There were numerous causes to justify The French Revolution. There existed problems inside France’s government, society, and economy. Most of these problems were ultimately experienced by the third estate, or the middle class. The third estate was then educated on a better way to live by the results of the Enlightenment philosophers and their philosophies. Certain conditions also led to the revolution, on top of its causes. Living conditions and representation in government are two examples. It is undeniable that the people of the third estate were correct in their campaign for change.
The Revolutionaries had it clear in their minds that change in government was of utmost importance to revolution. According to an excerpt from Diderot’s Encyclopedia, or Classified Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Occupations,” The first state that man acquires by nature and that is esteemed the most precious of all his possible possessions is his state of liberty.” (Doc. 6) Clearly France’s Monarchy, or even upper classmen, would not agree with this statement. This argument could have been used by the third estate to fight for their representation in government, or even their percentage of property owned in the country. The event in which the third estate was literally locked out of the Estates General meeting that led to the Tennis Court Oath also was a huge cause for the revolution. Not only were the third estates reasons for revolution domestic, but also foreign. The American Revolution played as a huge confidence booster for the French in their fight against an all-powerful monarchy. According to Lord Acton, “The condition of France alone did not bring about the overthrow of the monarchy . . . but the spark that changed thought into action was supplied by the Declaration of American Independence . . . American example caused the Revolution to break out . . .” (Doc. 9) Lord Acton believed the American Revolution was the largest reason for the French Revolution. The...
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