This weekend's articles: The French Revolution

Friday, February 25, 2011

I've been busy this week because I had a lot of homework but I got you guys a weekend-long article special. The French Revolution! This is one of my favorite subjects in History. I'm gonna write several articles about the French Revolution this weekend, hope you guys like it.

Old Regime

In the 1770's the feudalism system, called the Old Regime, remained in place. France was divided into three large social classes, or estates.

The Privileged Estates

The Roman Catholic Church, whose clergy formed the First Estate, owned 10 percent of the land in France. The Second Estate was made up of rich nobles. They made up only 2 percent of the population.


 
The Third Estate

About 98 percent of the people belonged to the Third Estate. The first group- the bourgeoisie were merchants and artisans. The workers of France's cities-cooks, servants, and others-formed the second group. Peasants formed the largest group within the Third Estate-more than 80 percent.

The Forces of Change

Enlightment Ideas

New views about power and authority in government were spreading among the Third Estate. The people began questioning these notions about the structure of society and started using words like equality, liberty, and democracy.

Economic Woes

Louis XVI, who became king in 1774, inherited part of the debt from his predecessors. He also borrowed heavily in order to help the American revolutionaries in their war against their long-time enemy, Great Britain.

A Weak Leader


Louis married his wife Marie Antoinette. As queen, she spent so much money on gowns, jewels, and gifts that she became known as Madame Deficit. Louis put off dealing with the emergency until France faced bankruptcy. Then when he tried to tax aristocrats, the Second Estate forced him to call a meeting of the Estates-General.

Revolution Dawns

The National Assembly


Abbe Sieyes, in a dramatic speech, suggested that the Third Estate delegates name themselves the National Assembly and pass laws and reforms in the name of the French People. On June 17, 1789, they voted to establish the National Assembly, in effect proclaiming the end of absolute monarchy and the beginning of representative government. Three days later, the Third Estate delegates found themselves locked out of their meeting room.

Storming the Bastille

The king stationed his mercenary army of Swiss guards in Paris, since he no longer trusted the loyalty of the French soldiers. Since rumors that foreign troops were coming to massacre French citizens, people gathered weapons in order to defend Paris against the king's foreign troops. The angry crowd overwhelmed the king's soldiers, and the Bastille fell into the control of the citizens. The fall of the Bastille became a great symbolic act of revolution to the French people. Even since, July 14 has been a French national holiday, similar to the U.S. Fourth of July.

Anyway, this is only the beginning of the French Revolution, tomorrow I will write another article about the beheading of Louis XVI and what not. Throw comments about this article, don't hesitate to ask questions, I'll try to respond.

23 comments:

Adam said...

so important for our history! end to the dark times!

DC said...

Great post. The french revolution was a bloody exchange that put the power back in the people's hands.

Kinda dichotomous to what's happening today in the middle east...

d0t said...

loved the french revolution, it was when governments realized that they had to start taking care of their people not just themselves

Joseph White said...

Great post. Following

Siphil said...

I love the French Revolution. Whenever people start to talk shit about the French. I like to remind them that they ripped the king from his castle and chopped his head off.

GOOD TIMES ANDY said...

What a glorious sight it must have been to see the upper class fall to the people. Interesting that in our day and age we get to experience a revolution like this through what's going on in Egypt and Lybia right now.

ClassicHipHop said...

Can't wait for the french revolution articles !

Matt said...

It's kind of funny to think that massive national debt was one of the contributing factors. America? haha

Eric said...

very interesting article
add me to that list

ElectroSilhouette said...

I like the french revolution. I feel like they never covered it that much in school :/

Nate said...

this is my absolute FAVORITE piece of history. THANK YOU!

Morphen said...

Such a cool revolution, too bad it's not talked about a lot.

FIAIN said...

Revolution Threatens the French King

AS said...

Ah, I love the French Revolution. <3

JMchief said...

viva la france
supporting:)
http://jmchief93elite.blogspot.com

Edge said...

Those crazy French, always screwing around...

Mostly Irrelephant said...

Oh man, I remember the storming of the Bastille. We talked about that in french class AND history class in the same year.
The workload was... huge.

Haezer said...

I gave this in school some years ago, i loved it.

ebm93 said...

Interesting stuff. The nobles used to be so unfair...

Filipe Ferreira said...

Keep posting. History is great!

Tom said...

How different would the world be without the French?

Aaron M. Gipson said...

I would loved to of been there when the Bastille went down...after that, not so much.

Bruno said...

A piece of story. worthy to read.
following

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