The French Revolution Essay

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 American Revolution before it, the French revolution was influenced by Enlightenment ideas like popular sovereignty and inalienable rights. The people of France then seen that they needed immediate social, political and economic fragments of their society reformed.Before the French Revolution France was in a major economic crisis. The French government kept spending more money than it was receiving by taxes. Most of this debt was created by King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. By 1786 the government realized the problem they were in, but they were already far into it by then. At this time there was extreme poverty in France, even though some people in France were very rich a large amount of them were poor. The poor (also known as the third estate) were highly taxed and were paid just enough to get by. While the third estate is being taxed the most, the first two estates (the nobles and the clergy) were paid the most and barely taxed. The first two estates also comes up to 3% of the population of France and owned 45% of the land all together. The third estate that obtained 97% of the French population had to share 55% of the land as shown in document 2. This all resulted in the lack of production of bread (France's main food resource). The bakers could not pay the tailles and this caused there to be a reduction of bread made. At the same time, the third estate could not pay the higher tax on bread and were unable to buy the amount of bread needed to feed their families. Unable to provide for their families the lower classes of France were also in an economic crisis, which was one of the things that drove them to revolt.Social causes were also very vital to the revolution. Before the French Revolution the way that a person lived and breathed depended on their social status. The higher classes and the church had to pay little or no taxes. They also had special treatment in court or they had their own courts and they overall had many privileges. On the other hand the lower classes had no privileges, the people above them governed them and they had no control over their lives. The equality that didn't exist at the time was definitely another reason that angered the French and drove them to revolting. Also the storming of Bastille Prison is commonly seen as a significant action of the revolution. This began as a result of King Louis, who had been feeling pressure from reformist groups, reorganizing the French Ministry, which the reformists took as the start of a royalist coup. Totally fed up with the...

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