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The French Revolution: Crash Course World History #29

The French Revolution: Crash Course World History #29


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In which John Green examines the French Revolution, and gets into how and why it differed from the American Revolution. Was it the serial authoritarian regimes? The guillotine? The Reign of Terror? All of this and more contributed to the French Revolution not being quite as revolutionary as it could have been. France endured multiple constitutions, the heads of heads of state literally rolled, and then they ended up with a megalomaniacal little emperor by the name of Napoleon. But how did all of this change the world, and how did it lead to other, more successful revolutions around the world? Watch this video and find out. Spoiler alert: Marie Antoinette never said, "Let them eat cake." Sorry.


The French Revolution: Crash Course World History #29

In which John Green examines the French Revolution, and gets into how and why it differed from the American Revolution. Was it the serial authoritarian regimes? The guillotine? The Reign of Terror? All of this and more contributed to the French Revolution not being quite as revolutionary as it could have been. France endured multiple constitutions, the heads of heads of state literally rolled, and then they ended up with a megalomaniacal little emperor by the name of Napoleon. But how did all of this change the world, and how did it lead to other, more successful revolutions around the world? Watch this video and find out. Spoiler alert: Marie Antoinette never said, "Let them eat cake." Sorry. Crash Course World History is now available on DVD! http://store.dftba.com/products/crashcourse-world-history-the-complete-series-dvd-set Follow us! @thecrashcourse @realjohngreen @raoulmeyer @crashcoursestan @saysdanica @thoughtbubbler Like us! ‪http://www.facebook.com/youtubecrashcourse Follow us again! ‪http://thecrashcourse.tumblr.com Crash Course goods are available now: http://store.dftba.com/collections/crashcourse Thermidor (which is this month) is Revolutions month on Crash Course! The American Revolution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlUiSBXQHCw Coming soon: #30 - Haitian Revolution #31 - Latin American Revolutions #32 - Industrial Revolution Support Crash Course on Patreon: http://patreon.com/crashcourse

Explicar la independencia de las colonias hispanoamericanas como un proceso continental, marcado por la crisis del sistema colonial, la apropiación de las ideas ilustradas y la opción por el modelo republicano, y analizar en este marco el proceso de Independencia de Chile.


Handouts

  • Unit 1A: River Valley Civilizations
  • Unit 1B: Greece & Rome
  • Unit 1C: World Religions
  • Unit 2A: World Empires
  • Unit 2B: Dark and Middle Ages of Europe
  • Unit 3: European Rebirth
  • Unit 4: First Global Age
  • Unit 5: Absolutism & Enlightenment
  • Unit 6: Age of Revolutions
  • Unit 7: Age of Industry
  • Unit 8: Social Change
  • Unit 9: Early 20th Century
  • Unit 10: Mid-20th Century
  • Unit 11: Global Issues
  • Review Materials

The French Revolution: Crash Course World History #29

In which John Green examines the French Revolution, and gets into how and why it differed from the American Revolution. Was it the serial authoritarian regimes? The guillotine? The Reign of Terror? All of this and more contributed to the French Revolution not being quite as revolutionary as it could have been. France endured multiple constitutions, the heads of heads of state literally rolled, and then they ended up with a megalomaniacal little emperor by the name of Napoleon. But how did all of this change the world, and how did it lead to other, more successful revolutions around the world? Watch this video and find out. Spoiler alert: Marie Antoinette never said, "Let them eat cake." Sorry. Crash Course World History is now available on DVD! http://store.dftba.com/products/crashcourse-world-history-the-complete-series-dvd-set Follow us! @thecrashcourse @realjohngreen @raoulmeyer @crashcoursestan @saysdanica @thoughtbubbler Like us! ‪http://www.facebook.com/youtubecrashcourse Follow us again! ‪http://thecrashcourse.tumblr.com Crash Course goods are available now: http://store.dftba.com/collections/crashcourse Thermidor (which is this month) is Revolutions month on Crash Course! The American Revolution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlUiSBXQHCw Coming soon: #30 - Haitian Revolution #31 - Latin American Revolutions #32 - Industrial Revolution Support Crash Course on Patreon: http://patreon.com/crashcourse

Explicar la independencia de las colonias hispanoamericanas como un proceso continental, marcado por la crisis del sistema colonial, la apropiación de las ideas ilustradas y la opción por el modelo republicano, y analizar en este marco el proceso de Independencia de Chile.


Louis XVI Gathers Troops

At the same time, the king was gathering troops around Paris. This, along with the dismissal of Necker on the 11th of July, was perceived by the Parisians as a conspiracy by the king and his nobles to overthrow the Third Estate, sending them into a panic, and provoking an insurrection in the capital.

