Causes of the French Revolution
On July 14, 1789 a large mob stormed the Bastille, and killed the commander and some other soldiers. The fall of the Bastille marked the beginning of the French Revolution, and was a symbol to the people of France representing years of abuse by the monarchy. Also, this event served as a wake-up call to King Louis XVI. Unlike any other short protest or riot, this event actually challenge to the regime. As the French Revolution progressed, French society underwent a transformation as feudal, religious, and aristocratic privileges disappeared and the ancien régime were abruptly overthrown under the fundamental principle of "Liberté, égalité, fraternité". Although there are many causes to the French Revolution, the three main ones are: the mismanagement of the economy, the pressure of taxes placed primarily onto the third estate, and the spark from Enlightenment ideas and the American Revolution. These events set a fire in France that could no longer be contained. It spread through France like a wildfire.
The first cause to the French Revolution was the mismanagement of the economy. Louis XIV had left France deeply in debt with his extravagant spending. France’s Involvement in the Seven Years’ War and American Revolution put it deeper down the hole. Costs had generally risen during the 1700’s and the lavish court soaked up millions. The government borrowed more and more money to bridge the gap between income and expenses. Years of deficit spending, or spending more than the income, was taking its toll on the country’s treasury. By 1789, half of the country’s income from taxes went to paying the interest on this debt. Louis XVI was forced to raise taxes to pay back the debts, leading to further tension and revolt. The first cause to the French Revolution was the pressure that taxes placed onto the Third Estate, or anyone that wasn’t nobility or clergy. This included the wealthier middle class, or bourgeoisie, and the extremely poor...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document