In this episode, we will talk about the French Revolution from the causes that stirred the revolution to the different stages of the revolution until the end of the revolution when Bonaparte came to power. After you listen to this essential guide, you will know everything you need to know about the French Revolution.
Disclaimer: I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and this problem will be solved. However, the service is pretty good and the transcript will prove to be almost perfect.
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[00:01:03] Continue. Welcome to a new essential guide episode from English plus podcast. In essential guides, we will talk about important people or events. And we will try to tell you everything you need to know about these events or people for today. We have chosen to talk about the French revolution. So without further ado, let’s start talking about one of the most important events in the history of the Western world.
[00:01:34] The French revolution. Was a major transformation of the society and political system of France. And it lasted from 1789 to 1799. During the course of the revolution, France was temporarily transformed from an absolute monarchy where the kingdom monopolized power to a Republic of theoretically free and equal citizens.
[00:02:01] The effects of the French revolution were widespread both inside and outside of France. And the revolution ranks as one of the most important events in the history of Europe during the 10 years of the revolution, France first transformed and then dismantled the old regime, the political and social system that existed in France before 1789 and replaced it with a series of different governments.
[00:02:30] Although, none of these governments lasted more than four years. The many initiatives they enacted permanently altered Frances political system. These initiatives included the drafting of several bills of rights and constitutions, the establishment of legal equality among all citizens experiments with representative democracy.
[00:02:54] The incorporation of the church into the state and the reconstruction of state administration and the low code, many of these changes were adopted elsewhere in Europe as well. Change was a matter of choice in some places, but in others, it was imposed by the French army during the French revolutionary Wars from 1792 to 1797 and the Napoleonic Wars.
[00:03:21] From 1799 to 18, 15 to later generations of Europeans and non Europeans who saw to overturned their political and social systems. The French revolution provided the most influential model of popular insurrection until the Russian revolutions of 1917. Now, let’s start talking about the causes of the revolution from the beginning of the 20th century, until the 1970s, the French revolution was most commonly described as the result of the growing economic and social importance of the bourgeoisie or middle class.
[00:04:00] The bourgeoisie. It was believed over through the old regime because that regime had given power and privilege to other classes like the nobility and the clergy who prevented the bourgeoisie from advancing socially. And politically recently, this interpretation has been replaced by one that relies less on social and economic factors and more on political ones.
[00:04:26] Economic recession in the 1770s may have, I have frustrated some bushwa in their rise to power and wealth and rising bread prices just before the revolution. Certainly Incruse discontent among workers and peasants. It is now commonly believed that the revolutionary process started with a crisis in the French state, 1789, many French people at become critical of the monarchy.
[00:04:54] Even though it had been largely successful in military defending France and in quelling, domestic religious and political violence. They resented the rising and unequal taxes, the persecution of religious minorities and government interference in their private lives. These resentments, coupled with an inefficient government and an antiquated legal system made the government seem increasingly illegitimate to the French people.
[00:05:25] The Royal court at Versailles, which had been developed to impress the French people and Europe generally came to symbolize the waste and corruption of the entire old regime. During the 18th century criticism of the French monarchy also came from people who worked for the old regime. Some of the King’s own ministers criticized past practices and proposed reform, but a more influential source of the was the parliament, which were 13 regional Royal courts led by the parliament of Paris.
[00:06:02] The parliaments were empowered to register Royal decrees and all the crease had to be registered by the parliament before becoming law. In this capacity, the parliaments frequently protested Royal initiative that they believe to threaten the traditional rights and liberties of the people. In widely distributed publications, they held up the image of a historically free France and denounced the absolute rule of the crown that in their view threatened traditional yeah.
[00:06:33] Liberties by imposing religious orthodoxy and new taxes. These protests blended with those of others. Most notably and influential group of professional intellectuals called the philosophic. Like those who supported the parliaments, the philosophic did not advocate violent revolution yet they claim to speak on behalf of the public arguing that people had certain natural rights and that governments existed.
[00:07:02] The guarantee, these rights. In a stream of pamphlets and treatises, many of them printed and circulated illegally. They ridiculed the old regimes inefficiencies and its abuses of power. During this time, the parliament there and the philosophic together crafted a vocabulary that would be used later to define and debate political issues during the revolution, they redefined such terms as despotism.
[00:07:32] Or the oppression of a people by an arbitrary ruler, Liberty and rights, and the nation, the discontent of the French people might not have brought about a political revolution. If there had not been a fiscal crisis in the late 1780s, like so much else in the old regime, the monarchy’s financial system was inefficient and antiquated.
[00:07:57] France had neither a national bank nor a centralized national treasury, the nobility and the clergy, many of them were very wealthy, paid substantially less in taxes than other groups, notably the much poorer peasantry. Similarly, the amount of tax charge varied widely from one region to another.
[00:08:18] Furthermore, the monarchy almost always spent more each year than it collected in taxes. Consequently, it was forced to borrow, which it did increasingly during the 18th century, that grew in part because France participated in a series of costly Wars, the war of the Austrian succession from 1740 to 1748, the seven years war from 1756 to 1763.
[00:08:47] And the American revolution from 1775 to 1783. Large existing debts and a history of renouncing earlier ones meant that the country was forced to borrow at higher interest rates than some other countries further adding to the already massive debt by 1789, the state was forced to spend nearly half its yearly revenues paying the interested owed.
