French Revolution

Topics: French Revolution, Age of Enlightenment, Louis XVI of France Pages: 5 (1545 words) Published: January 19, 2013
Chen Hao
World History 9, Period 4
First Draft of French Revolution Essay

Why was there a revolution in France in 1789?

The French Revolution was a imaginary train that changed the direction of thought in Europe and also showed the end of the “Modern Age”, which is called the Ancién Regime in France, and showed the beginning of a “Contemporary Age”. The absolutism of the Ancién Regime was the seed that planted the fury of the people in France and it was the main reason that started the revolution. The unfairness of the First and Second State (Clergy and Nobles which were the rich population that represented 3% of the French population), the economic problems that led France to a disastrous situation which people began stealing food of others and also the public thinking and reasoning were altered by Enlightenment ideas that made them think and question about the government.

The Ancién Regime was a long-term cause that led the main direction of the French Revolution.. The French social system had the same social hierarchy as a Feudal social system, which is a middle age social system that divided the social hierarchy in three parts, the Ancién Regime developed the society in three states, the First State was the Church including the clergy and monks, the Second State was the nobility which include government service, army and parlements, and Third State was formed by normal citizens (Ellis 210). The Church in France enjoyed a very wealthy privileges, they had levied a tithe on all agricultural products, they owned 10 percent of the land and they did not have to pay taxes for them (Ellis 210), but also they often played their role in government affairs to make some decisions (Kramer, Colton, and Palmer 350). The nobles were no wealthier than the Church, they had enjoyed their wealth in the age of Louis XIV, but in the age of Louis XVI the nobility was monopolized (Kramer, Colton, and Palmer 351), they took a stand against the government because they are feared to loose power and freedom to pay their taxation. The Third State which were the citizens of France, they have led the French Revolution, the Third State was very diverse; at the top were the bourgeois who were merchant, traders lawyers, bankers and doctors (middle class), at the bottom there were the lowest class, who were poor members formed by servants, industrial workers and urban workers (Ellis 212); in the Third State, there were people that survived winning their wages and they had to pay a lot of taxes because the First and the Second State did not had to pay for it. The privileges of the two states (First and Second State) made the First State get furious. Adding the cold season of 1788, the unfairness of votes which the Third Estate had 97% of the population and their votes could be denied by the First and the Second State, the silence of the representatives of the Third State and the speech of Maximilien Robespierre. All those examples were the perfect ingredient to made fury of the Third Estate and also to search for the justice and the equality.

Another long-term cause which was one of the main wagon of our imaginary train, it was the economical problems that Louis XIV left after his death, Louis XIV was the grandfather of the king Louis XVI, Louis XIV had built a very strong army during his reign; however, he participated the Seven Years War, which brought France a lot of debts, the defeat in the battle of the port of Quebec in 1789, lead France to a very chaotic situation and also obligated Louis XIV to lose his colonies to the British Empire(The American School of Madrid), the wars that Louis XIV had had during his reign somehow convinced Louis XVI to make the same mistake. Louis XVI wanted to avenge the defeat of his grandfather against the British, he looked for the American Revolutionary War, he took this opportunity to fought against the British by helping United States, but Louis XVI waisted two billion pounds (French...
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