Causes of the French Revolution

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DBQ 10: Causes of the French
Revolution

Question: What were the most important causes of the French Revolution?

Although the French Revolution of 1789 had many long range causes; political, social and economic conditions in France at the time contributed to the discontent felt by many French people. The Third estate was the most displease of all the others. They faced high taxes, overcrowding with little or no representation in government. The American Revolution was also a huge influence to the French Revolution.

The French people lacked political involvement. The government of France at the time was run by the King who led with abuse and tyranny. The Third Estate demanded reforms to be taken about by the king to shape their lives for the better good. Document 3, and excerpt from the cahier which was a list of grievance about the king, taxing, and voting in the estates general, shows the absence of connection the third estate had with the nation. They pushed to change this.

The Economic conditions in France were also a cause for the French Revolution. The economic troubles in France were the conclusion of the weak leadership France had. King Louis XVI was a weak leader who was often indecisive and allowed matters to drift. His wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, added to his problems offering him poor advice; Marie spending was rather hefty increasing the French deficit. Document 1, an excerpt adapted from Travels in France by Arthur Young, describes the situation in France due to high taxes, a solution imposed by the King. The Third Estate could not afford to pay this tax and ended up no being able to buy bread due to the price increase. Children wore rags and parents could no pay rent to the lords. Taxes hurt the people, the economy hurt the nation.

Social problems and events also caused the need for a French Revolution. The third estate was made up of 97% of the people occupying 55% of the land according to Document 2. There was Overcrowding. The...
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