During Louis reign most of his decisions only benefited his family and the nobles close to him. This affected the citizens of France and his colonies.
Louis built the palace of Versailles in 1661, it was originally a hunting lodge. It is located 22 km from Paris and his people, the place was very isolated and beautiful. It took decades to build and it was very expensive and his people weren't happy about that.
Louis ruled for 72 years, 1643 to 1715. Louis believed that he was the centre of French life and their culture. While ruling the government, he only took orders from himself and used his own judgement. The phrase L’ état c’ est moi which meant ( I am the state ). His word was the law and was always right.
France was the greatest and richest country in europe in the 1800s. The county had major political and economic problems, these were usually caused by the kings. Louis made France very powerful but also added more financial problems. Louis was unable to make changes or fix what he was doing.
The enlightenment: early 1700’s
Thinking of science instead of religion
If you did not experience it yourself, you cannot speak on it
Women held salons for intellectuals to talk and discuss ideas.
October 1795, National Convention established the Directory provided political power to those who owned property.
No more equality and the title “citizen” was no longer given to everybody.
The Revolution appeared to be over.
Marie Antoinette was married to Louis XVI and was apart of the Austrian royalty. She was described as graceful and fair at first. she made the government and citizens believe she was good.
Louis XVI father gave Louis a beautiful diamond necklace for his mistress, Louis father died before paying for it. This left the jeweller in debt and he offered it to the king and queen but Marie said no. A con artist by the name of Jeanne de saint-rémy de valois used fake letters and convinced the jeweller that she was buying it on behalf of the royals. The necklaces was shipped to France and the healer demanded to be payed. Marie denied ordered the necklace and it became a public scandal. This ruined her reputation.
Marie married very young and had no experience or education in politics or how to manage her people. She placed a target on her back by hiring the people she liked and firing those she didn't. She would spread unkind gossip and sometimes the gossip was about herself. She based everything in her judgement and people started to dislike her and her power. Marie was only in power by marriage because Austria and France would settle as allies because of the wars the had been fighting against each other for years.
Fleeing the scene
In 1791 after the march on Versailles, Marie and Louis tried to escape from France and return home. This showed how untrustworthy the royals were and how they truly were struggling to hold onto power. The citizens demanded they sign the new constitution and be imprisoned for their treason. Marie Antoinette died in 1793 by guillotine, the same way her husband died 6 months before.
Became king in 1774, and was not very interested in governmenting.
Married Marie Antoinette in 1770 at the age of 15.
Continuing economic problems due to his poor governmenting.
The march on versailles: Oct 5th, 1789
The women were fed up with how the food shortage was being overlooked by the monarch .
The march started in a marketplace and spanned 22 km to the palace of versailles. Being joined by hundreds of citizens, gaining an unstoppable force.
The palace was stormed and the king, the queen and their children moved back to paris.
Tennis court oath
The tennis court oath was an oath that the 3rd estate made after being locked out of the meeting places by the king. It said “not to separate, and to resemble circumstances require until the constitution of the kingdom is established”.
3rd Estate breaks tradition
The estates haven't voted in 175 years and it was always in the 1st and 2nd estates favour. The 3rd estate had more representatives but hardly any power, so the higher estates teamed up and out voted the 3rd. They released they need to change the voting and built a new constitution called the National Assembly.
Pressured by debt
The government now had no power over the estates and pressured Louis to sign the agreement and retire is old one. Louis had been slipping since he paid to help other county's fight wars, he couldn't even feed his people. Louis was weak and need to regain power, he was struggling to hold his authority figure.
A revolutionary act
The tennis court act symbolized that the French society was finally changing and this time for the better. The unwillingness to back down scared Louis and it showed that they were one
step closer to end the revolution and monarchy. The demand rights and freedom, this showed that there voices were being heard.
The Estates General
France had a parliament which was now as the estates general and was only met by the royal command. Their last meeting was held in 1614, and it's a meeting of all 3 stars together to vote as a bloc.
All three estates send representatives to vote as a bloc. A bloc is when a group that votes together on the same ideas. The first and second estate always out voted the third because the were aristocrats and clergy. The 3rd had the most representatives but the were poor and had no authority.
The estates general wanted to have some power in the government but Louis was stubborn and wouldn't surrender his power. Instead he planned a meeting to sort out the problems and fix some actually problems like the tax system. The meeting was held in 1789 in Versailles, and the members were still not happy about have a monarchy. Most believed the revolution was beginning.
Times were changing
People were excited that finally the government was starting to change for the better. There goal was to write a new constitution for France. It was the 3rd estate which took the first step, the third estate declared the would form a new government called the National Assembly. The king responded badly and locked them out of there meeting rooms, then they pledged to the tennis court oath.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man:
The Declaration passed in 1789 and it guaranteed equality to all citizens and gave freedom of speech, thought, religion, security, and property, also ended taxation for the nobles.
Open statement “set forth the natural, inalienable, and sacred rights”.
Did not include all, excluded women and gave more rights to “active citizens” who were property-owning men over 25.
The fall of Bastille: july 4th, 1789
The prison held political prisoners that the king did not like. That's why they were there, they opposed his views.
The people tore it down brick by brick and kept the bricks as mementos.
They paraded the head of the prison governor through the streets.
National Assembly established a new constitution and all noble titles were declared obsolete, and everyone were given the title “citizen”.
The new gov. Believed it was well on it’s way to solving financial issues.
Many aristocrats fled to other countries. In 1791 the royal family tried to escape in disguise but the king was imprisoned.
The reign of terror: 1793-1794
The committee of Public safety controlled the revolutionary government and was led by Maximilien Robespierre. The committee passed a lot of laws that quieted the opposers of their political views. Without a certificate of citizenship, one was guillotined after immediate arrest.
Robespierre had control of the National Assembly and revolution with two other men. He believed no mercy to those who wished for the kings system. He was reckless and killed who ever threatened the revolution. He killed thousands of people during the revolution by his creation, the guillotine.
Robespierre killed thousands out of fun, he approximately killed 30 000 people by his invention the guillotine. Robespierre began to lose faith from his followers and even his closest allies doubted him. People from the committee of public safety started to argue towards his actions. He was arrested and killed on July 28, 1794 by his own guillotine.
Now in control
Robespierre had control of the National Assembly and revolution with two other men. He had just created the guillotine and was now the head of the new revolutionary army. The 3rd estate worked so hard for this and were thankful but at the same time doubted him for all the innocents he killed instead of trailed. The believe he was fighting for democracy but at the same time using dictatorship
Robespierre killed thousands of people from the invention he made. It was made to be less painful when you die, it also made less of a mess. The guillotine was the most powerful and popular murder weapon and Robespierre used it against everyone who stood in his way even the king and queen.
Revolutionary wars: 1795, 1798
Military General who was very successful in conquering land.
March 1804, Napoleon instituted the Napoleonic code. This allowed freedom of religion.
Followed constitution which created the first consul (position amounted to nothing less than a dictatorship). His constitution was accepted in 1800.