French Revolution Dbq Essay

828 words - 4 pages

The French Revolution lasted for 11 years and was a battle for change. Leadership went from a weak monarchy, to a bloody dictator, back to a monarch. Because France was in three estates, there was a non-taxed land owning clergy, a supposed-to-be taxed land owning nobility, and full-taxed land owning commoners. Many commoners were worked to the point of death, arrested on the king’s whims, and starving to feed the other estates. As leadership changed King Louis XVI lost his power to Robespierre, and then a series of leaders, to the impacting Napoleon Bonaparte. When the Revolution was beginning the French monarchy was having financial difficulties, guiding France into many crises that are “to early to tell””(Zhou Enlai) if they will ever be finished..
Although Louis XVI was disbursing more than half of the federal budget on the national arrears, the government was acquiring less than 50% of the taxes it instituted. The social scales of France also played a major part in commencing the Revolution. Since the clergy was ripostable only to God , they did not pay taxes, but collected many tithes and owned 10% of the land.(Doc 2) The clergy was among the richest of classes while doing nothing to benefit France, besides religion.. Another class was the nobility, which was intended to be taxed, instead taxed their peasantry, while living on 25% of the land, worked by...... the peasantry.(Doc 2)Because the nobles did not pay their taxes, but gathered them from the third estate, they got wealthy and impoverished the only working class. This estate formed by everyone besides the clergy and nobility, suffered from paying 100% of the government taxation, owning and working 65% of the land, and not being recompensed for yield taken by nobles. (Doc 2) Meanwhile King Louis XVI was oblivious to the Third Estates growing rebellion against their lords, ruling in unconditional ways, but apparently only responsible to God. (Doc 1) While the Third Estate decided to take matters into their own hands, King Louis XVI was unsuspecting of the revolution that was about to unfold.
During the revolution the Third Estate left the Estates General and formed the National Assembly(NA), that formed a constitutional monarchy, and wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. (Doc 4) After the new elections the government became a Legislative Assembly which compromised the constitutional monarchy, but began war with Prussia and Austria. France was declared a monarchy, so...

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