Taxes were a huge problem during the French Revolution, many had unequal problems. The third estate had very little land and payed more taxes. (Document 2) Third estate was the middle class, peasants, and city workers they were the ones that made 97% of the people and owned 65% of the land. The first and second estate owned more than the third estate.
The French Revolution was a major event in history that impacted and changed the course of the world today, and most famous for the executions of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. It helped introduce modern civilization to multiple ideologies such as socialism, liberalism, and even patriotism, as well as reforming the government. With all these great advancements, there’s a pondering question left by many asking what happened to cause this revolution. There were many factors that led up the French Revolution, but one of the many significant causes was the king of France himself. According to the Sixth Document, Causes of the French Revolution, It was said that Louis XVI’s lack of leadership skills made him an ineffective ruler.
During the French Revolution it changed many things and as well as people. Many people from the middle class struggled as the French Revolutionaries' were plotting some changes. In the French Revolution many causes happened like many unfair conditions, the Monarchy being thrown, and the ideas from the enlightenments. A cause for the revolution to start was that middle-class people start to struggle, unfair conditions, and taxes.in document 1 it says, "the poor people seem very poor indeed." (document 1).
In an excerpt by Arthur Young, he described the severity of the peasant’s poverty. The harvest that year had been especially tragic, and the lack of grain meant increasing the price of the French’s main source of food-- bread. Prices rose above what they could pay, which led to constant riots that caused great misery (Doc 1). As the lives of the Third Estate grew poorer, they saw that the king gave substantial monetary aid for the Patriots in their revolution. Instead of relieving the Third Estate, his own people, of their suffering, he provided money for foreign, unstable nations to revolt.
Historian Henri Lefebvre argued that the Aristocratic Revolution of 1717 to 1788 was the most important cause of the French Revolution. He states that “the French Revolution was started and led to victory by the aristocracy”. The situation was so confusing that it could not be fully reported according to the fiscal administration. The budget of the Old regime roughly consisted of a 126 million livres deficit and the government could have solved this crisis by cutting down spending or raising taxes, though many thought taxes were already too high despite the richest of society; bourgeoisie, nobility and clergy paid the least tax. The nobility controlled the majority of France’s estates and held high-ranking positions in the army and government “The nobility constituted a vast social and political network, a source of power and influence that pervaded every level of French society”.
Europe and France during the 17th to 18th century faced a multitude of challenges and improvements. As a new era allowed economic development to grow, colonies in Europe started expanding their political control to new continents. In the meantime, the French Revolution spurred many rebellions as citizens strive to adopt not only new sets of government policies, but also to establish new democratic systems. Another crucial challenge to the nations during this time was the fight for nature of citizenship. During the Enlightenment and French Revolution, the marginalization of women, slaves, and Jews from the society can be attributed to debates about gender roles, natural human rights and religious conflicts.
From around the mid 1600 till the late 1700, there was a big push in Europe that began to emphasize reason over faith and science over religion. In John Locke essay concerning human understanding, Locke proposes that everyone begins life as a white paper, void of all characters, and that experiences are what make us what we are today. This was known as the “blank slate”. This completely went against the idea of the divine rights of kings. If everyone is the same when they are born, then God could not have given certain people the rights to be kings.
Within the 25 years between 1775 and 1800 there were two revolutions that changed the world and the way the world looked at governmental structures. The American Revolution started in 1775 and lasted until 1783 and was a battle for the 13 colonies in the Americas to gain their independence from Britain (Sheidley). The second revolution was the French Revolution which took place between 1789 and 1799. The French Revolution was primarily between the third and the second estates of France but that is not to say that the first estate escaped unscathed (Blaufarb). This Revolution was an upheaval of the political and social structures in France.
Pre-revolutionary France underwent significant change. How accurate is this statement? France underwent significant changes during the pre-revolutionary period and caused strenuous amounts of tensions between the three estates. The economy subsided with the lack of control of the country’s expenditure, creating issues for the Third Estate.
The French Revolution was one of the most significant wars that changed France’s history. The Revolution started in 1789 and ended in 1799 and was mainly initiated by the conditions affecting the Third Estate. Louis XVI was predominately the king during this time period but little did he know that an uprising among the peasants was happening. The French Revolution was caused by the Enlightenment ideas because of the American Revolution, the knowledge of rights, and the questioning of France’s government. The American Revolution was basically the “fire” that ignited the change the Third Estate wanted to see in their country.
Overall, the French Revolution occured because of horrendous treatment of the third estate. Unfair taxation, an obvious bias towards the upper classes, and an inadequacy of change for the better was what caused it to happen. Unfortunately, a vast amount of lives were lost to this hopeless
The main difference between the American and French Revoultion was that one successfully converted to a democratic government and one did not. The French Revolution was not successful in forming a democratic government due to France’s history of a monarchy, economic issues and divison among its’ people. Unlike America, France had a long history of sole rulers and dictatorship which made the change to a democratic government much more difficult and ultimately impossible. America’s motto of “all men are created equal” (Doc A) was the complete opposite of France’s dividing estate class system. The third estate consisted of peasents, common people and the bourgeoisie, the second estate belonged to the Nobles, and the first was the home to the Clergy.
During the Eighteenth Century, France had an absolute monarchy with Louis XVI as king and Marie Antoinette as queen. In that time period, French society was based upon a system of Estates where the clergy made up the First Estate; the nobility comprised the Second Estate, and everyone else including professionals, peasants, and the bourgeoisie made up the Third Estate. The Third Estate was immensely unhappy with the old regime, the Estates General, and Louis XVI’s leadership. France was also in the midst of a fiscal crisis due to the American Revolution, Louis XVI’s lavish lifestyle, the Seven Years War, and the tax exemption of the First and Second Estate. Following the surge of new ideas and impactful philosophers from the Enlightenment,
In 1789, France was precariously balanced on the edge of chaos. King Louis XVI was ruling monarch of France. King Louis’ youth depicted him as reckless, thoughtless, and unwise. A series of bad financial and political decisions, lead to his unpopularity among the people of France. King Louis was young, distracted and misguided.