French Revolution

Topics: French Revolution, Bourgeoisie, Estates of the realm Pages: 4 (1529 words) Published: October 19, 2013

Q. Elucidate the role played by different social groups in the French Revolution. Which group in your estimation benefitted the most from the revolutionary decade in France? The French Revolution of 1789-1799 was one of the most important events in the history of the world. The Revolution led to many changes in France, which at the time of the Revolution, was the most powerful state in Europe. The Revolution led to the development of new political forces such as democracy and nationalism. It questioned the authority of kings, priests, and nobles. The Revolution also gave new meanings and new ideas to the political ideas of the people. The French Revolution was spread over the ten year period between 1789 and 1799. The primary cause of the revolution was the disputes over the peoples' differing ideas of reform. Before the beginning of the Revolution, only moderate reforms were wanted by the people. They wanted this was because of King Louis XIV's actions. At the end of the seventeenth century, King Louis XIV's wars began decreasing the royal finances dramatically. This worsened during the eighteenth century. The use of the money by Louis XIV angered the people and they wanted a new system of government. Many scholars stated that not one official in power was corrupt, but that the whole system of government needed some change. Eventually, when the royal finances were expended in the 1780's, there began a time of greater criticism. This sparked the peasant’s notion of wanting change. Under the Old Regime in France, the king was the absolute monarch. Louis XIV had centralized power in the royal bureaucracy, the government departments which administered his policies. Together,  Louis XIV and the bureaucracy worked to preserve royal authority and to maintain the social structure of the Old Regime. At this time in French history, the social classes played an important role in the lives of the people. The social structure of France was divided among three groups: the...
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