French Evolution Discussion Questions

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Claire Gatzke
Mr. Ford
A.P.E.H Per.5
8 November 2011
Discussion Questions
1. After the Sun King died in 1715, France's financial status was bad. As the 18th century progressed these problems were never fixed and the problems continued to worsen. The Bourbons faced a variety of socio-political problems during the 18th century. After supporting the American Revolution and getting nothing in return because of the Treaty of Paris, France was left with insurmountable amounts of debt. To try to decrease the amount of debt facing France, Louis XVI tried to raise taxes but was met with a resounding protest throughout the country. The government could not inflate their currency because they did not have a central bank or paper currency. It seemed this financial situation was next to impossible to overcome. The general population was upset because the cost of living was skyrocketing; they were unable to provide for their daily needs and the monarchy was wasting money on unnecessary luxuries. 2. When the French Revolution began the French people were divided into three estates. The first estate consisted of the clergy, the second the nobility, and the third estate was the rest of France. Each estate had problems with the monarchy and wanted reform. The clergy was upset that the church's income was being depleted from the local parishes to political appointees and worldly aristocrats the sat at the top of church hierarchy. Because of this, the economic position of local parishes were poor. The rest of the French population had simple problems but for some reason were not being solved. The third estate wanted bread to be attainable for all so they could feed their families. The price of bread was very high and the economic position of the country was terrible because of the debt caused by their support of the American Revolution, which caused widespread hunger. The three estates blamed the monarchy for their problems because no one else had enough power...
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