The French Revolution by Philip Dawson: Synopsis

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The French Revolution
By Philip Dawson

The French Revolution was a period of political and social clash between the three estates of France. The first was the clergy. The second was the nobility. The third was the bourgeoisie. The clergy consisted of rich and poor. There were wealthy abbots who were members of aristocracy and lived off of wealthy church land, as well as poor priests. The nobility was made up of wealthy land owners who prospered on inheritance. Most enjoyed the wealth and privileges of royalty. The third estate was the common people and the largest estate of the group. It was mainly made up of peasants, merchants, and various artisans, but anybody who was not included in the first or second estate would automatically be labeled as bourgeoisie. Two kinds of revolutionary change occurred in France. There was repeated violent seizure of political power due to royal corruption. There were also rapid and extensive changes regarding distribution of rights and property as well as regulations of attitudes and beliefs. The biggest issue during the time of the French Revolution was the unfair treatment and taxation of the third estate. The third estate was by far the poorest and the highest taxed, while the nobility and clergy were the richest of the three and received tax exemptions. Necessary reforms are made to reconstruct French society and end feudalistic reign. The French Revolution by Philip Dawson includes a range of charts, letters, police reports, grievance lists, public speeches and legislative proceedings supporting the leading events to the revolution. The French Revolution was the essential building blocks society needed to establish liberty and restore political structure. Political class struggles between the estates were a huge contributing factor of the French Revolution. The taxation of the third estate and multiple exemptions for the clergy and nobility were forcing France even further into debt. There had to be an end to the...
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