The French Revolution :it was the best of times and it was the
worst of times it was the spring of hope but also the winter of despair this is
the French Revolution the French Revolution is probably one of the most
important revolutions in world history it shattered the idea of medieval
monarchies with absolute power and brought France and the rest of the world
into the postmodern era but it would take ten years of violence anarchy and
civil war to do so and it all starts in 1756 with the Seven Years War the Seven
Years War was a world war before it was cool and approached everyone in Europe
America and even parts of Asia took part and France lost badly they lost all the
territories in North America two hundred thousand soldiers as well as
getting eight billion livre into death the guy that started and ended the war
King Louis the 15th needed to tax his nobles but it wasn’t gonna be easy
because to pay for the war he gave the nobles tax exemption and now they
weren’t gonna give it up so easily especially because the people that were
Nobles were people that bought their offices so the richest people in France
didn’t pay taxes. He tries to push a bill through the parliament but the
Parliament says no this goes on for about ten years and he finally gets the
nobles to pay taxes but it won’t last long because five years later King Louis
the 15th would be dead and the 19 year old Louis XVI would be put on
the throne instead in 1774 Louis got convinced by his Nobles thought you know
maybe you should scrap that thing about us paying taxes, and because he was
19 and very impressionable Louis said ok but he was still in debt and he needed a
way to get out of it. his finance minister saw an opportunity when in 1776
some farmers in the new world revolted against the British because they didn’t
want to pay taxes and stamps and tea necker says to Louis we could get into this
war and we’ll get so much money from the war reparations that we can pay off all
and our debt and it’ll be so quick that we don’t even have to pay interest on
the loan. Except the war in America wouldn’t be sure and it was last 8 years
but by 1789 the jig was up and they weren’t just in debt they were broke
so louis says to his nobles I’m gonna tax you for an unknowable amount for an unknowable amount of time until I’m out of debt the nobles all said fine but and then
Louis said I’m gonna tax all French citizens at a rate of 5% and Noble stands
up and says we don’t mind being taxed until you’re out of debt but if you’re
gonna tax everyone in the kingdom you’re gonna have to call the
estates-general, The estates-general was a convening of the three estates of
France the clergy the nobles and everyone else. It hadn’t been called for
almost 200 years at this point and it was getting a bit old so nobody
really knew how to run one so the finance minister says send me some ideas
on how I’m supposed to run this and so people in the Third Estate sent some
ideas a priest called Emmanuel Sieyes heard the estates-general was going to be
called and he published a pamphlet what is the Third Estate. He writes in
the pamphlet what is the Third Estate the Third
Estate is everything what has it done politically until now, nothing what does
it want to be something this first and second estates are unnecessary we are
90% of the population and we’re paying all the taxes we should at least get
double the amount of voting power at this convention and we should vote by
head because the clergy would get one vote the nobles would get one vote and
the Third Estate would get one vote but the Third Estate noticed that if the
clergy and the nobles agreed on something they could just basically
monopolize it and they would never have to consult the Third Estate and because
the Third Estate was 95 five percent of the population that seemed at idle and
fair this gets really popular and Louis talks to his Noble’s. it’s the fifth of
May and the delegates from all three estates arrive at Versailles on the
first day they all gather in a courtyard near the palace and Necker starts making a speech
now Necker is a really good financier but he’s not a good orator he spends most of
the speech flipping through Ledger’s talking and really technical economic
terms about the budget that nobody understood and he didn’t even address
the idea of whether people would vote by head or vote by order and the Third
Estate we’re getting a bit mad. Everyone comes into the palace the next day and
it all kicks off. the Estates go into the separate rooms to verify that everybody
actually at the convention was voted in and the Third Estate doesn’t really know
what to do they haven’t done this before and they’re stuck in their room two
hours without guidance so what do they do they pick up their copies of what is
the Third Estate and start making some speeches the Third Estate go well we
should invite you the two estates to join us because we’re not three orders
we’re a national body the second estate says no we’re fine thanks
but the first estate was different the first estate was it just Archbishop’s
they’re made up of all the members of the church the majority of which were
parish priests they have more in common with the Third Estate (because they earned almost the same amount) and the archbishops that had all the money didn’t help the parish priests) and so they joined the Third Estate
after the priests join the Third Estate does something radical they declare
themselves the only legitimate assembly in France well we need a name befitting
our new status how about we call ourselves the National Assembly the
fancy Archbishop’s that are still in the first estate go to the king and said
you know that third stage just declared itself the only legitimate body in
France I think you need to reassert some order the King says don’t worry I’ll
sort it all out a few weeks pass and it’s the 23rd of
June the Third Estate goes to their usual room but they’re stopped by some
soldiers saying the king says you can’t come in the National Assembly thinking
they’re all about you massacred books the palace and they need to find a room
to hold them all and they walk about two blocks down the road until they find a
tennis court where they swear the tennis court
they’ll never separate they’ll never break up they’ll continue to me wherever
the circumstances may be until the king is restrained by a constitution Louis was pissed now throughout all this he hasn’t really
been doing much because on June 2nd his son died well it was more common for
parents to have their kids die it’s still a traumatic experience so Marie
Antoinette noticing that her husband’s not really focusing on what’s happening
she goes behind Louis’ back and calls it in the Minister of War we need to
stop the National Assembly and we need to fire that Swiss commoner Jaques Necker and slowly over the first week of July the soldiers in the city there from
about 8,000 to 20,000 and the citizens of Paris started to notice the people
were scared and they were hungry they heard what happened when the Third
Estate got kicked out of their room and they thought Jesus they’re gonna crack
