I. Origins A. Absolute Monarchy of Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715) 1. Versailles 2. cermonialism 3. mercantilism 4. secrecy 5. divine right B. Financial difficulties 1. annual budget (1780s) 50% = interest payments 25% = military 19% = functions of state 6% = kings court 2. weak monarchy of Louis XVI (r. 1774-92) --> attempts to increase taxes C. Three Estates 1. First Estate = clergy -- own 10% of land -- voluntary gift -- tithe 2. Second Estate = nobility -- own 25% of land -- taxed lightly -- privileges of lordship 3. Third Estate = commoners (i.e. everybody else) -- taxed heavily D. Historical interpretations 1. importance of ideas 2. significance of class interests 3. interplay of ideas & interest groups II. The Revolution (1789-92) A. Revolt of the Third Estate 1. meeting of the Estates-General (May 1789) -- separate chambers vs. single body 2. formed a National Assembly (June 1789) -- Oath of the Tennis Court B. Revolt of the Poor 1. Capture of the Bastille (July 1789) 2. Great Fear C. Consolidation 1. Declaration of the Rights of Man (Aug. 1789) a) rights of citizens b) equality c) representative government 2. March of the Women (Oct. 1789) 3. 1792 Constitution a) abolished absolute monarchy b) eliminated noble legal order c) National Convention -- property qualifications to vote III. The Second Revolution (1793-99) A. Execution of king & queen B. National Convention 1. moderates vs. radicals 2. sans-culottes uprising C. Reign of Terror (1793-94) 1. Committee of Public Safety a) Maximilien Robespierre -- planned economy -- bread of equality b) guillotine 2. War Against Tyranny a) military draft b) nationalism D. Consolidation 1. Restoring order a) killed Robespierre b) suppressed revolts 2. 1795 Constitution a) representative government -- three-stage election b) Directory (r. 1795-99) = executive body of five Directors IV. Napoleon Bonaparte (r. 1799-1814) A. Staged a coup detat --> first consul --> counsul for life (1802) --> emperor (1804) B. Benevolent Despotism 1. equality before the law 2. careers open to talent 3. authoritarian rule C. Wars to spread the revolution --> Grand Empire (1810) D. Abdication & Exile (1815) Think/Write Question In the French Revolution, who do you think was most influential in bringing about reform -- the politicians or the masses?