Headless Monarchy: The French Revolution, Part II
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Headless Monarchy: The French Revolution, Part II

August 25, 2019


Good Morning, Hank. It’s Wednesday. We now return to the French Revolution. Where, at the end of 1789, King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, find themselves under house arrest in Paris while the French National Assembly is trying to write a constitution. We shall skip the year 1790 entirely, except to note that: One, the National Assembly was not making anyone less hungry. And two, the financial crisis continued. And, also, three, a lot of nobles were starting to take their money and leave France because being a noble in France, which had once been among the very best jobs in the entire world, was suddenly becoming sort of dangerous and unprofitable. These nobles were called the émigrés. Only, I’m pronouncing it wrong because I’m American, and we pronounce everything in American. By the middle of 1791, Louis and Marie Antoinette were starting to think, “you know that émigré life sounds pretty awesome,” but they couldn’t leave France because they still fancied themselves the king and queen of it. So this general, named Bouillé, comes along and says, “Listen, come and live at my estate in the French county side; blue skies, clean air, no revolutionaries plotting your destruction.” For making this offer, by the way, Bouillé would later be likened to a blood-thirsty despot in the French National Anthem. but, anyway, in July of 1791, Louis and Marie Antoinette decide to light out for Bouillé’s country estate. They dress up as servants, have their servants dress up as royals, sneak out of their house arrest, and if you’ve ever read a Shakespeare play you know what happens next, the ruse is discovered, and everyone lives happily ever after. Well…the ruse was discovered anyway. Still dressed as servants, Louis and Marie Antoinette are captured in the city of Varennes just one day after leaving. And, they are humiliatingly returned to Paris in their servant get up, but the worst part of all this is that some of the more radical revolutionaries including a group called the Jacobins. argue that Louis XVI leaving Paris amounted to him basically abdicating the throne. and that therefore France has no king which means that France can now become a republic. Alright, so the next month, July, the Jacobins have a huge petition drive in the Champ de Mars and lots of people come to sign the petition saying, “Yes, the King abdicated his throne. We should be a republic,” and then troops, controlled not by the king but by the National Assembly, show up and end up firing on the crowd killing fifty people. Now, you’ll remember the National Assembly
was the voice of the revolution, the people who started the idea of a
representational government for France who went to that indoor tennis court in
Versailles and pledged not to stop until we have a constitution, but suddenly it’s
the National Assembly firing on a crowd to try to control revolutionary fervor.
You see this all the time in history during economic contractions what looked like radical hope and change a year ago suddenly becomes the man. But, by
September of 1791, the National Assembly finally finishes its constitution
fulfilling the Tennis Court Oath and ushering in a constitutional monarchy in
which the Legislative Assembly has most of the power but the King has veto power
on certain things. Around the same time France’s neighbors start to get pretty
nervous about all this talk about representational government. Especially,
the Holy Roman Empire which as Voltaire once famously noted was neither Holy
nor Roman nor an Empire. The Holy Roman Empire was a loose confederation of
states, and the Holy Roman Emperor was a guy named to Leopold II. who was not Holy not Roman and not an emperor since basically he only directly controlled Austria, but he was Marie
Antoinette’s brother. Also, like a lot of monarchs, Leopold II liked the
idea of monarchies, and he wanted to keep his job as a person who gets to stand
around wearing a dress pointing at nothing, owning winged lion monkeys made of gold
and who can blame him. Leopold II figured that having
a neighbor turn into a republic might be bad for his job security, so he, along
with King Frederick William II of Prussia, issued the Declaration of
Pillnitz which promised to restore the French monarchy and naturally
further radicalize the revolutionaries in France. Also, it’s worth mentioning
again that nothing that the assembly, or the Jacobins, or King Louis XVI has done
has done anything to address the underlying problems which is that the
French people are hungry, and the country of France is broke. But then in april of
1792, finally, King Louis XVI and the
National Assembly agree upon a plan, “Let’s invade Austria.” The idea was to
plunder Austria’s wealth and also sure of the food supply by stealing delicious austrian cuisine. Also the
revolutionaries thought that they might be able to like topple all of the
European monarchies and spread revolution through the world which made
Prussia a little nervous, so they immediately joined Austria in a war
against France. So, by August of 1792, France is still poor,
people are still hungry, but now they’re fighting two wars and it is then that a
group of radical revolutionaries is led by the Jacobins arrange for a parliamentary
session to which they cleverly do not invite the vast majority of parliament
and declare France to be a republic. there by invalidating France’s year old
constitution, and then things get pretty bad pretty fast. Allow me to introduce
you to my friend the guillotine. During the monarchy, commoners and nobles
had been put to death using different methods, but of course that’s not going
to work in an age of enlightenment. The thinking went that capital punishment
should be egalitarian and rationalist. So, everyone should have the same death,
and it should be humane because of course rationally we don’t
want to hurt condemned criminals we just want to kill them. which is precisely what happened to King
Louis XVI in January of 1793. Thereby, making it very difficult for
Austria and Prussia to fulfill their promise of returning him to the throne. Within a month of decapitating their
king, France was at war not only with Prussia and Austria but also with Spain,
Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Portugal. In short, things seem pretty bad,
but don’t worry they’re about to get much worse. Hank, I’m gonna stop there for today so
Marie Antoinette can live until tomorrow afternoon. My last French Revolution video will be
uploaded tomorrow, and then you will educate us further on Friday, so i guess
that i will see me tomorrow. At which point, I promise to prove that I’m not
wearing pants.

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  1. I was taught that the reason Leopoldo issued the declaration of pillnitz was because émigrés pressured him to, not so much as he wanted to retain monarchy (while that is definitely one reason, I don't think it is the main one) but my ap euro teacher could be wrong.

