The French Revolution – OverSimplified (Part 1)

This video was made possible by NordVPN. Get protected by clicking the link below. And get an amazing 75% off. That’s only $2.99/month with an additional month free for a limited time. Also, new French Revolution Merch available now in the store, including King Louis and Marie Antoinette character pins, complete with detachable heads just like the real thing. (At a French party) – So I said to the Marquis de la Foofayette What do you think I am? Some dirty peasant? I’ve never worked a day in my life! (Laughter) – Wow, that Marie Antoinette sure is pretty. – Sure is! – Wouldn’t want to be Prince Louis though. That’s gonna be a lot of responsibility when he becomes king. -Especially since France is in financial ruin! – Quite! – Thank you one and all for attending the royal marriage of my grandson, the future King of France to the archduchess of Austria. Now for the very awkward, yet historically accurate part of the ceremony, where we all watch them get into bed together. (Inside Louis XVI’s bedroom where the guests proceed to watch him in bed). – Alright, now that’s out of the way let’s leave the royal couple to it. (In a menacing tone) – You better give us an heir you FAT ILL-BRED BOY! (Creepily) – Nighty-night. (turns lights off and closes door) – That’s gonna be a lot of responsibility. – France is in financial ruin. – You FAT, ILL-BRED BOY! – Quite! (Random voices moving around) (Prince Louis freaks out) – Oh great, he’s a freaking weirdo. France The most prosperous, cultured and beautiful nation in the world. As it had been, for centuries. An exquisite social culture, with the king and the upper classes throwing crazy parties every night, enjoying high living, and fine dining. Who cares if they were only able to do so off the backs of the hard-working, starving poor? What are they gonna do? Revolt?? They’re only 80% of the population. No. Life in France is great. What’s that France? You want to go to war with Britain and increase your power? Go for it, little buddy. You do you. Aaaaand you lost. (Britain kicks France out of North America) Now you’re in severe financial debt. – We have no money. What do we do? – Should we stop partying? – Heck NO! Party HARDER! (Party randomly starts) That’s ok. The peasantry will pick up the slack. They were created by God to do all the work, and you were created to reap all the benefits and party hard That’s how society works, and we’ve all just accepted it for centuries. – Why? – Why what? *Beer splashes onto the poor man’s face*
-Why do the nobility get to be all rich and stuff? Just because they were born into it? And the rest of us shmucks just have to accept that?
*spills some more beer* Hell, why do we even need a king?
*spills even more beer* Who decided that? It all just seems very unfair and unequal and I, for one, am starting to question it.
*spills the last bit of beer* (Soaked) – Wow. That’s very enlightened of you. *burps* And so began the Age of Enlightenment. Great philosophical thinkers across France and beyond began to question whether this beautiful nation was really all that beautiful after all. – Hey Prince Louis. Bad news. Your grandpap died of smallpox this morning. Which means, GOOD NEWS You’re now the king. So just to sum up: France is in severe financial debt and the angry populace are beginning to question how necessary you are. But hey! I believe in you, champ! You got this. (softly) maybe. -OOOoOoh NOoOoOo! Prince Louis Capet became King Louis XVI in May 1774. He was a notoriously weak man, and he knew it. He barely had the wisdom to rule a nation, never mind one in crisis. And he was easily manipulated by those around him. One of his first acts was to try to get revenge on the British by financing their American colonies’ revolution. – Hey! We’re an independent nation now. That was real swell of ya, Louis. Couldn’t have done it without you. – Glad I could help. So hey, about all that money we lent you. When can we get that back? (proceeds to walk away) – Yep, you’re a great guy! I’ll never forget what you’ve done for us. – Real glad I could help friend but about that money– (continues to walk away) – Gotta go now, chum. Best of luck to ya! – OOOoOh NOoOoOo! And now France was in even more debt. France’s poor, suffering under the strain of economic ruin, watched as the nobility continued to live as though nothing was wrong.