[00:09:14] Financial reform was attempted before 1789 upon his accession to the throne in 1774, Louie, the 16th appointed the reform minded and Robert Jack to go as chief finance minister. Between 1774 and 1776 to go sought to cut government expenses and to increase revenues. He removed government restrictions on the sale and distribution of grain in order to increase green sales and in turn government revenue.
[00:09:49] Jack Nick Kay, director of government finance between 1777 and 1781 reformed the treasury system and published an analysis of the state of government finance in 1781 as a means to restore confidence in itself. Yes, but most of these reforms were soon undone as the result of pressure from a variety of financial groups and the government continued to borrow at home high rates of interest through the 1780s.
[00:10:18] Charles Alexander, the cologne was appointed minister of finance in 1783 and three years later, he proposed a new general plan resembling to girls. He wanted to float new loans to cover immediate expenses. Revoke some tax exemptions, replacing older taxes with a new universal land tax and a stamp tax convene regional assemblies to oversee the new taxes and remove more restrictions from the grain trade.
[00:10:49] To pressure the parliaments into accepting the plan. Cologne decided to gain prior approval of it from an assembly of notables, a group of handpicked dignitaries, he thought would sympathize with his views, but cologne had badly miscalculated meeting in January, 1787. The assembly refuse to believe that a financial crisis really existed.
[00:11:12] They had been influenced by new case argument that state finances were sound and suspected that the monarchy was only trying to squeeze more money from the people they insisted on examining state accounts. Despite a public appeal for support cologne was fired and replaced by illuminated Rian in April, 1787.
[00:11:35] Brianne was also unable to win the support of the assembly. And in May, 1787, it was dismissed over the summer and early fall. Briana repeatedly tried to strike a compromise with the parliament of Paris, but the compromise fell through when the King prevented the parliament from voting on proposed loans and act that was seen as yet more evidence of this partism.
[00:12:00] In May, 1788, the government abolished all the parliaments in a general restructuring of the judiciary public response to the actions of the King was strong and even violent people began to ignore Royal edicts and assault, Royal officials and pamphlets, denouncing despotism, inundated the country. At the same time people began to call for an immediate meeting of the state’s general to deal with the crisis.
[00:12:29] The estates general was a consultative assembly composed of representatives from the three French’s States or legally defined social classes, clergy nobility, and commoners. It had last been convened in 16, 14. Under increasing political pressure and faced with a total collapse of its finances in August, 1788, the old regime began to unravel.
[00:12:55] Brianne was dismissed, Newquay reinstated, and the estates general was called to meet on may the first 1789, almost immediately. Contention arose regarding voting procedures in the upcoming estates general. In its last meeting, voting had been organized by state, which each of the three estates meeting separately and each having one vote in this way, the privilege classes had combined to outvote the third estate, which constituted more than 90% of the population in registering the edict to convene the States general, the parliament of Paris, which had been reinstated by the monarchy September the 23rd, 1788.
[00:13:40] Ruled in favor of keeping this form of voting the parliament probably did this more to prevent the monarchy from potentially exploiting any new voting system it’s advantage then to preserve Nobel privilege. However many observers read this decision as a betrayal of the third estate as a result. A flood of pamphlets appeared demanding a vote by head at the States general.
[00:14:06] That is a procedure whereby each deputy was to cast one vote in a single chamber composed of all three estates. This method would give each state a number of votes that more accurately represented its population and would make it more difficult for the first two estates to routinely out vote. The third.
[00:14:28] Now two battles were being waged at the same time. One to protect the nation’s Liberty against Royal despotism and the other over how the nation would be represented in the States general. During the early months of 1789, the three estates prepared for the coming meeting by selecting deputies and drawing up or lists of grievances.
[00:14:53] These lists reflected overwhelming agreement in favor of limiting the power of the King and his administrators and establishing a permanent legislative assembly in an effort to satisfy the third estate. The monarchy had agreed to double the number of their representative, but then took no firm stand on whether the voting would proceed by estate or by head.
[00:15:17] When the estates general assembled at Versailles in May, 1789, the monarchy proposed no specific financial plan for debate and left the voting issue on settle. As a result these days spend their time engage in the debate of the voting procedure and little was accomplished. Five wasted weeks later, the 30 States finally took the initiative by inviting the clergy and nobility to join them in a single chamber legislature where the voting would be by head.
[00:15:49] Some individual members of the other estates did so. And on June the 17th, 1789, they together proclaimed themselves to be the national assembly. Also later called the constituent assembly. When officials lock their regular meeting place to prepare it for a Royal address, members of the national assembly concluded their initiative was about to be crushed regrouping at a nearby indoor tennis court.
[00:16:15] On June the 20th, they swore not to disband until France had a constitution. This pledge became known as the tennis court oath on June the 23rd, 1789. Louis the 16th belatedly proposed a major overhaul of the financial system agreed to seek the consent of the deputies for all new loans and taxes and proposed other important reforms.
[00:16:42] But he spoiled the effect by refusing to recognize the transformation of the States general into the national assembly. And by insisting upon voting by state, which was already a dying cause. Moreover, he inspired new fears by surrounding the meeting hall of the deputies with a large number of soldiers faced with stiffening resistance by the third estate and increasing willingness of deputies from the clergy and nobility to join the third estate in the national assembly that Kings suddenly changed course and agreed to a vote by head on June the 27th, despite much rejoicing suspicions of the King’s intentions ran high.
