Page 1 of 7
October, 25th 2012
French Revolution Newspaper Table of Contents: Napoleon is Dead Louis XVI and his wife
Reign of Terror
Letter to the King
Tennis Court Oath
Cross Word Puzzle
Authors: Shelby Radford, Shelby Lewis, Austin Horn, Alyssa Robinson, and Morgan Cook
Napoleon is Dead Napoleon Bonaparte has been
we know, he had allies who still were in France who were sending him details about current news and events. He was also planning on how he was going to regain
pronounced dead yesterday, year 1821. He
power once again. Nearly a year later,
lived a lonely exile for six years, writing his
Napoleon had sought his opportunity.
memoirs. Some say his cause of death was from a stomach ailment, perhaps cancer. This French general made history throughout his years. The most popular memory has to be The Battle of Waterloo. We all thought this vile, little general had been exiled to a remote island, Elba, off the Italian coast. But in reality, he was free on that island. He was able to do whatever he wanted, including writing letters. Little did
During that time, Louis XVIâ€™s brother has assumed throne as Louis XVIII. Quickly this new king had become unpopular among the estates, but mostly our home estate, the 3rd. He was suspected as wanting to undo the Revolutions land reforms, which wouldnâ€™t be good for us considering the current high taxation laws. These left the king weak and open as a perfect target. Once the news reached to
Page 2 of 7
Napoleon he took action. Napoleon saw an advantage at the king’s troubles to help him-self regain power in France. On March 1st, 1815, Napoleon escaped from the tiny island called Elba. He landed in France welcomed by joyous crowds on the march to Paris. Thousands of volunteers swelled the ranks of his army. Within days Napoleon, once again, was emperor of France. Around this time is when European allies joined together to defeat Napoleon (British and Prussian army’s). The battle was to take place in a village called Waterloo in Belgium. The battle had begun June 18, 1815. The battle lasted two days until Napoleons exhausted troops gave away, and the British and Prussian forces chased them off the field. This concluded Napoleons last bid of power called the Hundred Days. No chances were taken this time; Napoleon was shipped to St. Helena Island, a remote island in the South Atlantic.
Execution of Louis XIV and His Wife King Louis XVI has caused many problems with the government and was also considered a weak leader. One politician noted, “His reign was a succession of feeble attempts at doing good, shows of weakness, and clear evidence of his inadequacy as a leader.” Louis wasn’t the only one causing problems; his wife, Marie Antoinette, was rich and spent a lot of money on gowns, jewels, gambling, and gifts. This definitely wasn’t helping the government that was already in dept, so the people began to get angry at Louis and his wife for causing so many problems for the government. There swept a great fear over France because Louis said that he indented on using military force to dismiss the National Assembly. Others stated that the foreign troops were coming to Paris to massacre French citizens. Peasants also armed themselves with pitchforks and other farm equipment and broke into nobles homes. In addition to all of the other chaos, Parisian woman rioted over the rising price of bread. Due to all of the craziness, people started to take their anger towards the king and queen. This just adds on to the anger that the people who are already mad at Louis and Marie for making the government’s dept worse. The people finally had enough of each of them, so they sentenced them both to be executed by the Guillotine. Louis tried to
Page 3 of 7
escape but was stopped by a citizen who recognized him from his portrait on a French bank note. Louisâ€™s attempt at escape also increased the influence of his radical enemies in the government and sealed his fate.
