'the French Revolution: Causes And Effects' By Sakshi Kaushik

1132 words - 5 pages

Revolution - the term means to rebel or overthrow a government or a social system. It results in complete change from the existing situation. Generally a revolution happens when there is widespread misery, unhappiness and dissatisfaction among the mass of common people in any country. People may be unhappy because their basic needs are not been taken care of by their ruler or government.History shows that there has been some type of revolution almost all over the world at various times. Europe has also had its share of revolution. The famous uprising in France in the 18th century resulted in what is now known as the French RevolutionThe causes of the French Revolution have been stated by many historians and authors, all of whom have given their expert views. The main causes of the revolution are understood as food and financial crises and social inequality. Some authors say that the American Revolution and the Enlightenment had a lot of influence on the French Revolution.Louis XVI was the king of France in the year 1789 when the nation had gone through a severe winter and most of the crops were lost. Poor people were angry and dissatisfied because the cost of living had become very expensive and they could scarcely afford enough to eat. On 14th July 1789 huge crowds marched through the streets and attacked the Bastille (a prison where weapons were stored) and took over power to rule France and thus the French Revolution started.In the year 1789 the nation's treasury was bankrupt after supporting America in their revolution. They were in heavy debt. King Louis XVI had to raise money but he could not tax the peasants because they had no money and he knew that the aristocrats and middle class would revolt if he tried to raise money from them. So he asked the Estates General, an assembly that represented the Estates or classes in France, to advice him.The people of France were divided into three classes known as the Estates. The First Estate comprised of the Clergy who were 1% of the total population. The Second Estate comprised of the Nobles who were 2% of the population. The remaining 97% of the population formed the Third Estate. The bourgeoisie (Middle Class), workers and peasants formed the Third Estate. The First and Second Estates were the privileged classes meaning that only they could hold important positions and were exempt from many taxes. The Third Estate however was called upon to pay more than half of their income as taxes. This shows that there was too much of social inequality in France.The Estates General generally voted as a class. Usually the clergy and nobility voted to support whatever the king wanted, so that the vote of the Third Estate did not matter. The masses argued that in voting had to be done by head rather than class because they had far more representatives. King Louis agreed to this suggestion and the National Assembly was formed.After storming the Bastille, the National Assembly took over power. They tried to bring...

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