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Napoleon and the French Revolution: A Multiple-Choice Quiz and Study Guide
Summary of the French Revolution
The French Revolution in a nutshell: The majority of the people in France (the commoners) were fed up with the monarchy and the feudal system under which they had been forced to live. As a result, they began revolting and uprooting those institutions which had been in place for hundreds of years. They wanted, quite simply, a better quality of life, freedom, and equality.
King Louis XVI (1754-1793) and his predecessor had brought the country right up to the brink of bankruptcy and the commoners resented the outrageous taxes that had been imposed upon them by the monarchy, while they saw none of the privileges granted to the clergy and nobility. They were politically disregarded and growing increasingly unsettled.
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The Commoners Revolt Against the Monarchy
France had been divided into three separate groups, called "estates." The "first estate" consisted of members of the clergy; the "second estate" encompassed all nobility; and the "third estate" included everyone else - the commoners (although even wealthy businessmen and peasants alike were considered to be commoners).
The third estate, which included over 95% of the population, had very few rights, and they were willing to fight in order to see that changes were made, so that's what they did, signaling a beginning to the French Revolution.
The French monarchy ended in August 1792 when an angry mob entered the palace of King Louis XVI. He and his wife were taken to jail and were ultimately beheaded.
Members of the Third Estate "Carried" the Nobility and the Clergy
© 2017 Mike and Dorothy McKenney