History UsefulNotes / TheFrenchRevolution

11th Jul '16 8:40:41 PM karstovich2
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* The third season of ''Podcast/{{Revolutions}}'' by Creator/MikeDuncan is a history of the French Revolution.

to:

* The third season of ''Podcast/{{Revolutions}}'' by Creator/MikeDuncan is a history of the French Revolution.
Revolution. It is engrossing and highly detailed for a non-academic history, and by far the longest season of the podcast (clocking in at 54 approximately half-hour episodes, plus a few supplemental episodes, for what is about ''27 hours'' of material on the subject--none of the others have gone beyond 19 episodes plus supplementals).
13th May '16 11:03:39 AM TheOneWhoTropes
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* ''Jefferson in Paris'', a biopic of ThomasJefferson during his time as Ambassador in France, showing the events leading up to the French Revolution.

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* ''Jefferson in Paris'', a biopic of ThomasJefferson UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson during his time as Ambassador in France, showing the events leading up to the French Revolution.
8th May '16 3:16:23 PM Jhonny
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The era in French History known for MarieAntoinette [[BeamMeUpScotty allegedly]] giving her subjects dietary advice.[[note]]She supposedly said "Let them eat cake", in response to being told that all the poor people had run out of bread. It demonstrated extreme stupidity and/or disregard for the poor. But there's no proof that she actually said it.[[/note]] They responded by storming Versailles and putting her and her husband Louis XVI to death by the guillotine. Everyone in this time period wore pastel-colored satin, big fancy wigs, fake beauty marks, and snorted snuff like it was cocaine. Unless they were poor, in which case they wore trousers with tricolor badges and sang "String the aristocrats from the lamp posts!" whilst [[TorchesAndPitchforks waving their pitchforks]] and gnashing their rotting teeth. Don't forget about taking down ''l'Ancien Régime'', a word invented during the Revolution to describe what they were fighting against. It promised Liberty, Equality, Fraternity but [[MeetTheNewBoss led to the rise of]] UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte. He marched across Europe, stopped only by Richard {{Sharpe}} or the [[WarAndPeace Russian winter]], depending on your nationality.

to:

The era in French History known for MarieAntoinette [[BeamMeUpScotty allegedly]] giving her subjects dietary advice.[[note]]She supposedly said "Let them eat cake", in response to being told that all the poor people had run out of bread. It demonstrated extreme stupidity and/or disregard for the poor. But there's no proof that she actually said it.it and good reason to believe she didn't.[[/note]] They responded by storming Versailles and putting her and her husband Louis XVI to death by the guillotine. Everyone in this time period wore pastel-colored satin, big fancy wigs, fake beauty marks, and snorted snuff like it was cocaine. Unless they were poor, in which case they wore trousers with tricolor badges and sang "String the aristocrats from the lamp posts!" whilst [[TorchesAndPitchforks waving their pitchforks]] and gnashing their rotting teeth. Don't forget about taking down ''l'Ancien Régime'', a word invented during the Revolution to describe what they were fighting against. It promised Liberty, Equality, Fraternity but [[MeetTheNewBoss led to the rise of]] UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte. He marched across Europe, stopped only by Richard {{Sharpe}} or the [[WarAndPeace Russian winter]], depending on your nationality.
28th Apr '16 6:22:49 PM psnuker
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* To meet the challenge of the war, the [[EmergencyAuthority emergency laws]] of the Terror were unleashed. The National Convention apppointed the Commitee of Public Safety, essentially the first war cabinet, and provided them mandate to ensure that the government remains "Revolutionary until the Peace". This introduced mass {{Conscription}} - the Levee en masse issued by the great engineer Lazare Carnot. This involved able-bodied men, women and children performing all kinds of actions in what is often seen as the first attempt to mount a total war. Women were sent to hospitals and sent to work while the men were sent to fight the War in all kinds of capacities. Such initiative and mobilization would be repeated on a far grander scale during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.

