Archive for the ‘Chapter 17: Rebellion and Revolution: American Independence and the French Revolution’ Category

The Third Estate

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

After the French and Indian War, France was in a financial crisis because loans had to be payed off and taxes, which the aristocracy and the church who were some of the only bodies that could afford the taxes, refused to pay which left the burden on French peasants. A national advisory body called the Estates General met in May of 1789 and for the first time, included members of lower classes to give their say on the economic and political situation of the country. This led to the formation of the Third Estate, which sent about 600 delegates to Versailles for the Estates General Meeting. Here is a picture which can be found in the textbook called “The Third State Awakens” in which the Third Estate is waking, arming itself, and frightening the clergy and nobility.

Eventually, the Third Estate declared itself The National Assembly of France in order to achive the right to vote in the Estates General and to get a new constitution.  King Louis XVI refused to accept the legitamacy of the National Assembly at first, which led to the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789.  The mob of Parisians who were part of the storming became known as the National Guard of the National Assembly and introduced their insignia, a flag of blue, white, and red stripes, which became the new flag of Revolutionary France.

Eventually in 1789, King Louis XVI recognized the power of the National Assembly, after about 7,000 armed women marched on Versailles.


British Tariffs in the Colonies

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

After the French and Indian War, the national debt in Britain was about 130 million pounds. To raise revenues and get rid of debt, King George III enforced regulations and tariffs on the colonies in North America. There were mercantilist trade regulations that did not allow merchants to trade with any other European powers, and new tax measures. These included the well known Sugar Act of 1764, the Stamp Act of 1765 which required revenue stamps on almost all documents, and other taxes on tea, glass, paper, and lead. The colonies vigorously protested these regulations and tariffs which included smuggling goods to trade with other powers by merchants, protests which often became violent, and events such as the famous Boston Tea Party in which Boston citizens destroyed shipments of East India Company Tea in 1773. Instead of laying off the colonies however, King George came down on them harder, especially after they protested, and believed that the colonies just did not want to pay the costs that helped to keep the empire, to which they belonged, going.


France vs. Britain in America

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

After the French and Indian War in 1763, France was hurt in their defeat by the British.

French and Indian War (video 6:30)

French and Indian War 2 (video 4:14)

France’s ruler Louis XVI saw an opportunity to take revenge on the Britsh by helping American colonists financially and militarily to defeat the British during the American Revolution. This was major, because at this time Britain was the greatest power in the world.

-Videos from youtube


Big Events In the Course of the American and French Revolutions

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Just as a starter, chapter 17 covers the grounds of the American and French Revolutions. For the former, revolution led to American independence which was officially recognized in the Treaty of Paris in 1783. For the latter, revolution led to the collapse of the French empire in 1814. No matter their outcomes though, these country’s revolutions were packed with events that will remain infamous in the study of American and European history.

During the American Revolution, the Boston Massacre took place in 1770. Five civilians were killed in a conflict between the townspeople and British soldiers who were stationed there to protect British customs agents.

During the French Revolution there was the fall of the Bastille in 1789. The Bastille, a prison and armory, was stormed by angry Parisians who overtook the troops stationed there and killed the governor and some soldiers of the fortress.

Although these are only two of the many events that occured in both the American and French Revolutions, they are certainly major events that made sparks fly during the controversies and fights of both countries.


The Depiction of the French Revolution

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

As Chapter 17 presents us with a split look at both the American and French Revolution, I found myself looking at the Boston Massacre painting and other paintings that seemed to incorporate a “brighter” interpretation of rather dark times. Due to this I decided to look for a picture that, in my mind, captures what the Severed Head of Louis XVI portrayed: dark times and utter turmoil. The painting by Jean Bertaux of the Storming of the Tuileries shows this turmoil and dark times through many aspects: the black and dark orange/red background (which I presume to be from a cannonball) sets a rather dark mood, which compliments the dead men strewn across the battlefield. The fact that this painting is portraying an assault on the Palace of Tuileries shows the turmoil as French men and women killed Swiss Guards in an attempt to reach King Louis XVI and his family. All in all, a painting like this better captures the essence of a “revolution” like the ones in America and France.

Source of information: Storming of the Tuileries Palace and Credit for Jean Bertaux


Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Hey guys! Just hitting up the blog!