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22 Cards in this Set

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Louis XVI
The French king from 1774 to 1792 who was deposed during the French Revolution and executed in 1793. Louis XVI inherited the debt problem left by his grandfather, Louis XV, and added to the crisis himself through heavy spending during France’s involvement in the American Revolution from 1775 to 1783. Because this massive debt overwhelmed all of his financial consultants, Louis XVI was forced to give in to the demands of the Parlement of Paris and convene the Estates-General—an action that led directly to the outbreak of the Revolution. Louis XVI was deposed in 1792 and executed a year later.
Marie Antionette
The wife of King Louis XVI and, in the French commoners’ eyes, the primary symbol of the French royalty’s extravagance and excess. When Marie-Antoinette was executed in 1793, she was dressed in a plain dress, common to the poorest in French society.
Madame Deficit
Marie-Antionette
The wife of King Louis XVI and, in the French commoners’ eyes, the primary symbol of the French royalty’s extravagance and excess. When Marie-Antoinette was executed in 1793, she was dressed in a plain dress, common to the poorest in French society.
The Incorruptible
Maximilien Robespierre
A brilliant political tactician and leader of the radical Jacobins in the National Assembly. As chairman of the Committee of Public Safety, Robespierre pursued a planned economy and vigorous mobilization for war. He grew increasingly paranoid about counterrevolutionary opposition, however, and during the Reign of Terror of 1793–1794 attempted to silence all enemies of the Revolution in an effort to save France from invasion. After the moderates regained power and the Thermidorian Reaction was under way, they had Robespierre executed on July 28, 1794.
Jacobins
The radical wing of representatives in the National Convention, named for their secret meeting place in the Jacobin Club, in an abandoned Paris monastery. Led by Maximilien Robespierre, the Jacobins called for democratic solutions to France’s problems and spoke for the urban poor and French peasantry. The Jacobins took control of the convention, and France itself, from 1793 to 1794. As Robespierre became increasingly concerned with counterrevolutionary threats, he instituted a brutal period of public executions known as the Reign of Terror.
Girondins
The name given to the moderates in the National Convention. The Girondins controlled the legislative assembly until 1793, when, with the war going poorly and food shortages hurting French peasants, the Jacobins ousted them from power.
Bastille
A large armory and state prison in the center of Paris that a mob of sans-culottes sacked on July 14, 1789, giving the masses arms for insurrection. The storming of the Bastille had little practical consequence, but it was an enormous symbolic act against the ancien régime, inspired the revolutionaries, and is still celebrated today as the French holiday Bastille Day.
Declaration Of The Rights Of Man
A document, issued by the National Assembly on August 26, 1789, that granted sovereignty to all French people. The declaration, which drew from the ideas of some of the Enlightenment’s greatest thinkers, asserted that liberty is a “natural” and “imprescriptible” right of man and that “men are born and remain free and equal in rights.”
Constitutional Monarchy
Also known as limited monarchy, a system of government in which a king or queen reigns as head of state but with power that is limited by real power lying in a legislature and an independent court system.
Committe Of Public Safety
A body, chaired by Maximilien Robespierre, to which the National Convention gave dictatorial powers in April 1793 in an attempt to deal with France’s wars abroad and economic problems at home. Although the committee led off its tenure with an impressive war effort and economy-salvaging initiatives, things took a turn for the worse when Robespierre began his violent Reign of Terror in late 1793.
Maximillien Robespierre
A brilliant political tactician and leader of the radical Jacobins in the National Assembly. As chairman of the Committee of Public Safety, Robespierre pursued a planned economy and vigorous mobilization for war. He grew increasingly paranoid about counterrevolutionary opposition, however, and during the Reign of Terror of 1793–1794 attempted to silence all enemies of the Revolution in an effort to save France from invasion. After the moderates regained power and the Thermidorian Reaction was under way, they had Robespierre executed on July 28, 1794.
National Assembly
The name given to the Third Estate after it separated from the Estates-General in 1789. As a body, the National Assembly claimed to legitimately represent the French population. The assembly dissolved in 1791 so that new elections could take place under the new constitution.
Oath Of The Tennis Court
A June 20, 1789, oath sworn by members of the Third Estate who had just formed the National Assembly and were locked out of the meeting of the Estates-General. Meeting at a nearby tennis court, these members of the Third Estate pledged to remain together until they had drafted and passed a new constitution.
National Convention
The body that replaced the Legislative Assembly following a successful election in 1792. As one of its first actions, the convention declared the French monarchy abolished on September 21, 1792, and on the following day declared France a republic. Though originally dominated by moderates, the convention became controlled by radical Jacobins in 1793.
Reign Of Terror
A ten-month period of oppression and execution from late 1793 to mid-1794, organized by Maximilien Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety to suppress any potential enemies of the radical Revolution. The Reign of Terror ended with the fall of Robespierre, who was arrested and executed in July 1794. Robespierre’s execution ushered in the Thermidorian Reaction of 1794–1795 and the establishment of the Directory as the head of France’s executive government.
The Directory
The new executive branch established by the constitution written during the moderate Thermidorian Reaction of 1794–1795. The Directory was appointed by the legislative assembly. However, after 1797 election results proved unfavorable to elements in the Directory, it orchestrated an overthrow of the assembly and maintained dubious control over France until it was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799.
Republic Of Virtue
The Republic of Virtue was a speech given by Maximilien Robespierre on February 5th, 1794. In it, Robespierre provided a comprehensive statement of his political theory while advocating the use of terror in defending democracy, which he equated with virtue.
Sans-Culotte
Refers to the ill-clad and ill-equipped volunteers of the Revolutionary army, and later generally to the ultrademocrats of the Revolution.
Jean Paul Marat
French revolutionary leader (born in Switzerland) who was a leader in overthrowing the Girondists and was stabbed to death in his bath by Charlotte Corday. A member of the radical Jacobin faction during the French Revolution, he helped to launch the Reign of Terror.
Republic
A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
a form of government whose head of state is not a monarch. France became republic on Septermber 1792.
September Massacres
This were a series of bloody incidents which took place in Paris, France in late summer 1792, during the French Revolution. This occurred at Paris as the result of news of the siege of Verdun. Suspects were taken from the prisons and executed by the mob after being tried by hastily improvised tribunals.
National Razor
Instrument of execution that consists of a weighted blade between two vertical poles; used for beheading people. This is also called guillotine. It was used during French Revolution to execute enemies of Revolution.