Unit 1 Notes and Study Guide


 French KISS


Enlightenment brings cautious optimism not cheery certainty

 The Enlightenment

    1. Based off of the Scientific Revolution
    2. Believed that Social Problems could be solved through Rational reasoning
      1. Philosophes
  1. Proponents
    1. Hobbes ~
      1. Humans desire power
      2. Strong Central Power needed to control the masses
    2. John Locke ~
      1. Tabula Rasa  ~ Humans are formed by experiences
    3. Voltaire ~
      1. Critic of French Noble Society
    4. Montesquieu ~
      1. Division of Power ~ Divide the power of the government into competing parts
    5. Rousseau ~
      1. Social Contract ~ Government must protect the people and the people must obey the government
        1. If the government violates the contract the people can rebel
        2.  Common Good ~ what is best for the society as a whole and not the individual
    6. Smith ~
      1. Lassez Faire ~ Government should not interfere in the Economy
      2. Capitalism ~ Economic system where people are free to start a business



Enlightenment brings cautious optimism not cheery certainty


Thomas Hobbes

John Locke

Humans are governed by greed and want of material wealth Human Nature governed by rationale and tolerance
NO Government means a state of nature where people have right to everything and war against all breaks out No Government means people can become free equal and independent
Strong Government needed to keep man’s desires in check Government must follow will of the people or they may get a different one


  1. French Revolution
    1. Before the Revolution France was still dominated by the Ancien Regime or Old Regime which divide Frances population into 3 sections or estates
      1. Privileged Estates
        1. First Estate ~ Catholic Clergy who were wealthy in lands and money
        2. Second Estate ~ Comprised of rich nobles holding high ranking government office
        3. Third Estate
          1. Made up of the middle and lower classes
          2. Had no power to influence government
          3. Made up 98% of the French population
    2. The Old Regime had been in power for centuries however with the new Ideas of the Enlightenment people began to question their form of government
      1. Enlightenment Ideals
        1. People should govern themselves
        2. Democracy is the best form of government
      2. Success of the Americans
        1. With the Great Experiment succeeding in America it gave Enlightenment ideals a more practical appeal
    3. Financial Crisis
      1. France was in a financial crisis in the late 18th century
      2. Louis the XVI forced to call the Estates General
        1. Estates General ~ Assembly of all 3 estates which must be consulted on major national concerns
      3. The third estate, determined to make reforms broke from the Estates General and formed the National Assembly
        1. National Assembly ~ Collection of the Third Estates representatives who form a representative form of government
    4. King’s Response
      1. The King gave into the National Assembly’s demands and called in his mercenary army to maintain order
      2. The Mercenaries were perceived as coming to massacre French Citizens
      3.  French Citizens stormed the Bastille and all of Paris was thrown in a Revolutionary turmoil
    5. Meanwhile the National Assembly…
      1. Creates Declaration of Rights of Man
      2. Confiscates Church Lands
      3. Sets up new Government called Legislative Assembly
    6. The French people suffer
      1. Seizing the Bastille
      2. Bread Riots
      3. Great Fear
  1. Reign of Terror
    1. European nations, Austria and Prussia, fearing the spread of Revolution demand Louis XVI be put back into power and go to war
    2. Radicals called Sans-culottes become more violent and demand new elections
      1. Most were members of a political party called the jacobins
    3. Legislative Assembly loses control of country, deposes the king and dissolves itself assumes control of France
  2. Committee of public Safety
    1. Wave of executions begins as members of 1st and 2nd estate tried and executed thousands
    2. Robespierre, leader of COPS, abuses his power to take complete control but he himself is executed


