delegates voted to establish the National Assembly, in effect proclaiming the end of absolute monarchy and the beginning of a representative government.
  • The Great Fear
  • Let's burn this house down!!
  • We must destroy EVERYTHING.
  • Three days later, after the vote to establish the National Assembly, the Third Estate delegates found themselves locked out of their meeting room. They broke down a door to an indoor tennis court, pledging to stay until they had drawn up a new constitution. This pledge became known as the Tennis Court Oath
  • In Paris, there were rumors that Louis was intent on using military force to dismiss the National Assembly. Others charged that the foreign troops were coming to Paris to massacre French citizens. People began to gather weapons in order to defend the city against attack. On July 14, a mob searching for gunpowder and armed stormed the Bastille, a Paris prison. The mob overwhelmed the guard and seized control of the building.
  • Rebellion spread from Paris into the countryside. From one village to the next, rumors unfolded that the nobles were hiring outlaws to terrorize the peasants. A wave of senseless panic called the Great Fear rolled through France. The peasants soon became outlaws themselves. Armed with pitchforks and other farm tools, they broke into nobles’ manor houses and destroyed the old legal paper that bound them to pay feudal dues
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