Above is a picture of Robespierre
Reign of Terror: The Reign of Terror was the darkest times in France. Robespierre was the mastermind of the Reign of Terror. He was the leader of the Committee of Public Safety, the executive committee of the National Convention, and the most powerful man in France. Robespierre took control and ruined the lives of many innocent citizens. This man wanted to wipe out every trace of Franceâ€™s past. He practically destroyed religion, and killed very many people. He justified his use of terror by suggesting that it enabled French citizens to remain true to the ideas of the
Revolution. However, no one else really thought that it was virtuous of him to be this way. The terror gripped everyone: the famous, the unknown, and the peasants. As many as 40,000 people were killed during the terror. 85% of those people were of the 3rd class. People would get killed for saying something critical of the revolutionary government. If Robespierre heard of it, the person was tried in the morning, and guillotined in the afternoon. The Terror was designed to fight the enemies of the revolution, to prevent counter-revolution from gaining ground. Most of the people rounded up were not aristocrats, but ordinary people. Watch
Page 4 of 7
Committees around the nation were encouraged to arrest "suspected persons ... those who, either by their conduct or their relationships, by their remarks or by their writing, are shown to be partisans of tyranny and federalism and enemies of liberty" (Law of Suspects, 1793). Civil liberties were suspended. The Convention ordered that "If material or moral proof exists, independently of the evidence of witnesses, the latter will not be heard, unless this formality should appear necessary, either to discover accomplices or for other important reasons concerning the public interest." The promises of the Declaration of the Rights of Man were forgotten. Terror was the order of the day. In the words of Maximilien Robespierre, "Softness to traitors will destroy us all." In 1794, some members of the National Convention turned on Robespierre. They demanded his arrest and execution. He was killed by his favorite instrument of terror: the guillotine. The terror ended like it began- someone being slaughtered by the cold, relentless blade.
Letter to the King Dear King Louis XVI, I am a peasant in the third estate social class. I am writing to inform you that privileges and taxing in the old regime are not fair. As you know the old regime is a political system that remains in place right now. Under this system the people of France are divided into three large social classes: The first, second, and third estate. 97% of the people are members of the third estate, which means that the third estate deserves the same rights and privileges as the first and second. Three groups make up the third estate. The first group is basically the middle class, bankers, factory owners, merchants, professionals and skilled artisans are included in it. Some of the people of this group are about as rich as the nobles, but still pay higher taxes than the other estates. The second group, which is the poorest group of the third estate, contains workers of France’s cities, such as trades people, apprentices, or laborers. Lastly, the third and largest group consists of 80% of France’s 26 million people. The heavily taxed third estate lacks privileges and urges for change. The first estate is made up of clergy of Roman Catholic Church. The people of this estate think nothing needs to be changed because they like not paying little or no taxes. This estate pays only 2% of France’s income taxes. The second estate is made up of rich nobles who hold the
Page 5 of 7
highest offices in government, and pays 0% of Franceâ€™s income taxes. Both of these estates disagree about enlightenment ideas, while the third estate encourages it. In fact, the third estate started thinking about wanting change because the enlightenment brought new views about power and authority in government. As a member of the third estate, I strongly urge you to make changes. Do you really want the country that your governing to be unfair, or do you want everyone to have the same rights? Sincerely,
A peasant who urges for change Editorial:
The Tennis Court Oath On June 17, 1789, the Estates voted to establish the National Assembly, in intentions to change having an absolute monarchy and the beginning of a representative government, which was the first sign of a revolution. The meeting was held three days later on Jun 20, 1789. But then the third estate found that they were locked out of the meeting room by the first and second estates. The third estate decided to break into an indoor tennis court, and pledged to stay until they had written a new constitution without the first and second estate. When realizing that they favored the idea of a new constitution, members of the clergy and nobles joined the third estate. The pledge they proclaimed was named Tennis Court Oath.
While they discussed the new changes in government, some people suggested that Louis XVI was going to order military to force the dismissal of the National Assembly. Others thought that troops from foreign countries were coming to kill French citizens. This caused great distress in Paris. People started to gather weapons in hopes of trying to defend themselves and Paris. On July 14, 1789, and mob in search of arms and gun powder stormed the Bastille. The Bastille was a Paris prison, and once they stormed it they gained control and let some prisoners go. And around one hundred people were killed. This day is called Bastille Day, and is a French national holiday and is very similar to our Independence Day, which is July 4.
Page 6 of 7
To the left is a picture of the tennis court oath.
Collaborative Piece: (Crossword Puzzle)
Page 7 of 7