French Revolution FRQ
During the mid to late 18th century, the French monarchy was under the unrealistic impression that it could do what it wanted to when it wanted to; regardless of how it affected the working class or the poor class. During the enlightenment, the Bourgeoisie (3rd Estate) class started to listen to the philosophes and realized that the monarch had absolute control over the citizens of France. The collision within the Estates System led to the French Revolution because of the unfair taxation of the 3rd Estate, social downfall, and political failure.
King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette must not have realized that the 1st and 2nd Estates only made up 3 percent of the population, because placing heavy taxes on the rest of the country is asking for a revolution. Workers and peasants had setbacks due to having no voice in the government and being taxed heavily and unfairly. Because King Louis dismissed several of his finance ministers, he operated an ineffective tax system. Gabelle, a salt tax, and Taille, a land tax, were restricting the citizens of France and leaving them with no money. Not only is the 3rd estate broke, but because of the rise in bread prices, they are also hungry. It was the 3rd Estates goal to abolish the restrictions and the only way they knew how was by revolting.
The people of France had no say in what went on in the Government, part of which is not being able to vote. King Louis appointed his own clergy and nobility so all of the 1st and 2nd Estate was unpopular to the 3rd Estate. Nobles had certain privileges such as voting, free land, and lower/exempt taxation. Society was split and the population increase stirred up the enlightenment and revolution rumors.
It was clear in France that absolutism was not working and that the monarchy had to be limited. Louis XVI and his predecessors were big spenders. They did not care how the country was governed, so long as the Royalty was living lavishly under their “Divine...
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