Around the eighteenth France was an autocratic monarchy. The French monarchs had limitless power and referred to themselves as the "Representative of god". They would buy themselves unneeded clothes, jewelry, and more. They would also arrest any person with no reason at any time. A few examples that portray this monarchy and riches include Louis XIV famous remarks is "I am the state", Louis XV was when France became bankrupt because of luxury and wars, Louis
A Tale of Violence… There are shootings in around the world everyday. Whether it’s about threat they hold or even innocent killings people often get angered by these acts when it is not fair to the victims. When experiencing these situations people often want to retaliate which leads them to seek revenge and end in violence. Similarly, In A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, when people experience various situations of being treated unequally they seek revenge and retaliate.
The French revolution was the result of decades of social inequality, national financial troubles and radical ideas developing in Europe. For years, the lower 99% of French society was tormented by the inability to rise up from their status to become nobility or become wealthy. While the people seethed under the aristocracy, the French national debt soared from their financial support to the American Revolution. France needed to raise more taxes to sustain the economy and maintain order, but this required major changes. Three things needed to be done to prevent a revolution: all three estates had to be taxed and not just the commoners of the third estate; voting had to be done by population rather than by estate; the horrific leadership of King Louis XIV had to come to end.
Nobles lost their advantaged position in French society causing, among other things, loss of life, a perceived forced emigration to other lands, loss of property, and the end of seigneurial rights and income. Some of these advantages were subsequently recovered during Emperor Napoleon’s reign but many pre-Revolutionary rights were forever
As the French had about Twenty-five million people, 100,000 were clergy, 400,000 were the nobleman, and the rest was known as the third estate. The third estate was left to starve, while Louis XVi and Marie Antoinette lived a luxury lifestyle. The only food they could afford for a limited time was bread, but then the prices got so high, that the rich can only afford it.
Throughout A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens utilized his expressive descriptions of the mobs of Britain and France to create distinct similarities and differences between the two countries. One major similarity of the two mobs is their desire for revenge. In England, the mob is driven to revenge after they find out that in the hearse was a spy against the crown. Instead of mourning the death, they instead use it to act against traitors of the country: “The crowd approached; they were bawling and hissing round a dingy hearse and dingy mourning coach, in which mourning coach there was only one mourner, dressed in the dingy trappings that were considered essential to the dignity of the position” (Dickens 14). This quote shows that the crowd was not there to grieve for the lost, but instead to take action for what the deceased had done before. In France, the people wanted revenge against the oppressive leadership and luxurious lifestyles of the rich in society. Upon finding out that the aristocrats have lost their property, they decide to take action by invading one of France’s most tightly guarded prisons, the Bastille.
There were three estates of the Ancien Regime that made up the French society. The three estates that made up the French society was the Clergy, the Nobles, and the commoners or everyone else. Each estate had an important role in the French society, but one estate was treated very unfairly. The estate that was treated the most unfair was the third estate of the commoners. They weren’t given privileges like the other estates and this caused many problems for the French society.
Oppression has always been prevalent throughout history, and as a response to this, the exploited often revolt, in turn, causing inciteful change. However, when the revolution only seeks revenge, it fosters more violence and creates a more oppressed society. The French Revolution while successful in the sense that it overthrew the government, has one dangerous aspect in common with oppression: violence. This revolution is depicted in A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens, where the persecuted peasants of France start a rebellion to try and achieve revenge government. However, by using violence as the primary method to abolish the government and boasting about the dominance of the revolution through the Carmagnole, the revolutionaries discredit themselves. Inciting fear into the population and by attempting to fight their distraught state with violence, they are gradually turning from the oppressed to the oppressor. The people of the French revolution while fighting against an oppressive government do so in an unjust manner, in turn, delegitimizing the revolution revealing how violence is never the answer.
French society was defined by the the “Ancien Regime” the system of three estates (Clergy, Nobility, and Peasantry). The clergy and nobility were respected and had a higher position in society and the peasants were left to carry the country, by working farms, generating the wealth, and paying a large majority of taxes. This largely contributed to the tensions arising in 1780’s France. Meanwhile, France was engaged in the Age of Enlightenment people were demanding that church and state be separate, the King resigns and a new logic based system of government is to be established.
Dialectical Journal: Book Three A Tale of Two Cities Book The Third: “The Track of a Storm” 1. “Every town gate and village taxing-house had its band of citizen patriots, with their national muskets in a most explosive state of readiness, who stopped all comers and goers, cross-questioned them, inspected their papers, looked for their names in lists of their own, turned them back, or sent them on, or stopped them ad laid them in hold” (chapter 1, page 245). Setting/ Characterization of society as a whole:
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,
Before this ten-year period, France was using a form of government called the Ancien Regime where society was divided into three different social classes, known as the Three Estates, and each Estate was formed by different kind of people. The First Estate was made up of clergy, which had control on the birth, death and marriage registers and had power to tariff a tax known as the tithe by 10%. The Second Estate was composed of members of noble families and they didn’t have to pay taxes like the First Estate; they were also collecting taxes from the Third Estate. The Third Estate was made up of the rest of the society and represented the 96% of it. Unlikely the first two estates, the third one had to pay taxes to the First and Second Estates and they did not have the same privileges as the other estates had.
Before the French Revolution, class or economic status was more imperative in French society and so was government than the individual, meaning status was a decisive contributor to individual success. An individual’s ability was based on the class that they were born to. Nevertheless, the Revolution got rid of this and expressed that almost all people were equal according to the legislature. Moreover, Napoleon further eradicated this by setting up a new system of aristocracy based on merit. Consequently, those who performed and contributed were rewarded.