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By nightvving Apr 16, 2015 605 Words

No, the the impact of political ideology on a society is NOT the most powerful catalyst for revolutions, particularly in the context of the French Revolution. The political ideology includes the Enlightenment ideas, which challenged the power of the church and the absolute monarchy. The most powerful catalyst for the revolution would be the particular cause that speeds up the revolution the most and sets a trigger for it. However, we believe that the French Revolution was not triggered by the Enlightenment ideas; the most powerful catalyst for the revolution was instead the Economic Crisis (1787-1789).

The economic crisis played a bigger part as a catalyst than Enlightenment ideas, as the economic crisis caused a lot of discontent among the people, namely their low income and difficulty finding jobs, as well as food shortages, bad harvest. They believed the economic crisis was the fault of the nobility as they did not pay taxes, thus pushing the deep rooted problems in the ancien regime system to a climax, leading to increased disturbances against the nobility. This links to the idea of the economic crisis being a powerful catalyst, as if not for the economic crisis, the deep-rooted long-term problems of the ancien regime would not have come to a climax, and the Third Estate would not have started taking direct political action.

However, it is arguable that the Enlightenment ideas were the most powerful catalyst for the revolution, as it played a large part in the causes of the revolution. The enlightenment ideas influenced and the masses and caused them to challenge and question their current opinions about the absolute monarchy system and the power of the church, causing the first stirrings among people towards change and a newer system. Their ideas and approaches influenced many people who would later become revolutionaries. Thus, the Enlightenment ideas is the driving force behind the revolution, and without it, the revolution may never have happened. 

Despite the part it plays in contributing to the causes of the French Revolution, Enlightenment ideas is not a catalyst as it is an underlying long term cause, and has been present for a long period of time. Spreading and influencing ideas for change in the absolutist societal system may have stirred the people towards ideas for revolution, but without a proper trigger, the people might not cause an actual upheaval and lead to a revolution, and instead stay silent in their disapproval and discontent. The factor that sped the revolution up the most was economic crisis. This is because the people who started the revolution were more strongly affected by economic crisis as it was drastic, sudden, negative factor which affected a lot of people more due to the huge negative effect it had on their way of life. Enlightenment ideas, however, was a long-term idea already deep-rooted in the people for several years before the French Revolution. While it plays a part in influencing people’s opinions, it did not drive the people to take action and start the revolution, therefore the the impact of political ideology on a society is NOT the most powerful catalyst for revolutions. On the contrary, the anger/frustration aroused by the economic crisis had a greater impact speeding up the start of the revolution than Enlightenment ideas.

In conclusion, the impact of political ideology on a society is not the most powerful catalyst for revolutions, as it is an underlying long term cause. Instead, it is the economic crisis that is the most powerful catalyst for revolution, as it served as a trigger for the people to take action.

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