To What Extent Was the Growth of the Enlightenment Movement the Main Long Term Cause of the French Revolution?

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The growth of the Enlightenment movement was a key long term cause of the French revolution as it questioned the current state of France and challenged unjust class systems. However, there were a number of other long term causes that led to the French revolution. The structure of the Royal government and French society had created restlessness amongst the third estate for quite some time leading to the French revolution. The taxation system was seen as highly unjust amongst the third estate as well and can be seen as an underlying long term cause for the French revolution. The growth of the Enlightenment movement was a major long term cause for the French Revolution. The Enlightenment were a group of intellectual writers and thinkers from Europe in the 18th century whose aim was to apply rational analysis to all activities. This meant they put great emphasis on the unjust systems in place which meant the poorest group had to pay the most taxes, creating a voice for the unhappy third estate and giving them confidence to speak out. This in turn led to the third estate coming together in cascade of anger and uproar against the current system, leading to the French revolution. In addition, the most famous thinkers, Volataire and Montesqieu, were not prepared to accept tradition and attacked the church and despotic government. Their ideologies attracted nearly all of the third estate creating a huge group of people believing in change. This in turn led to the majority of France being ready to challenge the government and monarchy and causing the revolution to start. The Enlightenment movement was very critical of the Ancien regime which influenced many radical thinkers at the time who were ready to lead France against the rich minority. It’s this leadership which got the wheels of the revolution in motion; therefore, the Enlightenment movement played a key part in the occurrence of the French revolution. The structure of the Royal Government was a very important...
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