French Revolution

By Ryan Drewa, Emerson Lopez, Cade McGurk, Jake Turman


French Revolution (Revolution of 1789)

From 1787 to 1799

King Louis XVI and his predecessor left the country after going bankrupt after fighting in the American Revolution.

There were droughts, decrease in authority(cops), taxes, and diseases on cattle. They tried to revolt against them by rioting, stealing and striking but that didn't work.

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The Beginning

While the some people were living poorly, others were thinking of plans to overthrow the government. They wanted a government that was based on representatives. They were frustrated that their own government couldn't deal with these problems.

The first revolutionary act was at the Bastille Prison. They took control of the prison and killed the prisons governor. That day is now called "Bastille Day" which is the French equivalent of Independance Day.
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National Assembly

The national assembly was formed by representatives of the third estates. This assembly led to a revolutionary group of people that led to discussions over revolutionized topics in France. The assembly convened with capitalism. The assembly wanted impositions on taxes through the common person's perspective. The king avoided this and formed a resistance to attempt to disrupt the assembly by outing all debates on hold. This disrupted all debates.

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Legistlative Assembly

This assembly contained the first group of wealthy middle classier that favored the constitutional monarchy and a group of people that favored against the king because he is. It trusted and they had wanted a democracy and not a monarchy with the king.

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Three Estates

The French society was divided into three social groups called estates. These estates were almost like social classes. The first estate, made up of members of the clergy was the highest. The second estate, was made up of nobles, and was the middle of the classes. The peasants made up the entire third estate. They were highly feared and revolted frequently. They are the lowest class, but easily had close to as much power as anyone else, do to their numbers, and their strong moral and drive for equality. Aside from that, the peasants in the third estate were taxed more than anybody else. The third estate alone, almost paid off the entire country's tax revenue. Many members of the third estate were discouraged because they were amongst the most important members of society yet they were not treated like it because they belonged to the third class.

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National COnvention

The National Convention was came out on Sept. 21, 1792, and declared France a republic. The national convention was a democracy based movement that tried to rid the country of constitutional monarchy. They fought for the people of France, mostly the third estate, to reach a goal of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." This was the Convention's slogan at the time. The national conventions first major movement was the execution of king Louis XVI, who by a slim majority, was voted to get the death penalty for betraying his country. The national convention was known as "The Mountain", because they sat on the high benches in the back of the hall. The leader of the national convention were Maximilien Robespierre, Georges-Jacques Danton, and Jean-Paul Marat. The convention had a rival known as the Gironde. The majority of the voices in the Convention, known as the Plain, we're split into the two rival groups. The Mountain dominated a powerful political club called the Jacobin Club. Growing conflicts between the convention and the Gironde led to a massive struggle for power. Finally, the mountain won. In June 1793, the Convention expelled and arrested the leading Girondists. This led to a huge rebellion by the Girondists against the convention. In that same year, a Girondist supporter assassinated Jean-Paul Marat. After one year of rebellion, the Girondist supporters were put to a halt, and the convention had finally sealed their spot in the nation's democratic campaign.The Jacobin leaders formed a new citizens' army to fight off the rebellion, and to also protect and fight against other European nations. A military draft provided the troops, and rapid promotion of talented soldiers provided the leadership for this strong army, made up mostly of second and third estate members. This army finally helped to give third estate society members more freedom, and gave the national convention an extreme lead on all of the other campaigns.

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Impact on Society

There were lots of effects some were widely accepted and others went into the late 20th century. Before the Revolution, the people had little power or voice. The kings had so thoroughly centralized the system that most nobles spent their time at Versailles, and nobles only went home sometimes. After the first year of revolution, the King's power was taken away. The long term impact on France was shaping politics, society, religion and ideas, and politics for more than a century. From the social point of view, citizens got more equality and limited the power of the king. There was also the Women's March on Versailles. The women of France started to riot against Versailles because the bread had gotten so scarce and the price had gotten too high for the women to feed their families. This riot ended the Kings independence and and changed the power and reforms about to take over France.

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The End of the Revolution

Essentially, Napoleon ended the French Revolution. Napoleon was successfully leading military campaigns, succeeding counter-revolutionary activities at home. While the people were waiting to trust the Directory, they were more willing to get behind Bonaparte; he staged a coup and seized power on November 9, 1799.

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