The Main Cause Of The French Revolution

1467 words - 6 pages

Deals with the bourgeoise, Louis XVI, and the other classes in Revolutionary France Good workThe years before the French Revolution (which started in 1789 AD.) were ones of vast,unexpected change and confusion. One of the changes was the decline of the power of the nobles,which had a severe impact on the loyalty of some of the nobles to King Louis XVI. Anotherchange was the increasing power of the newly established middle class, which would result in themonarchy becoming obsolete. The angry and easily manipulated peasants, who were used by thebourgeoisie for their own benefit were another significant change, and finally the decline of thetraditional monarchy, that for so long had ruled, were all factors to the main point that the FrenchRevolution was caused by a political base, with social disorder and economic instabilitycontributing to the upheaval. All of the sub-factors relate with one-another, but are separate intheir own ways.For centuries, the French noble was well set in society. He found prosperity and securityin the old regime, and all he had to do was pay homage to the king, and provide the king with hisservices. This all came to a gradual stop, however beginning with the loss of the noble's powerover their own land at the hands of Louis XIV.1 This was the foundation of the revolte nobiliairein the fact that it formed a basis of mistrust, and anger for the monarch.2 In that time the feudalsystem was still being practiced, so social status was based on the amount of land you could attain.With no land, the nobles saw themselves to be as common as the common folk. Even in theirarrogance they saw that they were losing power. The next blow to the pride of the nobles camefrom Louis XV, who passed a bill to let wealthy commoners purchase prominent spots in politicaland social positions. This event shows how corrupt and money hungry the government hadbecome, by letting anyone get high up in the political chain just by feeding the gluttonous king.The next king, Louis XVI saw that the majority of France (75%) was peasants and serfs.Consequently, to try to ensure their happiness (and prevent the Revolution), he had the Estates-General abolish the feudal system, in which they held no ranking.4 This made the nobilityextremely unhappy. With no feudal system, they no longer were much higher up politicly than thecommoners. The next noble atrocity came with Louis XVI making the nobles pay taxes. Eversince the foundation of the monarchy, the nobles and the clergy were exempt from paying taxes.The burden was left to the commoners. But, with the deficit being so high and France supportingthe Americans in their war, something had to be done.5 This proved to be unfortunate for the king,however, this proved to the straw that broke the camels back. The nobles were sick of beingtreated like low-class peasants so they formed their revolt. Now would be a good time to explainthat the Revolution was not just one Revolution, it was a 'series of revolutions, very...

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