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The Life Of The Commoners: The French System

987 words - 4 pages

At this time, France was going through a radical change. The three estates were starting to become equal and the huge gap between them was closing fast. The commoners of the 3rd estate were fed up with the life of poverty that they were forced to live in and sought for a change to the French system. But do the commoners deserve ALL the blame for executing the French Revolution? No they don’t. It was the Nobility that provoked this revolution and who drove the commoners into such despair.

The Life of the Commoners
These people took up 95% of France’s total population and at this time in France, there was something called birthright. This means that if you were born into a life of poverty ...view middle of the document...

These commoners were the labourers of the time and even though they did so much for France they were still paid unfair amounts and asked to give up so much of their money. Not only did they need to pay the taxes but they needed food, water and clothes. A loaf of bread would have cost them a week’s wages. The 3rd Estate was treated unfairly and was neglected by the Nobility. If the Nobles were to step in and aid the 3rd estate by supplying them with more money and resources to live a more sufficient life the commoners wouldn’t have been driven to tipping point and they wouldn’t have started such a violent revolution.
The Taxes
The taxes were the biggest problem for the commoners at the time. They were forced to pay not only the government’s taxes but foreign taxes that went towards the wars. The government taxes in which they had to pay were Royal taxes, Tithes to the Church; earnings or a fraction of annual produce given to the Church as support and Manorial dues; rent from farmers or peasants that are using a Noble’s land to live. The commoners not only had to pay these taxes but they needed to buy clothes and food with what little money they had left. They were inclined to carry the burden of keeping France running. Even though the Nobles were fairly rich they did not have to pay such taxes, they just enjoyed their lives of recreation and comfort and watched as the commoners suffered. The problem with this system of payment was the commoners took up 95% of the population and only possessed 15-20% of the overall wealth whilst the Nobles took up only 5% of the population and acquired 80% of the total wealth. And King Louis XVI wondered why France wasn’t receiving enough money to pay...

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