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* To meet the challenge of the war, the [[EmergencyAuthority emergency laws]] of the Terror were unleashed. The National Convention apppointed the Commitee of Public Safety, essentially the first war cabinet, and provided them mandate to ensure that the government remains "Revolutionary until the Peace". This introduced mass {{Conscription}} - the Levee en masse issued by the great engineer Lazare Carnot. This involved able-bodied men, women and children performing all kinds of actions in what is often seen as the first attempt to mount a total war. Women were sent to hospitals and sent to work while the men were sent to fight the War in all kinds of capacities. Such initiative and mobilization would be repeated on a far grander scale during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI and UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
24th Apr '16 9:23:04 AM SinDustries
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The more cynical version of the French Revolution is that it wasn't nearly that much fun. Start with a series of nations (Britanny, Gascogne, etc. etc.) that kind of hate and have to share a realm with each other, bound, if at all, by King and Church. Most of France, outside of Paris, don't really feel this unified 'French' identity and nobody's sure if this idea of the "nation" can really replace the centuries old traditions of feudal monarchy backed by the Church, and most are still skeptical that a Republic can govern a large nation since it had hitherto only been observed in [[UsefulNotes/TheCityStateEra Italian City-States]] and the ancient world which covered a smaller area. Even Creator/JeanJacquesRousseau, the intellectual spirit behind the Revolution, was skeptical of the last part. There was also the fact that France was drained by three major world wars in the last hundred years, and lots of smaller ones besides (UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution in particular, which basically boiled down to Britain vs France [[note]]The Revolutionary War had fronts in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and India [[/note]] to get back for [[UsefulNotes/SevenYearsWar the last one]]). In addition, there are these expensive-to-make-and-keep royal palaces, a new and very young king and queen who don't have a clue how to run the country, a nobility that did not want to pay exorbitant taxes even if they had money and didn't use it at all, with the emerging middle and lower-classes being asked to foot an exorbitant bill. A feudal nation held in an obsolete Absolute Monarchy that missed the reforms that modernized England in the last hundred years, leaving France with a rigid social system more or less akin to castes. Over and above, there was the escalating famine, where bread is too expensive for the average person in the Parisian Basin to buy. What the great Mirabeau said about the elite of France's slave-run colony in Haiti applies equally to the metropole, "They were sleeping on the slopes of Vesuvius."

Even the King realized this, and his various finance ministers (Turgot, Necker, and Callonne) spent the better part of the 1780s trying to figure out a way to reform the royal finances and thus avert financial catastrophe. They had a number of good ideas (and a large number of not-so-good ones), but that didn't really matter because in order for any royal decree to come into effect as law, it had to be registered by the ''parlements''--local judicial and quasi-legislative assemblies of jurists across France that held an important role in France's legislative process (you thought the King's word was law? He wished!) As it so happened, the ''parlements'' were made up of people who to a man would be adversely affected by any serious reform, and they used every trick in the book to prevent or at least delay registration of any reform laws--and very effectively, since they were all lawyers. Thus in late 1786, the King called an "Assembly of Notables"--an appointed body of high-ranking and prominent men called in to advise the King, not called since 1620, in the hope that that would pressure the ''parlements'' to register the laws. No such luck--when the Notables met in 1787, they were mostly from the same class as the members of the ''parlements'', and uniformly the response of the Assembly was "We can't help you. The only way to get around the ''parlements'' is to call the Estates-General."

Louis wasn't too pleased at this, since (1) he knew that (the Assembly of Notables, after all, existed to ''go through'' the ''parlements'' by making them succumb to pressure), and (2) calling an Estates-General was exactly what he'd been trying to avoid. The Estates-General was an ancient body, going back to the truly feudal era, and largely similar to the old structure of the English/British Parliament: an assembly of clergy (the "First Estate"), an assembly of nobles (the "Second Estate"),[[note]]Of course, these first two are merged in the English system, but let's forget that[[/note]] and of everyone else (the "Third Estate"); each "estate" was to choose its representatives, who would then meet and discuss and advise the King on important matters of state--particularly matters of finance (as France's patchwork tax system was often structured in a way that made it hard to change without an Estates-General). Louis knew that if he called an Estates-General, he could probably force through the needed financial reforms, but he also knew that the same Estates-General might attempt to conduct reforms and make demands that went beyond the royal finances, possibly even holding the financial reforms hostage to gain concessions (despite being a little dim, Louis was well aware that this is more or less exactly what had happened to [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfStuart Charles I of England]] about [[UsefulNotes/EnglishCivilWar 150 years previously]]). There was a ''reason'' that none of the French monarchs had seen fit to call one since 1614--an Estates-General was a powerful tool because of the immense legitimacy it had to make big changes, but that same legitimacy made it extremely ''dangerous''. Better, Louis thought, to try to make do with what was possible without the Estates. But the Assembly of Notables was his last chance, and they told him in no uncertain terms that he had no options. So in May 1789, King Louis XVI called a meeting of the Estates-General at Versailles.

to:

