The Climate That Spurred The French Revolution

1884 words - 8 pages

The people of France had been under the rule of an absolute monarch for a long time, so it took a perfect climate of political unrest and the confluence of numerous factors to start the French Revolution. The French Revolution took place in the ideal political, economic, and intellectual climate for a revolution.

Short Term Causes
Louis XVI had created a large amount of debt through bad tax collection practices and funding american revolution. Bad tax practices included not taxing nobles, which put all of financial burden of France on the middle and lower classes. These classes weren’t able to support the high costs of running a nation in addition to supporting a foreign war that ...view middle of the document...

Louis XVI was a less than stellar King of France. He was not especially politically or financially adept which meant that he made unwise decisions like deciding not to tax nobility. Through lack of fiscal responsibility and his inability to come up with a solution other than calling for help from the Estates General, King Louis XVI lost France’s respect.
The Estates General was divided into 3 estates. The First Estate represented the nobility, the Second Estate represented the clergymen, and the Third Estate represented the french people which accounted for 85 percent of the french population. The Estates General hadn’t met for 175 years. When the Third Estate showed up, they demanded that their vote be weighted as more because they were representing a much higher percentage of the population. The First and Second Estate were not about to give up any of their power so they sent the Third Estate away.
After being denied increased voice and vote within the Estates General, the Third Estate rebranded themselves as the National Assembly. The National Assembly invited the First and Second Estate to join them in the National Assembly which some of them did. The first order of business for the National assembly was to create a new Constitution for France which they did. The National Assembly received support nationwide.

Long Term Cause
France was ready for a new political climate. The French people had lost faith in their King, and new ideas about how government should work were seeping into France from every angle. The English Revolution to form a constitutional monarchy seemed very plausible to France because it seemed to be working in England very well. The French people liked the idea because it would mean that there was a written document outlining the rights of the citizens and giving the King clear boundaries and responsibilities.
John Locke’s idea of the social contract also began to pervade France. For a people who had been under the rule of an absolutist king for their entire lifetime, the social contract was a revolutionary way of thinking. The social contract essentially states that man is born completely free, and gives up some of his rights to be a part of society. Even being in a society however man has inalienable rights which Locke states are “Life, Liberty, and Property.”
Intellectually the Catholic Church’s worldview was being challenged by the Scientific Revolution, Reformation, strong european kings, as well as the Enlightenment movement. The classic Catholic way of thinking had already been challenged by Martin Luther, however with new scientific ways of thinking, Reformation and Non-Catholic christian religions beginning to pop up, stronger more powerful Kings that could stand up to the Pope, as well as Enlightenment happening across Europe. Before the French Revolution a lot of the power in Europe shifted from the Catholic Church to the Kings and Nobility of each individual country and is gradually beginning to shift...

Find Another Essay On The Climate That Spurred the French Revolution

the french revolution Essay

1218 words - 5 pages French Revolution. The French Monarchy emerged from the Seven Years War defeated and deeply in debt. After the French supported the American Revolution, they grew deeper in debt and the government was unable to collect sufficient taxes to stay solvent. King Louis XVI tried to appoint many ministers to try and help with Frances financial crisis, but he failed and so the parliament of Paris declared that only the General Estates could institute new

The French Revolution Essay

417 words - 2 pages The French Revolution The French Revolution was an attempt to take away the absolute power from the king and wealthy landowners. The goal was to create a republic. They did this using several powerful political acts. This revolution was caused mainly because of heavy taxing, and Louis XVI nearly spent all of the government money on the war against England. The first event that really started the revolution was the "Oath of the

The French Revolution

764 words - 3 pages The French Revolution The French Revolution last from 1789 to 1799. This war had many causes that began the revolution. Its causes ranged from the American Revolution, the economic crisis in France, social injustices to the immediate causes like the fall of Bastille, the Convening of he Estate-General, and the Great Fear. As a result of this revolution there many effects , immediate and long term. The immediate effects were the declaration

The French Revolution

1529 words - 6 pages . I was affected something like this It seemed to me that this man Seemed to be wise both to many Other human beings and most Of all himself, but that he was not. And then I tried to show him That supposed he was wise, but he was not. (Plato, 4th century, 70) Socrates is criticizing the politicians similar to many key players in the French Revolution many of them also were not happy with

