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Current time:0:00Total duration:11:03

Video transcript

There's a very popular, and I thought, good movie out, based on the play, which is based on the novel by Victor Hugo, Les Miserables. And I'm sure I'm mispronouncing it. It means "the miserable," for those for whom it was not obvious. And what I want to give is a little bit of context because in that book, play, movie there is an attempted revolution. And sometimes people try to associate it with the French Revolution. But that is not depicting the French Revolution that people talk about when they talk about the French Revolution. And so I thought I would give a little bit of scaffold of French history in the late 1700s and all the way through the mid-1800s to give a little bit of context on the matter. So let's start off in 1789. That's when you have the French Revolution. The First French Revolution, we could say, or the French Revolution, which is the French Revolution that people talk about when they're talking about the French Revolution. It was all about deposing Louis XVI and his wife, Maria Antoinette. This is her body there. I think she just got guillotined. This is her head. It was very bloody revolution. This is the storming of the Bastille right over here. And that starts the beginning of the First Republic in France. The First Republic. So there were all these dreams and aspirations that France would now be a country of the people. Not too dissimilar to the United States. But revolutions are not so easy, or so clean, or so fast. And France had to go through a long period of pain before it could really establish itself as a real republic. But let's keep going on further off in history. Let me do that in a different color. I'll do the timeline in white. So let's fast forward. Let's fast forward to 1799. This is when Napoleon Bonaparte comes to power. So when people talk about Napoleon, they are talking about Napoleon Bonaparte. We'll see that there are other Napoleons. But if people just say, hey, Napoleon did this or that, they're talking about Napoleon Bonaparte. So this is, Napoleon comes to power. Napoleon. And he officially ends the First Republic in 1804 because he declares himself emperor. But let's fast forward. There's many videos on the Khan Academy dealing with the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolution. But let's fast forward to 1815. So let me do that in white again. So you get to 1815. So let's see. That was about 10 years. I need to go about 16 years. So that would put us at 1815 right over there. 1815 is, essentially, Napoleon faces his Waterloo, which was literally at Waterloo. That's why people talk about facing your Waterloo. So he was banished for a little bit to Elba. He was able to come back. He had 100, actually 111 days in power. But then he was finally defeated. And then he was finally put into exile at Saint Helena, where he died. In 1815, you essentially have the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. So Louis XVI's younger brother comes to power. And they call him Louis XVIII. So this is Louis XVIII, which raises a very good question-- What happened to Louis XVII? Louis XVII was Louis XVI's son, who died in prison at the age of 10 in 1795 during the Revolution or during the revolutionary period, I guess we could say. So this right over here. This right over here. Napoleon ends -- let me draw. This is Napoleon's-- let me do this in the same color I did Napoleon in. So 1799 to, actually, 1814 is when Napoleon's reign ended but then he came back for a little bit. So I'll draw a little bit of a dotted line here. A little dotted line. And then 1814 was the formal restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. And, but of course, Napoleon comes back a little bit. But after Waterloo, it's really firmly established. So you have the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. So this is Louis the XVIII. And then in 1824 he dies. And he dies childless. 1824. So let's see. It's about nine years. So that will put us about right over there. 1824. He dies childless. And so his younger brother, Charles X comes to power. So then you have Charles X. Charles. I'll do all the Bourbons in purple. Charles X. And this is Charles X right over here. And so let's go a little bit further off into history. You fast forward all the way to 1830. You fast forward to 1830. A lot of discontent. And now you have the Second French Revolution. You might say, oh hey, this must be what Les Miserables is all about. No, we're not there yet. Les Mis is not about the Second French Revolution, sometimes called the July Revolution. July Revolution. And this revolution actually did not-- it was successful-- but it did not establish a republic at this point. It instead installed-- and this whole time there was a liberalization. The monarchy, even when it was put in power, had a gradual decline in how much power it had. But after the July Revolution, they put in Charles X's cousin. Charles X's cousin who was the Duke of Orleans. Who was this guy, this guy right over here. Louis Philippe I. So let me write that. So this is Louis Philippe I. And so you're saying, Sal, you started off this video talking about Les Mis. You haven't mentioned Les Mis yet. Give me a little bit of context. So now I will give you context. So if you watch the movie, it starts off with Jean Valjean. He's at a shipping place where they're repairing ships of some sort. That was in 1815 after Waterloo. So it was under Louis XVIII's regime. So that's right over here. Let me see where the start of the movie. The start of the movie is right about there. And then the real climax of the movie, which is this rebellion. There's these barricades being set up in Paris. You have all these young idealistic folks who are trying to overthrow the government. This does not happen until 1832. This is 1832. I'll do it right over here. 1832. And what catalyzed that-- there were several things that was catalyzing that. And, actually, most revolutions are catalyzed by just economic discontent. If people are rich, and happy, and have jobs, and aren't getting sick, most people aren't in the mood to revolt. But in 1832, as you could imagine, the economic situation was not good. There was also a very nasty outbreak of cholera. And what really catalyzed the events in Les Mis, and they even refer to it in the movie, is the death of this chap right over here. Jean Maximilien Lamarque. Let me write the name down. Jean Maximilien-- and I'm sure I'm mispronouncing it-- Lamarque. And he dies in June of 1832. And he was very sympathetic to the plight of the poor, to the plight of the common man. And the average folks said, hey look, he's our guy in government. And he had an influential role in government. When he died, they were like, look, we don't have anybody else in a high position who can speak for us. Let's use his funeral as a catalyst for revolt. And you saw that happening in the movie Les Mis. So Les Mis, that climactic moment, that is the June Rebellion of 1832. And it's not-- you don't have to have amazing comprehension of watching movies to realize that this was unsuccessful. So this right here, didn't work. Didn't work. If it did work, It might have been called the Third French Revolution. But it was not. It was an unsuccessful revolution or unsuccessful rebellion, really. And it was that Victor Hugo observed it. And that's why he's able to recount it in so much detail. The barricading, the young people, the shooting in the streets, all the rest. So this is a little bit of review. When people talk about the French Revolution, they're usually talking about the French Revolution. 1789. Begins to establish the First Republic. It was a successful revolution. The Second French Revolution. This is the July Revolution. This is in 1830. This puts into power Louis Philippe I, the person that they're trying to overthrow in Les Mis. And they don't establish the Second Republic after this. For the Second Republic, we have to go all the way to the revolution of-- let me make sure I can scroll properly. Go all the way. So let me continue my timeline. So this is Louis Philippe to go 18 years. 18 years to 1848 where you have the Third French Revolution, which leads to the popular election of Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew. Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte. This guy right over here. But France is still not done. It still can't establish itself as a long-lasting republic. In 1851, this character declares himself emperor. So 1851, he too declares himself emperor. And France is not finally freed of kings and emperors until 1870. So let's do this run all the way to 1870 where France, essentially, loses the Franco-Prussian War. And this character, this character right over here, is deposed. And you have the establishment of the Third French Republic.