The more cynical version of the French Revolution is that it wasn't nearly that much fun. Start with a series of nations (Britanny, Gascogne, etc. etc.) that kind of hate and yet have to share a realm with each other, bound, if at all, by King and Church. Most of France, outside of Paris, don't really feel this unified 'French' identity identity, and nobody's sure if this idea of the "nation" can really replace the centuries old centuries-old traditions of feudal monarchy backed by the Church, and most are still skeptical that a Republic can govern a large nation since it had hitherto only been observed in [[UsefulNotes/TheCityStateEra Italian City-States]] and the ancient world world, which covered a smaller area. Even Creator/JeanJacquesRousseau, the intellectual spirit behind the Revolution, was skeptical of the last part. There was also the fact that France was drained by three major world wars in the last hundred years, and lots of smaller ones besides (UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution in particular, which basically boiled down to Britain vs France [[note]]The Revolutionary War had fronts in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and India [[/note]] to get back for [[UsefulNotes/SevenYearsWar the last one]]). In addition, there are these expensive-to-make-and-keep royal palaces, a new and very young king and queen who don't have a clue how to run the country, a nobility that did not want to pay exorbitant taxes even if they had money and didn't use it at all, with the emerging middle and lower-classes being asked to foot an exorbitant bill. A feudal nation held in an obsolete Absolute Monarchy that missed the reforms that modernized England in the last hundred years, leaving France with a rigid social system more or less akin to castes. Over and above, there was the escalating famine, where bread is too expensive for the average person in the Parisian Basin to buy. What the great Mirabeau said about the elite of France's slave-run colony in Haiti applies equally to the metropole, "They were sleeping on the slopes of Vesuvius."

Even the King realized this, and his various finance ministers (Turgot, Necker, and Callonne) spent the better part of the 1780s trying to figure out a way to reform the royal finances and thus avert financial catastrophe. They had a number of good ideas (and a large number of not-so-good ones), but that didn't really matter because in order for any royal decree to come into effect as law, it had to be registered by the ''parlements''--local judicial and quasi-legislative assemblies of jurists across France that held an important role in France's legislative process (you thought the King's word was law? He wished!) As it so happened, the ''parlements'' were made up of people who to a the last man would be adversely affected by any serious reform, and they used every trick in the book to prevent or at least delay registration of any reform laws--and very effectively, since they were all lawyers. Thus in late 1786, the King called an "Assembly of Notables"--an appointed body of high-ranking and prominent men called in to advise the King, not called since 1620, in the hope that that would pressure the ''parlements'' to register the laws. No such luck--when the Notables met in 1787, they were mostly from the same class as the members of the ''parlements'', and uniformly the response of the Assembly was "We can't help you. The only way to get around the ''parlements'' is to call the Estates-General."

Louis wasn't too pleased at this, since (1) he knew that (the Assembly of Notables, after all, existed to ''go through'' the ''parlements'' by making them succumb to pressure), and (2) calling an Estates-General was exactly what he'd been trying to avoid. The Estates-General was an ancient body, going back to the truly feudal era, and largely similar to the old structure of the English/British Parliament: an assembly of clergy (the "First Estate"), an assembly of nobles (the "Second Estate"),[[note]]Of course, these first two are merged in the English system, but let's forget that[[/note]] and of everyone else (the "Third Estate"); each "estate" was to choose chose its representatives, who would then meet and discuss and advise the King on important matters of state--particularly matters of finance (as France's patchwork tax system was often structured in a way that made it hard to change without an Estates-General). Louis knew that if he called an Estates-General, he could probably force through the needed financial reforms, but he also knew that the same Estates-General might attempt to conduct reforms and make demands that went beyond the royal finances, possibly even holding the financial reforms hostage to gain concessions (despite being a little dim, Louis was well aware that this is more or less exactly what had happened to [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfStuart Charles I of England]] about [[UsefulNotes/EnglishCivilWar 150 years previously]]). There was a ''reason'' that none of the French monarchs had seen fit to call one since 1614--an Estates-General was a powerful tool because of the immense legitimacy it had to make big changes, but that same legitimacy made it extremely ''dangerous''. Better, Louis thought, to try to make do with what was possible without the Estates. But the Assembly of Notables was his last chance, and they told him in no uncertain terms that he had no options. So in May 1789, King Louis XVI called a meeting of the Estates-General at Versailles.
24th Apr '16 8:52:07 AM SinDustries
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The era in French History known for MarieAntoinette [[BeamMeUpScotty allegedly]] giving her subjects dietary advice.[[note]]She supposedly said "Let them eat cake", in response to being told that all the poor people had run out of bread. It demonstrated extreme stupidity and/or disregard for the poor. But there's no proof that she actually said it.[[/note]] They responded by storming Versailles and putting her and her husband Louis XVI to death by the guillotine. Everyone in this time period wore pastel-colored satin, big fancy wigs, fake beauty marks, and snorted snuff like it was cocaine. Unless they were poor, in which case they wore trousers with tricolor badges and sung "String the aristocrats from the lamp posts!" whilst [[TorchesAndPitchforks waving their pitchforks]] and gnashing their rotting teeth. Don't forget about taking down ''l'Ancien Régime'', a word invented during the Revolution to describe what they were fighting against. It promised Liberty, Equality, Fraternity but [[MeetTheNewBoss led to the rise of]] UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte. He marched across Europe, stopped only by Richard {{Sharpe}} or the [[WarAndPeace Russian winter]], depending on your nationality.