The French Revolution - 922 words

922 words - 4 pages What caused the French Revolution? Many things contributed to it evolving. But only three were the most important. The influence dates back all the way to the Age of Enlightenment, the ideas definitely had an effect on the French citizens. The American Revolution ties with the Enlightenment as well. The political inequality of the three estates played a huge part in the disruption. In addition to that, the Economic inequality also influenced

The French Revolution - 1656 words

1656 words - 7 pages The French RevolutionThe French Revolution covers a period of time between 1770 – 1814. The French Revolutionaries named that era the Ancient Regime. The Ancient Regime was not what they had gotten rid of, but what they wanted to make. They wanted a break from the old regime, preferably the Monarchy. I will discuss the origins of the French Revolution, Rousseau’s contributions and his ideas of his writing of the Social Contract. I will

The French Revolution - 1350 words

1350 words - 5 pages Taylor SicardGlobal HistoryOctober 25, 2014Mrs. HewsonFrench RevolutionThe French revolution was a period of time when the people found changes that needed to be reformed in their government. The French Revolution began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790's with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, the French razed and redesigned their country's political landscape uprooting centuries old institutions like absolute monarchy. Like

The French Revolution

2071 words - 8 pages The French Revolution has gone down in history as an inglorious, unfruitful rebellion, but if one were to trace the actions of the Third Estate, however perplexing and malignant, it is easy to see that everything was stemmed from the—then radical—mantra of liberty, equality, and fraternity. A line from Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, says it best “though this be madness, there is method in’t” (9). The French Revolutionists’ fundamental causes for

The French Revolution - 1923 words

1923 words - 8 pages The French Revolution was a civil revolt that broke out in France against the absolute monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church, which lasted from 1789-1799. This resulted in the establishment of France as a republic, democratic government and caused the Roman Catholic Church’s necessity, as well as its power to be questioned. The French Revolution ended the thousand-year rule of the monarchy in France and began when King Louis XVI gathered

The French Revolution - 2041 words

2041 words - 8 pages .’1 The French Revolution, beginning in 1789 was an era of social and political upheaval that saw the collapse of the absolute monarchy and its prejudice class system. Before the French Revolution of 1789, France was subject to a social division dictated by ones circumstance of birth and wealth. The entire French population of twenty-three million was separated into three estates; the Nobility, Clergy and the Third Estate. This hierarchical

The French Revolution - 652 words

652 words - 3 pages scheme. It may seem that the French people would revolt against nearly anything, which may be true, but on a larger scale, the French people eradicated their system of unjust government and fought to gain the basic rights that all people deserve, proving to the world that the will of the people will prevail. Works Cited http://www.history.com/topics/print/french-revolution

Similar Essays

The French Revolution: Assess The View That The Main Cause Of The French Revolution Was Popular Discontent

959 words - 4 pages "Assess the view that the main cause of the French revolution was popular discontent"The main cause of the French Revolution was not popular discontent but rather the financial decline of France's economy together with other minor yet significant events.Popular discontent was an effect brought upon by the financial situation within France, which, for example, can clearly be demonstrated in the March Of The Women of 1789 in Versailles. The

The French Revolution Essay 623 Words

623 words - 3 pages The French Revolution, which occurred from 1789 to 1799, was a time where the monarchy was overthrown, a republic was formed, and limits were put on the church. The French Revolution ended with the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. The French Revolution created France’s legislative assembly, which is still in place today. Many would argue that the Enlightment was a cause of the French Revolution, but the Enlightment was not one of the main

The French Revolution Essay 1966 Words

1966 words - 8 pages The French Revolution was a civil revolt that broke out in France against the absolute monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church, which lasted from 1789-1799. This resulted in the establishment of France as a republic, democratic government and caused the Roman Catholic Church’s necessity, as well as its power to be questioned. The French Revolution ended the thousand-year rule of the monarchy in France and began when King Louis XVI gathered

The French Revolution Essay 2445 Words

2445 words - 10 pages The French revolution “broke” Europe. The whole world changed once the effects of the revolution spread through Europe. The series of events that followed the revolution because of the revolution shapes the world today. The general population (the 3rd estate) had enough of absolutism. King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were unpopular. This resulted from multiple things including England humiliating France in the Seven Years War, rising