Section I: The French

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Section I: The French Revolution Begins Notes
1. What time period does the French Revolution occur? What is the population of Paris during this time?
2. How would you define and unjust government?
3. Would you risk taking part in a revolution against your government despite the consequences failure might bring?

Answers to Lead-ins
1. 1770’s, France/26 Million People
2. One that favors one group of citizens over another, refuses basic human rights, harsh, repressive.
3. Maybe if it threatened your family’s safety, or you hate to see suffering.

4 Reasons France is the Epicenter of the Enlightenment
1. Large Population 2. Prosperous Foreign Trade 3. Center of Enlightenment 4. Wonderful Culture (Cuisine, more

But, success is deceiving
1. Bad harvest for a few years 2. High prices for goods and services 3. High Taxes! 4. Disturbing questions raised by Locke,
Voltaire, Rousseau

The “Old Regime”

3 Estates/ p. 652


First Estate Second Estate Third Estate


Views of Enlightenment

Percentage of Population
% of Income paid in taxes

The “Old Regime”

3 Estates


First Estate Second

Third Estate



Clergy of Roman Catholic Church

Rich nobles Highest offices in government

Included Bourgeoise, urban lower class, and peasant farmers

Views of Enlightenment
Percentage of Population % of Income paid in taxes

Loathe the Enlightenment
Less than 1%

Disagreed about
Enlightenment Ideas

Embraced enlightenment ideas, but had no power to influence government Resented Wealthy

2 %

0 %


3 Groups within the 3rd Estate
1. Bourgeoisie-
– Bankers, Factory owners, merchants, professionals.
– Well educated, believed in Liberty and Equality. (Paid High Tax) Why would B resent nobles?
2. Urban Poor
– Trades people, laborers, servants. Tough life!
3. Peasants or farmers.
– 80% of 26M. – ½ income to nobles, tithes, and taxes to king.
Very eager for change

Caricature de la période 1789. Le titre est : "A faut espérer q'eu jeu là finira ben tôt" (il faut espérer que ce jeu-là finira bientôt.)

3 Economic Problems in 1780’s
1. High tax makes business profit tough
2. High tax causes inflation, cost of living goes up! 
3. Bad weather = lower crop production (Grain) Why is this bad news?

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Section I: The French