down on us too/ a bunch of common soldiers that lived through the bad harvest last
year and had more in common with the actual people of the city then the army
decided we need to create a militia to defend ourselves
the King and on the 13th of July they create the National Guard and a day
later they proclaim this guy called Lafayette you may have heard of him as
the leader of the guards the next day on the 14th of July they decide they need
to get guns they storm an old retirement home for veterans called res invalids
and then get all the guns but then they realized they needed to get gunpowder,
where was the store of gunpowder in Paris it was in the Bastille an ancient
fortress that was said to hold political prisoners of the king and
there were supposed to be dead bodies hanging on the walls the people thought
yes finally we can liberate some people that had been terrorized by the king and
they storm the fortress and kill the captain there but it wasn’t what they
were led to believe see the people that actually went in the Bastille were often
Nobles that just got their family too ticked off and Louis’ said I’ll send
them to prison for you and they just pretended it was all really horrible
just to up their street cred the next day Louis wakes up and hears the news the
Bastille has been stormed and the governor has been killed when he asks is it a revolt? the Duke replies no sir it’s a
Revolution. louis panicked he said what do i do what do I do I’ve got to call in
the army to restore order in Paris but the army was also angry well no you had
to cut down on expenses at the start of all this he also cut down the army cut
down the amount of officers and then made it so only nobles could be higher than
captains and those guys that controlled the 200,000 soldiers in Paris had their
pensions cut so the soldiers and that commander were pretty likely to revolt
the Kings advisors say Louis look you’ve got the whole city of Paris in revolt do
you really want the army to revolt as well and you’ve got nothing else to put
it down with. Withdraw them from the city speaking of the city everyone outside it
was still starving in their huts in the countryside when they heard the news
that the guys in the National Assembly didn’t even talk about what the peasants
wanted they were angry and they were so hungry they had nothing to lose
they attacked the noble houses got inside and burned the records of their debt the
peasants owed and which nobles owned which peasants… bonfires lit up
all across the countryside and feudalism was over this went on for
weeks and they didn’t do any work with no food in Paris to start with and no
food coming in on August the 4th the National Assembly realized they needed
to do something to calm the peasants one guy stands up and says we should abolish
serfdom it’s the only way the peasants will work and if the peasants don’t work
well we starve to death the National Assembly agrees and they abolish serfdom
and the peasants return to work a few days later
Lafayette comes into the National Assembly and says you know now that
we’ve calmed the peasants down shouldn’t we start writing a constitution like you
said you do in the Tennis Court Oath they agree and Lafayette and his
American friend Thomas Jefferson start to write what would later be known as
the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the citizen it’s more of a collection
of bills rather than a defined Constitution, that comes later then they
spent the rest of the month debating what powers the king should have most
notably a suspensive veto or an absolute veto a suspensive veto is when the king
can veto a law for a certain amount of time and if the National Assembly wants
to bring it up again they can force it to pass without the approval of the king
and absolute veto is when the king can veto a bill and keep vetoing it
essentially stopping legislation outright after a load of arguing the
king was given an absolute veto and the people in Paris weren’t happy you see
ever since they stormed the Bastille three months earlier the people in Paris
thought they were the center of the revolution not the fancy delegates up
in Versailles. at the Palace in Versailles maybe he was really guarding
it so on September the 14th Louis and his war Minister go to the National Assembly
and say we’re gonna call the Flanders regiment in to guard the powers the
Flanders measurement is the best Regiment in the French army
they were super disciplined and super low to the King but most importantly for
the National Assembly they would be so intimidating that they would
a mob from trying to form up in the first place because nobody would be
stupid enough to take them on however by early October the peasants were still
starving and the price of bread since the fall of the Bastille had gone up my
heart and they were starving when your mother your brother your daughter and
your son are all starving you’re gonna do anything it takes to get a good price
for bread what the wives and mothers can only fund one place to get a good price
for bread they were going to march on Versailles and they didn’t care how many
soldiers there were they marched miles and got to the gates of the palace and the
National Guard followed them because they were starving it was their mother
and their daughter that were also starving so I wouldn’t they follow you Louis came
out and says I’m actually trying to bring grain to Paris but there’s
nothing I can really do and yeah I’ll go to Paris to be a closest to my people
louis wasn’t an absolute King anymore he was a prisoner to the mob I think the King
knew this because when he came to his palace in Paris he goes to one of his
aides can you bring me a book from Versailles on Charles the first of
England Charles the first of England was an English king that got overthrown both
people and lost his head at the chopping block
meanwhile the National Assembly moved into the new legislative building and
this is really important at the start of July the guys from the National Assembly
stayed with people from their own counties however after six months of
getting to know each other they began to form groups of people that believed the
same stuff it’s when they moved from Versailles to Paris they roomed
together and he became more ideological out of this came the main political
party of the Revolution The Jacobins but they were still in debt and Necker came down to tell them this he said I know you care about your liberty
representation and the nation controlled by the people but we are still broke
because food was scarce and they didn’t have enough gold and inflation was
super-high they could only find one thing to back their currency in land and
who had the most land in France the church
meanwhile Louis after losing his ability to do anything in war except declaring it
losing his Nobles losing his clergy not even allowed to go outside the palace
got kind of scared and in December 17 Louis who writes a letter to the Prussian
King asking him to please invade the country and destroy the revolution.
after surviving an assassination attempt by June 1791 the King decides this has
