Causes Of The French Revolution Essay

993 words - 4 pages

The French Revolution went on for ten years, beginning in 1789 and ending in 1799. Influencing life not only in Europe, but in other countries as well, the revolution began because of important factors. Some specific factors were abrupt but powerful, while others were continual. The causes were because of economic, political, and social aspects.
There were a numerous amount of economic issues. The first was when King Louis XIV left the France in debt. Also known as The Sun King, Louis XIV spent money extravagantly, and especially on building and transforming the Palace of Versailles, because of how much he disliked Paris. The rooms in le château were unbelievably ornate and very costly! All of Louis XIV’s heritors ran the country right into more debt, and when Louis XVI came into throne, his financial mentor, Jacques Necker, helped him make smarter decisions when it came to spending. But, that came to an end when he made a suggestion that taxes should be distributed among each social class, and Louis XVI got offended. The French government was spending more than its revenue, also because of war. The French and Indian war against England from 1756 to 1763 and aiding the Colonists against the English Loyalists in the American Revolution really put a toll on France’s financial standing. The nobles believed that reforms would solve their country’s economic crisis, but they were wrong. People, especially the peasants and workers, were left hungry and unemployed. Bread prices also rose. Obviously, the miserable farmers could not afford it, and their children’s clothing was either worn out in shreds, or non-existent. Even a pair of socks was a treat to peasant children before the French Revolution, and economic trouble was causing great despair (Document 4).
There were many political matters that were the root causes of the French Revolution. The two main political issues were inequality and France’s monarchy. After 175 years of monarchs not calling the Estates-General, Louis XVI does in early 1789 at Versailles. This was a result of his weakness under pressure for reform and his indecisive personality, which will cause a lot of the political problems leading up to the French Revolution. The worsening economic crisis put even more of a burden on the king. The Estates-General was made up of three estates, or representatives, as France’s legislative body. Inequality was shown in May 1789, they planned on creating a constitution, and everyone was allowed to share their say on issues they had. Each estate had one vote, but unfairness was involved. The First Estate, the clergy, represented only 1 percent of the people, and the Second Estate, the nobility, represented only 2 percent. The Third Estate, consisting of the middle class, workers, and peasants, were 97 percent of the people. The majority of France, the Third Estate, had less say than the other two estates. They became angry and tired of having less land and of being taxed more....

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