Apartado 1: Why the revolution break out in France: The spread of new Enlightenment ideals, the development of the bourgeoisie in the 18″ century and the example of the American Revolution stimulated the desire for change in Europe. A revolutionary wave began in France in 1789 and spread through Europe in the first half of the 19′ century. Its aig was to end absolutism and the Ancien Régime.

THE IMPACT DF THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION:The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America and its Constitution (1787) defended the inalienable rights of the cilizen, Ine-separation of powers, principles of equality and freedom and the right to elect a government, These ideals coincided with Enlightenment ideals spreading through France and were adopted by the cultural elites and the new bourgeoisie, Enlightenment principles and the American Revolution gave the bourgeoisie new ideas to help them confront absolutism and the stratified estate system of Jociety. They proposed new forms of social organisation and government an of this led to the revolutionary cycle that began in France in 1789.

THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CRISIS:In the late 18th century, the Third-Estate, aspired to profound social reforms. The peasants (80% of the population) were opposed to the heavy taxes and rents imposed on them by the feudal lords. The bourgeoisie wanted to end the privileges enjoyed by the nobility and clergy. The descent into revolution was caused by discontent among the population and the arrival of two major crises in 1789.

  • The economic crisis, which was the result of a series of poor harvests since 1760. The rise in the price of food especially bread, generated discontent and a spirit of rebellion among the people.
  • The financial crisis, caused by the monarchy’s lack,ef money. To resolve this problem, Louis XVI’s ministers proposed that the privileged begin to pay taxes. They refused to accept this and demanded that Louis XVT convene the Estales-General.

REVOLUTION BREAKS OUT: The Estates-General met in Versailles in May 1789. The meeting was chaired by the king and made up of representatives of the nobility, cergy and the Third Estate. However, the Third Estate representatives decided to leave the meeting when the privileged classes refused to allow them greater representation and insisted on one vote per estate rather than one per representative. The representatives of the Third Estate met in a pavilion in Versailles (Jeu de Paume) and proclaimed themselves the National Assembly representatives of the nation. They pledged draft a constitution that reflected the will of the majority of French people.The people of Paris supported the Assembly’s proposals and, on July 14, they stormed the Bastille. The revolution spread to the countryside, where nobles’ homes were burnt (the Great Fear). Louis XVI was frightened by the situation and, in the autumn of 1789 accepted the National Assembly, which made France a constitutional monarchy and ended the Ancien Régime.

Apartado 2: The development of the French revolution

The Constitutional Monarchy (1789-1792): In the first phase of the Revolution, the moderate bourgeoisie tried to reach an agreement with the king and the privileged classes to make France a constitutienal and parlamentary monarchy. To do this, the National Constituent Assembly:

  • abolished feudalism and approved the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which recognised the rights.
  • drew up a constitution (1791) based on the separation of powers, national sovereignty Census suffrage.

Once the Constitution was approved, a Legislative Assembly was formed. This drafted new laws to implement liberalism, forced the nobility to pay taxes and abolished the guilds. A new army, the National Guard. Finally, in order to solve the financial crisis, Church property was expropriated (confiscated) and sold. A Civil Constitution of the Clergy separated the Church and the state. A constitutional monarchy was established in 1791, but the royal family ane-the privileged classes did not accept the changes and asked absolute monarchies in Europe to help restore absolutism. The Austrian army invaded France and Louis XVI fled Paris (Flight to Varennes, June 1791), but he was arrested, and the Austrian army entered France and reached Paris.

The Social Republic (1792-1794):The betrayal by the king and the military invasion led to the revolt by the common people (sans-culottes). A republic was declared and the second phase of the Revolution began.

The Girondin Convention (1792-1793) The Girondins, the more moderate bourgeoisie, controlled the Republic. A new assembly. the National Convention, was elected by universal male sufrage,XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were and executed (1793).In response to the king’s death, monarchies in Europe formed an absolutist coalition against France.

The Jacobin Convention (1793-1794) In June 1793, the Jacobins, the most radical sector of the bourgeoisie,endorsed the demands of the popular sectors and seized power. The Revolution had now entered its most extreme phase. A new constitution was enacted. Gave power to the Jacobin leader Robespierre. To reject the Austrian invasion, a mass levy (levée en masse) was organised that forced all citizens to join the army. To stop conspirators, the Reign of Terror was imposed. Freedoms were suspended and people opposed to the government by quillotine (Law of Suspects). Many people opposed the dictatorial government, and a coup July 1794 ended the Jatebin government. Robespierre and other Jacobin leaders were executed by guillotine.

