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AP European History

The French Revolution

Glossary TermDescription
The Atlantic Revolutions is a cover term for a wave of late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century revolutions associated with the Enlightenment.
French Financial Crisis French monarchy had operated for many years without resorting to a legislature. Since 1614, French Kings had managed their fiscal affairs by increasing the burden of the ancient and unequal system of taxes, by borrowing money, and sometimes by selling nob
The French Revolution, 1789 Revolution brought on by drought and famine, and increased aggression toward the richer ruling classes. French “Sans-Culottes” wanted “ Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”
First meeting of the Estates General since 1615 meeting that Louis XVI called and had not met for 175 years; medieval system gave each estate one vote but third estate was always outnumbered.
First Estate The clergy, both high (generally siding with the nobility, and it often was recruited amongst its younger sons) and low.
Second Estate The nobility. Technically, but not usually of much relevance, the Second Estate also included the Royal Family.
Third Estate Everyone not included in the First or Second Estate. At times this term refers specifically to the bourgeoisie, the middle class, but the Third Estate also included the sans-culottes, the laboring class. Also included in the Third Estate were lawyers.
National Assembly, 1789 French Revolutionary assembly (1789-1791). Called first as the Estates General, the three estates came together and demanded radical change. It passed the Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789.
Tennis Court Oath a pledge signed by 577 members of France's Third Estate during the Estates-General of June 20, 1789 in a local tennis court. Formed new Constitution
Louis XVI was King of France and Navarre from 1774 until 1791,found guilty of treason, and executed on 21 January 1793. His execution signalled the end of the absolutist monarchy in France.
Marie-Antoinette was born an Archduchess of Austria, and later became Queen of France. She was married to Louis XVI of France at age 15.She is perhaps best remembered for her death: she was executed by guillotine at the height of the French Revolution in 1791
Jacques Necker was a French statesman and finance minister of Louis XVI. Proposed that the King hold a Séance Royal (Royal Session) in an attempt to conciliate the divided Estates.
Storming of the Bastille This event on July 14, 1789 was an important symbolic development in the French Revolution. Its conquest marked the beginning of open rebellion against the King of France.
The Great Fear Refers to the period of July and August 1789, when peasants sacked the castles of the nobles and burned the documents that recorded their feudal obligations.
August 4, 1789 On this day, in France members of the National Constituent Assembly took an oath to end feudalism and abandon their privileges.
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen 1789; in summary, defined these rights as "liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression."
Olympe de Gouges was a playwright and journalist whose feminist writings reached a large audience. A proponent of democracy, she demanded the same rights for French women that French men were demanding for themselves. Wrote Declaration of the Rights of Woman.
The Constitution of 1791 adopted by the National Constituent Assembly during the period now known as the French Revolution, went into effect in September 1791 but, due to a series of constitutional crises, had effectively ceased to function as a national constitution by August 17
Civil Constitution of the Clergy during the French Revolution, subordinated the Roman Catholic Church in France to the French government. It is often incorrectly stated that this law confiscated the Church's French land holdings or banned monastic vows: that had already been accomplished
Assignats banknotes issued by the National Constituent Assembly in France during the French Revolution. The assignats were issued after the confiscation of church properties in 1790 because the government was bankrupt.
Flight to Varennes The Royal Family's attempt to flee France June 20-21, 1791.
Sans-culottes literally "those without breeches", the masses of Paris.
Jacobin Club This was the most famous of the political clubs of the French Revolution. One of its most prominent members was Maximilien Robespierre; journalist Jean-Paul Marat is also associated with the club, though never a member.
Attack on the Tuileries Palace, 1792 This refers to when Louis XVI tried to escape on the evening of June 20, 1791, but were captured at Varennes and were returned to the Tuileries. The Tuileries were later stormed on August 10, 1792 by the Paris mob, who overwhelmed and massacred the Swiss
The National Convention First met September 20, 1792; two days later, declared a republic. The National Convention after the fall of the Montagnards (July 27, 1794) is sometimes referred to as the "Thermidorian Convention"
Girondins were a political faction in France within the Legislative Assembly and the National Convention during the French Revolution. They were a group of individuals holding certain opinions and principles in common rather than an organised political party, and t
The Mountain refers to a political group, whose members, called Montagnards, sat on the highest benches in the Assembly. The term, which was first used during the session of the Legislative Assembly, did not come into general use until 1793.
Execution of Louis XVI, 1793 It took two attempts to sever this monarchs head; his neck too thick to yield to one blow. On his death, his eight-year-old son, Louis-Charles, automatically became to royalists and some foreign states the de jure King Louis XVII of France, despite Franc
Committee of Public Safety During the Reign of Terror, this committee was effectively the government of France. After the fall of the Montagnards, the committee continued, but with reduced powers.
