The French Revolution: Crash Course World History #29

  • Published on Aug 10, 2012
  • In which John Green examines the French Revolution, and gets into how and why it differed from the American Revolution. Was it the serial authoritarian regimes? The guillotine? The Reign of Terror? All of this and more contributed to the French Revolution not being quite as revolutionary as it could have been. France endured multiple constitutions, the heads of heads of state literally rolled, and then they ended up with a megalomaniacal little emperor by the name of Napoleon. But how did all of this change the world, and how did it lead to other, more successful revolutions around the world? Watch this video and find out. Spoiler alert: Marie Antoinette never said, "Let them eat cake." Sorry.
    Crash Course World History is now available on DVD!
    Follow us!
    Like us! ‪
    Follow us again! ‪
    Crash Course goods are available now:
    Thermidor (which is this month) is Revolutions month on Crash Course!
    The American Revolution:
    Coming soon:
    #30 - Haitian Revolution
    #31 - Latin American Revolutions
    #32 - Industrial Revolution
    Support Crash Course on Patreon:

Comments • 9 138

  • Historical Otaku

    Learning about history is my hobby now
    Thanks alot John Green

  • Jose Hernandez
    Jose Hernandez 6 days ago


  • James Nicholson
    James Nicholson 6 days ago

    "Its a long way from Hammurabi"... lovely line just tossed in there

  • Halil Mucaram
    Halil Mucaram 8 days ago

    Excuse me, but Dr. Guillotine did not invent it he was only the one who introduced it just like America named after the one who did not discover it.

  • Zola Irena
    Zola Irena 8 days ago

    The rich didn't pay taxes, sounds familiar...

    • Dominick Sebastièn
      Dominick Sebastièn Day ago

      They payed them. Aristocracy and clergy didn't. Shopkeapers, economists, lawyers, proffesors, bourgeois, tradesmen, protoindustrialists did. Some of them were far richer than nobles. In fact, that's what made them mad - we are sucesfull, we are rich, we move economy, we pay taxes and have absolutely no say in politics.
      World today would be revolutionaries wet dream.

  • Kevin Smith
    Kevin Smith 9 days ago +1

    "Their liberty is not liberal. Their science is presumptuous ignorance. Their humanity is savage and brutal."

  • Hayden Banks
    Hayden Banks 9 days ago

    I'm so bad at history. I thought this would help but its so much info so fast I can't take it 😭

  • Vaibhav Tripathi
    Vaibhav Tripathi 9 days ago +1

    I just love crush course who else....

  • Wubba Wubba
    Wubba Wubba 10 days ago

    You got your high school history teacher to write the script? Now that’s just awesome!

    GREENSURGE 11 days ago +1


  • Andrew Bowman
    Andrew Bowman 11 days ago

    Correction the first estate is the clergy not the nobles

  • dana miserable
    dana miserable 13 days ago’d the test go for everyone? Who passed?

  • Egoism-Anarchism-Communism-Syndicalism

    Vive Les Jacobins!

  • Manisha Yadav
    Manisha Yadav 17 days ago

    You are so cute and intelligent

  • By
    By 17 days ago

    4:00 creeper, aw man

    BLACK PANTHER 19 days ago

    6:57 pause

  • Banana Balloon
    Banana Balloon 19 days ago

    What about the author of the friend of the people and his Assassination

  • Andrew Schoonover
    Andrew Schoonover 20 days ago

    there should be a whole series about the french revolution(s) tbh!

  • Kerry Gray
    Kerry Gray 24 days ago +1

    America has built the largest middle class in the history of civillization. So, Diderot's "fear" in regards to division of wealth in the United States following it's revolutionary beginnings and the development of the free market economic system has been proved to be largely unfounded. It is in fact, socialistic measures and engineering by the far left in the forms of welfare and breakdown of family structure that has actually created the most disparity and cemented certain groups into underclasses. As far as American aristocracy, unlike Europe, our "aristocracy" has historically been self-made. Anyone with the desire to succeed may do so in America, as we have given power to the individual vs the state.

  • Franicc
    Franicc 25 days ago +1

    2:07 spooky creeper

  • Paula Niqueletto
    Paula Niqueletto 27 days ago

    Alguien del st brendan?

  • HighburyAFCSoul
    HighburyAFCSoul 27 days ago

    Who’s here after Oversimplified?

  • TheHedge
    TheHedge 28 days ago

    If you really want to learn lessons from the French Revolution, actually read about it. This is nonsense. No mention of the untold amounts of indiscriminate murders conducted by the revolutionaries who wanted a manageable French population for their socialist utopia.

  • freudsigmund72
    freudsigmund72 28 days ago

    1:04 Another reason why France was so much in debt at the time was a failing economy following strict protectionism. Imports were all but forbidden which in return ceased all exports as a counter measure.
    Funny how history tends to copy itself

    • freudsigmund72
      freudsigmund72 26 days ago

      @Shorty Grey when the federal government spends 4% of GDP (2018) and most likely 5,6% (2019) more than it's tax revenue, and grownth is far less than this deficit, the US is digging itself faster in an already 22,5 trillion hole. The dow is not the economy.

