Duplessis-Bertaux, J. (2018, October 18). French Revolution. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution#/media/File:Jacques_Bertaux_-_Prise_du_palais_des_Tuileries_-_1793.jpg On 10 August 1792 the Paris Commune stormed the Tuileries Palace and killed the Swiss Guards. Jean Duplessis-Bertaux - L’Histoire par l’image , digital
The French Revolution 1774 - 1799
- The French Revolution was one of the most dramatic social upheavals in history. In 1856, French sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville reviewed the so-called “grievance books” — lists of demands made by the various social layers of France in anticipation of the Estates-General, the assembly that would undermine Louis XVI’s reign and lead ultimately to revolution.
- This article ... emphasises ... the relations between the Revolution and the Church.
Filthy Cities Paris from baron haussmann on Vimeo.
- The French Revolution resulted from two state crises which emerged during the 1750s–80s, one constitutional and one financial, with the latter providing a 'tipping point' in 1788/9, when desperate action by government ministers backfired and unleashed a revolution against the 'Ancien Regime.'
- French history has suffered from the over-use of concepts of crises and revolution. An ongoing rural crisis has appeared to account for the French Revolution.
- The classic view of the ancien régime in France – the state of the nation before the French Revolution of 1789 – is one of opulent, corpulent aristocrats enjoying wealth, privilege and the finery of life, while totally divorced from the mass of the French people, who stooped in rags to pay for it.
- Taxation was a significant problem in late 18th century France. According to conventional wisdom, the Ancien Régime’s taxation regime was excessive, inefficient and unfair.
- The French revolution had a profound effect on the economic, political and social upgradation in France. The revolution transformed the existing monarchical hierarchy of France into a rigid social hierarchy. The revolution significantly altered the French society.
- The outbreak of the French Revolution in the summer of 1789 stirred the imagination of nearly all Europeans. The French revolutionaries - that is, those men and women who made conscious choices - sensed in their hearts and minds that they were witnessing the birth of a new age.
- The reign of Louis XIV is often referred to as “Le Grand Siècle” (the Great Century), forever associated with the image of an absolute monarch and a strong, centralised state. Coming to the throne at a tender age, tutored by Cardinal Mazarin, the Sun King embodied the principles of absolutism. In 1682 he moved the royal Court to the Palace of Versailles, the defining symbol of his power and influence in Europe.
- French revolutionary ideas drew heavily on the political philosophy of the Enlightenment and the writings of the philosophes. They also borrowed from other political systems.
- In hindsight, the monarchy began to fail a century previous, making the crisis inevitable. The necessity for reform was, at the very least, understood by Louis XVI, as evinced in his rapid replacement of Controller Generals, but ignored by the Parlement.
- When Louis XVI‘s ministers proposed fiscal and taxation reforms in the 1780s, they were resisted by institutions of the Ancien Régime. One body that resisted reform was the parlements. The parlements were the supreme courts of law in pre-revolutionary France.
- assembly of notables
A depiction of the Assembly of Notables at Versailles
By the beginning of 1787 France’s fiscal crisis – the product of extravagant spending, insufficient revenue and mounting debt – had pushed the nation to the brink of bankruptcy. Louis XVI‘s ministers attempted to push through urgent reforms but they were thwarted by opposition from the parlements.
Engraving showing the Assembly of Notables of 1787 in Versailles
et Girardet, V., & Niquet, C. (2018, August 26). Assembly of Notables. Retrieved from
- Years: 1785 - 1799
Caricature of the Third Estate carrying the First Estate (clergy) and the Second Estate (nobility) on its back
Bibliothèque nationale de France. (1789). French Revolution - Caricature of the Third Estate carrying the First Estate (clergy) and the Second Estate (nobility) on its
back [Painting]. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution#/media/File:Troisordres.jpg
"The Storming of the Bastille", Visible in the center is the arrest of Bernard René Jourdan, m de Launay (1740-1789)
Houël, J. (1789). The storming of the Bastille [Painting]. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution#/media/File:Prise_de_la_Bastille.jpg
- Approved by the National Assembly of France, August 26, 1789
- The Enlightenment, often referred to as ‘The Age of Reason’, is sometimes periodised by French historians as the years 1715, the death of Louis XIV, and 1789, the start of the French Revolution.