[00:17:23] Royal troops began to thicken near Paris and on July the 11th, it’s still popular. Newquay was dismissed two people at the time. And to many later on these developments were clear signs that the King sought to undo the events of the previous weeks. Crowds began to Rome Paris, looking for arms to fight off a Royal attack on July the 14th.
[00:17:46] These crowds assaulted the best deal, a large fortress on the Eastern edge of the city. They believe that it contained munitions and many prisoners of despotism, but in fact, the fortress housed only seven inmates at the time, the storming of the best deal. Mark, the turning point attempts at reform had become a full scale revolution.
[00:18:07] Faced with this insurrection, the monarchy back down the troops were withdrawn and okay. Was recalled. And here, as the revolution started, the first period of the revolution was called the moderate revolution in the year, leading up to the storming of the best deal. The economic problems of many common people had become steadily worse, largely because poor weather conditions had drew in the harvest.
[00:18:34] As a result, the price of bread, the most important food of the poor classes, increased tensions and violence grew in both the cities and the countryside during the spring and summer of 1789, while hungry artisans revolted in urban areas, starved peasants, scoured the provinces in search of food and work.
[00:18:56] These vagrants were rumored to be armed. Agents of landlords hired to destroy crops and harassed the common people. Many rural peasants were gripped by a panic known as the great fear. They attack the residences of their landlords in hope of protecting local grain supplies and reducing rents on their land.
[00:19:17] Both afraid of, and politically benefiting from this wave of popular violence leaders of the revolutionary movement in Paris began to massively restructure the state on the night of August the fourth, seven 89, one nobleman after another renounced, his personal privileges. Before the night was over the national assembly, declared an end to the feudal system, the traditional system of rights and obligations that had reinforced, inherited inequality under the old regime, the exact meaning of this resolution as it, that applied to specific privileges, especially economic ones to key years to sort out.
[00:19:55] But it provided the legal foundation for gradually scaling back the feudal dues, peasants, or the landlords, and for eliminating the last vestiges of serfdom, the system that legally bound the peasants to live and work on the landlords estates at the end of because the national assembly promulgated the declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen.
[00:20:20] Conceived as the prologue to a new constitution that was not yet drafted. The declaration was a short, concise document, ensuring such basic personal rights as those of property free speech and personal security. It left unresolved the rights of women and the limits of individual rights in relation to the power of the newly emerging state.
[00:20:45] But by recognizing the source of sovereignty in the people undermine the idea that the King ruled by divine, right? As these developments unfold, Louis the 16th, once again, failed to act decisively. The queen Marie Antoinette feared catastrophe. If events continued on their current course and advocated a hard line, but power was quickly slipping away from the King.
[00:21:11] As revolutionaries began to organize political clubs and an influential periodical press having lost control of events. Louis was forced to yield to them. He gave in. So reluctantly, for example, taking months to approve the August four, 1789 decrees and the declaration of rights, and that only resulted with an increasing hostility to the crown.
[00:21:35] When rumors circulated that guests at a Royal banquet had trampled on revolutionary and sr, a crowd of many thousands. Most of them, women who were also protesting the high cost of bread March to Versailles on October the fifth, they were accompanied by national guards commanded by the Marquis de Lafayette.
[00:21:55] The guards were barely able to prevent wholesale massacre. And the crowd forced the Royal family to leave their site for Paris, never to return the King and his family were now in effect, prisoners forced to inhabit the Twitter palace along with the national assembly, which moved there as well. Paris had replaced Versailles as the center of power and the government was now more vulnerable than ever to the will of the restless and occasionally violent people of the city.
[00:22:25] The national assembly. Next focus on writing a new constitution, a process that took more than two years, although it was agreed that France would remain a monarchy. The assembly decided almost immediately that the constitution would not simply reform the old order as the more moderate deputies. Instead it transformed the political system of the old regime, but preserve the monarchy.
[00:22:50] The new constitution was designed to prevent the return of despotism by making all government officials subject to the rule of law. It proclaimed France as a United sovereign kingdom dissolve the entire system of Royal administration and adopted a system of federalism that shifted authority from Paris to the localities.
[00:23:11] France was divided into 83 districts called departments. Each of which would elect administrators to execute laws, maintain public order levy taxes and oversee education and poor relief. The powers of the national government were divided among separate independent branches. The chief executed was to be the King who would continue to inherit his office, but his powers were to be limited, particularly in legislative matters.
[00:23:41] The King was allowed only a suspense of veto whereby he could at most delay the laws passed by the assembly as the only lawmaking body. The single chamber legislative assembly was the heart of the state enjoying wide powers. Although the right to vote was extended to more than half the adult male population called active citizens election to the assembly was made a complex person.
[00:24:08] Very restrictive quality has made only about 50,000 men out of about 26 million French people eligible to serve as deputies like the administration of the departments. The judiciary was also decentralized. Legal procedure was streamlined and torture band. In addition to reconstituting the state, the national assembly made many changes to the existing social order among the most notable changes where the elimination of the nobility as a legally defined class and the granting of the same civil rights to all citizens.
[00:24:45] The elimination of guilds and other organizations that monopolized production controlled prices and wages or obstructed economic activity through strikes the extension of rights to blacks and France and to mulattoes in francis’ Caribbean colonies though, not the outright abolition of slavery and the granting of full civil rights to religious minorities, including protestations and Jews.
[00:25:12] Political and social restructuring on this scale raised complicated issues regarding the Catholic church. The clergy had enjoyed extensive property rights and special privileges under the old regime and had long been a target of criticism. The national assembly incorporated the church within the state stripping clerics of their property and special rights.
