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Chapter 23

The French Revolution and Napoleon

TermDefinition
Old Regime The political and social system that existed in France before the French Revolution.
Estate One of the three social classes in France before the French Revolution-The First Estate consisting of the clergy; the Second Estate, of the nobility; and the Third Estate, of the rest of the population.
Louis XVI French King prior to the French Revolution. He spent a large amount of money, and put France very far into debt. He wanted to improve the lives of French citizens, but was not an effective king.
Marie Antoinette French Queen prior to the French Revolution. She was widely unpopular among the French citizens, because of her spending habits.
Estates-General An assembly of representatives from all three of the estates, or social classes, in France.
National Assembly A French congress established by representatives of the Third Estate on June 17, 1789, to enact laws and reforms in the name of 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 A wave of senseless panic that spread through the French countryside after the storming of the Bastille in 1789.
Legislative Assembly A French congress with the power to create laws and approve declarations of war, established by the Constitution of 1791.
Emigre A person who leaves their country for political reasons, like the nobles and others who fled France during the peasant uprisings of the French Revolution
Sans-culotte In the French Revolution, a radial 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.
Guillotine A machine for beheading people, used as a means of execution during the French Revolution,
Maximilien Robespierre Leader of the Reign of Terror. He sought to restore French virtue and destroy any remains of France's past.
Reign of Terror The period, from mid-1793 to mid-1794, when Maximilien Robespierre ruled France nearly as a dictator and thousands of political figures and ordinary citizens were executed.
Napoleon Bonaparte French emperor and military genius that built France into an empire.
Coup d'etat A sudden seizure of political power in a nation.
Plebiscite A direct vote in which a country's people have the opportunity to approve or reject a proposal.
Lycee A 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 A 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 The 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.
Guerrilla A member of a loosely organized fighting force that makes surprise attacks on enemy troops occupying his/her country.
Peninsular War A conflict, lasting from 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 livestock during wartime so that the enemy cannot live off the land.
Hundred Days The 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 the European leaders sought to establish long-lasting peace and security after the defeat of Napoleon.
Klemens von Metternich Austrian Prince that led the Congress of Vienna. His aim was to prevent another person from gaining too much power like Napoleon and wanted to restore the balance of power in Europe.
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: tj03tayl