French Revolution

How the people of France took a stand against the government

Background Information

  • 1789-1799
  • Ended Supreme rule by French kings
  • Strengthened the middle class

Reasons it started

  • Financial crisis
  • Differences of opinions between social classes
  • Way the government was run
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Differences between the social groups

France was made up of three groups called estates

  1. 1st estate was made up of Clergy
  2. 2nd estate was made up of Nobles
  3. 3rd estate was made up of everyone else
The third estate had to pay most of the taxes and was not felt as important despite the fact it was the largest group.



Overall the third estate was treated much worse than the first two by the government

The French government

  • Absolute Monarchy
  • King had unlimited authority
  • Philosephers called the Enlightened had some new ideas about French Government
  • These ideas made it to the people who thought of France being a Republic

Financial Crisis in France

  • France was in debt because of two wars (Seven Years War and the Revolutionary War in America)
  • The king raised taxes to get more money
  • The third estate was very unhappy with the king

The Revolution Begins

All of these reasons snowballed on each other and started a revolution

The National Assembly

A group called the Estates General was called together to decide on French's issue of money. The king rejected everything the people said so the third estate decided to branch off and create a national assembly. The national assembly lead France's people to try to overthrow the government. The national assembly of France would later take over many important French buildings, including the Bastille.

The People Protest

The people of the third estate began to get angry. They attacked the Bastille, a symbol of French tyranny. They hoped to find weapons and ammo, possibly to start a revolution. They stormed the Bastille and tore it down. This was a big hit to the French tyranny. this turned out to be the tipping point and started to get people onto the Revolutionaries side.
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The People get Their Way

The people of France began to overthrow the government, starting with the National Assembly. They would later...


  • Arrest the King and put him on trial
  • He would be found guilty of treason and executed
  • This would end the Absolute Monarchy in France

Effects of the Protest

  • France creates a declaration to try to create a new government
  • This doesn't fix all of the problems but helps to recover France
  • The people of France got the effects they wanted by unifying against the government and voicing their beliefs about the French government

What happened after the revolution

  • There was actually multiple revolution's in France before the government was fixed
  • The one from 1789-1799 is considered the revolution because it was the biggest of all of the revolutions
  • The ruler of France after the main revolution was Napoleon Bonaparte

Beliefs of the French people assessment question

The French citizens demonstrated their belief system by starting a revolution. They believed that the middle class was not treated well and that it was the government's fault for that. In response, they created the national assembly, which became a government firepower, destroying the rest of the government. They also killed the king because they believed it was his fault for all of the problems. The French Revolution would eventually lead to France becoming a Republic, bringing the power to the people.