The Conservative Republic: The Directory (1794-1799): The moderate bourgegisie took back control of the Revolution and A new Constitution (1795) granted executive power to a collegial government, known as the Directory. The Director was permanently unstable because it faced opposition from the aristocracy, re-establish the monarchy and the common people, who supported the return of the Jacobins. General Napoleon Bonaparte organised a coup in 1799 that ended the Directory.

Apartado 4: Napoleon rules Europe

The Consulate (1799-1804):Napoleon’s coup d’état was supported by a large part of the bourgeoisie.His aim was to implement the more moderate ideologies that had inspired the French Revolution in 1789. In 1799, Napoleon was named consul, and the Consulate’s rule began. Napoleon aspired to put an end to the political instability of the Revolution. The Constitution of 1800 of the new political system did net include the separation of powers or a declaration of rights. Liberties were very limited and censorship was imposed to control public opinion. The state was organised into departments that were run by prefects who implemented government policies. Napoleon signed an agreement with the Church called a concordat, and a civil cole for all citizens was drawn up. Furthermore, a commercial code was established to stimulate the economy, the Bank of France was created.

The Napoleonic Empire (1804-1815):Napoleon began his conquest of Europe in 1803 and was crowned emperor by the Pope in 1804. His large army and the use of new military tactics enabled him to defeat most European monarchies. After France’s victory over Austria and Russia at Austerlitz (1806). In 1808, the French invaded Spain and Joseph Bonaparte, one of the emperor’s brothers, was made king. In 1811 the Napoleonic Empire had reached its zenith: it extended from Germany to Spain.

WHY WAS NAPOLEON DEFEATED: The Napoleonic military campaigns sparked two types of reaction in the countries occupied by the French:

  • On the one hand, the abolishment of absolute monarchies and the suppression of manorial rights had the support of European liberals.
  • On the other hand, invasion by a foreign army, the indiscriminate violence by its soldiers and French interests caused strong anti-French sentiment.

REJECTION OF THE INVASION: The French armies occupied the European nations by force and made Napoleon’s family members or army generals, their leaders. They also collected taxes, did business and recruited soldiers on top of spreading liberal ideals. This caused the emergence of resistance movements and provoked strong natonalist feelings in conquered countries such as Spain, Poland, Germany and Italy.

THE FALL OF NAPOLEON: The failure of his invasion of Russia in 1812 and the revolt in Spain against a foreign king (Joseph Bonaparte) marked the decline of the Napoleonic Empire. In 1815, the imperial armies were finally defeated in Waterloo by Great Britain and Prussia. Napoleon abdicated after the defeat and was sent into exile on the island of Saint Helena, where he died in 1821.

Apartado 5: What was the legacy of the French Revolution: The French Revolution is one of the most significant events in the history of humanity, and marked the beginning of the late modern period. It started an era in which western society began the construction of a future based on respect for fundamental and basic human rights.

A THE BASIS OF DEMOCRACY: The organisation of states and the political systems that are used in most western democracies are based on the same principles that drove the French Revolution.

  • People as citizens with rights recognised by the state (Declaration of Human Rights).
  •   Popular sovereignty, is. citizens’ right to vote to choose their representatives who meet in Parliament to make laws and choose the government.
  • The Constitution as the fundamental law that establishes the rights and duties of both citizens and rulers.
  • Equality before the law, based on legal codes (e.g. civil, penal and military and an independent justice system.
  • The organisation of state administration into departments (provinces) and town councils.

POLITICAL LIFE AND THE PRESS: The political clubs born during the Revolution were the precursors of political parties in democratic systems. Citizens who defended similar ideas and proposals formed groups to participate in politics and have more influence in the Assembly. The classification of political parties as left or right came from the French National Assembly, when more moderate deputies tended to sit on the seats on the right and the more radical ones on the left.

ECONOMIC LIBERALISATION: The Revolution and the Napoleonic Code involved the liberalisation of the economy, which enabled the development of capitalism and the bourgeoisie.

  • Guilds, which regulated and hindered the growth of production, were abolished, and freedom of trade and contract was implemented. At the same time, trade unions to secure workers’ rights were prohibited.
  • Internal customs that charged taxes on goods and made trade difficult were ended.
  • A new decimal system of measurement, the metric system, was introduced to make the exchange of goods easier.