gone too far he took his family and the servants with
him and they headed to the Austrian border to try and escape however they
got stopped outside Varennes after a Postmaster General saw this massively
ornate carriage in the middle of rural France (and hearing news the king escaped) pulled up to them
notice the servants suspiciously large nose pulled out a bankote and realized
damn only the King as I know is that big and took him into custody they
confessed to me in the king and queen fleeing the revolution and they were
taken back to Paris with six thousand guards some radicals in the National
Assembly led by a guy named Danton who was part of the Jacobin Club made a
speech calling for a republic a guy named Robespierre who was also in the
German club stands up and says what’s a republic you can put the king in a tiny
box but you can’t get rid of him he’s too fundamental to the state the
assembly was pissed that the King tried to flee on their watch but they couldn’t
really do without him so I made up a lie saying he was kidnapped by an noble paid
by the Austrians but the people didn’t buy it and I’m July 17th 50,000 people
Ied by that same guy Danton on gathered to ask for a republic the national guards
came tensions got heated and fifty people were shot dead with the people
angry and the assembly not ready to get rid of the king they needed something to
make people trust the assembly and the king so they started a war with Austria
on the 20th of April 1792 and on the 28th they invaded
Austrian territory the Assembly made the decree that any general that lost a
battle would be immediately executed so a load of generals fled the country
including Lafayette and on the 28th the Austrians declared war and said if
you touch a hair on the king’s head they will burn Paris down even though the
Austrians had a king that was at less than a year on the throne because the
French had no [compentent] generals they’ still beat back the French and within a few months
they were at the gates of France on the 10th of August with the Austrians
invading and thinking the King had something to do with it they massacred
the Kings guards and took them into custody and a week later the Austrians
invaded France with the fall of france seeming likely to men come together to
try and save it the main guy in the National Assembly
Maximilien Robespierre and the head of the street mobs and the Minister of
Justice George Danton because as much as they
hate each other they didn’t really want to die when the fortress at Verdun was
sieged and the road to Paris was left undefended Danton walks into the
National Assembly and makes a speech the bell we are about to ring is not an
alarm signal it sounds the charge on the enemies of France to save France we must
dare dare again until France is saved days after we made the speech on the
20th of September the French army and civilians blasted the Austrians at Valmy
the Austrians seeing the French singing the Marseillaise laughing at them and
also hearing the news that Russia was invading Poland they fled the battle
and they never came back and France was saved with the external enemies of
France gone the assembly focused on internal enemies the most important one
being the king the day after valmy they abolished the
monarchy now the Jacobins split in two with the one side of the Girondins
asking for the King to be spared and the rest of the Jacobins led by a guy named
Maximilian Robespierre now convinced that the only way to save France was to kill
the king called for his head the Girondins settled on a trial and the
trial began but on the 17th who was found guilty and by a vote of 42
was sentenced to death and on the 21st Louis was guillotined now the Jacobins
executed the king the people that supported the king went into hiding and
National Assembly was ruled by the Jacobins the French Kingdom ended and
the first French Republic started but it wouldn’t be easy and enemies of the
Republic we’re everywhere under the guise of protecting its existence it
would become a dictatorship led by the head of the jacobins Maximilian Robespierre barely three months went by when a new government was hit by revolt in the
Vendee and in response the National Assembly sets up a nine member legislative
committee the Committee of Public Safety it had powers of the military court and
legislature if the National Assembly was too busy bickering to put down a revolt
it was needed as well because as soon as Louie’s head hit the floor the Holy
Roman Empire the Austrians Prussia Great Britain Spain the Dutch
Republic Portugal Sardinia and Naples all declared war on France with this as
justification 300,000 people were arrested and 27,000 people were executed
George’s Danton after seeing how many [countries] people were facing
France and the fact that they won a few battles Danton said you know maybe we
should sue for peace I don’t think we can win this war for the very long
Maximilian Robespierre had him executed for treason but by June the next year
the French beat the enemy at the Battle of Flerus and advanced him to even more
enemy territory so to a lot of people this idea of a military government
wasn’t really needed. some of the British invaded at Toulon but some guys named
Napoleon and Carteux ended that pretty quickly during June and July Robespierre
didn’t show up to the assembly because (allegedly) he had a mental breakdown over all the
people he just killed so people in the CPS started talking maybe we shouldn’t
have all the power maybe we should stop the executions
maybe we should just disband this whole thing when Robespierre being returned on
the 28th of July he made a speech saying some members were committing treason and he
didn’t name any everyone thought was them and to stop
themselves from being executed let it be known that the Paris Commune by dint of
its actions protecting the criminal Robespierre
is now in open rebellion against
the nation soldiers under the command of the National Convention have been
dispatched to apprehend the traitor Robespierre and his followers citizens
are advised to remain in their homes while justice is carried out be it
further known that citizen Robespierre citizen Oreo and there the allies are
declared outlaws and any citizen found to be aiding these criminals will show their
fateupon the guillotine revolutionary justice shall prevail *tv static* the next day Robespierre
was arrested in a day later on the 28th Robespierre and his brother were
gillutioned the national assembly starts drafting a constitution which
would hopefully end the street fighting and the bloodshed they would create the
directory and they promised to try and prevent tyranny bring stability and
democracy back to France did they of course not this is part of the Project revolution
collab (look at me in the big leagues lol)with a bunch of other history YouTubers. if you want to check out
some other the revolutions and you can check out the cynical historians video
whether the American Revolution is really a revolution at all and if you wanna
know what happens in France after this period we can check out Barris’ video on
the July revolution of 1830

