French Revolution Essay

Topics: Louis XVI of France, Estates of the realm, French Revolution Pages: 2 (737 words) Published: January 16, 2013
Different views on life throughout global history have led to major political, social, economic, cultural and technological revolutions. Each has a variety of complex causes that often a great impact on the lives of the people involved and their country surrounding them. Revolutions are often described as a change in society, and are usually violent and disruptive. In particular, the French Revolution was a period of radical, social and political upheaval in France that had a major impact on France and throughout the rest of Europe.

Although the French Revolution began in 1789 with the convocation of the Estates-General in May, there were multiple different principles prior to that which triggered the war to begin. The foremost cause of the war was bankruptcy of the government. The debt in France before the revolution had risen from 1 billion to 2 billion livres. In 1774 when Louis XVI began to rule, he spent way too much money on himself and his wife, Marie Antoinette. Louis XVI would demand that the third estate, the poorest and hardest working of them all, to be responsible to pay all the taxes. The second and third estate, known as the nobles and clergy, would not have the responsibility of paying any taxes and was able to own a large percentage of land. This made the third estate furious towards the king and queen because instead of using the people’s tax money to pay off the debt and help the country, they spent most of it on things for themselves. Louis XVI’s idea of reform was to get rid of any minister who tried to introduce financial reform. As a result, by 1789 the government went bankrupt.

An additional component that impacted the cause of the revolution was the political inequalities among the French government. The French population was divided into three estates. The first two, which contained the Clergy and the Nobles, concentrated all the powers. The first estate paid no taxes and owned 15 percent of land while the second estate paid...
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