[00:25:35] In return, the state assumed the large debts of the church and pay the clergy. A salary diocese were redrawn to correspond to departments. A presiding Bishop would add minister each diocese with local priests beneath him since active citizens would elect the bishops and the priests, a protesting Jew or atheist might be chosen to fill these positions.
[00:26:01] Finally the civil constitution of the clergy of 1790 required priests and bishops to swear an oath of loyalty to the new order or face dismissal, almost half the parish, priests, and bishops who were called the refractory clergy. Refuse to take the oath. This marked an important turn of events before the civil constitution opposition to the revolution had remained a scattered affair.
[00:26:29] It had been led by an ineffective group of high Nobles called the emigre, who had fled the country beginning in July, 1789 and had been conspiring from abroad ever since more than anything else. The civil constitution and the oath solidified resistance to the revolution by giving the resistance a religious justification and publicly designating a group of influential individuals, the refractory clergy as enemies of the new state.
[00:26:59] Although there were many reasons for the civil constitution, financial considerations were some of the most important. The government’s fiscal problems continued well past 1789, the assembly, I assume the old regimes debts tax collections had been interrupted by administering creative disorders and simple refusals to pay.
[00:27:21] To cover expenditures. The assembly issued bonds called a Cigna or aschemia then to repay the assignor it confiscated and sold the church’s considerable property holdings. The government justified this practice by saying that church property belong to the nation. All these measures were vigorously debated inside and outside the assembly.
[00:27:45] The assembly had been divided from the start into a conservative right that wanted to limit change and a radical left that wanted major social and political reforms. The assembly, therefore lacked a unified voice. As head of the state, that King was expected to provide this unifying influence, even if his power was formerly limited, however, hopes that the King would step in and fill this role or dashed in June, 1791.
[00:28:13] When the Royal family fled Paris in this guys leaving behind the manifesto, denouncing nearly all the revolution had accomplished since 1789. Poorly planned and executed. The effort ended with the Royal family’s arrest at the border town at Varenne. From there, they were returned to Paris under heavy guard.
[00:28:34] Now more prisoners than ever, because so much had been expected of the King. The Veran fiasco proved more of a shock than could be observed all at once. In an attempt to recover assembly leaders announced that the incident had been a case of kidnapping, not an escape. And in mid July, the assembly voted to clear the King of all responsibility for what had happened.
[00:28:58] But these fictions were hardly convincing and once they collapsed, so did the likelihood of ending the revolution and establishing a stable government. On the left moderate revolutionaries who saw to keep the monarchy cold for young split from the more radical revolutionary known as the Coke daily and the Jacko ban, who now began to talk openly about replacing the monarchy with the Republic.
[00:29:24] The King reluctantly approved the new constitutional September 14, 1791. Alarmed by the radical direction. The revolution was taking more Nobles began to cross the border to become immigrate. Pressured by these emigre and concerned about the potential effects of the revolution on their own kingdoms, the Austrian emperor and Prussian King issued the declaration of on August the 27th.
[00:29:52] In this declaration, they announced a rather vague, willingness to intervene militarily on behalf of the French monarchy, unclear as it was the declaration provoked fears of an invasion. It was under these threatening circumstances that the new constitution took effect and the legislative assembly first met on October the first 1791.
[00:30:16] At first, the assembly got along remarkably well with the game, but this situation changed when the assembly proposed retaliatory actions against the emigre and the refractory clergy. On November the ninth, it passed legislation requiring that the emigrated returned to France or face death and the loss of their estates.
[00:30:37] On November the 29th, it required the refractory clergy to take the oath to the constitution or fall under state surveillance and lose their pension rights, the emigre and their efforts to mobilize for empowers against France created the pretext for Francis entry into war in April, 1792. In reality, Austria and Prussia had shown little interest in intervention on behalf of the French King, however, radical political figures.
[00:31:10] Most notably Jack persistently exaggerated the threat of an Austrian invasion of France and the subversion of the revolutionary government by a conspiracy of Austrian sympathizers called the Austrian committee. Expecting that a conflict with Austria would weaken the King to their political advantage.
[00:31:32] Risa and his colleagues pressed for a declaration of war. Many of the King’s advisors though at first, not the King himself. Also advocated the war option. They believe the victory would strengthen Royal power and the defeat would crush the revolution. First you waited the King appointed a ministry dominated by Boriso’s associates on March 10th, 1792.
[00:31:57] And on April the 20th, the assembly declared war on Austria, which was soon joined by Prussia. Thus began the series of conflicts known as the French revolutionary Wars. The Wars profoundly altered the course of the revolution leading to the end of the monarchy and raising fears of reprisals against the revolutionaries in the event of a defeat.
[00:32:18] The French had few successes on the battlefield. The French army was in the middle of a major reorganization and was not prepared for war. In addition, Boriso’s ministry proved incompetent and this organized during the spring of 1792, the French army lurched from defeat to defeat. Someone it seemed was to blame and the Brizo faction called the police or time blame the King who in turn fire debris.
[00:32:46] So time ministers on June the 13th. On June the 20th, a mob alarmed at the worsening military situation and rising bread prices caused by the declining value of the Asinia stormed. The twiddler re palace coached by the solicitor. The mob demanded that the King green state, the Breeza time ministers.
