Name the following
Two privileged classes of French society.
(a) First Estate (b) Second Estate
Two French intellectuals.
(a) Rousseau (b) Montesquieu
Two members of the French Royal family who were executed in 1793.
(a) Louis XVI (b) Marie Antionette
Two ideals popularised by the French Revolution
(a) Liberty (b) Equality
Two countries which attained unification after being inspired by the spirit of nationalism instilled by the French Revolution.
(a) Germany (b) Italy
Match the following
|Sl. No||Column A||Column B|
|2||National Guard||Place where Napoleon took refuge in 1813|
|3||The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen||Last Battle of Napoleon|
|4||Island of Elba||State Prison|
|5||Battle of Waterloo||New militia formed in 1789 by the electors of Paris.|
|Sl. No||Column A||Column B|
|2||National Guard||New militia formed in 1789 by the electors of Paris.|
|3||The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen||1789|
|4||Island of Elba||Place where Napoleon took refuge in 1813|
|5||Battle of Waterloo||Last Battle of Napoleon|
Fill in the blanks
The class of professionals and rich merchants in French society was called the Middle class.
The Estates General was an old representative council comprising the three Estates of France.
In 1792, the Legislative Assembly was dissolved and a new Assembly, called the National Convention was elected to power.
Napoleon's forces were defeated at the Battle of Nile by Lord Nelson.
Napoleon was defeated in the Battle of Waterloo and exiled to St. Helena, where he died in 1821.
Answer the following questions
What was the nature of the French society in the 18th century? Why was there discontentment among its members?
The french society was characterised by extreme inequalities. It was divided into three classes or Estates:
- The clergy comprised the First Estate.
- The nobility comprised the Second Estate.
- The peasants and the bourgeoisie, who included the merchants and professionals, comprised the Third Estate.
The First and the Second Estates were the privileged classes, whereas the Third Estate comprised the non-privileged classes.
There was discontentment among its members because of the following reasons:
- The peasants were forced to perform unpaid compulsory services.
- Those who did not pay the taxes were punished with imprisonment in the State prison called the Bastille.
- Most of the wealth was concentrated in the hands of the privileged class.
- The peasants and common men were burdened with heavy taxes.
- In the 18th century, the bourgeoisie had acquired great wealth but despite their economic prosperity, they were denied social equality and political rights.
What were the economic grievances of the French people that triggered the French Revolution?
The economic grievances of the French people that triggered the French Revolution were:
- Extravagance of the ruling class led to the Economic crisis. There was no restriction on the luxurious ways of living adopted by the Kings.
- On account of the wars waged by Louis XIV the national debt of France increased. Louis XV worsened the economic condition of France by participating in Austria's war of succession and the seven years' War against Britain. The French support to the American War of Independence further added to the financial problem.
- The aristocracy and the nobility, which had the ability to pay, were exempted from paying the taxes. The peasants and common men were burdened with heavy taxes.
- Taxes were collected by contractors who recovered the dues at their will and misappropriated a part of the taxes for their own benefit.
What was the Estates General? Why was it not convened by the Monarchs since 1614?
The Estates General was an old representative Council of France comprising the three Estates, i.e., the clergy, the nobility and the bourgeoisie.
The Estates General had not been convened by the Monarchs for a long time so that they could raise taxes and spend public money without any hassles. Also, the clergy and the nobility were against sitting with the Third state(the bourgeoisie).
What were the salient features of the Constitution drafted by the National Constituent Assembly in 1791?
The salient features of the Constitution drafted by the National Constituent Assembly in 1791 were:
- The government of France was converted into a limited monarchy without any power.
- The right to vote was given to only those citizens who paid a certain amount by way of taxes or possessed property.
- The National legislative Assembly was set up with the power to declare war and peace.
- Dominant position was given to the middle class.
- Papal control over the Church was removed and the Church was nationalised. The property of the Church was confiscated and the number of Churchmen was reduced.
Explain how did the National Convention of 1792 change the system of government in France.
The National Convention abolished monarchy and established a republican form of government in France. It drafted a new Constitution, which had the power to choose a new Parliament. Under the new Constitution, a republican government called the Directory was established. It was so called because its Executive was composed of five directors to run the government.
