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

French pre-revolutionary Government - 'An archaic and corrupt society, with little sign of social and economic progress.'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'An archaic and corrupt society, with little sign of social and economic progress.' The ancien regime was an expression used to describe the system of government, laws and institutions which preceded the French Revolution of 1789. The system relied heavily on the 'seigneurial system', based largely on the medieval feudal system by which the monarch had absolute power, most of the clergy (first estate) and the nobility (second estate) were very wealthy, and the peasants (third estate) were oppressed by heavy taxation and made to work as virtual slaves for their landlords. It was this system which was an important contributing factor to the resentment which developed between the poor, who made up three quarters of France's population at the time, and the nobles, and eventually led to the uprising of the lower classes and revolution in 1789. The ancient regime was an outdated system which ignored the demands of social and economic progress in favour of keeping the third estate in check and attempting to ensure that France was a dominant power in Europe. In most European countries the system of feudalism had died out in the Middle Ages. ...read more.

Middle

Peasants owned only one third of French land, even thought they cultivated almost half of it. The church, bourgeoisie and nobility who owned the rest were unwilling to put money into it. For this reason France made little to no progress in agriculture during the eighteenth century. The peasants began to resent their landlords because although they were living in poverty they were not being offered any prospects of improvement. Instead of having a national judicial system which controlled law making and was in charge of punishing anyone who broke the laws, the landlord or 'seigneur' had the right to hold a court within his 'seigneurie'. This system worked until the offence committed was against the seigneur, for example, one of the peasants in the seigneurie stole a sheep from the seigneur. In such an instance the peasant was unlikely to receive fair treatment and a just punishment for his crime because the seigneur would be acting in his own interest, rather than in the interest of fairness. The seigneur also had the right to collect 'cens' (money) and 'champart' (crops), and to monopolise the seigneurie's flour mill, bread oven and grape press, serving to wring even more money out of the peasants who could already barely afford to keep themselves. ...read more.

Conclusion

France was in serious debt having spent much money on fighting wars in both Europe and America. The only way for the government to make money was to put up prices on goods and increase taxation on the poor, who felt they were being exploited and called for a system of 'progressive taxation' whereby people were taxed in accordance with how much they earned. The taxes which were imposed restricted the growth of industry and trade and the increase in food prices led to riots among the lower classes. The French government did not seem to be able to manage their finances so that the economy would improve and the people would feel fairly treated. In conclusion, the ancien regime was clearly an outdated, old fashioned system which was biased towards the wealthy and did nothing to improve the French economy. Instead of making France more powerful the ancien regime heightened tensions within the country and created unrest among the peasants who began to resent the government for taxing them, the landlords for treating them badly and the King for failing to do anything to rectify the situation, resulting in discontentment which increased over the years until it came to a head in the revolution of 1789. Lydia Smith ...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 Information Systems and Communication 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 Information Systems and Communication essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Database Coursework on a Vehicle Rental System: Analysis

    5 star(s)

    One could fill many standard offices top to bottom, wall to wall, with paper documents and the amount of information stored on these documents still wouldn't come close to the amount of information that can be stored on a hard drive inside a computer.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Computer Crime

    5 star(s)

    RFID is the use of an object (usually RFID tag) applied or implanted into another object for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves. Examples of such are: * Contactless Smart Cards (GO cards, Security cards, Access Cards, Human Identification Cards, Master/Visa card, etc)

  1. The Impact of Mobile Phones on social Interaction

    > State-of-the-art handsets > Personalisation of content Region 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 North America 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.7 1.8 3.5 Western Europe 0.0 0.1 0.5 1.7 4.6 7.8 Asia 0.4 1.3 2.6 5.0 7.4 9.4 Latin America 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.5 Other 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.2

  2. The Growth of Cybercrime

    that anyone who had control of his account could charge anything they wanted to his credit card. Mr. Peg did not know anything about what was happening until he received a phone call from a stranger from eBay asking for the payments he owed them.

  1. IT and Society

    The screens are able to be tilted for users comfort and ease of use although, I had difficulty adjusting them. The screens are generally clean and do not have any marks obscuring vision. However some of the screens are showing the message 'No Input', I was advised that these were in the process of being fixed.

  2. Unit 5 - Communications Technology

    If the channel is sensed as "busy" the station has to defer its transmission. This is the essence of the "collision avoidance" part of the protocol. After waiting for a sufficient time for all stations to receive the jam signal, the data station transmits a frame, and while transmitting, if

  1. Database Coursework on a Rental System: Design

    Instead, a combo box is created. When clicked, the combo box will display a drop-down list of these values to select from. It saves time and decreases likelihood of human error. Drop-Down Lists: - drop-down lists can be included in tables when there are a small, limited number of values that can be added into that field.

  2. Impact of ICT on Society

    With applications such as "video conferencing", companies can interact with each other from thousands of miles away. Employees will not have to travel to other countries to discuss business ventures, but can do so via a video link. This cuts down costs for the company.

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