[00:33:08] Louie courageously refused to do so, but military disasters continued during the summer and the police, the cold situation deteriorated further when a Prussian under the Duke of Brunswick issued a man manifesto in which he threatened to execute anyone who harmed the Royal family. On August the 10th, a crowd against on the Twitter, the palace in the revolutions, bloodiest eruption to date this time.
[00:33:34] However, the mob was not allied with the police or time who still favor the monarchy. Instead it supported the more radical ban who under the leadership of the lawyer. Maximilian Robespierre now demanded the creation of a Republic. While the Royal family hit in the assembly hall, the mob hacked to death, some 600 Swiss guards while itself suffering heavy losses.
[00:34:00] On that day, it was not only lives were lost, but so was the monarchy. The legislative stuff simply immediately suspended the King from his duty and voted to hold a convention. You mentioned to be elected by nearly universal manhood suffrage was to write a new Republican constitution. Between August the 10th, 1792.
[00:34:24] And the meeting of the convention of September the 20th revolutionary fewer grew power shifted from the legislative assembly. Now Elaine duck to the Paris commune. The commune was a city assembly made up of representatives elected from 48 neighborhood districts called sections. Because nearly universal male suffrage had taken effect on August the 10th, the section and the commune became increasingly dominated by the song culottes, a group composed, mostly of artisans and shopkeepers fiercely devoted to the revolution and direct democracy in this unstable period.
[00:35:02] George don’t own who had probably helped organize the massacre of August. The 10th became a dominating political figure. Don’t own who was appointed minister of justice by the assembly, encouraged fears that counter-revolutionary forces loyal to the King were undermining the revolution. He used these fears to promote further measures against counter-revolutionaries.
[00:35:28] On August the 17th, a special court was created to try political suspects, but it did not convict enough defendants to satisfy the song culottes. Fearing military defeat and believing that counter-revolutionary prisoners were about to break out and attack Patriots like themselves. Song kilos, mobs, attacked Parisien jails from September the second to the seventh, they murdered and mutilated more than a thousand inmates.
[00:35:56] Most of whom were guilty of nothing more than having enjoyed some privilege or committing ordinary crimes. These September massacres were so gruesome that no revolutionary leader, not even those with bloody agendas of their own claimed responsibility for them. The national convention first met on September the 20th, 1792.
[00:36:18] The same day, the French army won a major victory against Prussian forces at Val MI in Northeastern, France. The convention was composed of three major political groups. The Jocko ban a fairly well-disciplined radical minority. The former barista now called a less disciplined group of moderates and a large group of individuals called the plan who were not associated with either party.
[00:36:45] On September the 21st, the convention voted to establish a Republic in place of the monarchy. The founding of the first French Republic represented so important. A milestone that when the convention adopted a new revolutionary calendar, it made September the 22nd, 1792, the first day of year one. And they called it the French Republican calendar.
[00:37:10] The convention took much longer to decide the fate of the King who was now imprisoned with the Royal family in an old Fort, just outside Paris, the more moderate GTL, and then maneuver to keep Louis a prisoner. The shackle band who were allied with the song, culottes argued that the people had already judged Louie guilty of treason.
[00:37:31] When they had stormed the palace on August 10th, the convention compromised deciding that it would try the King. On January the 15th, the convention overwhelmingly found Louie guilty and then voted by a margin of one vote for immediate execution. Louie was executed on the new invention for beheading called the guillotine on January the 21st, 1793, protesting his innocence.
[00:37:58] If ever there was a point of no return in the revolution. This was it. Four enemies of the revolution now sought to avenge the King’s death more vigorously than they had tried to preserve his life. Executing. The King did little to solve the conventions, other problems, the main one being the war, the convention declared war on Britain and the Netherlands in early February and on Spain in March, thus adding to Frances military burdens.
[00:38:27] The French forces were on the defensive through most of 1793. And in April, France was stunned by the desertion of one of its chief commanders general. Dumaguete the Austrians facing loss. After loss, the convention voted to raise an army of three, 300,000 men. It sought volunteers, but instituted a draft to provide additional soldiers.
[00:38:52] The draft touched off rebellion in Western rural areas, notably Brittany, and the phone day. Many people in these areas already oppose the revolution because of the church reorganization and the clerical oath pacifying them would take years and cost an estimated 100,000 lives. Revolts also occurred in other areas, particularly the large cities.
[00:39:16] These revolts protested, the domination of the local affairs by Paris and the Jocko ban local elites favored federalism, a policy that would be, have allowed them to maintain power over their own regions. Meanwhile, prices Rose because of a poor harvest and the declining values of the Asinia, which fell to half their stated value in January, and then fell further.
[00:39:41] Higher bread prices led the song culottes and associated women’s groups to demand, state imposed price controls. I demand that the shackle is, could not refuse because they depended on the political support of the song. You’re not in may the convention fixed maximum prices for grain and bread in this jail general crisis.
[00:40:02] Revolutionary leaders began to turn on each other. The Gilan down who favored federalism fought a battle to the death with the Shockoe ban who denounced the Gilan down for lacking revolution and for aiding intentionally or not. Counter-revolutionary forces there’s Jacoba already dominated the convention, but on June the second pressured by the song caseload, they consolidated their power by arresting 22.
[00:40:27] She owned and leaders during the following months, the government put that out around the Federalists revolts sometimes with great severity. A new democratic constitution was drawn up, but never implemented and robust peers view constitutional government would have to wait until fear and repression had eliminated the enemies of the revolution.
