the french revolution

Topics: French Revolution, Louis XVI of France, Age of Enlightenment Pages: 6 (2217 words) Published: February 19, 2014
The French Revolution is a period in the History of France, covering the years of 1789-1799, in which the monarchy was overthrown and radical restricting was forced upon the Roman Catholic Church. The French Revolution had many causes and affected the entire world in different ways. Some of the main causes of the revolution were the influence of the Enlightenment thinkers, the involvement of France in foreign revolutionary wars, the fall of the French Monarchy, the unmanageable national debt, and the scarcity of food in the years immediately before the revolution. In the years leading up to the French revolution France was stricken with financial problems caused by the wars of King Louis XIV and the wars that he fought in the 18th century. The reason for the extreme amount of debt was the tax system of France was because France was a society dominated by social status and clergy, and nobility were exempted from paying taxes, and because of this the government they could not levy up enough taxes to cover their deficit. This form of taxation made the citizens and peasant who had small pieces of land angry because they had the heaviest tax weight of all. This taxation system also relied on a system of internal tariffs. (Bonjourlafrance.net." Www.bounjourlafrance.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013. http://www.bonjourlafrance.com/). On the eve of the revolution, France was deeply indebted virtually bankrupt because of the extravagant expenditures by King Louis XIV on luxuries such as Versailles and the heavy spending on the seven years’ war and the American war of independence.

The fall of the French Monarchy was another cause for the revolution. The fall of the French Monarchy is said to be what directly caused the revolution. The influence that Enlightenment thinkers (such as Voltaire, Jefferson, and Franklin) had on the French people was enough to enflame their desire for revolution. In autumn of 1792 the revolutionary government had written of the idea of having a constitutional monarchy elected a national convention of delegates to oversee the country. The majority of the delegates belonged to the Jacobins or the Girondins. The first action of the convention was to abolish the monarchy and form the Republic of France. As a sign of the republic’s new found resolve and contempt for the monarchy, the next proposal before the National Convention was the execution of Louis XVI. He was found guilty of treason and received the guillotine and months later his wife Marie-Antoinette met the same fate. The execution of King Louis XVI caused more wars with European countries. When war went badly prices rose and the Sans-Culottes or poor laborers and radical Jacobins rioted and counter-revolutionary activities began in some regions (Tgv Reservation: Timetable, Maps and Tgv Tickets Reservation on Bonjourlafrance.net." Www.bounjourlafrance.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013. .) Maximillion Robespierre, the leader of the Jacobins and the san-culottes took control of the convention and banished the Girodins and seized power.

Another cause of the French Revolution was the influence of the Enlightenment age thinkers. The age of reason or the age of enlightenment influenced the French Revolution, because it brought on a new way of thinking for the people of Europe. It influenced the political, social and cultural policies of the revolutionary period. The enlightenment ideals led to the resentment of royal absolutism; resentment of laborers, resentment by laborers, peasants and the bourgeoisie toward the traditional privileges possessed. ("Enlightenment and the French Revolution" StudyMode.com. 09 2011. 2011. 09 2011 .)

Food Scarcity was another cause of the French Revolution. The majority of the nation’s destitute citizens experienced hunger and malnutrition due to rising bread prices and several years of poor grain harvest due to El Nino rains and volcanic activities at Laki and Grimsvotn. A poor transportation system hindered...

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