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The French Revolution and Napoleon- Patterns of Civilization




Section Review: page 26

2a. What groups made up each of the three estates in France?

First Estate: higher clergy, who were also nobles; parish priests, who were commoners

Second Estate: nobility

Third Estate: commoners – bourgeoisie (middle class), peasants, city workers

2b. What privileges did the First and Second Estates enjoy?

Higher clergy: lived in luxury – some in Versailles. Owned vast amount of land and paid no taxes.

Nobility: many had great wealth; exempt from most taxes; collected feudal dues

3. List three factors that contributed to the French economic crisis of the 1770’s and 1780’s.

- poor harvests - trade regulations (tolls) - guild monopolies

- huge debt - support of American Revolution

- borrowed money to support Versailles and fight wars in Europe and overseas

Slide 7

Notes: Unit Two

Notes: Unit Two

C. The Growing Economic Crises

1. In General: 1700’s

- economy prospered

- population growth – 18 million to 25 million

- food surpluses helped textile/mining industries

(mercantilism: export more than you import)

2. Hardships: 1770’s/80’s

- poor harvests

- Middle Age regulations

- taxing on merchant trade

- monopolies by guilds made it difficult for entrepreneurs

* government debt high and increasing

- to pay for wars

- support the Versailles Court

- American Revolution doubled debt

- Louis XVI was not an able ruler

3. Reform Attempts: 1774-1776

- Louis appointed Robert Turgot as finance minister

- controlled government financial spending

- reduced court expenses

- removed internal customs taxes on food

- limited power of some guilds

- Turgot attempted to tax nobles (a major reform)

- little success

- King needed the parlements to approve this tax but they were controlled by nobles

- Nobles of the Robe rejected the idea

- King dismissed Turgot in 1776

4. The Writing on the Wall: 1776-1788

- government secured new bank loans

- helped only for a little while

- 1786: bankers refused to lend more money

- 1787 and 1788: had poor harvests

- bread shortages upset people

- Louis went to Parlements for a new tax, his wishes were rejected

- Louis called for the Estates General to meet

- The Estates General represented all three estates

- Louis hoped to win support for reforms that would restore economic stability

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Small to moderate political, economic, or social complaints


Extreme events or complaints which can threaten political, economic, or social stability


Improvement by change which leaves old political and social system basically intact


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