*Intense partying* In particular, they grew increasingly disdainful of the queen, Marie Antoinette as she continued to spend all of France’s money on her own luxurious lifestyle and fashion. While the peasants were breaking their backs in the fields, she was walking around like: – Hey. My hair is a boat. I’m not making that up. Her hair really was a boat. And her lavish spending earned her the nickname “Madame Deficit.” And speaking of the queen, there was also a long standing scandal around the fact that the King took a very long time to boink her. And the working classes of Paris began ridiculing the royal couple with lewd pamphlets depicting the Queen as a court THOT and the King as a wuss unable to fulfill his marital duty. Respect for the monarchy was at an all time low as France’s finances were spiralling out of control. And the King and his aides really only had one solution to the crisis. – Tax the poor. – We could do a sexy calendar shoot. Uh, I mean… Tax the poor… And so it was. The poor, who were already struggling to make ends meet found themselves being taxed from every direction. – Hey. I’m the royal tax collector. Looks like you’ve yet to pay your income tax, head tax, … by the way, how many windows you got on that house of yours? – Ummm, three? – Oof, yep, there’s gonna be a tax for that. – Hey, your local priest here. Have you paid your church tithe yet? – Well at least this one is going to the good work of God. – Sssssure, God. I think this year, God wants me to buy a new swimming pool. – Hey, private tax collector here. Oh, and I’ve brought some goons with me. Just a few quick questions… How much salt did you buy this year? – About 7 kilos, I think. – Yep ok, there’s gonna be a tax for that. Oh! What’s that over there? – That’s extra salt I held over from last year so I wouldn’t have to buy as much this year. – Ooh yeah, there’s a tax for that. ummm… aaand… what are you doing with all of this salt? – Well, obviously cooking. – mmhmm – On the table. – yep. – And preserving fish and meat. (holds back laughter) -oh. Oh no, yep, there’s a tax for that. (her son pops out of nowhere) Hey! How old is he? – He’s 9. – And so he’s purchased his required amount of salt for this year, right? – What? No, he’s 9! – Uh-oh, sorry little Timmy. Looks like I’m gonna have to tax you for that. (Timmy starts crying) (Tax collector tastes his tears) – Yep, salty. There’s gonna be a tax for that. And that’s not all. A huge portion of the peasant’s harvest had to be given up. And there was also the labour tax. Where peasants were required to work a certain number of days for their local lord without pay. Obviously, people weren’t too happy with these taxation policies. And the aggressive nature of these private tax farmers sometimes even escalated to violence. In particular though, the people really hated how inconsistent the taxation rules were across the nation. And also the fact that the first two estates often had to pay very little, if any, tax at all. And so, the anger continued to grow. France had a population that was just about ready to explode. What could push them over the edge? How about a touch of natural disaster? A series of harsh summers and winters left the peasant’s harvests in ruin. meaning they had no food or money. And the cost of bread skyrocketed. Of course, the upper classes had massive stocks of grain and wheat, so they were virtually untouched by this new crisis. But now the poor really were starving. And they began to riot. Women took to the streets. Bakeries were raided and bakers suspected of keeping bread for themselves were sometimes even hanged. – Wow. This is really getting out of control. – Your majesty, we need some decisive action. YOU need to step up and lead us. What will you do? – Ok, ok, I’ve got this… I KNOW! I’ll summon the Estates General and they’ll decide what to do. *silence* *gets angry* – You really are a fat, ill-bred boy. The Estates General was the closest thing France had to a government, apart from the king. It was a purely advisory body and was rarely summoned. In fact, it hadn’t been summoned for 175 years prior to this. But with France in a severe crisis, the king felt the time was right to call in the government to help. The Estates General was made up of representatives from the three estates that is the Clergy, the Nobility, and everybody else. – Okay Thanks for coming, everyone. The first order of business is regarding the clergy and nobility You all get BRAND NEW PORCHES! You get a Porsche! And YOU get a Porsche! And YOU get a Porsche!!! EVERYBODY GETS A PORSCHE! And now onto the second order of business France is completely out of money Like- it’s never been this bad before Anyone got any ideas? – How about we all get Lamborghinis next time? (massive applause) The king decided that in order to make a desicion they had to come up with a voting system. OK The clergy You have the population of a hundred and thirty thousand So you’ll get one vote. The nobility You have