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Causes Of The French Revolution Essay

1721 words - 7 pages

Causes of the French Revolution

The French Revolution in the 18th century was when the Peasants of France fought for their independence. The revolution started because the peasants were unhappy with the way France was being run. They didn’t like that they had to pay the most taxes. They also couldn’t get any of the well-paid jobs and they were starving. These are some of the causes of the revolution.
Monarchy
The monarchy at the time of the revolution was king Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette. Being married to Marie Antoinette didn’t really help Louis’s position as king. Marie Antoinette was very disliked by the people of France but was said to be very beautiful ...view middle of the document...

The peasants were annoyed by the fact that they were the poorest people in France but they paid the most taxes. The nobility didn’t even pay land taxes at all but instead paid it in blood by fighting for the king. And of course the king didn’t pay taxes. The first estate were mainly wealthy but some were quite poor even though the Clergy were Bishops and Priests. All the major Nobles in the second estate were very rich but some of the others were poor. Most of the third estate was poor and had to work extremely hard to earn a living. No peasants were entitled to get any well-paid jobs.

Growth of new ideas
The French people started to see the world differently. Scientists had found new farming methods, new medicines to fight diseases and inventions to help the French industry along. Some people started to wonder, if there were improvements being made to the industry, why not improve the way France was being governed as well? Some also thought that they shouldn’t not make changes just because of old-time tradition, France was un-fair and old-fashioned and could do with some changes. This was the starting point when people started to think about revolution.

American war of independence
During the American war of independence, French soldiers were sent to America to fight. While the soldiers were there, they saw that the Americans had more freedom and believed that everyone was equal. This influenced the French soldiers. When they returned from America the soldiers wanted to make France more like America because they had been fighting for the rights and freedom of the American people so why not try make those changes in France. Some of the French thought that they people should choose the government of the country, but many French people
wanted France to stay the way it was, even if it meant less freedom and rights. Most people were perfectly happy with an “Absolute Monarch”.

Government debt
In the 18th century, the French government became more and more in debt. Many people blamed the extravagance of the court, mainly Marie Antoinette, who was said to be wasting money on herself. Others blamed the tax system that was also poorly serviced. The government had allowed private tax companies to make the collections but it was rare for the money to actually reach the king. The government had wanted to try improving the tax system by increasing the Nobles’ taxes but unsurprisingly, many Nobles wanted taxes to stay the way they were. Some of the French people found that their lives were getting better but most of the others lives were getting worse. Normally when things like this happen, people take drastic actions. This was where France was headed.

Third estate tax burden
The peasants were finding it especially hard to pay the price for the basic needs in life. The cost of living rose by 45%, the wages only rose by 22%. Over the course of 74 years, the population rose from 19 million to 26million, so bread...

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