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Glossary of the French Revolution

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❶The same political faction may be referred to by different historians or by the same historian in different contexts by different names. Peasants were required to pay the seigneur for their use.

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Origins of the Revolution
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It generally does not explicate names of individual people or their political associations; those can be found in List of people associated with the French Revolution. The terminology routinely used in discussing the French Revolution can be confusing, even daunting. The same political faction may be referred to by different historians or by the same historian in different contexts by different names.

During much of the revolutionary period, the French used a newly invented calendar that fell into complete disuse after the revolutionary era. Different legislative bodies had rather similar names, not always translated uniformly into English. This article is intended as a central place to clarify these issues. Fourth Estate , a term with two relevant meanings: These certificates were later required of public office holders.

It was paid to the seigneur lord , usually as one-eighth of all grain produced. Chouans The Chouans were counter-revolutionaries in north-western France between and The name is derived from one of their leaders, the royalist Jean Chouan. It rendered the Catholic church subordinate to the French nation and government. It also removed many of the privileges enjoyed by the church and required clergymen to swear an oath of loyalty to the state. Prior to the revolution cockades were symbol of rank, status or membership of a particular class.

During the revolution they were used to show patriotism or affiliation with certain groups. It was responsible for police actions and overseeing the war effort.

It later contributed to the Reign of Terror. Constitution of The Constitution of was drafted by a committee of the National Constituent Assembly and passed in September It created a constitutional monarchy with a unicameral single chamber legislative assembly and the king as head of state.

It was rendered inoperable by the suspension of the monarchy in August Its implementation was suspended in October due to threats of foreign invasion and counter-revolution.

It attempted to halt the revolution by forming a bicameral legislature and an executive council the Directory and restricting voting rights to persons of property. Most constitutional monarchies have a strong legislature and government ministers. This work was often performed on public facilities, such as roads or bridges, or on the private buildings of seigneurial lords. It was created by the Constitution of Council of Five Hundred The lower house of the legislative assembly created by the Constitution of It rejected the existence of God and focused instead on truth, logic and rationalism.

It maintained a belief in God and the immortality of the soul, while promoting civic virtue and loyalty to the state. The term is derived from his coat of arms, which contains a dolphin. They were eventually disarmed by Lafayette and the National Guard. They served as electoral divisions for the national government and were responsible for tax collection, public works, education and other services. There were approximately dioceses in France in early As a body, the National Assembly claimed to legitimately represent the French population.

The assembly dissolved in so that new elections could take place under the new constitution. The body that replaced the Legislative Assembly following a successful election in As one of its first actions, the convention declared the French monarchy abolished on September 21, , and on the following day declared France a republic. Though originally dominated by moderates, the convention became controlled by radical Jacobins in A set of thirteen provincial judicial boards—one based in Paris and the other twelve in major provincial cities—that constituted the independent judiciary of France.

The parlements held the power of recording royal decrees, meaning that if a parlement refused to record an edict, the edict would never be implemented in that district.

A ten-month period of oppression and execution from late to mid, organized by Maximilien Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety to suppress any potential enemies of the radical Revolution.

The Reign of Terror ended with the fall of Robespierre, who was arrested and executed in July The mob mentality of the sans-culottes constituted the most radical element of the Revolution. A June 20, , oath sworn by members of the Third Estate who had just formed the National Assembly and were locked out of the meeting of the Estates-General.

Meeting at a nearby tennis court, these members of the Third Estate pledged to remain together until they had drafted and passed a new constitution. The post— Reign of Terror period ushered in by the execution of Maximilien Robespierre in July and the reassertion of moderate power over the French Revolution.

One of the three estates in the Estates-General , consisting of the commoners of France, whether rich merchants or poor peasants. Despite the fact that it constituted the vast majority of the French population, the Third Estate had just one vote in the Estates-General—the same vote that the much smaller First Estate clergy and Second Estate nobility each had.


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Ruled as King of France from until , and then as King of the French from to Suspended and arrested during the 10th of August Insurrection, he was .

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French military and political leader. General during French Revolution, Ruler of France as First Consul of French Republic, King of Italy, Mediator of Swiss Confederation, and .

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A series of decrees issued by the National Assembly in August that successfully suppressed the Great Fear by releasing all peasants from feudal contracts. A document, issued by the National Assembly in July , that broke ties with the Catholic Church and established a national church system. This French Revolution glossary contains definitions of important words, terms and concepts relevant to the revolution in France between and

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Consulate - The name of the government established by Napoleon at the end of the French Revolution. Cordelier - A political club in Paris during the early part of the French Revolution. It was led by Gorges Danton and played a major role in . This is a glossary of the French Revolution. It generally does not explicate names of individual people or their political associations; those can be found in List of people associated with the French Revolution. The terminology routinely used in discussing the French Revolution can be confusing, even daunting. The same political faction may be .