    • Shorty Grey
      Shorty Grey 27 days ago

      Except that is not even remotely what is happening in the US...just look at the DOW; the economy is booming. Next, the US has fiat currency backed by a reserve banking system so, as modern monetary theory demonstrates as an accounting entity, public sector debt is EQUAL to private sector surpluses: as the Federal government's debt rises, the public's wealth increases.

  • Gadol Adonai
    Gadol Adonai Month ago

    You lost me at 6:18

  • Gabriel Afonso
    Gabriel Afonso Month ago

    I miss this show man, I watched them all years ago.

  • dARCliTE mEsSIAH
    dARCliTE mEsSIAH Month ago

    This vid is a real bad source on the french revolution

  • Elizabeth
    Elizabeth Month ago

    Aux armes, citoyens ! C'est Bastille !

  • kouchka06
    kouchka06 Month ago

    The first estate wasn't the nobility, it was the clergy (caus' God lol).

  • 16thJune1904
    16thJune1904 Month ago

    In the interests of people watching I think it should probably be mentioned that the first estate was the clergy and the second estate was the nobility, not the other way around. There used to be an annotation at 2:16 apologizing for the slip-up and confirming this, but since TVclip has kind of thrown video annotations out of the window now it doesn't show up anymore, and if somebody is watching this in preparation for an exam then that's kind of an annoying thing to have done, so I just wanted to give people a heads up.

  • Some kind of Entity

    Wait... so the cake was a lie?

  • Arcani
    Arcani Month ago

    why do we say american revolution instead on american war of independence ?

  • Void Harvest
    Void Harvest Month ago

    Ha did anyone else see the Alot

  • Adya :-P
    Adya :-P Month ago

    so the chapter that my history teacher covered in 15 classes each of 40 minutes and me zoning out in most of them,,,,,,,, I'm done in 12 minutes-
    Thanks crash course I won't fail my exams ksksks

  • Angelena Huynh
    Angelena Huynh Month ago

    I’m here for my upcoming sophomore year in high school. And I hope you upload the cosmetology and pharmacology courses.

  • Anoushka Pandey
    Anoushka Pandey Month ago

    can someone please tell me why Leopald II is not holy, not roman and not imperial?

  • Cute Krishna
    Cute Krishna Month ago

    I came here after seeing Over Simplified :)

    R WARRIOR Month ago

    This MORON and his antifa computer sound like left wing IDIOTS!!

  • marsel dagistani
    marsel dagistani Month ago +1

    France: Let's make a peaceful government.
    Robespiere: let the heads roll

  • Leah Starr
    Leah Starr Month ago +1

    only here for nostalgia...once upon a time i was here cramming for an AP Euro test.

  • Blue Clouds
    Blue Clouds Month ago

    Your courses are gibberish

  • Paul-Napoléon Calland

    A shame that you claimed that Louis XVIII and Charles X (whose coronation you showed twice) didn't claim to rule solely by Divine Right. Louis-Philippe (reign 1830 - 1848) was king of the French, like Louis XVI under the "new stye" monarchy that ended in 1792, rather than king of France, and was followed by President Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, who became EMPEROR (not "King") Napoleon III in 1852. The Second Empire was a democracy in ways that most governments today aren't (except Switzerland), including the right of "ordinary" people to participate in government, and (ironically, but predictably) the "Third Republic" that followed decided to deprive military personnel of their vote, announced that there's "no social question" (Léon Gambetta, to the workers in Le Havre, 1872), and explicitly refused to submit the change of régime to a vote of the people (who still mostly supported Napoleon III). And as part of the backlash among the political "élites" against the Second Empire and its emperor, it wasn't until 1965, under the current Fifth Republic, that the French people actually started electing the president again, or being consulted on government policy, as in 1969.

    Interesting choice of date to post this by the way (anniversary of the massacre of Louis XVI's Swiss Guards, which you showed a painting of, in between the one of Louis XVI & family, and the one of Napoleon as First Consul (crossing the Alps).

  • the tiny one
    the tiny one Month ago +1

    Any indians because of UPSC here??

  • Mr woofey Woofey
    Mr woofey Woofey Month ago +1

    There’s a tax for that

  • 21 FROSTY
    21 FROSTY Month ago +1

    4:06 the creeper bush lol

  • bd06m0030
    bd06m0030 Month ago

    Nothing says power to the people like corruption, state initiated reign of terror, an actual reign of terror, and multiple massacres of people including in portion women and children.

  • Sac Selassie
    Sac Selassie Month ago

    1st estate are clergy

  • A b
    A b Month ago

    I wish they taught me this in school 😇

  • Minty
    Minty Month ago

    The actual inventor of the prototype guillotine was a man named Tobias Schmidt. working with the kings physician Antoine Louis.

  • Hugo Dufort
    Hugo Dufort Month ago +1

    You didn't cover the reason why Napoleon rose to power. France was under attack by most neighboring countries at the time, and Napoleon's military success and protection of revolutionary France made him very important.

