Key Events, People and Terms of the French Revolution

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Flash cards with key information on the people, events and terms of the French Revolution.

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Jacobin Club (background) -High membership fee. -Supported by wealthy liberal-consistutional monarchists. Robespierre had a minority group of more radical Jacobins.
Jacobin Club (aims) - Wanted King to be removed. -1792 Robespierre introduced centralisation of government. -Accepted a more controlled economy. -no objection to free trade in grain + abolishment of guilds.
Jacobin Club (power) -National network of clubs. -Allowed large number of people to become directly involved in political life. -2% of population involved
The Cordeliers Club (background) - founded in 1790 by Bourgeoisie members Danton and Marat -more radical than Jacobins - no membership fee -more working class support
The Cordeliers Club (aims) -objected to distinction between active + passive citizens -supported measures favoured by Sans - culottes - right of insurrection - direct democracy where votes choose deputies - Deputies to account for their actions
The Cordeliers Club (power) - societies formed - Liberal profession
Sans Culottes (background) - workers in towns - responsible for Bastille uprising - considered 'passive' citizens
Sans Culottes (aim) -Control of peoples wages + prices - Regulation of Economy - they supported the cordeliers
Active Citizens Citizens who depending on the amount of tax they paid were able to vote and stand as deputies
Ancien Regime term used to describe the French system of government before the revolution
Anti-Clericalism opposition to the catholic church
Appel nominal Each deputy was required to publicly declare his decision on whether Louis XVI was guilty or innocent
Assignat Bonds backed up by the sale of Church land that circulated asa form of paper currency
The Bourgeiosie typically considered to be the middle class in the 18th century the term applied to those who lived mainly in towns and made a living through intellectual skills or business practices. They were becoming increasingly rich but due to the inequality of the ancient regime they were being unfairly taxed and were key supporters to the revolution
Girondins A small group of deputies from the Gironde region and their associates - notably Brissot wanted little change and reform of the political system
Cahiers the lists of demands and suggestions for reforms drawn up by the representatives of each estate that was presented to the Estates General
Centralisation Direct central control of the various parts of government with less power to the regions
Citizens Militia a bourgeoisie defence force set up to protect the interests of property owners in Paris. After the storming of the Bastille it became the national guard
committee of public safety (CPS) The convention set up the CPS its purpose was to supervise and speed up the activity of the ministers whose authority it superseded. One of the twin pillars of the terror along with the CGS
Calonne the controller general responsible for overlooking the France's finance
Palais Royale centre of radical propaganda
Necker popular public figure and was considered to be the only man able to solve France's financial problems, inspired the Storming of the Bastille
Paris Commune 15 July 1789 commune set up to be the forefront of clashes between the Parisians and the King and would govern the city
Constitutional Monarchy Where the powers of the crown are limited by a constitution (also known as a limited monarchy)
Constitution the establishment of structures for governing a country e.g: making laws, forming government, conduct elections and the division of powers the detail of these structures should be presented in a written document.
corvée unpaid labour service to maintain roads, in many places money replaced the service
Danton -leading Montagnard/Jacobin -considered a threat by CPS
Desmoulins close friend to Danton and journalist in his paper le vieux cordelier
Committee of General Security (CGS) the task of rooting out all anti-republican opposition. Had overall responsibility for police security, surveillance and spying.
Revolutionary Tribunal A court specialising in trying those suspected to be enemies of the revolution. Set up on 10th march 1793.
Estates General the body that governed frame until 1789 made up three estates that represented the Church, Nobility and the third estate, only summoned in times of extreme crisis.
Émigrés Mainly aristocrats and other people who fled France during the revolution
Fédérés Mainly national guardsmen sent from the provinces to display national unity during the fete de la federation that commemorated the fall of the Bastille. militant revolutionaries and republicans.
Feudal dues either financial or work obligations imposed on the peasantry by landowners
Diocese an area served by a bishop, made up by a large number of parishes
Cult of the Supreme Being Robespierre's alternative civic religion to the catholic faith 7th May 1794
Laws of Ventose property of those recognised as enemies of the revolution could be seized and distributed among the poor 26th february 1794
Coup of Thermidor 26-7th July 1794 the overthrow of Robespierre and his closest supporters which marked the end of the Terror
Legislative Assembly came into existence in 1791 and was the second elected assembly to rule during the revolution, introduced after the constitution of 1791 if differed from national/constituent assembly in that members were directly elected
Martial Law when there is severe rioting or public disorder, the authorities can declare martial law which could impose restrictions on movement and may suspend civil liberties
Laissez-faire non interference in economic matters, so that trade and industry should be free from state interference
Montagnards the name given to jacobin deputies who occupied the upper seats in the tiered chamber of the national assembly
Pays d'états Area that had local representative assemblies of the three estates that contributed to the assessment and collection of royal taxes
Notables rich powerful individuals - the elite who controlled the political and economic life of france
Paris Sections Paris divided into 48 sections to replace the 60 electoral districts of 1789 - the section became the power of the sans culottes
Refractory priests the priests who refused to take the oath - the civil constitution of the clergy
The civil constitution of the Clergy July 1790 this measure reformed the catholic church in France. It split the church and forced members of the catholic religion to sign that they support the revolution Peasants turn against revolution because religion is everything to them begins a split between the radicals and moderates.
