To What Extent Was the Enlightenment the Cause of the French Revolution

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To what extent were Enlightenment ideas responsible for the outbreak of the French Revolution and the reforms of 1789?
Included sources attached: John Locke, “Two Treatises on Government”, 1690;
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizens, 1789;
Arthur Young “Travels in France during the Years 1787, 1788, 1789”

The ancien régime, the time before the outbreak of the revolution, was divided into three estates.
The first estate, for the people of the highest position in France belonged to the clergy; this group contained the members of the religious rules such as Bishops, Monks and Nuns. However, the people of this estate were not popular among many people of especially the third estate. This was mainly because of the power they had over the people. France was a very religious country with Catholicism as the official state religion. The Church had much influence on the people of France.
The Second Estate was the state of the nobility this was the most powerful estate of France. It contained all the noble people with most status and wealth. This state was the most privileged Estate in France. On top of having the best jobs available in France, the Second Estate had privileges such as being tried in special courts, they were completely exempted from military services and along with the gabelle (the very unpopular taxation on salt), the corvée (the forced labour on roads), they received a variety of feudal dues (workers), they had exclusive rights for hunting and fishing and a final privilege was that they had in many areas the monopoly right meaning that they had the exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service.
The third estate was the group of people who weren’t part of the nobility or the clergy group. This was the group with the most people in it, about 85 per cent and also the group with the most variation in wealth and status. It consisted of the bourgeoisie who were the middle class, the peasantry and the urban



Bibliography: From: John Locke, “Two Treatises on Government”, 1690 [On the state of nature] SOURCE B: From: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizens, 1789 SOURCE C Two excerpts from: Arthur Young “Travels in France during the Years 1787, 1788, 1789”.

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