REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE

The Big Questions 2

The Big Questions 2

The First Years of the Republic

Questions relating to this period will focus on:

Revolutionary France - AS Level History* Military victories against Austria and the Allies and peace with Prussia and Spain.

* On-going violence and war within France.

* The National Convention, creation of the Committees of General Security and Public Safety, the Reign of Terror and the revolutionary dictatorship.

* The significance of Robespierre and the development of opposition to him.

* The Thermidorian Reaction against the Reign of Terror, the execution of Robespierre and the change from the Convention to the Directory.

* The unpopularity of the Directory and its failure to deal with political and social instability.

The Rise of Napoleon and the Napoleonic Period

The key features of Napoleonic rule that are examined at As level history & A level history are:

Napoleon - AS Level History
* The military successes of Napoleon Bonaparte prior to 1799.

* The events of the Eighteenth Brumaire and the Sieyes/Napoleon coup.

* Napoleon’s consolidation of power, including the establishment of the Consulat, the Concordat with the Catholic Church and the 1802 plebiscite that made Napoleon ‘consul for life’, and his crowning as Emperor in 1804.

* The domestic significance of Napoleon’s military victories (especially in terms of Napoleon’s consolidation of power) and the establishment of the Empire.

* The implementation of the Napoleonic Code in France and in the Empire, and social reforms such as the establishment of lyces in 1802.

* Economic reforms brought in by Napoleon, including the taxation system and the Continental System, and their economic impact on France.

* Basic details of the reversal in the Empire’s fortunes (especially following the invasion of Russia) and the defeat of the Empire.

Example questions

Sans Culotte - AS Level History1) What problems did Louis XVI face in the 1780s?

2) Why did the Constitutional Monarchy fail?

3) Why did the Directory fail?

4) What were the main causes of political and social instability in the Republic between 1792 and 1799?

5) What was the role played in the Revolution by the sans culottes between 1789 and 1793?

6) How did Napoleon consolidate his rule after 1799?

7) To what extent did the French Republic live up to the ideals of libert, galit, fraternit?

Recap: The Big Questions

* The problems faced by the ancien regime

* Opposition to the ancient regime and Republican intellectual currents

* The failure of Constitutional monarchy and the establishment of a Republic

* The Terror and political instability during the first years of the Republic

* How and why Napoleon rose to power

* The creation of the Empire


Key Information

Using our As level history & A level history revision guide and your own notes, note down key information relating to the principal questions above, dividing it into the following areas:

The ancien regime and the roots of the Revolution

The end of absolutist monarchy

The first years of the Republic

The rise of Napoleon and the Napoleonic period

You may also wish to consider a more detailed knowledge of the development of absolute monarchy in France. So there is a more details account of Louis XIV below.

Louis XIV

The Big Questions

Louis XIV - AS Level History* The nature of the absolutist monarchy Louis created

* The extent to which ‘absolutism’ really did mean absolute rule

* Louis’s relations with the Church

* Louis’s foreign policies

* The visual and aesthetic components of Louis’s rule

Key Information

Using our revision guide and your own notes, note down key information relating to the principal questions above, dividing it into the following areas:

Creating an Absolutist State

Relations with other European monarchies until 1685

France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes