The French Revolution

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Financial Crisis

1787 - 1789

A hail storm, a drought and the worst winter in over 80 years combined with France’s imminent bankruptcy to make a nation of hungry and angry people. This goes against the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen” because of some of the things the king did in this crisis. The country’s debt could have been alleviated by taxing the first and second estates as much as the third estate, sharing the burden of taxes equally among the people.

Estates General

May 5, 1789

The Estates General was the stage of the France revolution the Third Estate used this to bring about changes in government and society which eventually lead to the revolution as a whole. This goes against the 'Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen' because the Estates did not have equal voice, the vast majority of the public getting one vote and the rest (nobles and clergymen) getting two votes.

Creation of National Assembly

June 17, 1789

The creation of the National Assembly started the Revolution and sparked major changes in the French government. It was the first time most commoners would have voice in politics and receive rights that would protect them from corrupt government. This is in the spirit of the 'Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen' because it starts to give rights and a voice to people equally.

Tennis Court Oath

June 20, 1789

This was an oath sworn by the members of the third estate who vowed not to leave the tennis court where they were meeting without writing a constitution for France. The goal of these people was to write the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen.

Storming Bastille

July 14, 1789

The people of Paris wanted to arm themselves so they decided to take over an old prison, called Bastille. When the prison commander refused to negotiate the angry mob took the building by force. This event goes against the 'Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen'. The angry mob of Parisians killed innocent people and did many things harmful to other people, the only thing the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen says that the government should prohibit.

Great Fear

July 15, 1789 - October 1789

This was a fear that griped the people of Paris and France. Rumors of the King's punishment for the Revolutionaries spreed panic and violence across the countryside.

Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen

August 20, 1789 - August 26, 1789

This document forms the basis of the rights o French people and is the pinnacle of the Revolution.

Important Actions of the National Convention

September 20, 1792 - December 1, 1804

The Convention to proliferate the Reign of Terror created the the Committee of Public Safety which was able to execute many people in the Revolutionary Tribunal court with little to no evidence on the that they could harm the revolution. They also created a draft of able bodied, unmarried men to grow the army even though they were not at war anymore. They also cut all ties to the Roman Catholic church, changed the system of weights and measures to the metric system and created a new calender. This event is against the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen not only because of the executions without trial but also for the extinction of the Catholic church in France. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen stated that people are not to be judged by their beliefs however the government did all it could to get rid of the Church because it was reminiscent of pre-revolutionary France.

Creation of National Convention

September 20, 1792

This event changed France from a constitutional monarchy to a republic. A radical change in the government.

Napoleon’s Rise to Power

1793 - December 2, 1804

Napoleon was an important military leader who gained wide territory for France including Italy and Egypt. His military successes made him a national hero. In 1799 he seized power and was a dictator until he was crowned Emperor, by himself, on December 2, 1804.

Execution of Louis XVI

January 21, 1793

This event is important because it makes it impossible for the monarchy to return to power because the king is dead. It also starts a period of time called the reign of terror. This is not in the spirit of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen because the king, as a French man, was supposed to be entitled to the right of life and was killed for no reason other than that he was the king and he posed a threat to the new government.

Counterrevolution

July 13, 1793

This is the date of the murder of the Extreme revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat. He was killed by a counterrevolutionary named Charlotte Corday. She believed that his death would end the reign of terror. The Counterrevolution movement was more like a fear than a movement but this murder is against the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen as all murders are not in the good will of the people.

Reign of Terror

September 5, 1793 - July 27, 1794

This was a period of time in when many people were killed for little or no reason and without fair trials. This goes against the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen because the declaration gives people the right to life and a fair trial and almost none of the people executed during this time were given ether.

Important Napoleonic Reforms

December 3, 1804 - May 1, 1814

Napoleon smoothed France's relations with the Catholic church. His agreement with the church allowed any French person to be excepted by the Church without requiring it of citizens. This upheld the 'freedom of belief' part of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. He set up the Bank of France to regulate the economy and he set up a better tax collection system so the government would not have the same financial crisis as before the revolution. This qualified as filling the 'equally shared taxes' part of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. He also put in place schools for young men to prepare them for government jobs. He developed Napoleonic Code which made laws uniform across the country but censored the freedom of the press. This violates the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen.

Invasion of Russia

June 1812 - October 1812

Napoleon was hungry for a quick victory over Russia. He made a disastrous decision to invade Russia just before winter set in. He took control of Moscow but had to leave when a fire destroyed the city because he could not support his army in the ruined city in winter.

Exile to Elba

April 11, 1814 - March 1, 1815

Napoleon was exiled to Elba, a small island off the coast of Italy, on this day by the European allies who had set out to defeat him. He gave up all power over France and became Emperor of Elba. After about a year he found a boat that would return him and his supporters to France and landed on French soil on March 1, 1815. He then marched to Paris and took control of France once more.

Congress of Vienna

September 1814 - June 1815

This congress was a gathering of European diplomats from every country that was affected by the French Revolution. Its purpose was to redraw the map of Europe, restore any monarchs usurped by Napoleon, and restore order and stability to Europe. Most of the negotiators also wanted to end all thoughts about rebellions anywhere. Most of the countries who participated were returned to absolute monarchies and the rights of citizens were striped down to nothing once again. This final blow to the revolution goes against the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen because it suppressed the rights of people and undid what this document did to gain equality for people.

Battle of Waterloo

June 18,1815

Napoleon's new army met the army of the Duke of Wellington which was augmented by the Belgian, Dutch, and German troops. This ended Napoleon's military career for good and he was exiled to a remote prison called Saint Helena where he died six years later.