- The political and financial situation in France had grown rather bleak, forcing Louis XVI to summon the Estates General. This assembly was composed of three estates – the clergy, nobility and commoners – who had the power to decide on the levying of new taxes and to undertake reforms in the country. The opening of the Estates General, on 5 May 1789 in Versailles, also marked the start of the French Revolution.
- In 1789, the year of the outbreak of the French Revolution, Catholicism was the official religion of the French state. The French Catholic Church, known as the Gallican Church, recognised the authority of the pope as head of the Roman Catholic Church but had negotiated certain liberties that privileged the authority of the French monarch, giving it a distinct national identity characterised by considerable autonomy.
- f any king could have coped with the French Revolution it was not Louis XVI. He was 19 when he succeeded his grandfather, Louis XV, in 1774. At 15 he had married the Austrian Habsburg princess Marie-Antoinette, who was 14.
- The Champ de Mars Massacre unfolded on a military parade ground in Paris in July 1791. In the wake of the Louis XVI‘s failed attempt to flee Paris, radicals in the political clubs called for the abolition of the monarchy.
- Political clubs were an important feature of the French Revolution from late 1789. These clubs began as another type of social event, not unlike the salons, circles and literary associations of the 1780s, with like-minded people gathering to discuss political matters.
- The Sans-culottes were urban workers, artisans, minor landholders, and associated Parisians who took part in mass public displays during the French Revolution.
- The Indictment of Louis XVI (December 11, 1792)
- Marie Antoinette is remembered for her legendary excesses, and for her death: she was executed by guillotine in 1793 for the crime of treason.
- In the spring of 1793, peasants and farmers in the Vendée region of western France took up arms against the National Convention. Never much interested in the revolution, they were appalled by the revolutionary government’s treatment of both the king and the church.
- The article explores the history of the downfall and death of French revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre. Emphasis is given to topics such as the coup d'état during the Thermidorian Reaction to remove Robespierre, the move of the Revolutionary Government away from social and political radicalism, and his death as a botched suicide attempt versus execution by guillotine.
- From radical thinker to dictator, Robespierre rose to oversee The Terror during the French Revolution. Antonia Fraser examines a tale of extremes.
Picture by an unknown artist showing a member of the 'Compagnons du Soleil', who carried out White Terror attacks in southeastern France
Picture by an unknown artist showing a member of the 'Compagnons du Soleil', who carried out White Terror attacks in southeastern France [Picture]. (1795). Retrieved from
- Includes information on:
The Legislative Assembly
Political Power at the Legislative Assembly
Louis XVI’s Relationship with the Assembly
Events of August 10
The First French Republic and Regicide
The Aftermath of August 10
- The outcome of the French Revolution, which began in 1789 and lasted for more than a decade, had numerous social, economic, and political effects not just in France but also in Europe and beyond.
- The significance or importance of the French Revolution has usually been analyzed in one of two ways: as an "event" in French history which has its course and consequences; or as a phenomenon that had a specific influence on the history of other countries.
Constitution 1795 [Image]. (1795). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_Year_III#/media/File:Constitution_1795.jpg
- If we consider why, almost two centuries after his death, we are still so interested in Napoleon Bonaparte’s great feats, and in his equally great downfall, part of the answer must lie in his personality.
- On the bicentennial of the most famous battle in world history, a distinguished historian looks at what could have been.
Suggested Reading list
- Analysing the French Revolution by The Analysing Revolutions series now includes new sources and up-to-date exam-style questions, Interactive Textbooks that bring history to life and a new American Revolution title. These full-colour editions continue to provide the very best support for VCE studies, as students develop a broad and detailed understanding of the process of revolution, and analyse and reflect upon the political, social and economic causes and consequences. A range of engaging sources for analysis, including eyewitness accounts, visual representations and primary documents, combined with compelling narrative passages to cover the new VCE study design for implementation in 2016. Opportunities to explore arguments and perspectives from a range of historians by introducing students to current and past scholarship. A wide variety of analysis activities and focus questions enhance understanding and help develop the key skills required to think like an historian. Chapter summaries and exam-style extended-response questions help students consolidate and reflect on their learning, in order to prepare fully for SACs and the exam. The included Interactive Textbook offers interactive activities for student revision as well as a range of other rich content.ISBN: 9781107506442Publication Date: 2015-07-20
- The French Revolution byCall Number: 944.04 MANISBN: 9780435312824Publication Date: 1992
- Civilization in the West byCall Number: 909.09821 KISISBN: 9780673980342Publication Date: 1997-01-01
- List of books on The French Revolution