Estates General
A legislative body in prerevolutionary France made up of Representatives of each of three classes, or estates. It was called into session in 1789 for the first time since 1614
The three legal categories, or orders, of France's inhabitants: the clergy, the nobility, and everyone else.
National Assembly
The first French revolutionary legislature, made up primarily of Representatives of third estate and a few from the nobility and clergy, in session from 1789 to 1791
Great Fear
The fear of noble reprisals against peasant uprisings that seized the French countryside and led to further revolt
Jacobin Club
A political club in revolutionary France whose members were well-educated radical republicans
Second revolution
From 1792 to 1795, the second phase of the French Revolution, during which the fall of the French monarchy introduced a rapid radicalization or politics
A moderate group that fought for contest of the French national convention in 1793
the Mountain
Led by Robespierre, the French national conventions radical faction, which seized legislative power in 1793
The laboring poor of Paris; the word came to refer to the militant radials of the city
Reign of Terror
The period from 1793 to 1794 during which Robespierre's committee of public safety tried and executed thousands suspected of treason and a new revolutionary culture was imposed.
Thermidorian reaction
A reaction to the violence of the reign of terror in 1794 resulting in the execution of Robespierre and the loosening of economic controls
Napoleonic Code
French civil code promulgated in 1804 that reasserted the 1789 principles of the equality of all male citizens before the law and the absolute security of wealth and private property, as well as restricting rights accorded to women by previous revolutionary laws
Grand Empire
The empire over which Napoleon and his allies ruled, encompassing virtually all of Europe except Great Britain and Russia
Continental System
A blockade imposed by Napoleon to halt all trade between continental Europe and Britain, thereby weakening the British economy and military.