[00:40:50] The Jacobo operated through the existing convention and agencies responsible to it. They use the committee of public safety. Composed of 12 men led by his peer to provide executed overnight the committee of general security to oversee the police and the revolutionary tribunal to try political cases.
[00:41:11] Additionally, the Jocko band sent representatives from the convention with wide ranging powers to particular areas to enforce Jocko ban policies. The most urgent government business was the war. On August the 17, 1793, the convention voted the lover or mass or mass conscription, which mobilized all citizens to serve as soldiers or suppliers in the war effort.
[00:41:38] To further that effort, the convention quickly enacted more legislation. On September the fifth, it approved the reign of terror, a policy through which the state used violence to crush resistance to the government. On September the ninth, the convention established paramilitary forces. The so-called revolutionary army is to force farmers to surrender grain demanded by the government.
[00:42:05] On September the 17th, the law of suspects was passed. Which authorized the charging of counter-revolutionaries with vaguely defined crimes against Liberty on September the 29th, the convention extended price fixing from green and bread to other essential goods and fixed wages on December the fourth, the national government resumed oversight of local administration on February the fourth, 1794.
[00:42:34] It abolished slavery in the colonies. Beyond these measures, the convention and sympathetic groups, like the song Lord began to create and spread a revolutionary and Republican culture. These groups sponsored the use of revolutionary and Republican propaganda in the arts, public festivals and modes of dress.
[00:42:55] In this way, they gradually began to spread and gain acceptance for their ideals among the common people. The most notable achievement of the reign of terror was to save the revolutionary government from military defeat, the government feared invasion, which might have allowed counter-revolutionary forces to undertake a terror of them to preserve the revolution.
[00:43:18] It reorganized and strengthened the army. The Jacoby expanded the size of the army and replaced many artists, Socratic officers who had deserted and fled abroad with younger soldiers who had demonstrated their ability and patriotism. The revelers army threw back the Austrians, Prussians English and Spanish during the fall of 1793 and expelled the Austrians from Belgium by the summer of 1794.
[00:43:46] The military success of the Jacko ban led government was undeniable. However, the repressive policies of the reign of terror that enabled the government to form an equip its large army did. So at the expense of many French citizens security, about 250,000 people were arrested. 17,000 were tried and guilty and many with little, if any means to defend themselves.
[00:44:14] Another 12,000 were executed without trial and thousands more died in jail, clergy and Nobles composed only 15% of the reign of terrorist, approximately 40,000 victims. The rest were peasants and bushwa who had fought against the revolution or had said, or done something to offend a new order. The reign of terror executed not only figures from the old regime, like the former queen Marie Antoinette.
[00:44:42] But also many revolutionary leaders, some victims of the reign of terror, like Zuora, downtown scene to moderate, to Robespierre and his colleagues while others like the Sankey lot leader, Jack grenade at bell seemed too extreme. The reign of terror was the most radical phase of the revolution and it remains the most controversial.
[00:45:04] Some have seen the reign of terror as a major advance toward modern democracy. While other call it a step toward modern dictatorship. Certain defenders of the revolution have argued that the reign of terror was under the circumstances. A reasons normal response to the military crisis of 1793. Others have rejected.
[00:45:26] The idea of pointing out that the military victories of early in 1794, far from diminishing the intensity of the rain terror were followed by the great terror of June and July, 1794, in which more than 1300 people were executed in Paris alone. The reign of terror, they have argued resulted from an ideology already in place by 1789 that put national good above personal rights to this argument.
[00:45:56] Others have replied that in 1789, no revolutionary leaders seriously imagined establishing anything like the reign of terror. The ban government blasted barely are here, although effective in the short term, in the long run, it destroyed itself in part because no one really controlled it. Victory on the battlefield had removed the pretext for maintaining the reign of terror.
[00:46:21] At the same time, the killing frenzy of the great terror convinced people, even allies of the juggle ban. They might be next on the gear team. Furthermore by killing off the likes of downtown, then the bear Robespierre is faction had narrowed its base of support and had no one to lean on when challenged.
[00:46:41] Thus the end was simply a matter of time as it happened. The coup against Robespierre and his associates was led by a group of dissident juggle ban, including members of the committee of public safety. They had supported the reign of terror, but fear Robespierre would turn on them next on July the 27th, 17 before the ninth of Thermidor, year two in the revolutionary calendar Robespierre and his close followers were arrested on the convention floor during the next two days is Robespierre and 82 of his associates were guillotined.
[00:47:17] Although the conspirators of nine Thermidor who came to be known as Thermi Dorians could hardly have known it. The removal of 83 Robespierre wrists represented a major turning point in the revolution ever since 1789 counter-revolutionaries who enjoyed support from many peasants had tried to reverse the revolution, but it had continued to become more and more extreme in nature.
[00:47:43] Due to the increasing participation of urban radicals with whom the Chicago band had formed political alliances only after nine Thermidor, did the revolution reverse its radical direction and more moderate politicians came to dominate the government. While these moderates wanted to preserve the revolution’s achievements and try to repress counter-revolutionaries.
[00:48:06] They also feared and repressed the radical groups on whose backs the Jocko ban had written to power in order to maintain control over both the radical left and the counter-revolutionary right. The Thermi Dorians consolidated their power and began to limit democracy. These limitations led eventually to the dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte immediately after nine Termidor and assortment of political groups began to use their influence to dismantle all vestiges of the reign of terror.
