French Revolution Essay

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The French Revolution broke out party because of the dire economic situation in France. The price of food had risen, but wages had not, and there was high unemployment, the price of bread was ats highest ever in July 1789. Also there was increasing demand by the Third Estate (the common people) for a say in the governemnt of the country. All power was in the hands of the King, the aristocracy and the church. There was a sort of parliament called the Estates, General, but it was only called very seldom, when the King wanted something,a nd basically it was just supposed to do what the King told it to. Under pressure from the members of the Third Estate, the King agreed to convert the Estates General into a National Assembley charged with framing a new constitution for France. However, Louis tried to organise a coup d'etat to dismiss the Estates general, which caused a riot in Paris, and the storming of the Bastille. The National Assembley drew up a new constitution. A constituitonal monarchy was set in place. The ancinet provinces of France were divided up into eighty-three departments, which constituted the basis of all forms of administration. Careers within the administaration were open to all. A system of election was extended to the clergy and judiciary as well as those in political life. High offices of state were no longer reserved for an exclusive caste. Tithes (taxes paid to the church) and seigneurial dues (taxes paid to the lords who owned the land farmed by tghe peasants) were abolished. The vote was restricted to property-owners, which favoured the borugeoise (middle classes) and the bigger peasants. Church property - between 6 and 10 percent of cultivatable land - was nationalized, and sold off in lots. Religious tolerance was permitted, its extension to Jews made France a world pioneeer of Jewish rights. Imprisonment without trial was made illegal, the freedom of the press and freedom of speech upheld. The leaders of the revolution split into the...
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