On the 14th of July, the Parisian crowd stormed the Bastille in an attempt to secure firearms and gunpowder. Moreover, the Bastille was seen as a representation of royal tyranny, so its fall had symbolic meaning as well. The storming of the Bastille is often regarded to be the starting point of the French Revolution.

Storming of The Bastille on 14 July 1789, which later meant the end of the Ancien Régime, was the start of the French Revolution. (Jaredzimmerman / Public Domain )

Once again, Louis XVI relented and returned to Paris on the 27th of July, where he accepted the tricolore cockade, a symbol of the revolution. On the 4th of August, the assembly decreed the abolishment of feudalism and the tithe. In other words, the privileges long enjoyed by the nobility and the clergy were stripped away. On the 26th of August, one of the fundamental documents of the French Revolution, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was published by the Assembly.

Although the document was a statement of principles, rather than a written constitution, it was the first step in that direction. The decrees and the Declaration were so radical that Louis XIV refused to accept them, though he was powerless to do anything about it. On the 6th of October, the royal family was brought back to Paris, as a result of the Women’s March on Versailles, which was a protest against the harsh economic conditions, especially the shortage of bread , that they were facing.

In the two years that followed, the assembly made numerous reforms to the French state. The Roman Catholic Church in France , which had enjoyed great influence and privilege under the Ancien Régime, was especially targeted.

In November 1789, for instance, the property of the church was nationalized, while the following year saw the introduction of a civil constitution of the clergy, and the imposition of a civic oath on them, and the suppression of religious orders and monastic vows. Other reforms that were made during this time included the reorganization of local government, the removal of civil disabilities of Jews, the abolishment of nobility and titles, and the abolishment of guilds and monopolies.


Key People

  • King Louis XVI: King of France when the revolution began in 1789, he was executed in 1792.
  • Emmanuel Sieyès: Deputy who helped radicalize the third estate and instigated the coup which brought the consuls to power.
  • Jean-Paul Marat: Popular journalist who advocated extreme measures against traitors and hoarders. Assassinated in 1793.
  • Maximilien Robespierre: Lawyer who went from advocating an end to the death penalty to the architect of the Terror. Executed in 1794.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte: French general whose rise to power brought the revolution to an end.

When Food Changed History: The French Revolution

About a year ago, I started what I intended to be an occasional series about landmark food-related moments in history. Then I forgot and, although Amanda and I have certainly written about food's role in history since then, I haven't returned to my original idea—until now. "Occasional" can mean once a year, right?

Related Content

Today's installment is inspired by the fact that it is Bastille Day, the celebration of French independence. I could have started with our own Independence Day, 10 days ago, since the Boston Tea Party of 1773 was a defining food-related moment in the run-up to the American Revolution. Although the term Tea Party has recently been co-opted by groups who oppose taxes in general, or who feel they are taxed too much (or for dubious purposes), the original Tea Partiers' complaint was against taxation—including high tariffs on tea—without representation in British Parliament.

But food played an even larger role in the French Revolution just a few years later. According to Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People, by Linda Civitello, two of the most essential elements of French cuisine, bread and salt, were at the heart of the conflict bread, in particular, was tied up with the national identity. "Bread was considered a public service necessary to keep the people from rioting," Civitello writes. "Bakers, therefore, were public servants, so the police controlled all aspects of bread production."

If bread seems a trifling reason to riot, consider that it was far more than something to sop up bouillabaisse for nearly everyone but the aristocracy—it was the main component of the working Frenchman's diet. According to Sylvia Neely's A Concise History of the French Revolution, the average 18th-century worker spent half his daily wage on bread. But when the grain crops failed two years in a row, in 1788 and 1789, the price of bread shot up to 88 percent of his wages. Many blamed the ruling class for the resulting famine and economic upheaval. On top of that, peasants resented the gabelle, a tax on salt that was particularly unfairly applied to the poor.

Obviously, the causes of the revolution were far more complicated than the price of bread or unfair taxes on salt (just as the American Revolution was about more than tea tariffs), but both contributed to the rising anger toward the monarchy.

The oft-repeated story about Marie Antoinette, queen of France at the time, responding to the news that her subjects had no bread with the line, "Let them eat cake" (actually, brioche) is probably not true—or, if it is, she wasn't the first to speak the mal mots. The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau attributed the callous utterance to an unnamed princess in his 1766 Confessions, written when Antoinette was 10 years old and living in Austria.

