Causes Of The French Revolution Essay

1255 words - 5 pages

Analyze the various causes of the French Revolution. Include social, economic and ideological factors
Just as any story has a climax; one can deduce that the 17th and 18th centuries were the turning point for most of European history; however, different places experienced this change in different ways. As the previous discoveries and inventions were made by remarkable scientists like Galileo, the Enlightenment was the next logical step in the era. As incredible philosophers like Jean- Jacques Rousseau along with John Locke stepped in, people all over Europe began to realize the importance and even the mere concept of reason and natural rights granted to all persons. Apart from the common impact of the Enlightenment on all of Europe, France further experienced a drastic change in terms of society as well as finance, leading to the mark of a new beginning- The French Revolution. Due to a hierarchical system in France, a vast opposition by the nobility and the commoners grew regarding the old order, which led to take an action against the monarchical regime. As a result of a faster growth in consumer prices over wages, the next scenario was the economic fall of society that included taxes, food shortages and unemployment rates. As the necessity for a rebellion became crucial due to the lack of privilege towards the commoners, with the financial collapse of the French society, coupled with the lasting impact of the philosophes, the main causes of the French Revolution were the unequal hierarchy of the estate system, the growing economic crises, and the ideologies of the Enlightenment.
One of the main causes of the Revolution was the issue of the estate system in conflict with the desires of the social groups (i.e. nobility and the commoners) demanding political representation. In the eighteenth century, the estate system was unequally divided into three parts, based on the idea of a privileged vs. the rest hierarchy. As a result of the estate system, the First Estate, composed of the clergy, who constituted only 10% of land ownership, received the most privileges. Under Louis XV and Louis XVI, the nobility (Second Estate) held many prestigious positions in the government and industry, and were exempt (along with the First Estate) from many taxes, such as France’s main tax, the taille). Despite being given these privileges, the nobles still felt the basic need for an expansion of exemptions at the expense of the monarchy. The Third Estate was the least privileged, yet the most populous, which caused an even larger barrier between them and the First and Second Estate. Furthermore, they felt isolated and degraded from the rest of the society due to the lack of consideration that they were given. Most of the commoners faced the issue of a lacking part in society which transcended wealth, as the Bourgeoisie (middle class) was even neglected from tax exemptions such as those provided for the First and Second Estate. Regardless of being skilled...

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