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Crisis of the French Revolution - Notes

Uploaded by Admin on Nov 19, 2000

Creating a new Society

14 July 1789 to 9 Thermidor II,(27 July 1794) (snapshot Napoleonic France 1804)

According to Joseph Weber, foster brother of Queen Antoinette, there were three primary causes of the French revolution 'the disorder of the finances, the state of mind, and the war in America.' The 'disorder in the finances' acknowledged that the bankruptcy of the monarchy opened the doors to defiance of the King's authority. The greatest single cause of the revolution was the economic crisis, which forced the King to recall the redundant Estates General which had not been called since 1614, which opened the debate for people to make complaints with the current system through the cahiers of the three Estates. The 'state of mind' largely attributed to the philosophes of the Enlightenment who challenged the very foundations that the Ancien Regime was based on. Another contributing factor to the crisis was a plight of millions of peasants, and the even more critical situation of the landless vagrants and the unemployed masses in the towns. Between 1715 and 1789 the population in France had increased from 18 million to 26 million. Land was a fixed resource, and thousands could not work in rural regions. As a result peasants were forced into the towns. Their situation was exacerbated by the bad harvest of 1788, which saw inflation of basic commodities such as bread, widespread unemployment and destitution accentuated the crisis.

*** Original revolutionary goals***

Original ideology: Enlightened
Document: Declaration of Rights of Man
The August decrees cleared the way for the erection of a constitution, but first they decided to lay down the principles on which it was based. It is a curious mixture of enlightenment theory and bourgeois aspirations. The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen , passed into law by the National Assembly on the 26 August 1789, It condemned the practices of the Ancien Regime and expressed the broad agreement which was to be found in the cahiers of all three orders.
1. Men are born free and equal in their rights

3. The fundamental source of all sovereignty resides in the nation - an application of Rousseau's principle of the 'general will'

7. No man may be accused, arrested, or detained except in cases determined by the law

13, General taxation is indispensable for the upkeep of the public force and for the expenses of...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   11/19/2000

Category:   European History

Length:   30 pages (6,709 words)

Views:   1507

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