Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. In this lesson, we will look at what France was like just before it experienced a revolution in 1789. We will learn how the French King faced a crisis which was caused by a mixture of social changes, Enlightenment ideas and the consequences of the American War of Independence.


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5 Questions

Which of the following were the three Estates in eighteenth century France?
Archbishops, bishops and priests
Bourgeoisie, sans culottes and peasants
Correct answer: Clergy, aristocracy and the Third Estate
Emperors, kings and dukes
What was the name of France's monarch in 1789?
Catherine the Great
George III
George Washington
Correct answer: Louis XVI
What was the name of the prison where critics of the French government could be sent without a trial?
Correct answer: The Bastille
The Constitution
The Salons
Who were the aristocracy?
Correct answer: People who inherited their wealth and power (also known as the nobility).
People who worked for the Church (also known as the clergy).
Poor urban workers also known as the sans culottes.
The new wealthy middle class also known as the bourgeoisie.
Which of the following is a reason why the Enlightenment might have contributed to making 1789 a crisis year for Louis XVI?
The Enlightenment created new social groups like the sans culottes.
The Enlightenment increased France's debt.
The Enlightenment made the peasants so poor they could not afford to pay tax.
Correct answer: The Enlightenment provided new ideas about how to criticise the French government.

Lesson appears in

UnitHistory / How Enlightened was the French Revolution?