American Independence was costly for the French who helped the Americans win.
King Louis XVI was the absolute monarch of France at the end of the eighteenth century. That meant that he had all the power and ruled France himself.
King Louis spent a lot of money fighting the American War of Independence. This was a problem because the King, clergy and the nobility all lived off this money that they got by taxing the poor French people. The people of France were arranged into three estates underneath the king. The first estate was the clergy, people who worked for the church. The second estate was the nobility and the third estate was the common people. It was only the third estate that paid taxes!
Go here and scroll down to the Three Estates mini-book and print out page 2. In your neatest handwriting fill in the three missing words. Be careful, if you look at the answer page you will see there has been a mistake. Read the information above carefully to get the labelling correct!
Categorising people in this way was not unusual in Europe in the eighteenth century and it was accepted that the rich got richer and the poor got poorer but the situation in France was particularly bad. 97% of the people were so poor they were struggling to survive.
Go here and scroll down to the Causes of the Revolution minibook
In 1774, King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette became the king and queen of France. The country was already in a lot of debt, they owed a lot of money. This debt increased when King Louis helped support the Americans in their War of Independence. The King decided he needed to pay back some of this money. He did this by raising taxes and it did not work out well for him.
Watch the following videos as an introduction to the French Revolution.
Horrible Histories French Roundup.
And this more in-depth run through from Happy Learning English.
Go here and scroll down the page to the French Revolution Timeline and print out the first timeline with all the information on it. Fold it along the dotted lines. You can use the mini-book as we work through the unit to help you organise what you have learned.
Bastille Day, on the 14th of July, is still celebrated today in remembrance of the storming of the Bastille and the start of the revolution.
Here is a euronews clip of the celebrations.
Watch the History of France's Bastille Day.
Go and print out the comprehension sheets here and answer the questions in your notebook.
Go here and scroll down. Print out the board game and game cards. Have fun storming the Bastille.