Maximilien Robespierre is one of the best-known leaders of the French Revolution. His supporters knew him as "the Incorruptible" because of his austere moral devotion to revolutionary political change. He was an influential member of the Committee of Public Safety.
Levee en Masse is a French term for mass conscription. The modern levée en masse was born in the French Revolutionary Wars.
“revolutionary armies” refers to the military of France during the period between the fall of the ancien regime under Louis XVI in 1792 and the formation of the First French Empire under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804. These armies were characterised by their revolutionary fervour
The Terror in this period, "terror" usually (but not always) refers to State violence.
The Republic of Virtue In this speach, Robespierre provided a comprehensive statement of his political theory while advocating the use of terror in defending democracy, which he equated with virtue.In his speech, Robespierre advocated many of the ideals expressed in the French
“liberty trees” were a symbol of the French Revolution, the first being planted in 1790 by a pastor of a Vienne village, inspired by the 1765 Liberty Tree of Boston.
Festival of Unity The Sanculottide celebrated in leap years should be the festival of the national unity. Representants from all parts of the country should meet each other in the capital and fete together.
Cult of Reason Official religion at the height of radical Jacobinism in France from 1793-94.
Cult of the Supreme Being was a religion based on deism devised by Maximilien Robespierre, intended to become the state religion after the French Revolution.
Metric System a decimalised system of measurement based on the metre and the gram. has been the internationally recognised standard metric system. Invented during French Revolution
Charlotte Corday was the assassin of Jean-Paul Marat.
Jean-Paul Marat was a Swiss-born French scientist and physician who made much of his career in the United Kingdom, but is best known as an activist in the French Revolution. He was stabbed to death in his bathtub by self-proclaimed Girondist Charlotte Corday.
Vendee Revolt During the French Revolution, the 1793-1796 uprising in the Vendée, variously known as the Uprising, Insurrection, Revolt, Vendéan Rebellion, or Wars in the Vendée, was the largest internal counter-revolution to the new Republic.
Georges-Jacques Danton (October 26, 1759 – April 5, 1794) was a leading figure in the early stages of the French Revolution.
The Thermidorian Reaction a revolt in the French Revolution against the excesses of Reign of Terror, leading to the arrest and execution of Robespierre and several other leading members of the Committee of Public Safety.
The Directory held executive power in France from November 2, 1795 until November 10, 1799: following the Convention and preceding the Consulate. Five Directors shared power.
Napoleon Bonaparte was a general during the French Revolution, the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from 11 November 1799 to 18 May 1804, and Emperor of the French.
The assassination of King Gustavus III He fell victim to a widespread conspiracy among his aristocratic enemies. Shot in the back by Jacob Johan Anckarström at a midnight masquerade at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, on March 16, 1792, he died on March 29.
Tadeusz Kosciuszko was a Polish and Lithuanian national hero, general and a leader of 1794 uprising (which bears his name) against the Russian Empire. He fought in the American Revolutionary War as a colonel in the Continental Army on the side of Washington.
Francois Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture was one of the leaders of the Haïtian Revolution. Along with Jean-Jacques Dessalines, another leader of the Revolution, He is considered as one of the fathers of the Haitian nation
Haitian Slave Revolt was the most successful of the many African slave rebellions in the Western Hemisphere and established Haiti as a free, black republic, the first of its kind.
The First Consul was the title given to one of the three leaders of the French government installed in 1799.; in fact, Napoleon held this post.
Second and Third Partition of Poland, 1793-1795 The country was partitioned by its neighbors and erased from the map in 1795. Although the majority of the szlachta were reconciled to the end of the Commonwealth in 1795, the idea of Polish independence was kept alive by events inside and outside of Pola
De-Christianization This progression, during the French Revolution is a conventional description of the results of a number of separate policies, conducted by various governments of France , to become athiest.
General Maximum created on September 9, 1793, extended the Law of Suspects to most other areas of the revolutionary French economy.
September 22,1792 start of new calendar Years appear in writing as Roman numerals (usually), counted from the beginning of the 'Republican Era', 22 September 1792 (the day the French First Republic was proclaimed, one day after the Convention abolished the monarchy).
Helvetic Republic was a state lasting for five years, from 1798 to 1803.During the French Revolutionary Wars, the revolutionary armies boiled eastward, enveloping Switzerland in their battles against Austria.
Napoleon invades Egypt In March 1798, Bonaparte proposed a military expedition to seize this province of the Ottoman Empire, seeking to protect French trade interests and undermine Britain's access to India: among their discoveries was the finding of the Rosetta Stone.
The Society of United Irishmen This was a republican political organisation in eighteenth century Ireland that sought independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Jacques-Louis David was a highly influential French painter in the Neoclassical style. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity towards a classical austerity and severity
Created by: alfromcanada on 2007-01-17



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