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

What were the causes of the French Revolution?

Extracts from this document...


What Were the Causes of the French Revolution The French revolution was a historical event of great significance. The French revolution which had began in 1789 till 1799 was considered by some as the starting point of Europe's modern history. The causes of the French revolution were based on many factors such as economic, social, and political factors which had played a vital role in the start of the revolution The first cause of the French revolution was the arrogance and incompetence of the French monarch King Louis XVI and his Austrian born wife Marie-Antoinette. The French king was of limited intelligence and outlook. King Louis lacked a proper government; he lacked intelligence as a King. The kings' government lacked government representatives, most of the internal and external decisions depended upon the character of the king. So the king was basically more the chief courtier than a man of political engagement and decision. King Louis' abilities to maintain stability over his country were restricted; this was due to his weak character and limited political outlook. King Louis XVI was known to be an aristocrat and there was a great social gap at that time between the royal family and the French revolution, the king usually preferred to spend his time in his palace in Versailles in the south of Paris which was constructed as the home of the French Monarchy and court. ...read more.


The involvement of the French in the war had two results which influenced the French revolution. Firstly the American Revolution did change the way of thinking and the principles which the French had. For example the Americans were allowed equal rights and had a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet France was an absolutist state. Another result was that the war had put the French in great debt and the monarch had suffered from a financial crisis. However some might argue that how could the financial crisis be a cause for the French revolution, but if we look at it in effect we realize that the financial crisis was the factor that led to French Revolution as because without the crisis the revolt of the Nobles in 1787 would not have happened. Another cause of the French revolution was the Royal debt and the growing financial crisis, 1783 -1789. In an attempt to solve the economic crisis King Louis XVI appointed Alexandre de Calonne as Controller General of the finances in 1783. Calonne introduced free trade in order to reduce Crown expenditure and raise the Crown revenue. However his plans were thwarted by the parliament of Paris and by the defence of their own privileges of immunity from taxation by the Clergy and Nobles. Afterwards an Assembly of Notables was summoned, in an attempt to bring forward improvements. ...read more.


The Kings decision to deny the third estate from entering the hall involuntarily contributed to the French Revolution and to the famous Tennis Court Oath. In the Tennis Court Oath the third estate announced itself as the National Assembly of France and oath pledged that it would not split up until a French constitution was formed. On 27 June, King Louis XVI admitted defeat and ordered the rest of the Deputies to join the National Assembly. We can clearly see the Tennis Court Oath played a vital role in the start of the French Revolution. In conclusion we could see that there were many causes for the outbreak of the French Revolution but in my opinion I would argue that the main cause and the main factor for the outbreak of the French Revolution was the economic recession, specifically during Calonne's time where he had summoned an assembly of Notables which led to the 'revolt of the nobles' and also the burden of taxation which was laid on the peasants and the agricultural depression. Many of the events during the recession had clearly caused the French Revolution. We could also argue that not all causes were vital causes for the revolution this is because all the causes had occurred almost in the same time period, so for example if there wasn't the age of enlightenment the recession would still be enough to start the revolution. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rudain Mahasneh ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Reign of Terror During the French Revolution

    This might make logical sense but the reality was that the Terror only led to more division in society and even more violence. Robespierre went along saying that "terror is nothing but prompt, severe inflexible justice," but in reality his terror was enforced due to the frustration against the upper class division and desire to control people.

  2. Revision notes - Causes of the French Revolution and the Development of the Revolution ...

    It is in his emphasis on reason and freedom that his political legacy lay. He was a strong opponent of institutions such as Church and monarchy. He believed that these institutions were anti-thesis of Enlightenment principles-progress, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, organized and rational policy.

  1. French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon - revision notes

    * During the 49 days between passing of the Law and fall of the Robespierre, over 1 thousand people were condemned, including innocent victims, List of convicted were signed after revision (po korekcie) by Committee of General Security and Comitte of public Safety.

  2. Analyse the political causes of the Mexican Revolution of 1910

    "The church agreed to support Diaz; in return he allowed the anticlerical Reforma laws to fall into disuse. In disregard of those laws, monasteries and nunneries were restored, church schools established, and wealth again began to accumulate in the hands of the church.

  1. Historical Investigation - French monarchy

    The King and his finance minister, Necker, both told the audience that the French nation was faced with a financial crisis and that they need to raise taxes11.

  2. Russia 1905 revolution

    Thus town councils served the same function as the zemstva in providing valuable lessons in self-government for the Russians and became the hotbeds of liberalism, challenging the rule of the Czar. (iii) Other reforms: The Czar also attempted to modernize Russian legal system by providing for open trial, the use

  1. What was the main cause of the French Revolution?

    paying attention to funding and financial cost, they leaped at every opportunity to avenge their humiliations from prior wars, regardless of their situation. The result of these enormous war expenditures meant they were on the verge of bankruptcy and no bankers would lend to them.

  2. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    4. Support grew as discontent increased from the 1877-1878 war with Turkey. 5. ?Went to the people? in a new way by sending out revolutionaries into the villages in peasant clothes to work as doctors, teachers, or skilled workmen and organize them to resist tsarist officials and landlords.

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