[00:48:40] Although the convention continued in power until October, 1795, the teeth of the reign of terror were pulled one by one. To limit their power. The committees of public safety and general security were restructured the operations of the revolutionary tribunal worker tailed. Thousands of prisoners were released and in November, 1794, the Paris Jaco van club was closed.
[00:49:07] People associated with them. Raine of terror were harassed in Paris by reactionary youth groups known as the Jeunesse delay. French for the gilded youth and even, and killed in strongly counterrevolutionary or regions. The last major popular rising of the revolution occurred in the spring of 1795. When the near total devaluation of the Asinia produced a price rise that devastating the poor, but this rising was put down so effectively that the counter-revolutionaries imagined the monarchy might soon be restored and their activities escalated.
[00:49:44] In response, the Therma Dorian’s now struck against the counter-revolutionaries defeating and executing a group of immigrant soldiers landed by the English at KIBO home Bay in Brittany during the summer of 1795. To avoid a revival of either democracy or dictatorship the Thermi Dorian’s put together and ratified a new constitution that limited the right to vote to the wealthiest 30,000 males, citizens and dispersed power.
[00:50:14] Among three main bodies. Legislative authority was vested in two legislative assemblies, the council of ancients and the council of 500. Execute. If power was lodged in a five man directory to be chosen by the council of ancients, from a list of candidates presented by the council of 500 fearing the results of a true referendum, moderate Republicans decreed that two thirds of the first legislature had to be made up by members of the former convention.
[00:50:46] As it turned out the constitution, which was ratified by popular vote and took effect in late October, 1795, neither protected the government from unfriendly popular forces nor prevented the concentration of power. Did the directory have good reason to fear that open elections would bring down the Republic?
[00:51:06] Historians have disagreed on this matter. Some argue that the directory eventually failed because it could not generate loyalty from either the left or the right other historians believe the directory failed because it distrusted democracy and did not develop a strong centrist party. Whatever the reason for the next for years, the directory lurched from making concessions to the right and intimidating the left to making concessions to the left and intimidating the right in May, 1796, the directory easily crushed a conspiracy of formers Alcoba and agrarian radicals who intended to seize power and redistribute property.
[00:51:49] The right triumph at the elections in 1797 and was slowly preparing to do take power. Then in September three members of the directory, the triumvirate eliminated the two other members who had counter-revolutionary sympathies and purge the legislature of nearly 200 opposition deputies. They did all this with the backing of the army.
[00:52:13] The triumvirate was then joined by two new associates. The new directory proceeded to close down. Counter-revolutionary publications, exile returning amicably and uncooperative clergy and execute many political opponents. The COO of rookie DOR the month of the revolutionary calendar in which it occurred, allowed the directory to consolidate its power.
[00:52:38] As a result, it was able to take some bold new financial initiatives, such as establishing a new metal based currency and imposing a new system of taxes on luxury goods and real estate. The coup also destroyed whatever hopes counter revolutionaries had to gain power through legal means, but rooted or also unleashed the radical left, which won an important electoral victory in May, 1798.
[00:53:05] To neutralize this threat, the directory, once again, tampered with Pauline results by eliminating more than 100 elected left-wing deputies in what became known as the COO of L’Oreal whatever the short term gains are for the directory. It’s continuing rejection of election results. Stripped it of its last remaining shreds of authority.
[00:53:28] As few could respect a regime that so routinely violated its own constitution. The end came in 1799, military reverses, a domestic political crisis and the ambitions of a military hero, Napoleon Bonaparte, combined to give rise to the revolution’s last major coup and the creation of a dictatorship. The military reverses occurred after French armies had enjoyed five years of considerable success.
[00:53:57] Following the victories of the reign of terror. The first coalition of European powers fighting revolutionary France crumbled in 1795 and 1796. Crush us Spain, the Dutch, Netherlands, and Tuscany signed peace treaties with France, leaving England and Austria to fight alone. In October, 1795, France and next, the Austrian Netherlands now called Belgium.
[00:54:22] The Dutch Netherlands became the first of many so-called French sister republics, France fitted it with a new relatively democratic constitution, closely patterned on the directory. France also forced the Dutch Netherlands to pay it a large indemnity. In 1796 and 1797, French army swept into Italy and Western Germany.
[00:54:46] It was the course of the Italian campaign that Napoleon Bonaparte first made himself known to the general public. He was born in 1769 to a poor, but noble core, second family. Bonaparte was trained as an artillery officer and quickly advanced through the ranks. During the early years of the revolution, as Jacoba associates, during the reign of terror, Bonaparte was briefly imprisoned after Thermidor, but once released, he made himself useful to the new directory by crushing a counter-revolutionary uprising in October, 1795, as commander of French forces in Italy.
[00:55:25] He won a series of brilliant victories, establishing a new North Italian sister Republic called the CSR bean Republic. And in October, 1797, negotiated a treaty with Austria of his own design with a number of important secret provisions that seeded almost two thirds of Austrian territory along the Rhine river to France.
[00:55:48] This 3d of comp of four mil. So exciting ended the French sphere of influence that it did less to create peace than to provoke a new war. Imagining themselves to be liberating. Europe, French forces proceeded to impose new political arrangements in Western Germany to establish additional sister republics in Switzerland and Italy to assist unsuccessfully an Irish revolt against England and to send an army under Bonaparte to Egypt to attack the Ottoman empire.
