The French Revolution / King Louis Xvi

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Kristy Stanislawczyk 10/16/07
Global II Honors 9D

The French Revolution

… And so it began in the year of 1789, a revolution that would change France and all Europe forever. France was renowned for its opulent monarchy that kept stability, but cared more about its possessions rather than its people. The country was sorted by social class which was divided into three estates. The 3rd estate was the largest, consisting of 97% of the population who was poor and resided on only 65% of the total land. Above this was the 2nd estate, which made up 2% of the country's residents, the outstanding nobles. The highest level was the 1st estate. This division was comprised of the high church officials who maintained 10% of the land. It was obvious that the social conditions throughout the country lacked a sense of fairness and with France on the verge of financial collapse flames of change were bound to begin sparking. From 1787 through 1788 France had what was called the "Bad Harvest." The prices of goods were rising along with unemployment and the country was in utter chaos. The 3rd estate's society was the only people paying the taille, or taxes, and because of this King Louis XVI was forced to call a meeting of the Estate's General for the first time in nearly 150 years. Unfortunately, the higher 3% representatives always vetoed the lower 97%. Therefore nothing changed and the poor were left with the high taxation.

The revolution, as one would know it, occurred in four brutal stages. Stage one was the Moderate Phase of the National Assembly. In the spring of 1789 the National Assembly, mostly higher 3rd estate's men, the bourgeoisies, went to Versailles to draft a new constitution, but found they were locked out. Then they headed over into a nearby tennis court and swore to not leave until their goal was met. The king plotted to fight back, but was overcome when the assembly raided the Bastille, an armory and prison in...
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