Law of Prairial 4th June 1794 the most severe of the laws passed by the revolutionary government. The purpose of the law was to reform the revolutionary tribunal in order to secure more convictions. Robespierre exacerbates the terror and people don't like him for continuing terror policies
Law of Suspects anyone suspected of counter-revolutionary activity and undermining the Republic could be arrested and held without trial indefinitely
Flight to Varennes 20th-21st June 1791 Louis XVI attempted to flee France and go to Varennes because France hated him Wanted to leave France and ally with Austria in order to then retake France with their help
Tennis Court Oath 20th June the 3rd estate gather at a tennis Court after being removed form the hall the oath called for a constitutional monarchy Turning point in situation and begs the revolution Louis XVI sends in troops and people believed there was going to be a civil war
October days 5th-6th Oct 1789 People of France force the King to sign the decrees after he vetoed them, the national guard helped them. Women marched to Versaille and called for the King to return to Paris
Rights of Man 26th August 1789 introduces basic human rights for the men of France King refused to support the rights of man many believed this signified the end to the ancient regime
Attack on Tuileries and Overthrow of the King 9th-10th August 1792 Sans-culottes, fédérés and national guard attack the kings home at Tuileries and throw both Louis and Marie Antoinette into jail
Law of Frimaire December 1793 this introduces a new revolutionary government, the convention introduces the CGS + CPS and they begin to take over France is now a dictatorship
Storming of the Bastille July 14th 1789 Genuine fear that the king is sending in troops against the people, the people feel they need to take up arms in order to defend themselves. Laffayet and national guard come together and help to win the fight.
Proclamation of the National Assembly June 17th 1789 after the tennis court oath the Estates General is dissolved and the national assembly is set up
Execution of Danton Robespierre rises to the top, Danton wanted to relax on the terror and the killing of counter revolutionaries. In turn Danton and fellow jacobins are executed and Robespierre enacts more radical laws and terror
August Decrees 4th August 1789 starts to pacify citizens - maintains control of peasants gets peasants on side and helps to bring an end to the great fear In the Long term it will supposedly end the ancient regime the decrees proposed an end to the feudal system and introduce new ideas proposed in the cahiers
The Great Fear 4th August - 20th August Attacks on Noble property in search of feudal rights revolt of peasants all over the countryside peasants going after terriers a legal document that states the nobles rights and privileges Was considered to be big problem because it showed uprising not only in cities but also in many previously peaceful provinces
France declared Bankrupt August 1788 France calls on the nobility to sort out the problem introduces an assembly of notables that essentially resolve nothing as they do not want to enforce tax upon themselves
Overthrow of the Girondins 2nd June 1793 the Girondins were kicked out of the convention by the sans culottes the Girondins are blamed for everything as they did not want to see the king executed people in the provinces lose their voice as the girondins are no longer able to represent them this is when the terror policies begin
Execution of Louis XVI 21st January 1793 creates further division trial extremely unfair and creates resentment Girondins blamed for not doing anything and are also seen as counter revolutionary because they made weak attempts to prevent the kings execution
Proclamation of Republic 22nd September
September Massacres 2nd-6th september 1792 demonstrates the fear people in Paris have, they are scared there will be a backlash Marat and other leading radicals called for the execution of any potential threat to the new republic this event turns the moderates anti-revolutionary and the Jacobins become the leading party
Calling of the Estates General 5th May 1789 The estates General is called and they are unable to reach a decision on how to vote (by head or order) the meeting gets out of hand The event highlights Louis's weakness as he is unable to do anything to rectify the situation The 3rd estate separate themselves from the estates general, verify their own deputies and begin to organise the national assembly
Brunswick Manifesto August 1st 1792 the declaration by the prussian leader that if the king is killed or harmed they will completely destroy Paris The people of France react by creating a fédéré camp The intervention of the Prussian leader turns many people radical and willing to overthrow the monarchy as he appears unfaithful and disloyal to his country
The American War of Independence 1788 Bankrupts France introduces radical ideas into France
Eden Treaty 1786 Trade between France and England established England had free exports into France this betters the english economy but contributes to Frances growing economic and financial crisis
France declare War on Austria 1st April 1792 Louis XVI wants France to lose Lafayette wants to conquest and spread revolution Many wanted to test the Kings loyalty and see if he would support them as many see him as a traitor
Champs de Mars Massacre 17th July 1791 Call to end the Monarchy signed by 20,000 people in Paris Lafayette kills 50 republicans and crushes the radicals to put them back into place legislative Assembly works alongside the King and France is still a constitutional monarchy
Battle of Valmy 20th september 1792 52,000 french troops defeated 34,000 Prussians, significant victory because if the french had been defeated there is little doubt that it would have ben the end to the revolution
The Declaration of Pillnitz 27th August 1791 After the flight to Varennes failure the Austrians felt they had to make a gesture in support of Louis, the declaration of pillnitz was in association with Prussia The declaration stated: The situation of the French king was of common interest to all European rulers they hoped to restore the powers of the French crown force would be used if necessary to bring about the restoration.
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