[00:56:19] Successful at first in Egypt, the French army was isolated after the English Navy won a victory at AppleCare Bay in August, 1798, where upon Bonaparte left his troops and return to France. He was welcomed as a great hero, despite his failure to capture Egypt and his loss to the English. Perceiving in the English position, both weakness and a continuing thread, England Russia, the Ottoman empire and Austria formed a new anti French coalition by the spring of 1799.
[00:56:51] The armies of this second coalition forced France to retreat on all fronts, most dramatically in Italy, where they dislodged the French altogether and dismantle the sister republics. Although the coalition was pushed back in September and began to disintegrate. The French military position remained uncertain suddenly on the defensive and rudely reminder of their vulnerability, the French nation lost still more respect for the directory gradually during 1799, the directory lost its political grip.
[00:57:25] As the military situation, darkened and Austria threatened France, opponents of the directory won an election. And for once we’re able to purge the directory rather than vice versa. The purge enabled newly elected deputies to take radical measures, to advance the war effort. They imposed forced loans on the wealthy and persecuted.
[00:57:47] The relatives of emigre recalling the reign of terror. The primary beneficiary of the purge. However, was Emmanuelle CA who was appointed director. He began plotting to radically revise the constitution to protect the regime from any further threats from the radical left or the counter-revolutionary right.
[00:58:07] Needing a charismatic, popular figure to lead the charge CA joined forces with Bonaparte. At this point, fresh counter-revolutionary pricing occurred in the provinces, had a radical movement to take over the ripples. Blake became apparent the plotters then persuaded members of the directory to resign on November the ninth.
[00:58:28] They asked the legislature to vest power in a provisional government, made up of CA Bonaparte and Rosa Duco. When the legislature resisted soldiers loyal to Bonaparte chased resisters from the legislature and persuaded the remaining deputies to approve the plan. The directory was dead, and whether it went the last revolutionary regime that could make any pretense to embody the liberal parliamentary government intended by the revolutionaries of 1789 under Bonaparte the revolution, if it could be said to have remained alive at all.
[00:59:05] Did. So in the form of a military dictatorship that had far more power than any French King had ever possessed at its core, the French revolution was a political movement devoted to Liberty, but what that Liberty actually was and what was required to realize it remained open questions during the revolution as they have ever since.
[00:59:27] Some historians have suggested that what the river solutionaries Liberty meant in practice was violence and a loss of personal safety security that pointed to the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. This negative view had its roots in the ideas of many counter-revolutionaries who criticize the revolution from its beginning.
[00:59:48] These ideas gained new popularity during the period of reaction that set in after Napoleon’s final defeat in 1815, when the monarchy and its counter-revolutionary allies were restored to power. However, the majority of Europeans and non Europeans came to see the revolution as much more than a bloody tragedy.
[01:00:08] These people were more impressed by what the revolution accomplished than by what it failed to do. They recall the revolutions of abolition of serfdom, slavery inherited privilege and judicial torture it’s okay. Experiments with democracy and its opening of opportunities to those who, for reasons for social status or religion had been traditionally excluded.
[01:00:32] One of the most important contributions of the French revolution was to make revolution part of the world’s political tradition. The French revolution continued to provide instruction for revolutionaries in the 19th and 20th century as peoples in Europe and around the world sought to realize their different versions of freedom.
[01:00:51] Karl Marx would at least at the oldest pattern, his notion of a proletarian revolution on the French revolution of 1789 and 200 years later. Chinese students who weeks before had fought their government in gentleman square confirmed the contemporary relevance of the French revolution when they led the revolutionary bicentennial parade in Paris on July the 14th, 1989, along with offering lessons about Liberty and democracy, the revolution also promoted nationalism.
[01:01:23] Napoleon’s occupation provoked nationalist groups to organize in Italy and Germany. Also influential was the revolutionaries belief that a notion was not a group of Royal subjects, but a society of equal citizens. The fact that most European countries are, or are becoming parliamentary democracies along the lines set out by the French revolution suggests it’s enduring influence socially.
[01:01:49] The revolution was almost important. Clearly society in France. And to a lesser extent in other parts of Europe would never be the same. Once the ancient structure of privilege was smashed, it could not be pieced together. Again, the revolution did not fundamentally alter the distribution of wealth, but that had not been the intention of most of the revolutionaries in so far as legal equality gradually became the norm in France and Europe.
[01:02:16] The revolutionary succeeded. The cultural impact is harder to assess the revolution did not succeed in establishing the national school system. It envisioned. But it did found some of France’s elite educational institutions that have produced some of that nation’s greatest leaders it’s attack on the church, had profound repercussions making the status of the church, a central political issue, which even today divide France, politically and culturally, and as for economic development, the revolution probably hurt more than it helped.
[01:02:50] In the longterm, the liberation of the economy from Royal controls, the standardization of weights and measures and yeah. Development of a uniform civil low code help pave the way for the industrial right evolution. But the disruptive effects of war on the French economy offset the positive effects of these changes in general of total output, the economy was probably set back a generation.
[01:03:14] So that was, I would have to say in a nutshell, because I couldn’t summarize it further. There are a lot of other details that you might want to know about the French revolution, but this is in a nutshell, what you need to know about the French revolution, the most important phases of the French revolution from its beginning to its getting to the peak of its power until it ended and was taken over by Napoleon Bonaparte. [01:03:39] I hope you like this essential guide I prepared for you. And don’t forget that you can find the transcript of this episode in the link I provided for you in the description. This is your host, Danny. Thank you very much for listening and I will see you next time.