Soc 20: The French Revolution

The French Revolution is easily one of the most intriguing elements of Western History and warrants your attention.

I’ve spent a ton of time studying this–I’ve read every book I can get my hands on, taken courses dedicated to it, watched videos, the whole nine yards–and even I’m not confident in all the facts.

At the bottom of this post I’ve attached the first PowerPoint filled with notes…this should get us to the Reign of Terror but not into it. It has the primary causes of the Revolution as a focal point.

You’ll note that there’s a lot more I could say on pretty much every aspect of the Revolution. I simply cannot. The parameters of Social 20 make this a survey, rather than in depth examination.

I highly recommend you find your own way to study the Revolution–now or later–as there are certainly stories that will catch your interest. You may even find some of the “approximated facts” I use. For example, I told you about the delegates to the Estates General–a 300/300/600 split. The exact numbers are 302 clergy, 289 nobles, and 576 (+35 later = 601) delegates. These approximate facts serve us well in the context of Social 20, but for you history buffs, you’ll want the real numbers.

In addition to the PPT, I’m going to give you some video links, articles, etc. Dig in. Enjoy. And should you encounter a question–a burning question–I either know the answer or know how to find it. Happy guillotining!


History Channel on the FR (90 minutes) – you’ll note there are some inaccuracies. Ah, such is life.

French Revolution In A Nutshell – a VERY rapid take that is maybe best a highlight reel.

An extended FR recap worth watching.


Vox tries to explain why France banned the “burkini”. Naturally, the Revolution has something to do with it.

The French didn’t invent the guillotine. Well, why is it named after a French guy? BBC has the answer.

LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY: EXPLORING THE FRENCH REVOUTION may be my favourite website because it’s STOCKED with primary documents. I unabashedly raid these documents when making PowerPoints, exams, etc…

Need a few hail mary myths of the Rev? In addition to the above guillotine reference, this has a few others. (I’ll touch on others yet…I should write for the Washington Post…)

Here’s a review of my (second) favourite book on the French Revolution. I’d like it better if the author was less a fan of Danton–he tries to be as objective as possible–whom I loathe. #teamrobespierre

My PowerPoint


Another take on that all important cartoon

Completely Randomly…

I’m pretty sure this cartoon explaining the Rev is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen (and by the people who made the How A Bill Becomes Law video I love) so I’m just going to leave that right here…

Mr. McIntosh

Teacher - Humanities

In a typical year I teach a range of courses from elementary to high school. I am our school's Social Studies specialist, teaching high school social, as well as a member of the PE team.

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