Tips and Tricks on French Revolution


Important dates related to French Revolution______.
1774: Louis XVI becomes King of France.
1789: Third Estate forms National Assemble. The Bastille is stormed., Session of Estates General.
1791: A constitution is framed to limit the powers of the monarch.
1792-93: France becomes a republic. The king is executed. Directory rules France.
1804: Napoleon becomes emperor of France.
1815: Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo.
1848: Slavery was abolished in all French colonies.
1946: French women got the right to vote.

Important terms to remember :
1. First Estate: French society was divided into classes called Estates: The first Estates consisted of Clergy which held vast land, wealth and were exempted from taxes.
2. Second Estate: It consisted of the aristocracy and controlled all the top positions in the government, parliament and in the army and navy. They were also exempted from taxation and led an extravagant life.
3. Third Estate: This comprised everyone who was neither nobility nor clergy and constituted almost 97% of the population. The wealthy upper middle class (merchants, bankers, doctors, lawyers), lower middle class, shopkeepers, craftsmen and peasants comprised the Third Estate. This class lacked political power, social status and was heavily taxed.
4. The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen: In 1789, the French National Assembly adopted a set of basic principles called the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. Proposed by Lafayette and based on the ideas of Locke, Montesquieu and Jefferson, this document stated that "men are born and remain free and equal in rights" and that the "source of power resides in the people". It guaranteed all Frenchmen the basic rights of liberty, security, equal justice, fair taxes, religion, fair speech and thought.
5. Liver: Unit of currency used in France till 1794.
6. Clergy: Group of persons invested with special functions in the Church.
7. Tithe: A tax levied by the Church equal to one-tenth of the agricultural produce.

1. Only men above 25 years of age and those who paid taxes equal to at least 3 days of a labourers wage were given the status of active citizens. And they were entitled to vote.
2. The remaining men and women were classified as passive citizens and were not allowed to vote.
3. To qualify as an elector and then as a member of the assembly, a man had to belong to the highest bracket of tax payers.

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