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French Revolution DBQ The French Revolution, which occurred around 1789 to 1814, which included Napoleon’s reign, is considered a major turning point in world history. This revolution led to major changes in France and other nations and regions of the world. For example, some changes were Napoleon changing peoples’ rights and the Latin American Revolution. There were many issues that led up to the French Revolution. For example, the unfair tax burden. According to Document two, the Third Estate paid all of the government taxes. There were three estates. The 1st estate was all of the clergy; they had wealth because they collected taxes from the 3rd estate and they also owned land. They had power, food, liberty, and freedom. The 2nd estate was the rich titled nobility. They derived their wealth from land ownership, and they collected some taxes. They also had power, food, and freedom. The 3rd estate was separated into three different classes. The Bourgeoisie was the highest of the third estate; they had cash wealth since they were made up of the merchants, bankers, and artisans. The Bourgeoisie paid very high taxes, and had very little power, they had a food supply, but they had no power. The peasant farmers, and the city workers had no wealth, power, or liberty, and they had to pay taxes. The 1st and 2nd estate only took up about 3% of the population. The Bourgeoisie thought that the taxes were unfair to the entire 3rd estate. Document three explained how a peasant had 7 children, and couldn’t support her family, but she still had to pay taxes. This shows how unfair the tax burden was. Another cause of the French Revolution is absolutism. Absolutism is a king or queen that has complete control over his or her nation. He/she inherits power and believes that they rule by Divine Right. Divine Right is that the monarch was chosen by God to rule therefore the monarch is God’s hand here on Earth; to disobey your monarch, is to disobey God. Document one shows that the king, Louis the 16th, was absolute. He inherited his power from his family. He had the right to appoint all civil officials and military officers, he made and enforced laws, and he had the right to change anything he wanted. One result of the French Revolution in France was Napoleon’s rise to power. Napoleon wanted to make a lot of changes and abolish the estates. He wanted things to be equal. For example, Napoleon established a meritocracy. The meritocracy set up a system to determine who gets and keeps important government jobs. Document eight shows that Napoleon’s reforms affected everyone in France and in other parts of the world. Napoleon also created the Napoleonic Code. This law code was for all people in France. It made the Bourgeoisie more equal to the other estates. Napoleon put an end to chaos of the French Revolution and gave France stability. There were other results of the French Revolution. Some results happened outside of France. For example, the Latin American Revolutions. Some of the causes of the revolutions were inequality of social classes. The Creoles were just like the Bourgeoisie; they had no power. And the Mestizos and Mullatoes had no power and no wealth like the peasant farmers and city workers. The American and French Revolution encouraged the lower social classes to get their independence. Document nine said that the Europeans were realizing their different versions of freedom. There were many causes and effects of the French Revolution. Some causes of the revolution changed other parts of the world. Absolutism and the inequality of estates were big part of the Revolution. Napoleon changed many things in order to make things more equal. The French Revolution was a turning point in history.

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