to:

The era in French History known for MarieAntoinette [[BeamMeUpScotty allegedly]] giving her subjects dietary advice.[[note]]She supposedly said "Let them eat cake", in response to being told that all the poor people had run out of bread. It demonstrated extreme stupidity and/or disregard for the poor. But there's no proof that she actually said it.[[/note]] They responded by storming Versailles and putting her and her husband Louis XVI to death by the guillotine. Everyone in this time period wore pastel-colored satin, big fancy wigs, fake beauty marks, and snorted snuff like it was cocaine. Unless they were poor, in which case they wore trousers with tricolor badges and sung sang "String the aristocrats from the lamp posts!" whilst [[TorchesAndPitchforks waving their pitchforks]] and gnashing their rotting teeth. Don't forget about taking down ''l'Ancien Régime'', a word invented during the Revolution to describe what they were fighting against. It promised Liberty, Equality, Fraternity but [[MeetTheNewBoss led to the rise of]] UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte. He marched across Europe, stopped only by Richard {{Sharpe}} or the [[WarAndPeace Russian winter]], depending on your nationality.
20th Apr '16 7:48:03 PM PaulA
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* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}: Reign of Terror'': An {{Elseworlds}} story set during the French Revolution with Bruce Wayne as a French nobleman who becomes a masked crimefighter carrying convicted innocents out of France, a la TheScarletPimpernel.

to:

* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}: Reign of Terror'': An {{Elseworlds}} story set during the French Revolution with Bruce Wayne as a French nobleman who becomes a masked crimefighter carrying convicted innocents out of France, a la TheScarletPimpernel.Literature/TheScarletPimpernel.
5th Apr '16 9:59:14 AM Faberlich
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* ''Film/LesVisiteurs''. The knight Godefroy of Montmirail and his squire Jacquouille have been sent to this era by mistake at the end of the second film, ''The Corridors of Time''. The third film, ''The Revolution'', deals with their fate as they are stranded during this era.
3rd Apr '16 8:29:24 PM JulianLapostat
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* EndOfAnEra: The French Revolution effectively signaled the end of the Age of Enlightenment, its ideals and products choked to death by all the blood spilled in its name.
3rd Apr '16 5:08:21 PM Alceister
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* EatTheRich: The UrExample for this StockPhrase came about near this time when Jean-Jacques Rousseau reportedly said, "When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich". Anti-rich violence is a popular image of the Revolution and its TruthInTelevision. One instance is the death of Foullon de Doué, referred to in ''Literature/ATaleOfTwoCities''. The finance minister was highly unpopular, hated by his own tax collectors and was rumoured to have said, "If those rascals have no bread, let them eat hay!" After 14 Juillet, he tried [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere to flee to his country estate]] but the mob caught him, dragged him back to Paris at the Hotel de Ville and after several attempts to lynch him on a lamp-post beheaded him and stuffed his mouth with grass and paraded around Paris on a pike. On the same day, his son-in-law was killed and beheaded as well, and a creative mob decided to make him [[{{Squick}} "Kiss Daddy"]] by pushing [[NoYay one head against the other]].

to:

* EatTheRich: The UrExample for this StockPhrase came about near this time when Jean-Jacques Rousseau reportedly said, "When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich". Anti-rich violence is a popular image of the Revolution and its it is TruthInTelevision. One instance is the death of Foullon de Doué, referred to in ''Literature/ATaleOfTwoCities''. The finance minister was highly unpopular, hated by his own tax collectors and was rumoured to have said, "If those rascals have no bread, let them eat hay!" After 14 Juillet, he tried [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere to flee to his country estate]] but the mob caught him, dragged him back to Paris at the Hotel de Ville and after several attempts to lynch him on a lamp-post beheaded him and stuffed his mouth with grass and paraded around Paris on a pike. On the same day, his son-in-law was killed and beheaded as well, and a creative mob decided to make him [[{{Squick}} "Kiss Daddy"]] by pushing [[NoYay one head against the other]].other]].
* EndOfAnEra: The French Revolution effectively signaled the end of the Age of Enlightenment, its ideals and products choked to death by all the blood spilled in its name.
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