Nevertheless, the results of the popular uprising included the storming of the Bastille, a medieval fortress and prison in Paris, on July 14, 1789, and the eventual beheading of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette by the guillotine.

Of course, food is influenced by history as much as vice-versa, and the French Revolution was no exception. The birth of the Republic of France laid the foundation for the modern restaurant to flourish. According to Larousse Gastronomique, the French culinary encyclopedia, although taverns, inns and cafés had served food and drink to the public for centuries, the first restaurant as we know it was opened in around 1765 in Paris by a bouillon seller named Boulanger. At the time, clear soups such as those Boulanger sold were considered restorative hence the term "restaurant." However, as the encyclopedia explains, "the first Parisian restaurant worthy of the name was the one founded by Beauvilliers in 1782 in the Rue de Richelieu, called the Grande Taverne de Londres. He introduced the novelty of listing the dishes available on a menu and serving them at small individual tables during fixed hours."

Following the revolution, the abolition of the guild system that controlled who could be a butcher, baker or cheesemaker and how they did their jobs made it easier to open restaurants. Also, since so many aristocrats fled or were executed, their former cooks and servants had to find new employment. Paris became the center of the new restaurant scene, which, to some degree, it remains today.


Causes of French Revolution: Political, Social and Economic Causes

The three main causes of French revolution are as follows: 1. Political Cause 2. Social Cause 3. Economic Cause.

1. Political Cause:

During the eighteen the Century France was the centre of autocratic monarchy. The French Monarchs had unlimited power and they declared themselves as the “Representative of God”.

Image Source: 2.bp.blogspot.com/_8uW1gTbUKfs/TRarqf5sauI/AAAAAAAAAWE/atK90o6ZfTk/s1600/French-Revolution-Logo-FINAL.jpg

Louis XIV was the exponent of this view. The French Monarchs engaged themselves in luxurious and extravagance at the royal court of Versailles. They enjoyed unlimited power. By the Letter de Catchet, they arrested any person at any time and imprisoned them. They paid no attention towards their subjects.

Louis XIV (1643-1715) of the Bourbon Dynasty was a powerful monarch. He was an efficient, hard-working and confident ruler. He participated in many wars. Louis XIV’s concept of unlimited royal power is revealed by his famous remarks, “I am the State”.

Louis XV (1715-1774) succeeded Louix XIV He was a ‘butterfly monarch’. His defective foreign policy weakened the economic condition of France. Louis XV fought the Seven Years War against England which brought nothing for France. France became bankrupt due to over expenditure in wars and luxury. He realised it later on. Before his death he cried-‘After me the Deluge’.

After Louis XV, Louis XVI (1774-1793) ascended the throne of France. During that period, the economic condition of France became weak. Louis XVI was an innocent and simple man. But he was influenced by his queen Marie Antoinette who always interfered in the state affairs.

Out of frustration he uttered-“Oh! What a burden of mine and they have taught me nothing.” Marie Antoinette was the daughter of Marie Theresa, the Austrian Empress. She always felt proud as she was the daughter of Austrain Empress. She always enjoyed luxurious and extravagant life. She sowed seed of the French Revolution. Thus, the autrocratic monarchy, defective administration, extravagant expenditure formed the political cause of the French Revolution.

2. Social Cause:

The Social condition of France during the eighteenth century was very miserable. The then French Society was divided into three classes— the Clergy, Nobles and Common People.

The Clergy belonged to the First Estate. The Clergy was sub­divided into two groups i.e. the higher clergy and the lower clergy. The higher clergy occupied the top position in the society. They managed the churches, monasteries and educational institutions of France. They did not pay any tax to the monarch.

They exploited the common people in various ways. The higher clergy lived in the midst of scandalous luxury and extravagance. The common people had a strong hatred towards the higher clergy. On the other hand, the lower clergy served the people in true sense of the term and they lived a very miserable life.

The Nobility was regarded as the Second Estate in the French Society. They also did not pay any tax to the king. The Nobility was also sub divided into two groups-the Court nobles and the provincial nobles. The court nobles lived in pomp and luxury. They did not pay any heed towards the problems of the common people of their areas.

On the other hand, the provincial nobles paid their attention towards the problems of the people. But they did not enjoy the same privileges as the Court nobles enjoyed. The Third Estate formed a heterogenous class. The farmers, cobblers, sweepers and other lower classes belonged to this class. The condition of the farmers was very miserable.

They paid the taxes like Taille, Tithe and Gable. Inspite of this, the clergies and the nobles employed them in their fields in curve. The Bourgeoisie formed the top most group of the Third Estate. The doctors, lawyers, teachers, businessmen, writers and philosophers belonged to this class. They had the wealth and social status. But the French Monarch, influenced by the clergies and nobles, ranked them as the Third Estate.

