The Leading Causes of the French Revolution
Thesis: The inequality between estates, the rising prices in bread, and the creation of the Tennis Court Oath were all main causes of the French Revolution.
One of the leading causes of the French Revolution was the inequality between estates. In 1789, King Louis XVI called a meeting of the Estates- General. There, the third estate expressed discontent with their current political and social standings in comparison to the other estates. They did this through a list of grievances. One change the third estate asked for in that list was “that votes in the assembly should be taken and counted by head” (Document A). The third estate felt that even though they were the largest of the three estates, taking up ninety seven percent of the population, their ideas and well being was not being taken into account. The votes were taken per estate, not taking into account the number of people in the estate. This limited the third estates power and influence in the government greatly. The third estate felt as if they were being taken advantage of by the first and second estate as well as the monarchy. Especially when it came to taxes, the third estate was getting taxed more than the first and second estate, even though they were making much less money. These problems with taxes got to the point that the third estate could no longer afford there own necessities, such as bread. The third estate was essentially paying for France to be run, and without them, France would collapse. This is depicted in a political cartoon called “The people under the Old Regime” (Document B). This cartoon was drawn a year prior to the French Revolution in 1788. The cartoon illustrates three men sitting on top of another man. The man on the bottom represents the third estate. This man is muscular, and on his knees. He is much thinner than the other men, showing that he cannot afford food, and his muscles show that he most likely has a laborious job....
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