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The French Revolution Review Questions for AP European History

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Mar 4, 2011

The study guide for these review questions can be found at:

The French Revolution for AP European History

Questions

  1. The main obstacle to solving France's financial problems was
    1. the extravagant lifestyle of Louis XVI
    2. the unwillingness of the Third Estate to pay more
    3. the fact that both the nobility and clergy were exempt from most taxes
    4. foreign wars
    5. a bad economy
  2. The significance of the storming of the Bastille was that
    1. it put ammunition into the hands of the Paris crowd
    2. it marked the beginning of a radical phase of the revolution
    3. it freed important leaders from prison
    4. it demonstrated that the crowd could be an important ally for the Assembly
    5. it demonstrated that the crowd was tired of monarchy
  3. The Great Fear of the summer of 1789
    1. politicized the urban workers of Paris
    2. catalyzed a European coalition against the French revolution
    3. put greater pressure on the Assembly to enact more radical legislation
    4. strengthened the position of the nobility
    5. demonstrated the desperation of an overtaxed peasantry
  4. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy
    1. allied the clergy with the Assembly
    2. curbed the power of the clergy but alienated many Catholics
    3. brought the Assembly greater support among the Catholic population
    4. reaffirmed the central place of the Church in the French government
    5. made Catholicism illegal in France
  5. All of the following precipitated the radical turn of the revolution EXCEPT
    1. the rise of the sans-culottes
    2. the flight of the king
    3. the division of the Assembly into factions
    4. the execution of the king
    5. the outbreak of war with Austria and Prussia
  6. The Reign of Terror
    1. was necessary, according to Robespierre, to establish a democratic republic
    2. was opposed by the Parisian crowd
    3. was aimed only at the nobility
    4. was anticlerical
    5. was worst in the countryside
  7. In Thermidor
    1. the nobility reasserted its power
    2. France was defeated by the European coalition
    3. the French monarchy was restored
    4. the sans-culottes chose to govern France directly
    5. the moderate portion of the propertied bourgeoisie reasserted its power
  8. The Directory turned to the military because
    1. it lost the support of the sans-culottes
    2. it lost the support of the nobility
    3. it was threatened by both Jacobin and Royalist opposition
    4. it feared it would lose the next election
    5. it was overthrown by a general

Answers and Explanations

  1. C.   It was the tax exempt status of the nobility and the clergy that prevented the government from gaining access to the majority of wealth in the French economy and, therefore, from solving its financial problems. Choice A is incorrect because, although Louis's lifestyle was a drain on government resources, there was sufficient wealth in France to cover its national debt. Choice B is incorrect because the various classes in the Third Estate were already taxed beyond what they could bear. Choice D is incorrect because, although Louis's foreign wars were a drain on France's finances, there was sufficient wealth in the economy to pay for them. Choice E is incorrect because there were sufficient amounts of wealth in the French economy to deal with all of France's financial difficulties.
  2. D.   The storming of the Bastille showed the members of the Assembly that the Parisian crowd could be used as a threat of further violence if its demands were not met. Choice A is incorrect because, despite its reputation, the Bastille did not contain much ammunition. Choice B is incorrect because, although the storming of the Bastille was surprisingly violent, it did not signal radical aims. Choice C is incorrect because, despite the Bastille's reputation, it did not contain many prisoners. Choice E is incorrect because the storming of the Bastille did not signify a loss of faith in the king.
  3. E.   The Great Fear was a traditional peasant uprising; the peasants protested high bread prices and burned records of taxes that they could not pay. Choice A is incorrect because the Great Fear was an uprising that took place in rural areas of France, not the urban areas. Choice B is incorrect because the Great Fear had no effect on France's foreign relations. Choice C is incorrect because, although the rural violence seems to have emboldened the Assembly, the pressure was applied to the king, Church, and nobility as the traditional sources of\ authority. Choice D is incorrect because the nobility's inability to deal with the financial crisis undermined their authority.
  4. B.   The Civil Constitution of the Clergy required clergy to take an oath of loyalty to the state, something that their faith prohibited them from doing. The action alienated many French Catholics, who sided with their priests over the National Assembly. Choice A is incorrect because, although the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, in theory, made the clergy government employees and therefore subordinate to the Assembly, the conflict it caused further alienated the clergy. Choice C is incorrect because the Civil Constitution of the Clergy angered most Catholics and made them hostile to the Assembly. Choice D is incorrect because the Civil Constitution of the Clergy sought to subordinate the Church and make it less central in the government of France. Choice E is incorrect because Catholicism remained the dominant religion in France.
  5. D.   The execution of the king was an effect of the radicalization, not a precipitant or cause. Choice A is incorrect because the rise of the sans-culottes led to a shift to more radical aims because the sans-culottes' hopes of a more egalitarian and economically fair society were more radical than those of the bourgeois members of the Assembly. Choice B is incorrect because the flight of the king eroded the people's confidence in him and forced them to consider a more radical path. Choice C is incorrect because the development of factions within the Assembly meant that each faction had to compete for the support of the Paris crowd and, therefore, be more willing to listen to their radical demands. Choice E is incorrect because the war with Austria and Prussia created an air of crisis in which bolder action seemed required.
  6. A.   Robespierre justified the Terror by arguing that a virtuous, democratic republic could only be established and flourish once the tyrannical enemies of the revolution could be eliminated. Choice B is incorrect because the Reign of Terror was supported by the crowds in big cities such as Paris and Lyon. Choices C and D are incorrect because no one was safe from the accusation of being an "enemy of the revolution"; the Terror was not aimed at either the nobility or the clergy. Choice E is incorrect because the Terror was mostly an urban phenomenon.
  7. E.   In Thermidor, bourgeois moderates reasserted their power after the great leaders of the radical phase had been consumed by their own Terror tribunals. Choice A is incorrect because the nobility were largely absent from Paris by the time of Thermidor, having had the resources to flee the Terror. Choice B is incorrect because France was not defeated by the coalition until 1815. Choice C is incorrect because the French monarchy was not restored until after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. Choice D is incorrect because the sans-culottes had exhausted their energies by Thermidor and succumbed to the counter-terror of the bourgeois elites.
  8. C.   The Directory, being a government of bourgeois moderates, turned to the military to protect it from threats posed by both the more radical Jacobins and the more conservative Royalists. Choice A is incorrect because the Directory never had the support of the sans-culottes. Choice B is incorrect because the Directory never had the support of the nobility. Choice D is incorrect because the new constitution written by the moderates limited voting rights to the propertied classes who supported the Directory, thus they had no fear of elections. Choice E is incorrect because, although the Directory was eventually overthrown by a general, Bonaparte, they had by that time already been dependent on the military for several years.
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