With reference to the French Revolution, write short notes on the following:
(a) The Role of French monarchy.
(b) Significance of the French revolution.
(a) The Role of French monarchy:
- The French administration was marked by nepotism. There was no system of Elections.
- The king held himself as the representative of the God on Earth. He enjoyed absolute power and his will was the law.
- High posts were given to Nobles and aristocrats who were not conscious of their duties.
- There was no uniform system of laws in the country. Punishments were rigorous and biased.
- The aristocrats were not punished for certain crimes.
- Common people hardly had any share in the administration.
(b) Significance of the French Revolution — The French Revolution not only influenced France but also left an indelible impression on Europe and the whole world.
- The ideals of the Revolution — liberty, equality, fraternity and democracy — brought about a political awakening in Europe and later become popular all over the world.
- It awakened the spirit of nationalism, which paved the way for the unification of Germany and Italy.
- It popularised the concept of democracy and led to the emergence of constitutional monarchy in many countries in place of absolute monarchy.
- It separated religion from politics and stood for secularism.
With reference to Napoleon's contribution, write about the following:
(a) The reforms initiated by Napoleon.
(b) The Continental system.
(c) Impact of Napoleonic Wars.
(a) Napoleon initiated the following reforms :
- Economic Reforms — He undertook numerous financial measures to check rising inflation in the country. He opened the Bank of France to establish government control over the economy and system of issuing currency and granting loans to public was developed.
- Concordat — He established friendly relations with the Church and resolved the dispute that had arisen due to the confiscation of the Church lands in 1789 by settling a religious compromise with the Pope in 1802, known as Concordat.
- Educational Reforms — Napoleon reorganised the educational system and established the first Public School system in Europe.
- Code of Laws — Codification of civil laws was Napoleon's most significant reform. He prepared a Code of Laws called, Napoleon's Code of Laws. It abolished all privileges, established social equality and introduced trial by jury.
(b) The Continental System — Finding it difficult to defeat England in straight fight, especially to suppress the supremacy of Britain in navy, Napoleon devised the means of economic warfare. This policy came to be known as the Continental System. He resorted to this system to impose economic blockade against England and prevent import of English goods by other countries of Europe. However, the Continental System system failed and England continued to retain its influence over international trade and sea routes.
(c) Impact of Napoleonic Wars can be summarised as follows:
- Austria was defeated and was made to sign a pact (Treaty of Luneville) in 1801.
- Treaty of Amiens was signed with England and peace was established.
- French Empire controlled the Swiss Confederation, the Confederation of Rhine, the Duchy of Warsaw and the Kingdom of Italy.
- Napoleon brought about a number of countries like Spain, Portugal, Prussia and Germany under his control. The French soldiers placed in these countries taught nationalism to the native people. This spirit of nationalism motivated the people to rise against Napoleon and assert their independence.
- Napoleon brought most of the Western Europe under one rule. He sowed the seeds of founding of the Nation-States of Germany and Italy by starting the process of consolidating City-States and Kingdoms.
(d) Concordat — Napoleon established friendly relations with the Church and resolved the dispute that had arisen due to the confiscation of the Church lands in 1789 by settling a religious compromise with Pope in 1802, known as Concordat. According to the Concordat, Catholicism was accepted as the State religion.
Study the picture and answer the following question:
(a) Identify the event in the picture. When and where did it happen?
(b) What were the causes that led to this event?
(c) What is the significance of this event in the history of France?
(a) The event in the picture is the fall of Bastille (State Prison). It took place on 14th July, 1789 at Bastille.
(b) Bastille was being used as a prison as well as a storehouse for storing guns and ammunition. A new militia called the National Guard was formed by the electors of Paris that was loyal to the National Assembly. This militia needed weapons and therefore made their to Bastille on July 14 to obtain the same. But the Governor of Bastille ordered the troops to open fire on the crowd, which killed 98 people and injured many more. This led to crowd storming into Bastille and subsequently its fall.
(c) The fall of Bastille symbolised the victory of the people of France and the fall of Monarchy. Therefore, at present July 14 is celebrated as a National Holiday in France.