• 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...


Causes of the French Revolution of 1789 Uploaded by YaRmaNi on Mar 28, 2005 The French Revolution of 1789 had many long-range causes. Political, social, and economic conditions in France contributed to the discontent felt by many French people-especially those of the third estate. The ideas of the intellectuals of the Enlightenment brought new views to government and society. The American Revolution also influenced the coming of the French Revolution. The Philosophes planted the seeds for the French Revolution. Their goals were to expose and destroy the inequalities of the ancient regime (old order). The political discontent of France was one of the causes of the Revolution. In the 17th and 18th centuries, France was ruled by an absolute government. The king had all the political powers. Anyone who criticized the government could be arrested and put in prison without trial. Louis XVI was king at the time of the French Revolution. He was more interested in hunting than governing France. He and his Austrian queen, Marie Antoinette, lived an extravagant life at the Palace of Versailles. ...read more.


France had been at war for nearly 50 years out of the previous one hundred years. France supported the Americans in the American War of the Independence. After that, France was in financial ruins. A large sum of money was also spent on palaces, entertainment and gifts by the kings of France. The government spent a lot of money which put forth high taxes. The tax system was unjust. The nobles and the clergy hardly paid any tax. The Church owned one-tenth of the land in France and did not pay any taxes. The peasants were the victims of the heavy taxation. Louis XVI tried to reform the taxation system but the nobility and the clergy refused to accept the new reforms. Therefore, the king was unable to make any financial reforms. The gabelle, salt tax, was also levied by the French Kings. When Jacques Turgot tried to impose the corvee, tax on land property, he was opposed by the nobility. He failed to pass the corvee and was dismissed by Louis XVI.. Social problems were also a major factor that brought about the French Revolution. ...read more.


City workers were angry because their wages were not enough to buy goods when prices were going up rapidly. The peasants made up 80% of the population and had to pay heavy taxes. In his book The French Revolution, Albert Mathiez states that the Revolution was caused by the middle classes. The working classes weren't able to control or start the Revolution. They were just starting to learn how to read. French peasants were subject to certain feudal dues, called banalities. These included the required used-for-payment of the lord's mill to grind grain and his oven to bake bread. The lord could also require a certain number of days each year of the peasant's labor. Peasants were targeted by society. They couldn't do anything on there own or try to fight back. The French Revolution was caused by social, political and economic problems. People were in discontent with the king. The first two estates were privileged and the third was very unprivileged and had to pay heavy taxes. The third estate did not get along with the first two. French kings spent a lot of money on wars. They spent more money then they made. It was time for a change in France. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 1600-1699 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 University Degree 1600-1699 essays

  1. Why was there a revolution in France ?

    As P.M. Jones writes, "...the concept of honour precluded any significant liability to 'commoner' taxes." The bourgeoisie were also kept out of top positions in French society by the privileged nobility. In the eighteenth century the nobles, by virtue of their noble position had reclaimed many of the state posts which the monarchy had filled with the middle classes.

  2. The Dutch trade during the Anglo- Dutch wars. The Anglo-Dutch wars were instigated ...

    sail through the English Channel because going past the North Pole was too dangerous.24 During the Anglo- Dutch wars the English Channel would be completely flooded with English naval ships making it nearly impossible for the Dutch trade to persist.

  1. the french revolution

    that other people in other nations, such as the new United States of America, were receiving as a right of a drastic change in judgment. The most important causes of the French Revolution, therefore, were these: the constant unprofessional conduct of the French government and the subsequent unfairness in the


    "There are many abstractions in the Declaration of Independence. These abstractions such as: rights, freedom, liberty and happiness have become the foundations of American society and have helped to shape the "American Identity." Power, another abstraction that reoccurs in all the major parts of the Declaration of Independence plays an equally important role in shaping "America identity."

  1. Why, in spite of its apparent strength, was the monarchy so rapidly overthrown in ...

    the Shah is believed to have spent $100 million for the commemoration of 2500 years of the Iranian monarchy. To the outsider, especially those in the West, the developments and milestones described above made it seem that the Shah was indeed in power of a stable and strong monarchy popular among the public.

  2. Throughout the history of the United States of America, four American presidents have been ...

    unnecessary war" and in his eyes he was "not qualified by birth or training to be president."13 And as the civil war was raging on Booth, a Southern sympathizer decided that drastic measures would be required to prevent Southern defeat.

  1. "Assimilation and its successor, Association, were euphemisms for the political and economic exploitation of ...

    Their participation in the trans-Atlantic slave trade was always less significant than their European counterparts. The French came to focus on groundnuts and other raw materials originating in the interior regions. Although the French had contact in other areas of coastal West Africa they concentrated more on the Senegal River area and its hinterland.

  2. This autobiography is a public primary source published in 1781. It was written in ...

    Certain phrases and words need further explanation to help us understand the intended meaning of the words or phrases before we can accurately interpret the text. Firstly, the phrase 'break up of the constitution' is unclear. We need to know when it happened, who were involved and how it happened

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