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The Old RegimeThe people inFrench societywere not treated equally.The system of feudalism inFrance was known as “The Old Regime”. Citizens were divided into three classesor “estates”. Feudalism: The king gave land to his lords; the land was worked by peasants

The 3 “ESTATES” In France, people were divided into three estates(classes)First Estate High-ranking members of the ChurchPrivileged class (paid no taxes)Second Estate NobilityPrivileged class (paid no taxes) Third Estate Everyone else – from peasants in the countryside to wealthy bourgeoisie merchants in the cities Unprivileged class(paid lots of taxes)

France is Broke…King Louis XVI lavished money on himself and residences like VersaillesQueen Marie Antoinette was seen as a wasteful spenderGovernment found its funds depleted as a result of warsIncluding the funding of the American RevolutionPrivileged classes would not submit to being taxed

Marie Antoinette

 The Enlightenment movement spread ideas everyone should be equal. The people of the 3 rd estate liked that idea. Why revolt?   The French economy was failing. Taxes were high, profits were low and food supplies were short.   King Louis the XVI was weak and unconcerned about the plight of the third estate.

Estates-GeneralTo help solve the bankruptcy issue, King Louis XVI had no choice but to call for a meeting of the Estates-General

Estates-GeneralVoting was conducted by estateEach estate had one voteFirst and Second Estates could operate as a bloc to stop the Third Estate from having its way◊ First Estate + ◊ Second Estate - vs. - ◊ Third Estate Representatives from the Third Estate demanded that voting be by population This would give the Third Estate a great advantageDeadlock resulted

The National AssemblyFrustrated with the deadlock vote in the Estates General, the Third Estate left the meeting and decided to start their own governing body called the National Assembly.King Louis XVI was outraged by this decision and locked the Third Estate out of the Estates-General meeting.

Tennis Court OathDelegates from the new National Assembly found themselves on a tennis court near the Estates-General meeting hall. Here, the members vowed to stay together until a constitution was written for France.

Storming of the Bastille Louis XVI was worried by the action of the Third Estate and threatened to dissolve the Estates General after the tumultuous events surrounding the Tennis Court Oath. Rural and urban uprisings throughout France at this time saved the Third Estate from the King's intervention. The most famous of these uprisings is the Fall of the Bastille, which occurred on July 14, 1789.

“Let them eat cake” October, 1789:  A crowd of Parisian women marched to Versailles to demand King Louis XVI give out free bread during a bread shortage.  After camping out at Versailles overnight, the mob decided to take Louis XVI back to Paris. They insisted that the royal family return to Paris where, in fact, they would find themselves under virtual house arrest.

Declaration of the Rights of ManAfter King Louis XVI realized he lost control of his subjects, the National Assembly began to make changes. This document guaranteed due process in judicial matters and established sovereignty among the French people. Every person was a Frenchman and equal under this documentKing Louis was found guilty of treason and sent to the guillotine because he asked other countries to attack France’s new government.

Declaration of the Rights of Man

Maximilien RobespierreBelieved that the monarchy of France should be dissolved and France should be a republicHis power grew during the time period known as the Reign of Terror, where a large number of people who were against the revolution were executedHis power turned him into a dictator and ultimately was executed in 1794

Napoleon Bonaparte Emerges from the Revolution. In power from 1804 until 1815

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By: marina-yarberry
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