the population of three hundred and fifty thousand so you’ll also get one vote. And the third estate You have the population of twenty seven million people and make up ninty eight percent of the population VERY impressive! You’ll get … one vote. The third estate were obviously pretty unhappy with this system because they kept on finding that this would happen We propose to raise taxes on the third estate. All in favor? All opposed? Two to one! Taxes will be raised on the third estate. – We propose a motion that says the first two Estates are a bunch of poo-poo heads. – All in favour? – All opposed? Two to one! – It’s official! We are NOT poo-poo heads. (massive applause) The Third Estate realised that any attempt at reform would be outvoted by the two upper estates. And they thought that was kind of lame. So they decided that since they were 98% of the population, they can go off to form their own government, make their own laws, and take over the running of the country. And so, the National Assembly was born. The Third Estate was now in control and there was nothing the king could do to stop– – Haha! I’ve locked you out of your building. What are you gonna do about it? – We’ll probably go find a different building that isn’t locked. (roasted) – OOOoOoh NOoO– The National Assembly did find another unlocked building, just down the road an indoor tennis court, where on 20 June 1789, they all took the Tennis Court Oath pledging to continue meeting until the King gave into their demands for more equality and economic reform. This new National Assembly included many of the most educated members of the Third Estate including two young lawyers by the names of Maximilien Robespierre and Georges Danton Some members of the first two estates even joined their cause. Some of these men formed a radical new political party called the Jacobin Club and quickly became leading figures while many members of the Third Estate simply wanted more equality. A growing number in this Jacobin faction would begin calling for something even crazier: The removal of the King entirely. And this is where FEAR began to take hold. With such a volatile situation developing, everyone was afraid of something. The King feared his position was under threat, and he called in the military to take position around Paris. The Third Estate heard rumour of the gathering military force and they feared the King was planning to round them up and arrest them. Maybe, he’d even execute them. It also didn’t help that the King had just dismissed France’s popular Finance Minister who had been trying to make reforms himself. It seemed, the King was done negotiating. Fear, left unchecked, often boils over into anger. And anger detonates with violence. The angry people of Paris, after centuries of cruel inequality, harsh oppression, even starvation, fearful of having their new movement for reform demolished so soon, decided that it was now or never to take action. Screw reform! They decided that they’d do one better. How about: REVOLUTION The people of Paris, believing the French Military was preparing to attack, decided they should arm themselves. The National Assembly announced the creation of a “Bourgeois Militia”- The National Guard- -and immediately, many troops from the French Military defected over to the revolutionary side. In the early hours of July 14th, 1789, a large crowd stormed and raided the Hôtel les Invalides A military hospital, where they were able to secure a large number of rifles. The Bad News was- they weren’t able to find any gunpowder for their new weapons. The Good News was- they knew exactly where to get some. A prison fortress, and a symbol of royal tyranny, towering over Paris: The Bastille. Midmorning, the crowd gathered around the Bastille, and demanded that the man in charge Governor de Launay, surrender the prison, and hand over the gunpowder. Obviously, Governor de Launay was like: “No way!” So, he stalled for time by inviting a few members of the crowd in for negotiations. The crowd, still waiting outside, quickly became impatient and before long, they stormed the fortress, taking on the French troops inside. – Your Majesty, we’ve received word that the people have surrounded the Bastille – Governor de Launay will hold them off. No need to worry. – Aaaaactually, your Majesty, it appears the crowd is now headed away from the Bastille. – You see?! What did I tell ya! Clearly Governor de Launay has defeated them, and has them on the run. No need to worry. – Uh, your Majesty Isn’t that Governor de Launay’s head on a pike? – Well… Clearly, Governor de Launay has taken on the form of a bodyless, pike-head deity and the people are so enamored with him, they’re parading him around the city. No need to worry AT ALL. (quickly drives away) When the National Assembly heard about the violence that had taken place, they had two options: either one, they denounce it, and try to carry on the Revolution using peaceful means, or two, they say: “Damn, you stuck