The French Revolution Essay

1218 words - 5 pages

1ForminioJessica ForminioMrs. BrennanGlobal II22 September 2014Causes of the French RevolutionThe French Revolution of 1789 had many long-range causes. Political, social, and economic conditions in France contributed to the discontent felt by many French, especially those of the third estate. The ideas of the intellectuals of the Enlightenment brought new views of government and society. The American Revolution also influenced the coming of the French Revolution. The French Monarchy emerged from the Seven Years War defeated and deeply in debt. After the French supported the American Revolution, they grew deeper in debt and the government was unable to collect sufficient taxes to stay solvent. King Louis XVI tried to appoint many ministers to try and help with Frances financial crisis, but he failed and so the parliament of Paris declared that only the General Estates could institute new taxes. The Estates General was divided into three smaller estates. The First Estate of the Clergy, the Second Estate of the Nobility, and the Third Estate who represented everyone else outside of the clergy and the nobility. As seen in Document Two, the diagram illiterates the three estates and the land each held during the Old Regime, which was the political and social system prior to the French Revolution. Although the diagram portrays the Third Estate to seem like they own more land, the percentages of the first estate shows that one present of the people own ten present of the land and that two percent of the second estate own thirty-five percent of the land. These percentages are proving that the first and second estate owns more land than the third estate because less people own more land. As said in the first document, there were also some social injustices that existed in pre-revolutionary France. For example, the first and second estates were exempt from most taxes, while the third estate was not. Also, the third estate was forced to pay feudal dues to the nobles and the king and there were no redress for the land damages of the third estate homes. Another example is that the higher estates banned hunting that was necessary for survival among the people of the third estate. As said in the fourth document, the middle class people tried to start the revolution. Although they new that the French Monarchy was superior and more powerful than them, they decided to start the revolution. They did this by trying to get the working class to join, but they were to uneducated to understand what they were trying to do.Along with the social causes of the French Revolution, came economic causes. After the Seven Years War, France suffered from debt. Part of this reason is because during the American Revolution, France helped to support the Americans, which cost them a lot of money. Dealing with all of this debt was not easy for Louis XVI, so he hired many government officials to deal with the financial crisis. Because France was so deeply in debt, he tried to raise the...

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