Ch. 19 The French Revolution and Napoleon (1789-1815)
1. On the Eve of Revolution
2. Creating a New France
3. Radical Days
4. The Age of Napoleon Begins
5. The End of an Era
p. 478 Read intro
Using the Chapter Opener
Using the chapter opener story, map, picture, and time line to know responses to the following question words regarding the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era: who, what, where, when, why, and how.
Caption p. 479
Answer to Caption, Political and Social Systems
Possible answer: Versailles represented the luxurious lives of the monarch and nobility. The Bastille represented the oppression of the people.
Storming the Bastille
When the crowd attempted to enter the Bastille, its commander, the Marquis de Launay, ordered his troops to open fire. In the ensuing four-hour battle, revolutionary fervor seized Paris. Some French soldiers joined the besiegers and turned their cannons against the fortress. Finally, after killing 98 of the attackers, de Launay surrendered. An angry mob beheaded him, stuck his head on a pike, and paraded it through the streets, foreshadowing the violent days that lay ahead.
Sec. 1, On the Eve of Revolution
In 1789, French society consisted of three social classes: the clergy or First Estate; the nobility, or Second Estate; and the rest of the population, who comprised the Third Estate. The nation faced social unrest, enormous debt, and food shortages. When the king summoned the Estates General to carry out reforms, member of the Third Estate broke away and formed the National Assembly. On July 14, 1789, angry Parisians stormed the Bastille.
Work with a partner. Assign each partner to write brief profiles for three of the following: a nun, a priest, a nobleman, a banker, a manufacturer, a lawyer, a peasant, a member of the royal family, a journeyman, a servant girl. In your profiles, students should identify the estate to which the person belongs, privileges that the person might have had, complaints that the person might have had, and changes that the person might have desired. After you have finished your profiles, volunteer to read profiles to the class.
Close: Draw a political cartoon that represents the views of one or more of the persons profiled: nun, priest, nobleman, banker, manufacturer, lawyer, peasant, royal family member, journeyman, or servant.
Guide for Reading Section 1
What is the social structure of the old regime?
Why did France face an economic crisis by 1789?
Why did efforts at reform fail?
Vocabulary: bourgeoisie, deficit spending
Caption, p. 481 (Graph)
Answer to Graph
The First Estate had the fewest people. The Third Estate owned the most land. The Third Estate was discontented because the First and the Second Estates, though comprising only 2% of the population, owned 30% of the land.
Activity: Learning Styles (Visual)
After you have studied the graphs on this page, create other visual means of looking at land ownership and the social structure of France in 1789. You might create a pyramid chart displaying the relative size and status of the three estates.
Activity: Learning Styles (Auditory)
The following excerpt is from Abbe Sieyes's pamphlet What is the Third Estate? Respond to the questions that follow. For extra help, read a copy of the excerpt and look up difficult vocabulary words.
"Thus, what is the third estate? Everything; but an everything shackled and oppressed. What would it be without the privileged order? Everything, but an everything free and flourishing. Nothing can progress without it; everything would proceed infinitely better without the others. . . . [The] nobility does not belong to the social organization at all; . . . indeed, it may be a burden upon the nation."
1. How would you feel and respond to these words if you were a member of the Third Estate?
2. What might your reaction be if you were a member of the nobility?
Caption, p. 482
Political and Social Systems
The cartoonist's message was that peasants lived in misery because of their responsibilities to the government, the nobility, and the clergy.
Background: Historical Evidence
Petitioning the King
The following excerpt is from a petition to King Louis XV from the village of Lion-en-Sullias, dated March 1, 1789. It reflects the popular feeling that government policies were responsible for the famine that afflicted the countryside.
"Relying on His Majesty's paternal goodness, they dare to hope that he will . . . exempt their sons and domestics from militia service in order to let them attend to the cultivation of the land and proide the kingdon with more grain, as useful to the State as military service and they ask this with all the more reason because hands are lacking in the countryside. What causes the countryside to be deserted is the too great misery that reigns over it. . . . a result of the extreme misery caused by the excessive burden of numerous taxes."
This primary source can stimulate a class discussion about French peasant life and the policies of the French government.
Activity: Heterogeneous Groups (Enrichment)
As an enrichment activity, students can write an essay comparing the conditions in England in the 1600s with the conditions in France in the 1700s. Student essays should outline the complaints that caused popular unrest and should address the question of whether or not revolution was inevitable in each case.
Background, Daily Life
Life at the Bastille
The seven prisoners who were freed from the Bastille on July 14 may not have been as jubilant as their rescuers expected. Ironically, inmates at the Bastille were treated more as guests of the King than as criminals. If they desired, they were provided with furniture. Or, if they had the means, as many did, they were permitted to bring their own furnishings, including works of art and musical instruments. Meals at the Bastille consisted of several courses, and often catered to personal tastes. Prisoners could hire personal servants and could have parties attended by fellow prisoners as well as by outside guests.
HW Section 1 Review p. 484
Extra Credit, #6 - #7.