  • Hugo Dufort
    Hugo Dufort Month ago

    I'd vote for decimal time.

  • Hugo Dufort
    Hugo Dufort Month ago

    LOL. The ortolan made a cameo.

  • Jessica
    Jessica Month ago +1

    I never comment on these things but I have to say *this is the BEST french revolution crash course video.* I have watched 4 so far, and none have been as clear as this one. It fills all the gaps and answers all the questions the other videos left me wondering.

    now I can watch audrey hepburns war and peace with some clue c:

  • Audrey M. Purinton
    Audrey M. Purinton Month ago +1

    mmmmmhhhhhhh wroong. The Declaration of the Rights of Man was only applied for MEN because RIGHTS OF A MAN!!! since when did the rights of a man apply for slave and woman? *TRIGGERD*

  • Lochie Nichols
    Lochie Nichols Month ago

    i NEED dates times names etc i'm not getting that grrr oversimplified where are you????? so much more handy lmao

  • US Patriots Unite!
    US Patriots Unite! Month ago +1

    This is ALL WRONG. The French Revolution was primarily about enlightenment ideals not food (that was just a catalyst). Napoleon was an enlightenment thinker, but not a protector of democracy. He spread his enlightenment ideals with his army. Meanwhile Ropespierre and his Mountain Jacobins were communists and they were implementing a form of totalitarian terror. And there is no such communist-false-utopian goal of trying to "abolish the idea of being rich." So inequality will always exist to the end of time.

  • quintin laroda
    quintin laroda Month ago

    Too much opinion. Just the facts please

  • Bram Helsing
    Bram Helsing Month ago

    The first estate was the clergy. The second estate the nobles.

  • Jodi Carroll
    Jodi Carroll 2 months ago

    Lots of good information but you need to slow this down for the sake of listening and learning. Good job.

  • Soraya Santos
    Soraya Santos 2 months ago

    Im here for my final exam-

  • Brooke Williams
    Brooke Williams 2 months ago +1

    The global regents is tomorrow and I simply refuse to study for it because I already studied for the Euro AP. Let's hope this doesn't backfire on me. Good luck to everyone cramming before the regent

  • Dora D.
    Dora D. 2 months ago +3

    Who else is binge watching most of these praying to pass their regents???
    Mines tomorrow and I just started at 9pm....

    • Dora D.
      Dora D. 2 months ago

      bad imovie edits I’m currently crying cause imma fail....

    • bad imovie edits
      bad imovie edits 2 months ago

      Dora D. ahh same i may have made a mistake

  • jen !
    jen ! 2 months ago

    u forgot abt the Reign Of Terror

  • Ethan Fishlow
    Ethan Fishlow 2 months ago

    My final is tommorow

    • Ethan Fishlow
      Ethan Fishlow 2 months ago

      jen ! Same that’s what I meant

    • jen !
      jen ! 2 months ago

      my REGENTS is tomorrow

  • Sanket Motling
    Sanket Motling 2 months ago +1

    Whos here while playing Assassins Creed Unity

  • Francois Johannson
    Francois Johannson 2 months ago +5

    The events look chaotic, because we see them form the end, from the outcome. The people who lived through them had no masterplan for the whole process, they acted and reacted step by step.

  • Nikwunu
    Nikwunu 2 months ago

    the s o y

  • Justin Aeneas
    Justin Aeneas 2 months ago

    The American Revolution resulted in the creation of the world's first republic, a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of its rulers, in nearly 2000 years. This revolutionized the WORLD, as nearly all modern developed countries, especially France, have eventually followed suit. To suggest that this revolution had less of a global impact then the French Revolution, which MIRRORED the American in nearly every major positive aspect, is asinine. The Am. Rev. is where the common man was first truly guaranteed freedom and equality by a written Constitution.

    The fact that equality was not extended to Africans and Natives till much later remains a woeful stain in American history, but it doesn't erase the critical global influence of the American Revolution, despite this flippant man-child named John Green.

  • Matthew Johnson
    Matthew Johnson 2 months ago +1

    France is going through the same thing now in 2019, the politicians need to be hanged & burned at the stake! 🔫

  • Apollo's Vlog Channel Rowe

    Oh and he had demons

  • Apollo's Vlog Channel Rowe

    Immanuel Kant was not enlightened he was really really really really really really really stupid.

  • Ra ra Rasputin
    Ra ra Rasputin 2 months ago +1

    7:39 how is this an image from during the revolution while the arc de triomphe wasn't build until after the revolution and death of Napoleon?

  • aditi shastri
    aditi shastri 2 months ago +4

    We’re doing this right now in class, and I love it! This is like a violent anime that never ends and keeps introducing new characters!

  • J Pfister
    J Pfister 2 months ago

    This is great. Would be better if you slowed down. It’s hard for my brain to take in all that info that fast. I showed it to my kids (home schoolers) in a slower speed.

  • Clint James De Paz
    Clint James De Paz 2 months ago

    So Marie Antonoitte did came from Portal eh?