PUBLIC EDUCATION AND CULTURE: The revolutionaries were in favour of the separation of the Church and the state. The state should be secular, with no official religion, and should accept religious freedom. At the same time, the state should play an important part in developing education and promoting culture for all, and not just for a small elite. For the first time, the need for equal, compulsory education for all citizens was considered, although it was never put into practice. In the Napoleonic Era, the first state schools (lyceés) (run by the state and not the Church) were founded. Until then, art had been displayed in private collections in palaces. To make art and culture accessible to all citizens, the first public museums were created, such as the Louvre in Paris, which was inaugurated in 1793.

Apartado 6: Between absolutism and liberalism:

The restoration of absolutism: Between 1814 and 1815, the powers that defeated Napoleon met at the Congress of Vienna. The organiser, Austrian Chancellor Metternich, wanted to stop the spread of liberal ideas and restore absolutism in Europe. After reinstating monarchs on their thrones, the four great powers (Russia, Britain, Prussia and Austria) reshaped the European map to their advantage, but without considering the peoples and their nationalist aspirations. France returned to its borders of 1792 and the Napoleonic Empire was divided up among the victors. The Congress of Vienna established the ideological principles of the Restoration, such as the legitimacy of the absolute monarchs and the denial of national sovereignty. It also called for a balance of power between the victors through periodic meetings and the right of intervention. In 1815, the Holy Alliance Treaty was signed.

The revolutionary wave of 1830: The Congress of Vienna did not respect the liberal principles or the nationalist aspirations of some European peoples. After 1815, liberalism and nationalism became the two main opposition forces prompting the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 that ended the restoration of absolutism The insurrections had significant popular support. When they were successful, absolutism was replaced by liberal political systems governed by a constitution in which the bourgeoisie held power. The movement began in France when Charles X the absolute monarch who succeeded Louis XVIII a few years after the fall of Napoleon, was overthrown in July 1830. Louis Philippe I became the new constitutional monarch. He was called the ‘Citizen King In 1831, a revolt also broke out in Poland, which was under the autocratic rule of the Russian Empire, but was harshly suppressed by the tsarist army.

1848: THE SPRING OF NATIONS?: In 19-century Europe, many people lived under the rule of an empire (e.g. Austrian, Russian and Ottoman) or were fragmented into various states (e.g. Germany and Italy). For this reason, in many areas, the rise of liberalism was accompanied by an expansion of nationalism, which advocated for independent nations free from the control of absolutist empires. In the Austrian Empire, the revolt in Vienna was liberal in character, and the revolution forced chancellor Metternich to resign, There were also nationalist uprisings in Hungary, Bohemia, northern Italy and the German Confederation. In France, a popular uprising proclaimed the Second Republic, which adopted a number of democratic measures, such as universal male suffrage, press freedom, abolition of the death penalty and recognition of certain rights for workers. Although these revolutions were suppressed, democratic reforms and many nationalist aspirations were consolidated in the second half of the 19th century.

Apartado 8: New social movements:

Workers” associations: The first workers to protest against industrialisation were the Luddites. The Luddite movement started in England in the early 19th century. It consisted of the violent destruction of machinery in the belief that it was responsible for low wages and unemployment. Some workers started to realise the need to form their own associations to defend their interests. The first organisations were relief societies, which acted as resistance groups and helped workers in the event of illness or unemployment. These societies organised the first strikes and created contingency funds. The repeal of the laws prohibiting workers’ associations in England in 1824 led to the creation of the first official trade unions, which united workers in the same field, such as the Union of Spinners. The Grand National Consolidated Trades Union, which brought together different types of workers, was founded in 1834. Its first tasks were to defend the right of association, to reduce the working day, to improve wages and to regulate child labour.

The new social solutions:

  • The utopian socialists (Saint-Simon, Proudhon and Fourier) were the first to suggest that private property was the main cause of inequalities and to propose forms of collective ownership.
  • In the mid-19th century, some thinkers advocated the need for a revolution to end capitalism and build a new egalitarian society. These ideas gave rise to two major revolutionary movements: Marxism and anarchism.
  • The Catholic Church was concerned about the condition of the working classes and social inequality. In 1890, Pope Leo XIll issued his encyclical Rerum Novarum, which proposed the need to improve the living conditions of workers by enacting social laws.