Enlightenment's Impact On The French Revolution

1043 Words5 Pages
The eighteenth century Enlightenment proved to be a movement of the intellectuals who dared to prove all the aspects in life scientifically. These individuals were greatly affected by the scientific revolution. They were, in addition, advocating the appliance of the scientific methodology to the understanding of life. Throughout the age of enlightenment, science became popular and there were many philosophers like John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, Montesquieu, etc who applied the natural laws to the social life. These people and their writings had a huge impact on the French Revolution. FRENCH SOCIETY: Prior to the revolution, the French society was buried under the burden of taxes-levied by the State, rents paid to the lord, contributions collected by the clergy, as well as under the forced labor exacted by all three. People were reduced to foraging for food because of the recurring famines. The famines were caused by both manmade and natural factors. The manmade factor was because of the flocking of hundreds and thousands of people to Paris and other centers from rural areas in search of better living conditions which created an imbalance. At the same time, the number of the poor in the towns increased every year. These famines resulted in bread riots. On the other hand the aristocrats were squandering immense fortunes — hundreds of thousands and millions of francs a year — in unbridled and absurd luxury. Personally the man was free, but all this network of
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