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French Revolution

Old Regime social and political system in France before the Revolution
estates one of the three social classes in France before the French Revolution. 1st = clergy, 2nd = nobility, 3rd = rest of the population
Louis XVI King that spent money on extravagant things (wasted money)
Marie Antoinette Queen that spent money leading to France’s debt
Estates-General an assembly of representatives from all three estates
National Assembly a French congress established by representatives of the Third Estate to make laws and reforms for the French people
Tennis Court Oath a pledge made by the members of France’s National Assembly in 1789 in which they vowed to continue meeting until they had drawn up a new constitution.
Great Fear wave of panic that spread through France after the storming of the Bastille in 1789
Legislative Assembly French congress with the power to create laws and approve declarations of war, established by the Constitution of 1791
sans-culottes radical group made up of Parisian wage-earners and small shopkeepers who wanted a greater voice in government, lower prices, and an end to food shortages
Jacobins radical political organization that wanted governmental changes who tried Louis XVI for treason. Led by Robespierre
guillotine machine for beheading people, used as a means of execution during the French Revolution
Maximilien Robespierre Jacobin leader who gained power in 1793, set out to build a “republic of virtue” by wiping out France’s past. Led to Reign of Terror.
Reign of Terror period from 1793-1794 when Robespierre ruled France nearly as a dictator and thousands of political figures and ordinary citizens were executed
Napoleon Bonaparte great military genius who became leader of France after Revolution, created an empire complete with code of laws.
coup d'etat sudden seizure of political power in a nation
plebiscite direct vote in which a country’s people have the opportunity to approve or reject a proposal.
lycees government run public school in France
Concordat a formal agreement – especially one between the pope and a government, dealing with the control of Church affairs
Napoleonic Code comprehensive and uniform system of laws established for France by Napoleon
Battle of Trafalgar an 1805 naval battle in which Napoleon’s forces were defeated by a British fleet under the command of Horatio Nelson
blockade use of troops or ships to prevent commercial traffic from entering or leaving a city or region
continental system Napoleon’s policy of preventing trade between Great Britain and continental Europe, intended to destroy Great Britain’s economy
guerillas loosely organized fighting force that makes surprise attacks on enemy troops occupying his or her country
Peninsular War a conflict lasting from 1808 to 1813, in which Spanish rebels, with the aid of British forces, fought to drive Napoleon’s French troops out of Spain
scorched-earth policy the practice of burning crops and killing livestock during wartime so that the enemy cannot live off the land
Waterloo battle France lost to British/Prussian forces that ended Napoleon’s reign.
Hundred Days brief period during 1815 when Napoleon made his last bid for power, deposing the French king and again becoming emperor of France
Congress of Vienna a series of meetings in 1814-1815 during which European leaders sought to establish long-lasting peace and security after the defeat of Napoleon
Klemens von Metternich Austrian Prince that wanted to prevent future French aggression by surrounding France with strong countries (balance of power), and restore Europe’s royal families to the thrones they held before Napoleon
balance of power a political situation in which no one nation is powerful enough to pose a threat to others
legitimacy the hereditary right of a monarch to rule
Holy Alliance a league of European nations formed by the leaders of Russia, Austria, and Prussia after the Congress of Vienna
Concert of Europe a series of alliances among European nations in the 19th century, devised by Prince Klemens von Metternich to prevent the outbreak of revolutions
Created by: WGZimm