French Revolution Background Notes

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Honors English 100
9 May 2013
A Tale of Two Cities: Background Questions
What were the conditions that led to the Revolution?
There were multiple conditions that led to the Revolution. Before the Revolution, France had many economic problems. The country was in debt due to royal spendings in Versailles and costly wars such as the 7 Years War. Bad harvests led to inflation of necessities meaning that the price of bread would double. There was crime throughout the cities leading to the Great Fear. The 3rd Estate faced high taxes and rents. Enlightenment ideas also led to the Revolution. The American Revolution made the French believe that they could win their own revolution. Ideas such as, secular thinking, individual growth, human progress, and liberty was also a factor leading to the Revolution. France was under a weak leadership which played a huge role into the start of the French Revolution. Monarchs were unable to deal with social realities and problems. The Queen interfered with the government by offering weak advice and was more interested in fashion, her social life, and position. King Louis put off dealing with economic problems and Parliament failed to make reforms. What were the types of government France had before and after the Revolution?

Before the Revolution, France was under an absolute government meaning that the country was ruled under one ruler who was King Louis XVI. In 1791, France is under a Constitutional Monarchy, this stripped the king of most of his authority causing his power to reduce day by day. Under this government, the legislative assembly is formed and creates laws for the country. In 1792, France is declared a Republic. At the end of the Revolution, the Directory is formed and end the radical phase of the Revolution. The Directory included a 5 man executive body and they appoint Napoleon Bonaparte as military leader. Why do the French still celebrate Bastille Day?

The French still celebrate Bastille Day because this...
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