  1. Rise of Napoleon
    1. Served in the Revolutionary Army rising through its ranks
    2. During the revolution won victories in North Italy.
    3. Became very popular with French people despite defeat in Egypt
  2. Napoleon in control
    1. Helped overthrow the Directory
      1. Directory ruled France after the Convention/Committee of Public Safety
    2. While it was a Republic in name Napoleon held absolute power
    3. Took domestic action
      1. Made nice with the Catholic Church
      2. Codified one set of laws for all of France
      3. Meritocracy
      4. Ensured equality under the law
      5. Censored Newspapers
      6. Secret Police kept tabs on radical elements
  3. The Continental System
    1. GOAL à to isolate Britain and promote Napoleon’s mastery over Europe.
    2. Berlin Decrees (1806)
      1. British ships were not allowed in European ports.
    3. “Order in Council” (1806)
      1. Britain proclaimed any ship stopping in Britain would be seized when it entered the Continent.
  1. Milan Decree (1807)
    1. Napoleon proclaimed any ship stopping in Britain would be seized when it entered the Continent.
  1. These edicts eventually led to the United States declaring war on Britain (WAR OF 1812)
  1. Napoleon’s Costly Mistakes
  2. Invasion of Spain
    1. Portugal did not comply with the Continental System.
    2. France wanted Spain’s support to invade Portugal.
    3. Spain refused, so Napoleon invaded Spain as well!
    4. Kicked out old king and put his brother, Joseph, in charge of Spain.
      1. Spanish fought back with help from the British.
      2. Guerrilla Warfare destroyed the French.
      3. Napoleon has to pull out  (300,000 French killed)
  1. Invasion of Russia
    1. Russia (1812)  Napoleon goes in with 400,000 + troops, comes back with 10,000
    2. The retreat from Spain came on the heels of Napoleon’s disastrous Russian Campaign
    3. In July, 1812 Napoleon led his Grand Armee of 614,000 men eastward across central Europe and into Russia.
    4. The Russians avoided a direct confrontation with Napoleon.
    5. They retreated to Moscow, drawing the French into the interior of Russia
    6. Scorched Earth Policy
    7. The Russian nobles abandoned their estates and burned their crops to the ground, leaving the French to operate far from their supply bases in territory stripped of food.
  2. It’s the end
    1. While Napoleon was “down,” the other countries ganged up to defeat him at the Battle of Leipzig (Battle of Nations) – 1813
  3. The Hundred Day’s
    1. People didn’t like Louis XVIII (brother of the guillotined king)
    2. Napoleon escaped Elba (Louis fled)
    3. Napoleon regained full power
    4. Napoléon escaped Elba and landed in France on March 1, 1815 à the beginning of his 100 Days.
    5. Napoleon:  best defense is a good offense.  He attacked the British General Wellington at Waterloo (Belgium)
    6. Napoleon was defeated for the final time
    1. Rise of Nationalism
    2. ·Division of people by country not social class
    3. ·People willing to go to war based on love of country
    4. ·Wars to combine city-states, divide empires
    5. Need for:
      1. Coalitions and alliances
      2. Diplomacy as an option to war
    6. Spread of ideas:
      1. Political philosophy
      2. Revolution as an option
      3. Equality, speech, voting, property
      4. Rise of a professional military



  1. Enlightenment
    1. What is the Enlightenment?
    2. Who were some proponents of it? What did they believe?
    3. How did John Locke and Thomas Hobbes differ?
    4. How did Philosphes believe a perfect society could be attained?
  2. French Revolution
    1. What was French Society like before the Revolution?
    2. Why was France in an economic crisis?

i.     Who did King Louis XVI call to address the problem?

  1. How was the National Assembly formed?

i.     What is the Tennis Court Oath?

  1. What is the symbolism of the falling of the Bastille?

i.     Why did the peasants attack the Bastille?

  1. What did they do with the guards who were inside it?
  1. What was the Bread Riot?

i.     Why was this Significant?

  1. What actions did the French Revolution take that helped fulfill its enlightenment ideas?
  2. Why did the Legislative Assembly dissolve itself?

i.     Who took power after they did, and what did they do?

  1. Why was Robespierre able to take and stay in power?

i.     What group was he in charge of?

ii.     What happened to Robespierre?

  1. Napoleon
    1. Where was Napoleon from? Which Estate?
    2. How was Napoleon able to rise to power?

i.     Why was his defeat in Egypt seen as a kind of victory?

ii.     Who did he seize power from?

  1. After Napoleon seized power what were 3 ways he fulfilled the goals of the Revolution?
  2. What were 3 ways he violated the goals of the Revolution?
  3. Why was Napoleon at war with so many countries in Europe?

i.     What were Napoleon’s 3 major mistakes?

  1. What was the name for the meeting that would bring Europe back to order after Napoleon’s exile?

i.     Who hosted it?

ii.     Where was it held?

Know these terms and their significance

Divine Right natural rights Estates General Jabcobins Napoleonic Code Prince Metternich
Liberal philosophes National Assembly Robespierre Continental System reactionary
Conservative Old Regime Tennis Court Oath Reign of Terror Scorched Earth Policy Legitimacy
Enlightenment Louis XVI Bastille Directory Waterloo Balance of Power
social contract Bourgeoisie Declaration of the Rights of Man Coup d’etat Congress of Vienna Compensation