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History: French Revolution: Social and Economic causes for French...

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History: French Revolution: Social and Economic causes for French Revolution

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A. The king

-1789 Loius XVI

-Married to Marie Antoinette (Austria)

-Lived in luxury at palace of Versailles

-Believed in the "Divine right" of kings (g-d had put him on this earth as his representative on the throne)

-Only G-d could remove him from the throne. The people could not remove him. In theory he ruled as absolute power (absolute Monarch) - monarchy in which kings power is unlimited.

- Legislative - the Estate General

(Parliament) had not met since 1614 - lit de justice - overule the Parliament

-Judicial - lettre de cachet (a letter that could put a person into prison without a trial

-Executive - unlimited executive

B. Clergy - first estate

-Upper clergy

-Lower clergy

Upper clergy

-e.g. Archbishops, Abbots

Many churchman - took position for advantages

-85% of Church's income used by them

-Owned and rented out 1/5 of land of France

-Exempt paying taxes and army services

-Only subjected to church courts (above courts and tried in these courts)

-Received tithes from 3rd Estate (1/10 of peoples salary)

Lower Clergy

-e.g. Priests, monks (from 3rd estate)

-Poor but dedicated - only received 15% of Church's income

-Critical of Upper Clergy - sympathized with 3rd Estate

Therefore Upper clergy - content want status quo to remain

Therefore Lower Clergy - wanted to fight, welcomed revolt

C. Nobles - 2nd estate

-Nobles of the Estate

-Nobles of the Sword

-Nobles of the Robe

i)Nobles of the Estate

-Lived on their country Estates (owned Land)

-Insisted Peasants pay heavy Feudal Dues

-Taxes

-Service / labor

-Share of crops

ii)Nobles of the Sword

- Owned land but most lived in luxury at Palace of Versailles originally wealthy but wasted fortunes and were supported by the state - came from taxes of the 3rd estate. Highest Position in army and navy but incompetent and not qualified for these positions.

iii)Nobles of the Robe

-Created in 17th Century...