So they influenced the people for revolution. They aroused the common people about their rights. Thus, the common people became rebellious. The lower Clergies and the provincial nobles also joined their hands with the common people along with the bourgeoisie. So the French Revolution is also known as the ‘Bourgeoisie Revolution’.

3. Economic Cause:

The economic condition of France formed another cause for the outbreak of the French Revolution. The economic condition of France became poor due to the foreign wars of Louis XIV, the seven years War of Louis XV and other expensive wars. During the reign period of Louis XVI, the royal treasury became empty as extravagant expenses of his queen Marie Antoinette.

To get rid of this condition. Louis XVI appointed Turgot as his Finance Minister in 1774. Turgot tried to minimise the expenditure of the royal court. He also advised the king to impose taxes on every classes of the society. But due to the interference of Queen Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI dismissed Turgot.

Then Necker was appointed as the Finance Minister in 1776. He published a report on the income and expenditure of the State in order to arouse the people. But he was also dismissed by the king.

The next person who was appointed by the King as the Finance Minister of France in 1783 was Callone. He adapted the policy of borrowing in order to meet the expenditure of the royal court. But due to this policy, the national debt of France increased from 300,000,000 to 600,000,000 Franks only in three years.

Then Callone proposed to impose taxes on all the classes. But he was dismissed by the king. In this situation, the king at last summoned the States General. The economic instability formed one of the most important causes of the French Revolution.


ARCHIVES 29 September 2014 World History 1) Discuss the emergence of neo-imperialism in the late nineteenth century. (200 Words) Reference Reference-2 2) The capitalism which gave the European empires their apparent solidarity and permanence also hastened their downfall. Comment. (200 Words) Reference-1 Reference-2

ARCHIVES 26 September 2014 World History 1) How did the policy of appeasement escalate the problem of Nazi aggrandizement? Explain. (200 Words) Reference 2) “By 1914, the sick man of Europe was no longer just Turkey : it was Europe itself.” Explain. (200 Words) Reference


French Revolution

Thomas Jefferson, as the American Minister to the Court of Versailles, witnessed the opening chapters of the French Revolution in the late 1780s. In September 1789, he returned to the United States, but, assuming the position of Secretary of State, he continued his involvement in American foreign policy. The French Revolution, continuing into the 1790s, would have an ongoing effect on Jefferson's career.

Thomas Jefferson had been living abroad for four years when political unrest began to heighten in France. Throughout 1788, he watched events unfold and described the state of affairs with optimism, noting the bond between America and its Revolutionary War ally, France: "the nation has been awaked by our revolution, they feel their strength, they are enlightened, their lights are spreading, and they will not retrograde."1 To James Madison, Jefferson expressed the cautious hope that the French were "advancing to a limited, moderate government, in which the people will have a good share."2

Acknowledging his support for the revolutionary cause, Jefferson's French friends — the aristocratic reformers — turned to him for advice. In the spring of 1789, the Marquis de Lafayette suggested that Jefferson outline his recommendations for them in written form. The latter accordingly drafted a "charter of rights" that might be issued by Louis XVI. The proposal — an accommodation among the king, the nobility, and "the commons" — was intended as an introductory step toward a constitutional monarchy3 but nothing came of Jefferson's suggested compromise, a "lamentable error" from his point of view.4

Throughout the spring, Jefferson attended sessions of the Estates General and listened to the debates. "[T]hose of the Noblesse were impassioned and tempestuous," he remembered, and "the debates of the Commons were temperately rational and inflexibly firm."5 Early in July 1789, Lafayette presented the newly-formed "National Assembly" with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen — a document that he had produced with the help of his friend Jefferson.6 Events were moving at a rapid pace.

When French revolutionaries violently stormed the "Bastille" in mid-July, Jefferson was taken aback by the "astonishing train of events."7 By August, however, he was ready to defend the actions of the mob, noting that he had observed their behavior daily "with my own eyes in order to be satisfied of their objects, and declare to you that I saw so plainly the legitimacy of them." He was certain too that the French National Assembly had proceeded through adversity with "firmness and wisdom," and he maintained "the highest confidence" in the Assembly's ability to govern.8 Just as the revolutionaries were becoming more radical, Jefferson was becoming more radical as well.