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Dennis Veasley

44 thoughts on “The French Revolution: When France Lost its Head #ProjectRevolution”

  1. if you wanna see more *Revolutionary* videos check out the playlist! bit.ly/Project_Revolution
    The next video is either Lafayette or Metternich, but i got exams so itll be after the 26th

  2. I was always told that it was an ink keeper that recognized the King as he saw his face on one of his coins. Your version makes more sense though. Not very clever of the King to attempt an escape with a super luxurious carriage and servants. I feel bad for laughing about the fact that his suspiciously large nose busted him.

    Great video man! I'm really glad to have taken part in this collab with you.

  3. The video is finally there 😀

    Great video, the story telling is really good and the overall video quality is also great 😀

  4. You have a great conversational-style narration going on, and your videos are getting better and better!

  5. Excellent video on a complicated topic. You've improved a lot too! Love how you stick some more modern themes in to help carry the narratives, like the two kings texting each other, that was a nice touch. Onwards, to the next revolution! #ProjectRevolution

  6. Such a complicated revolution. Good on the serfs for burning their landlords ledgers, viva la revolution!

  7. Do you think the french revolution really solved anything? i mean with killing a king and ending up with another king? seems pointless and a failure…

  8. just a side-note; the absolutist monarchies (in Europe) were NOT a medieval thing; it's majorly a thing of early modern times, even in France

  9. Amazing!!! Never heard the French Revolution summed up so well before I saw your video! (And I have lived in France since 20 years now!)