his head on a pike? That’s pretty hardcore, and WE LOVE IT! Incidentally, they went with option #2. Some historians believe this reaction paved the way for the utter violence and bloodshed that would become the legacy of the French Revolution. This widespread acceptance of violence during the Revolution is also largely accredited to the writings of a certain Jean-Paul Marat. A man of science, with a horrible skin condition that kept him confined to a bathtub. He began writing a radical newspaper he affectionately named: “The Friend of the People” – Citizens of France, be very afraid Given the chance, the King and the nobility won’t hesitate to massacre us all. The solution is simple: EXECUTE THEM! Kill every last one of them! Cut off a thousand heads, and if that isn’t enough, CUT OFF A THOUSAND MORE! (rubber duck rises) Oh! Hey Mr. Squeaky. What are you doing down there? You’re so cute! (squeezes duck) Awwww, I love you too, Mr. Squeaky. (kisses duck) Now where was I? Oh yeah…… Kill them all It became one of the most popular publications in Paris during the revolution, and succeeded in spreading ever increasing fear and anger among the people. In August, leaders of the National Assembly, with help from a certain Thomas Jefferson, adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen- an incredible document that guaranteed liberty and equal rights to all men. And when I say men, I mean men. (not women) Despite its glaring shortcomings in gender equality, the massively influential Declaration would go on to inspire the struggle for liberty and equality across the planet for centuries. However, back in France, the vast majority of the people weren’t really so concerned with enlightened ideas of equality as much as they were concerned with the fact that they were still starving. Bread was still expensive as hell and hard to come by. The people felt that one reason that nothing had been done yet about the crisis was because the King simply couldn’t see the problem. He lived in Versailles, a full 20 km southwest of Paris. And as a result, lived in comfort, separated from his dirty, stinking subjects. On October 5, a crowd of women, 7,000 strong, decided to do something unprecedented. They decided they’d remove that separation, and confront the king directly. The women marched all the way to the King’s palace in Versailles. Along the way, the crowd continued to grow into the tens of thousands. And when they arrived, they demanded an audience with the King. – What are those “things” outside the palace? – They’re poor people, your Majesty – THAT’S POOR PEOPLE?!! – They say they’re hungry. – Hungry? Then let them eat cake. – Wow. See, this is the exact BS that led to this whole mess in the first place. You’re SO out of touch. They’re writhing around in the filth breaking their backs to barely scrape by and they come to you demanding just the basic ability to feed themselves and you think a slice of cake will sort them out? – Well… then let them eat Taco Bell Crunch Wrap Supreme. – Wow! They’re not THAT desperate! Members of the crowd actually managed to break into the palace with the intention of killing the Queen who narrowly escaped through a secret passage in her bedroom. The enraged mob killed several members of the Royal guard, and raised their head on pikes, which if you haven’t noticed yet, is something they were quite fond of doing. The King had no choice, but to come out and talk to the crowd. He agreed to accept his new position, sharing power with the Revolutionary government and to return to Paris with the crowd, removing the separation between King and Subject. King Louis had a problem with people constantly raiding his palace. But one thing he didn’t have a problem with was people raiding his computer- because he used NordVPN. If, like me, you don’t like hackers stealing your data, passwords, bank deeds, and girlfriend, then you need to check out NordVPN. With over 5,000 servers in 60 countries, it allows you to surf the internet anonymously, and safely, with no personal data logging. It’s super easy to use. You can take a trip to a server in Japan, with just a click of a button. And while you’re there, why not check out some sweeeet Japanese Netflix. Or maybe you want to watch a certain OverSimplifed video, that for some reason, has been blocked in your country. Well, with NordVPN, you can. NordVPN gives you access to superfast servers, and much more. And if you’re not happy with it, it comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. Get NordVPN now by clicking the link below. nordvpn.com/oversimplified and get an amazing 75% off. That’s only $2.99/month with an additional month free, for a limited time. And you’ll also be helping to support my channel. So again, that’s nordvpn.com/oversimplified. *Outro music*
Check out the second video- it’s right in your face. shouldn’t be too hard.
Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qRZcXIODNU

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