Late in August, Lafayette made a desperate appeal to Jefferson: "I Beg for liberty’s sake You will Breack Every Engagement to Give us a dinner to Morrow Wenesday. We shall Be some Members of the National Assembly — eight of us whom I want to Coalize as Being the only Means to prevent a total dissolution and a civil war."9 Jefferson described himself as a "silent witness" to the discussions that took place in his own dining room. To the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, he felt obliged to describe the circumstances: "I . explained to him with truth and candor how . my house had been made the scene of conferences of such a character. he earnestly wished I would habitually assist at such conferences, being sure I should be useful in moderating the warmer spirits, and promoting a wholesome and practicable reformation only."10

Jefferson's direct "assistance" quickly came to an end. He left Paris in September 1789, returned to the United States for what he anticipated to be a short visit, and — to his own surprise — was appointed as George Washington's Secretary of State. He regretted leaving his French friends, but welcomed the further opportunity of "cementing the friendship" between his own country and theirs. "Be assured," he wrote to a French correspondent, "that to do this is the first wish of my heart. You have had some checks, some horrors since I left you. But the way to heaven, you know, has always been said to be strewed with thorns."11

Jefferson returned to the United States when American support for the French Revolution seemed nearly unanimous. John Adams, the Vice President and one of Jefferson's good friends, was an exception and voiced early concerns with the progress of events in France. In 1791, Jefferson supported the publication of Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man, a pamphlet supporting the Revolution in the process, he offended Adams, whose own writings took an opposite point of view. The disagreement between two prominent men brought the ideological issues of the French Revolution into American politics.12

When the execution of French aristocrats escalated in 1792, Jefferson remained committed to the cause of revolution: "My own affections have been deeply wounded by some of the martyrs to this cause, but rather than it should have failed, I would have seen half the earth desolated. Were there but an Adam and an Eve left in every country, and left free, it would be better than as it now is."13

With the execution of Louis XVI in January 1793, and the French declaration of war against England ten days later, American politicians began openly to split into two camps — Federalists, who were horrified by the violence in France, and Republicans, who applauded the end of a despotic French monarchy. Later, as the French Reign of Terror progressed, Jefferson denounced the atrocities of Robespierre and other French radicals, but he continued his support for and remained committed to the success of the French Revolution.14

In April 1793, Washington submitted to his cabinet a set of "Questions on Neutrality and the Alliance with France."15 The President was particularly concerned about treaties made between the United States and France in 1778. In the war between France and England, would the treaty of alliance bind the United States to the French cause? Noting that proceedings in France had been "sullied by crimes and extravagancies," Alexander Hamilton contended that the changed situation in France "would render a future connection detrimental or dangerous," and that, given the change in government, the United States had the right "to declare the connection dissolved."16 Jefferson argued that treaties made with France should be honored, though the French government had altered in form since the treaties were made.17 Both Hamilton and Jefferson favored a policy of neutrality, but differed on the way that neutrality should be handled: Hamilton favored a clear proclamation of neutrality Jefferson preferred to reserve neutrality as a bargaining tool when dealing with foreign powers.18

On April 22, President Washington issued the so-called "Neutrality Proclamation." Avoiding use of the word "neutrality," Washington pledged "a conduct friendly and impartial toward the belligerent powers" in Europe.19 Simultaneous with the proclamation, Edmond Charles Genêt, the new French minister to the United States, arrived in America. He landed in South Carolina to the delight of American Francophiles and was welcomed with fanfare from Charleston to Philadelphia. The acclaim went to Genêt's head and, from his earliest arrival, he proceeded to enlist American citizens in a variety of "unneutral" activities. Even Jefferson was appalled by Genêt's conduct: "Never, in my opinion, was so calamitous an appointment made, as that of the present minister of F. here. Hotheaded, all imagination, no judgment, passionate, disrespectful. urging the most unseasonable and groundless propositions, and in the most dictatorial style &c. &c. &c."20 By August, with pressure growing on multiple fronts, Secretary of State Jefferson demanded the recall of "Citizen" Genêt.21

Even before the recall of Genêt, Thomas Jefferson had had enough of the ongoing arguments in Philadelphia. On July 31, 1793, he notified President Washington of his desire "to retire to scenes of greater tranquility."22 Jefferson remained in office until the end of the year and then returned to Monticello, where he said he had "settled at home as a farmer."23

In later life, Jefferson concluded that the French people had not been ready for the leap from "despotism to freedom,"24 and that if Louis XVI had issued a declaration of rights but been retained as a limited monarch, the French would have avoided "those enormities which demoralised the nations of the world, and destroyed, and is yet to destroy millions and millions of it’s inhabitants."25


Watch the video: The French Revolution - OverSimplified Part 2 (May 2022).