  2. Leopold issued the Brunswick Manifesto saying "hey France be nice to Louis!" and Frederick William issued the Declaration of Pillnitz saying "Yeah, we agree with Leo!" I love these videos though!

  3. Backwards, mate. The Declaration of Pillnitz came first and caused the people of France to declare war. The Brunswick Manifesto was issued DURING the war.

  4. GOD YOU SPOILER! AT 5:50… YOU SPOILED THE WHOLE THING FOR ME XD I'm joking, but truly you are amazing…. funny, educated, and nice. Thank You!

  5. the irony of marie and louis going to that guys estate was that it was called an ESTATE and the 3rd estate was pissed NEVER NAME SOCIAL CLASSES AFTER HOUSES

  6. Just thought I'd let you know we watch you in class to learn about the french revolution instead of our teacher teaching us. Thank you!!! <3

  7. What's the name of that general who invited the King and Queen to his estate. I am not French… spelling french words are hard… help me

  8. My family laughed when I told them I was going to make cash faster with Smarter Money Maker, but then I showed them the results. Go google Smarter Money Maker to see their reaction. (It was epic!)

  9. That's why procrastinating by watching the vlogbrothers, Crash Course, Scishow, and many other educational video channels, are not bad. xD I do that all the time and everyone thinks I'm weird for watching educational videos on my "free time"

  10. Your pronunciation of jacobin actually made me cringe. And the fleet to varennes was actually the monarchy leaving for Austria

  11. Owner of Magical Ice Cream Store
    Captain, Federation Starship Enterprise
    Professional Taster of Pizzas
    French Nobility

    Dem jobs.

  12. Congrats Jon, you're successfully condensing my 4 month course on this subject into less than an hour of video lol.

  13. He directly calls it humane and says it does not cause as much pain to people as much as other previous execution methods.

  14. I'm confused I thought Austria and Prussia were now fighting against Louis (france was now fighting two wars), so they were no longer honouring the agreement to put him back on the throne. Or was it only the revolutionaries in Austria? Could someone explain, I think I've missed something.

  15. Thank you! America is not full of stupid people, the WORLD is full of stupid people. Which is sad, but there is nothing we can do about it :/

  16. wow super cool dude. dont waste time guys , rush to this site and get ur ipad3 or iphone as per ur choice. its not a joke, your address and mail id is enough to receive ur ipad3. have a try and enjoy 🙂 >>> bit.ly/15wPEYE?=msuspu

  17. By magical ice cream shop owner do you mean Florean Fortescue whose shop resides in Diagon Alley? Because that would def be the best job…until you get carried off by Death Eaters.

  18. There are more complex reasons as to why Louis and Marie wanted to get out of the country, Louis wanted to put himself in a better bargaining position so that he could get a better deal out of the constitution that was being written. The constitution was stripping Louis of any meaningful power to direct the government and reducing him to a formality. The only power he had was a suspensive veto. He saw this as not a good for anyone. He wanted to get out of the country and use the threat of

  19. emigres armies that were forming at the border to quell some of the more radicals changes in the revolution. Louis left behind a manifesto in the Tullieres Palace explaining this.

  20. Am I the only one that is still freaking out about this being done by JOHN GREEN
    Our teacher showed us part one and I was just like, THAT IS JOHN GREEN!
    and everyone looked at me crazily 

  21. John forgot the most important part of the flight to Varennes! The king had left a manifesto, setting out in detail all the ways that he hated the revolution, that any support he'd given it over the past 2 years was just because he had to, and it was all a façade. That's why the Jacobins could claim he'd abdicated, because he said that he didn't want to be king of revolutionary France

  22. Your three videos on the french revolution is the reason I got an A on my french history final in college, THANK YOU!

  23. Monarchs: People who get to stand around wearing dresses, pointing at nothing, owning winged lion-monkeys made of gold.

  24. I'd like to point out that the point of calling the Estates General was to try to raise taxes (thereby solving the debt problem). The NOBLES didn't like this, because they were the ones taxes were going to be raised for, so the nobles actually started the Revolution, technically. Then the urban poor got involved and the rest is history. Except that everyone says peasants instead of urban poor. Not only was France at war with Prussia, Austria, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands, it was ALSO at war with itself – especially with peasants in the countryside, and particularly in the Vendée.

  25. The August Decrees 1789 abolished the feudal dues etc and that was by the Jacobin Club on the 4th of August where they didn't invite lots of the deputies, but that wasn't when France was made into a republic, that was September 1792?

  26. Has no one noticed that the image that John uses for Frederick William the 2nd is in fact of Frederick William the 3rd

  27. So basically they pointlessly executed their King and Queen and made the rest of Europe into want to kick their ass?

  28. "Thereby making it very difficult for Prussia and Austria to fulfill their promise of returning him to the throne."
    Louis XVI: "Uh, do whatever you want; I'm SUPER DEAD!"

  29. to be fair to the national assembly, nobody wanted the jacobins in power, which was definetely happening with that petition signed.

  30. so this kinda late but, i have a distant relative who was a duke during this time, fled, and returned under a new name. and my french grandmother also witnessed the nazi's invading france, survived, and then received a national honor.

  31. US Treasury Secretary: Uh, should we honor our treaty King Louis' head?
    King Louis: Uh, do whatever you want, I'm super dead!

  32. On the HRE: It was an Empire since an Empire is defined by having an Emperor, which is an actual title and not some fancy label you slap on your kingdom to make it cooler. By that arguement, the HRE was an empire, but Britain and Spain were.

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