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The Real Cause Of The French Revolution

2545 words - 10 pages

The Real Cause of the French Revolution For hundreds of years historians have tried to find out the real cause
of the French Revolution, and they have come up with hundreds of
varieties different reasons as well. Spread over the ten-year period
from 1789-1799, the French Revolution was initiated by disagreements
over the peoples' ideas of reform. Seeking equality, liberty and
wanting their voice to be heard, the Third Estate played a major role
in determining the future of France in ten years time. Linked with
elaborate disputes among the people, hatred toward their beautiful and
ignorant queen, Marie Antoinette, the starvation that spread over
France and their involvement with the American Revolution - the French
Revolution was, indeed, a strange and a marked time in the world
history. Nevertheless, is it really possible to know what really
happened during the ten-year period, and to find out the real cause of
the occurrence of the French Revolution?

During the eighteenth century, social classes played an important role
in the lives of the people. The French society was legally stratified
by birthrights and was divided into three classes: the First Estate,
the Second Estate, and the Third Estate[1]. Each social group had a
varied type of people within their structure, which presented the
different views of the people. The First Estate was the clergy,
numbered around one hundred thousand people. The clergy was made up of
two groups: the higher clergy and the lower clergy. The higher clergy
had a very luxurious life, but however, the lower clergy, such as the
parish priests, came from the middle and lower classes, and many of
them lived in poverty. Some of the clergies were nobles as well. This
estate was the minority of the whole French society, consisting only
one or two percent of the whole population. The Second Estate was the
nobility, consisting around four hundred thousand people, most from
the minor rank. The Third Estate consisted of the remainder of the
French population, varying from the city-workers, peasants, wage
earners and the middle class.

During the eighteenth century, an concerning the Third Estate was the
large population, which the majority composed of them. Initially,
France only had around twenty million people living within its
borders. Nonetheless, over the century that number increased by eight
to ten million, as epidemic diseases and acute food shortages
diminished and mortality declined.[2] Most of the increased number of
people was the peasantry. The large number of people limited the work
fields and not enough land was provided for all peasants, and
therefore resulted in extreme poverty.

During that period of time, the Third Estate in France...

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