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The shortcomings of Louis XVI

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?The shortcomings of Louis the 16th and his wife Marie Antoinette were the main cause of the French revolution? How far do you agree? 30 mark Louis and Marie Antoinette are arguably one of the main causes of the French revolution. However many other factors came into play which can also be seen to be significant in provoking the French Revolution. These other factors are the Finance and economy of France itself, the Enlightenment and the French society. Each of these factors can be considered catalysts to the French revolution although some are arguably more significant than others. Louis the 16th and his Austrian wife Marie Antoinette ruled France as King and Queen from 1775 until 1792 when their rule ended and the French monarchy was abolished. It is argued that Louis and Marie Antoinette failed France and its people. When France began to fall into financial difficulty Louis was reluctant to any change that may help the country recover from the worsening financial situation of France. ...read more.


Another factor that is a possible cause for the French revolution was the terrible finance and struggling French economy. France was unable to control its finance, the tax collectors were corrupt and often kept some of the money they collected and as a whole France was highly un-industrialised. At the time France only had a total of 8 cotton mills and which in comparison to Britain which had over 100 cotton mills at the same time was very poor. As the Frances finances were so poor this lead to a downward spiralling economy. France was financially supporting the American colonies in the American war of independence which was a huge expenditure that they could not afford. By 1786 France owed over 112 million livres. The poor finance and economy of France was quite significant in regards to causing the French revolution as the worsening situation made a lot of the French citizens begin to question if the situation would ever get better. ...read more.


This was hated by the third estate however they could do little about it because the Parliaments were made up from member of the Clergy and the King reluctant to make any changes to society. Society had limited significance in regards to causing the French revolution as although the French society was a corrupt and unfair system it had been in place for hundreds of years which therefore suggests that without other factors the French revolution could not have been caused by the French society on its own. In conclusion I believe the Enlightenment was the main cause for the French revolution. I believe this because although Louis and Marie Antoinette did not do a very good job as the monarchy of France I do not believe they can be held singularly accountable for the French revolution. If the enlightenment never occurred the French people would never have questioned the Kings divine right and therefore they most certainly would have not overthrown the monarch which caused the Revolution. ...read more.

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