• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Causes of the French Revolution

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Raven Dhillon World Civilizations II (G) Ms. Schlesinger December 3rd, 2012 For the Want of a Change: The Quest for a Republic The social unrest in France allowed for Enlightenment ideals of democracy to instigate revolt and eventually, a revolution. The Enlightenment thinkers significantly influenced France and their ideas regarding a democratic state flourished during a time of turmoil because the people of France were dissatisfied with the current administration. This led to revolt and revolution. The events occurring in France during the late eighteenth century forever altered the nation. One of the most crucial changes in France was that it was no longer an absolutist state, but instead a republic. ?it was the great revolution of the eighteenth century, the revolution that opened the modern era in politics (McKay 615). The French Revolution also had many repercussions that would tremendously affect the whole of Europe. One of these repercussions the ideals established by these events would transform the way Europeans thought of ruling themselves. The Enlightenment preceded the revolution. The main thought behind the Enlightenment was that society should be governed by reason instead of faith. ...read more.


?it was becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish clearly between the nobility and the bourgeoisie? (France). The bourgeoisie were similar to the nobility in wealth and influence expect for the fact that they did not have the privileges that the nobility possessed and they were part of the Third Estate. The Third Estate had the most members because it included most of the population of France and it comprised of double the representatives of the first two estates; yet they still only had one vote (each Estate had one vote). The first two estates would always conspire to outvote the third estate. This rendered the Estates Assembly meaningless and the people of France who were not nobility were outraged at their lack of power (612). ?an emerging elite that included both aristocratic and bourgeois notables were frustrated by a bureaucratic monarchy that continued to claim the right to absolute power? (613). Even though there was tension between the classes, all of them were opposed to an absolutist monarchy. Naturally the dissent of the people could not be stifled. ?no monarch, however brilliant, could have met the rising liberal and nationalist expectations of tens of thousands of dissatisfied and vocal people, steeped in Enlightenment thought, who were committed to becoming the empowered citizens of a fraternal state? (France). ...read more.


The National Assembly devised the “Declaration of the Rights of Man”, which wrote down the rights of French citizens and derived inspiration and ideas from the Enlightenment thinkers (616-617). The Enlightenment didn’t necessarily lead to the French Revolution, but the conflict within the country allowed for its ideas to come to fruition. The turmoil brought about a desire for change. People wanted a democratic and just nation. Something the Enlightened thinkers of the eighteenth century were acutely keen on (French). Naturally, this led to revolt and a revolution of the people. The French Revolution didn’t proceed as planned, but France still ended up with a republic at the end. Sources 1. "Estates-General." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 5 Dec. 2012. 2. "France." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 05 Dec. 2012. 3. "French Revolution." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 4 Dec. 2012. 4. "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (Overview)." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 4 Dec. 2012. 5. McKay, John P., Bennett D. Hill, John Buckler, Patricia Buckley Ebrey, Roger B. Beck, Clare Haru Crowston, and Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks. A History of World Societies. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988. Print. 6. Schwartz. "The French Revolution: Causes, Outcomes, Conflicting Interpretations." Mtholyoke.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2012. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Major Causes of French Revolution

    4 star(s)

    The greatest governmental weakness lay in the lack of order and consistency. The Administration of Justice and Finance were particularly confused and the government fell steadily behind, owed on public debt accounted for 51% off all expenditures (Going broke).1 1- The most hated responsibilities were dues owed to the landlords.

  2. In the process of consolidating his position, Napoleons reforms, had by 1808, destroyed the ...

    But what was it that the Revolution represented? Though it is common knowledge that the Revolution embodied the phrase, "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity", did the French Revolution put into practice the principles it claimed to idolise? The historian Fran´┐Żois Furet believed that "the Revolution had been blown 'off course' after the destruction of the monarchy and had become

  1. Russian Revolution Sources Questions

    He puts across to the nation that he is Lenin's pupil and fundamentally concerned with carrying on as Lenin has influenced him to do. Source E is a photograph taken at Lenin's funeral in January 1924. It shows Stalin right at the front several along with the other communist leaders in the picture carrying Lenin's body.

  2. How accurate is Trotsky's account of the causes of the Kronstadt rebellion?

    more food). He claims that the ideas behind the revolution were "deeply reactionary" and showed the hostility of the peasants towards the worker, the arrogance of the sailors and soldiers and the hatred of the middle class for revolutionary discipline.

  1. Why did the French Revolution end in 1799?

    The Bourgeois class was running the country and controlling the Revolution whether they were Jacobins or Royalists, leaving the other classes without a say in the governing of the country or achieving their desires and needs. The urban workers and the sans-culottes had had some success and brief moments of

  2. How successful was the National Assembly bringing equality and liberty to France during 1789-93?

    For the first time in France, many people gained the right to vote. However, to be able to become an active citizen with gave people the ability to vote, 3 days worth of wages would have to be paid in taxes per year and those people would have to be male and over 25.

  1. The French Revolution Broke Out Because Of a Shortage of Bread Discuss.

    He did not propose any major reforms, but instead worried about his son who was dying of tuberculosis. The next day, when the representatives arrived for the second day of the Estates General, they found themselves locked out. Louis had locked them out because he felt threatened by their increasing desire for power and so had silenced them.

  2. Notes and Reading on the causes of the French Revolution.

    Privileges 6. No equality, no universality 7. First estate, second estate, third estate 8. Nobility 9. The poor 10. Lack of money 11. Distribution of power 12. Problems with class 13. The king 14. Enlightenment 15. Resentment 16. Social division Short term causes of the French revolution 1. Revolt of the nobles 2. Cahiers de Doleance 3.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work