Causes And Reactions Of The French Revolution.

1388 words - 6 pages

There were many reasons behind the series of uprisings that became the French revolution. The new bourgeois class was demanding social mobility. No matter how much money these middle class citizens had earned, they were still considered members of the third estate, denying them much power and status. As these literate men of wealth tried to emancipate "themselves from the position of clients of the nobility," they "wrote for the great public," and created a stir which led the general public to reconsider their own standing in society. As the plebeians were largely uneducated, they were not concerned with their social status as they did not have the funds to be considered members of the bourgeois anyways. This poverty was the reason that the peasants were up in arms about economic inequalities. Because they had so little to begin with and it was much harder for a simple farmer to make copious amounts of money, they were outraged by the high taxes which prevented them from leading a comfortably prosperous life. As for the French legal system, this was a matter of great concern to all members of the third estate. There was much anger towards the "'tax farm'... [the] business company which bought from the government the privilege of levying taxes." Members of this organization would arrest citizens without "observing any of the restrictions imposed by law." Clearly, the driving force behind the French revolution was the third estate's lust for social, economic, and political mobility, freedom and equality.The bourgeois were a new class of people that had capitalized on any chance to make money that had been presented to them. They were in some cases just as wealthy, if not wealthier, than their lords but they did not have the name. This familial lineage was the only thing that held many of theses idealists back from coming into power. The social order of France had not yet been changed. The bourgeois such as Abbé Sieyes complained of being "burdened with all that is really arduous," they were required to deal with "all the tasks that the privileged order [refused] to perform." Sieyes was referring to the taxes that he and other members of the middle and lower classes had to pay. The members of the privileged order even said to the third estate "whatever be your services, whatever be your talents, you shall go thus far and no farther. It is not fitting you be honoured." This shows that there was no social recognition of the third estate who were the only supporters of France. If not for their taxes, the nobility would have worthless land and titles. The Notebook of Grievances of the Third Estate of the Parish of Saint-Vaast demands that the Third Estate "greatly superior in numbers to the other two orders... will have... forty magistrates drawn from this Estate." The cahiers later go on to say that the laws that guarantee "the liberty and the rights of the Third Estate... are illusory, useless, and poorly obeyed so long as the maintenance and...

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