The French Revolution


The Financial Crisis

1787 - 1789

-France was having financial problems from the building of Versailles and the aid they gave American during their American Revolution.
-This went against the Declaration because the 1st and 2nd estate could have shared equal responsibility and much of the suffering would have decreased and more debts paid.

The Great Fear


-After Bastille many of the people feared they would be punished by the king for what they had done and the Revolution would be put to an end. Rumors began to spread about the king hiring soldiers to punish the 3rd estate. As a result, panic about this spread throughout France.
-It is not in the spirit of the Declaration because people feared for their safety.


May 5 1789

-A meeting King Louis agreed to hold with all the representatives of the three estates to approve new taxes.
-This did not support the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen because, while the 3rd estate was invited to the meeting, they weren't allowed a fair say compared to that of the 1st and 2nd estates. That breaks the law that says that all men are equal in rights, as well as goes against the law about everyone having a say, personally or representatively, in the law.

The Creation of National Assembly

Jun 17, 1789

-During the meeting of the Estate-General, the 3rd estate refused the king’s order to continue the old voting process. When the king did nothing to have their ideas enforced, the 3rd estate proclaimed themselves the National Assembly, a legislature with the right to make laws in France.
-The creation of this legislature supports the Declaration because they were taking the steps to withhold the law about all political associations aiming to preserve the rights of man, including liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.

Tennis Court Oath

June 20 1789

-Only after the 3rd estate declared themselves the National Assembly during the Estate-General, did the king take action. He ordered that the 3rd estate be locked out of their meeting place. However, the representatives were not affected, and instead agreed to meet in an indoor tennis court. It was there that they swore that they would not leave the court until they had written a constitution for France. That later became known as the Tennis Court Oath.
-The Oath supports the Declaration because they were trying to uphold the law that says all political associations should aim to preserve the rights of man, including liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.

The Storming of the Bastille

July 14, 1789

-A mob of Parisians went to the old prison, Bastille, to look for weapons. They first tried to negotiate with the Bastille’s commander for them but when that broke down the mob and prison guard broke into a fight. The mob killed the commander and stuck his head on a stick to parade it through the streets.
-This doesn't support the Declaration because the law prohibits actions that cause harm.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen

August 20 1789 - August 26 1789

The declaration, developed by the National Assembly, that laid out the basic principles of the Revolution (liberty, equality, brotherhood). The English Bill of Rights, the American Declaration of Independence, and the ideas of Enlightenment philosophers helped influence this document.

The Creation of National Convention

September 20 1792

-After a mob marched onto the Tuileries Palace and threw the royal family into prison, the Legislative Assembly felt powerless. They voted themselves out of existence and then elected a new legislature call the National Convention. Their first acts as the new legislature were to abolish the monarchy and declare France a republic.
-The creation of this legislature supports the Declaration because its upholding the spirit for political associations to preserve the rights of man.

The Counterrevolution


-The revolution against the government that was established by the revolution before.
-This did support the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen because the people had have the right to change a government they believe to be doing wrong.

Napoleon’s Rise to Power


-The turmoil in France during the revolution gave Napoleon Bonaparte the chance to rise to power. In a few years, went from being an army captain to the ruler of France.

Important Napoleonic Reforms

1793 - 1814

-Napoleon made several reforms during his rule. These including church-state relations, economic, and legal and educational reforms. Napoleon came to an agreement with the pope, called the Concordant, that acknowledged the Roman Catholic citizens, established the Bank of France and set up a more efficient tax-collecting system, and came up with the Napoleon Code, a code applied to only male citizens, that made laws uniform across the nation and got rid of many injustices, while also restricting some freedoms such of the press. He also established a network of schools to educate young men. They were made throughout the duration of Napoleon's rule.
-These reforms both did and did not support the Declarations of the Rights of Man and the Citizen because some of them helped with the peoples’ rights and made living in the nation easier, but a few of the reforms also restricted several of the rights in the Declaration.

The Execution of Louis XVI

Jan 21, 1793

-The king was put on trial and quickly condemned, his execution scheduled the next day on January 21st. He was beheaded by guillotine that morning and his head was held up for all to see.
-The execution was not in the spirit of the Declaration because the king wasn't given a fair trial, since everyone in the court wanted him dead and condemned him almost immediately.

The Reign of Terror

September 5 1793 - July 27 1794

-The Montagnards’ series of accusations, trials, and executions that created a wave of fear throughout the country.
-This did not support the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen because the wild accusations caused many executions and a widespread panic for peoples safety, being harmful to society. Also, it goes against the law that states that no person should be accused or arrested for something other than the law.

The Invasion of Russia

June 1812

-Napoleon and his army of 600,000 men came across the Russian border in June. However, he and his army came across many problems along the way and, while they won the first battle against the Russians and headed on to Moscow, Napoleon ended up having no choice but to retreat back home.
-This was not in the spirit of the Declaration because Napoleon made many poor choices during the invasion, and the decision to do it was just as bad to begin with.

The Congress of Vienna

March 1814

Before Napoleon's escape from Elba, hundreds of diplomats had gathered in Vienna. This meeting was called the Congress of Vienna and its plan was to restore order to Europe after the Napoleonic Wars.

The Exile to Elba

March 1814

-Napoleon’s disaster in Russia gave his enemies a new hope. In October 1813, they met him in Germany and the battle was a clear defeat for France. In March, the victors entered Paris. After his surrender, Napoleon had to give up his throne and, while he was allowed the title of emperor still, his empire had shrunken to a small Mediterranean island, Elba, off of Italy.

The Battle of Waterloo

June 18, 1815

-Napoleon’s army met his allied enemies at a Belgian village, Waterloo. By the end of the day, the allied armies had drove France off the fields. Both sides had huge losses, adding up to a total of 50,000 men. It was a big defeat for Napoleon and it ended both his military career and the Napoleonic Wars.