Three Causes Of The French Revolution

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The French Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, and experienced violent periods of political turmoil. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, it profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. There are mainly three aspects of the causes of the French Revolution—political, economic and cultural. The inequality of the French government’s policies in favor of the first two estates is a main factor of the French Revolution. A chart revealing the life of Frenchmen in 1789shows the differences among the nobles, clergies and the Third Estate. The first two estates include only about 3% of total population, owned …show more content…

The idea expressed by Rousseau in The People Should Have Power that “Man is born free. No man has any natural authority over others, force does not give anyone that right. The power to make laws belongs to the people and only to the people” influenced people who been suppressed by the royals and the aristocrats, and the independence of the United States is a perfect example for the Frenchmen to follow. Some people, such as historian Albert Mathiez, claims that leadership fell to the middle class with their knowledge of the ideas of the Enlightenment that “The middle class… was sensitive to their inferior legal position. The Revolution came from them- the middle class. The working classes were incapable of starting or controlling the Revolution. They were just beginning to learn to read.” Although the idea is true considering the low literacy among people in the 18th century, without the support of the working classes, the overthrow of the monarchy cannot be done. Lord Acton suggests that “…the suffering of the people was not greater than they had been before. The ideas of the philosophes were not directly responsible for the outbreak…[but] the spark that changed thought into action was supplied by the Declaration of American Independence.” As supporters of American Independence, Frenchmen are familiar with that “news”. Being influenced by both events, revolution occurred. Also, with the invention of printing press, thoughts went faster than ever through cartoons and articles. However, we must see that those articles have preferences, and they are somehow propaganda-like. As a result, they may be exaggerating the miserable side to smear their enemies. In the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen published in 1789, we can see a deep influence from Rousseau. It says “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights…”. The deep influence of Enlightenment

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