  10. My university lecturer introduced me to the French Revolution by slamming a 1m ruler onto his lecturn. "So what is the French Revolution? SLAM! THIS is the French Revolution! Behold! The 1 metre ruler. It is exactly 1 10-millionth of the distance from the North Pole to the Equator. It is simple – a child can grasp the fundamentals within a few minutes. It is effective. It was made the official system of measurement in France during the Revolution, replacing hundreds of units of measure throughout France at the time. And today it is the world's dominant system of measurement."

  11. While I do admire your enthusiasm, professionalism, and good intentions, and understand the limitations of a 20 minute video, I do have a few critiques in regards to the information you provided, much of what you said, especially towards the end, is so over-generalized to the point of coming across as a bit misleading, and a good amount of what you said is clearly sourced from a Reactionary/Thermidorian viewpoint, especially when it came to some statements you made surrounding the war with Austria, Louis XVI's fall, Danton, Robespierre, the Reign Terror, and the Thermidorian Reaction, which honestly isn't your fault at all, but simply a bad case of 'the victors write history'. There's a lot of misconceptions about the French Revolution that I highly encourage you and everyone to review, especially when it comes to the motivations of certain people and events. For instance, I've always been a fervent defender of Robespierre, who often unjustly gets blamed for much of what went wrong with the revolution, as he and his motivations are FAR more complex than what common history recalls him as. In addition, the excesses of the Terror were mostly the fault of the Convention Nationale and the rest of the CoPS who in the progressively increasing absence of Robespierre(due to his worsening life-long health issues, not some "mental breakdown due to all the people he killed." Which I'm aware was probably just a joke, but still. ) began to abuse the measures of the terror (which, indeed, Robespierre did call for said measures, with an accelerated push from Saint-Just. But personally presided only over strategic and justified accusations as he was vocally against the excessive brutality. For instance, he was drawn to rage and disgust by the reports of barbaric acts by some field missionaries.) for personal dealings and grudges. It's only when Robespierre forced himself out of recovery to confront and denounce the abuses of the measures and the corrupted in the Convention and the rest of the CoPS that they turned on him (the Thermidorian Reaction) and essentially made him the scapegoat to mainly and selfishly protect their own respectability and lives by pinning their horrendous actions on someone else.

    Now, as he without flaw? No, certainly not, and I'm not saying you should agree with his actions either, but the way he carried himself and firmly stuck to his ideals of civic virtue, republicanism, and public service and in a very humble manner, as he was paid the average deputy's salary and lived in a simple communal apartment is at least admirable. Especially in comparison to something or someone that history favors more like the Directory which permitted the even more bloody and senseless killing of the First White Terror after the death of Robespierre. Or more famously, Napoleon, who murdered millions for nothing more than his own personal glory and gratification. I've always found it strange that history and society like to venerate people like Napoleon, Alexander the Great, and Caesar while reviling people like Robespierre, Cromwell, or Ho Chi Minh for very petty reasons.

    That all being said, I truly enjoyed your video, and believe you did everything to the best of your abilities, but I simply wished to point out some historical inaccuracies and biases (at least in my evaluation and review) for you to review yourself and learn about more. I honestly prefer you to not take my word for it and implore you to instead uncover the truths and the falsifications on your own. (Speeches, official documents, lack-of/letters, and Charlotte de Robespierre's memoirs are a good place to find some clarity for the French Revolution.)

    Happy learning! 📚

  12. Revolutionnary public speaker:

    "Ahem…
    BEHEAD, GOOD FOLKS…"

    chop chop

    "Wait… squints eyes
    Oops, my bad, it said
    BEHOLD, GOOD FOLKS…

  13. This was great. the first unbiased video i see on the french revolution, where the other side is shown. keep up the good work!!

  14. You only have 1k subscribers?! You got into this huge collab?! You make really high quality videos! Dang, how are you this unpopular. Ill definitely subscribe and I look forward to your future videos.

  15. The painting shown at 0:12 pictures a 1848 event, Lamartine refusing the red flag in front of Paris city hall.

  16. Amazing video!!

    Mind how you use the term Modern and Postmodern however- Modernity covers 19th Century, Industrial Rev, Romantics and Expressionism up until the 1920s (or post-Holocaust, depending who you ask) with Postmodernism springing up in Fascist Italy, and then hitting its full stride in 1960s America, Germany and as the British Empire broke down. Modernism and PoMo are typically western terms however.

    Great video altogether, brill editing. Would love to see a video on the Russian Revolution, or a whole series on the Soviets.

  17. I feel this video was too messy. The subject is confusing enough on its own, but the awkward pauses and jarring transitions aren't doing it any favors.

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