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The French Revolution, which began in 1789 and ended in 1790, was one of the bloodiest turning points in European history. The upheaval of French citizens was due to discontent over the monarchy led by King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette. The impact of this revolution changed the social and political landscape of France and other European countries. See the fact file below for more information.
- By the late 18th century, France was at the brink of bankruptcy due to its costly involvement in the American Revolution and extravagant monarchs, specifically King Louis XVI.
- At the same time, France had experienced two decades of drought and cattle disease, which led to poor harvests and high prices for basic commodities such as bread.
- About 97% of France’s people struggled to survive while the remaining 3% lived a life of wealth and comfort.
- This gap between the wealthy and the poor created resentment. Those at the bottom saw the wealthy grow increasingly richer, while the poor got nothing while working the hardest.
- In 1776, a group of people at the bottom of society rebelled against those who were at the top, and they won – the British Colonies in America declared their independence and then enforced it by beating back the most powerful military on Earth. This gave the French people a great deal of inspiration.
- The American Revolution sent shockwaves throughout Europe and gave hope to many poverty-stricken peasants who wanted to see the powerful aristocracies of Europe fall.
- In response to a declining economy, the monarchy imposed heavy taxes on French citizens, which angered the public. Out of resentment and desperation, many joined rioting, looting, and strikes.
- In 1786, King Louis XVI responded by proposing a financial reform package, which would remove the tax exemption from the privileged classes. Such an act by the king resulted in an aristocratic revolt.
- By May of 1786, the Third Estate began to mobilize for equal representation in replacement of the noble veto. For centuries, the quality of life in Europe had been determined by the status that a person or family held. This status was not earned but was determined by the family into which someone was born. If you were born to a poor family, your life would be one of poverty. No matter how hard an individual worked, it was impossible to rise above this fate.
- On 17 June, the Third Estate met and adopted the title of National Assembly. A few days later, the famous Tennis Court Oath took place.
- The lower classes decided to rebel and create a new, more fair society.
- The changes for reform were based on the desire for democracy, citizenship, and undeniable rights.
- On 14 July, rioters stormed the fortress of Bastille as they sought to secure gunpowder and weapons. Many regard this event as the beginning of the French Revolution.
The Great Fear and the Revolution
- On 4 August 1789, the Great Fear began. This event marked agrarian insurrection against feudalism as inspired by the National Constituent Assembly.
- That same day, the Assembly formally adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which stated political ideas of Enlightenment thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
- On 3 September 1791, a constitutional monarchy was established with France’s first written constitution. The King’s power was limited to royal veto and the appointment of ministers.
- On 10 August 1792, the extremist Jacobins attacked the royal residence in Paris and arrested King Louis XVI. After a month, insurrectionists in Paris attacked hundreds of counterrevolutionaries and established a National Convention to replace the Legislative Assembly.
- The National Convention then abolished the monarchy and founded the French Republic.
- On 21 January 1793, the Reign of Terror began after the execution of King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette on charges of high treason and crimes against the state.
- By June 1793, the Jacobins controlled the National Convention and employed a series of policies including the elimination of Christianity and the adoption of a new calendar.
- For ten months, suspected enemies of the revolution were hunted down and executed by guillotine.
- The French Revolution, though it seemed a failure in 1799 and appeared nullified by 1815, had far-reaching results. Feudalism was dead and France was unified. The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars tore down the entrenched structure of society and government of Europe.
French Revolution Worksheets
This bundle contains ready-to-use French Revolution worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about the French Revolution, which was an influential period of social and political upheaval in France that lasted from 1789 until 1799.
Students will also learn about facts surrounding the French Revolution period. Throughout the extensive worksheet pack there are multiple activities and quizzes for students to practice their knowledge, which can be used within the classroom or homeschooling environment.
French Revolution worksheets:
- French Revolution Facts
- Revolution Then and Today
- Situational Survey
- Understanding Concepts
- Historical Ladder
- Cause and Effect
- Through Painting
- Building Words
- The French Monarchs
- The Americans and the French
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Link will appear as French Revolution Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 12, 2016
Use With Any Curriculum
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