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

To what extent was warfare between Britain and France the main contributory factor in French political instability 1689 - 1789?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was warfare between Britain and France the main contributory factor in French political instability 1689 - 1789? On the 17th of June, 1789, the Estates-General was brought to an end by the majority of the Third Estate, outraged that their larger numbers counted for nothing, left to form the National Assembly which signalled the beginning of the French Revolution. What ensued was 10 years of political turmoil, war and mass killings, the result being a reformed nation using a more liberal system that many nations use today. There are many causes to the rise against the monarchy, many reasons the country plunged into chaos for a decade but how many of them were influenced by war between France and her greatest enemy, Britain? What effect did the period of wars known as the "Second Hundred Years War" have on France? France were the major power in Europe after the Franco-Dutch war in 1678, having gained several territories, Louis XIV was the most powerful monarch in Europe. However, this wasn't to last for long as Louis's desire for aggressive expansion, would eventually begin to cause France's downfall. The other leading nations in Europe had grown weary of Louis XIV's desire to expand, thus forming the Grand Alliance which consisted of the majority of Europe's powers bar France, with the goal of forcing France back to her borders as they were when Louis XIV took power. The War of the Grand Alliance, otherwise known as the Nine Years War begun with France crossing into Germany with the intent of intimidating the German states, as they were still currently fighting the Ottoman Turks in the east. ...read more.


The war was finally concluded through the Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle, where the main points were; Austria recognized Frederick II of Prussia's conquest of Silesia, as well as renouncing parts of its Italian territories to Spain and France had to withdraw from the Netherlands in order for some of the colonies lost to Britain, to be returned. Overall the treaty was disappointing for both Britain and France, in particular France, who went into that war with the aim of expanded her empire when in fact she game out worse have funded 8 years of war and gaining nothing. Perhaps both nations were so eager to conclude negotiations with Prussia benefiting the most, is both nations were trying to become the ally of this swiftly rising power. Prussia who had been slowly growing over the years had become one of the worlds leading nations, with France and Britain constantly at war against each other, Prussia was going to be a vital ally for future conflicts and that she proved to be. The next conflict that carried the Anglo-French hostilities into it was the Seven Years War, which ran from 1756 to 1763 and is regarded as the first truly global conflict. Engagements during the war were mainly fought in Europe but there was a large amount of fighting in North America also (known as the French-Indian war), along with fighting in India (Third Carnatic War) and West Africa. The large scale of this conflict, spread across so many different theatres, required absolute commitment from each and every combatant, countries such as Prussia for example were fighting for their very survival as a nation. ...read more.


What made this even worse for the lower classes of France was that a lot of the aristocrats and clergy were exempt from many of the taxes, they also indulged in many unnecessary luxuries while the rest of France was starving, causing some resentment from the people. Another reason for the French political instability was the age of enlightenment which was sweeping across the globe at the time. The enlightenment was an era where people started to question their position in society and the authority above them. With people starting to realise their abused position in absolute monarchies such as France, a revolution was inevitable. The conflict between France and Britain in the American War for Independence would have brought attention to the revolution by the American people against their British masters, if the Americans could take out the vast British army then surely they could do it here in France. In conclusion, there is no doubt that the wars between France and Britain had a massive impact on the political instability that plagued the French throughout the 18th century. The British had several decisive battles over the French that not only crippled them with debt and territorial loss, but they showed France how successful a parliament was in comparison to a monarch. However, not all the reasons directly have a correlation with the conflicts of both nations. For example the age of enlightenment was a movement that spread across Europe around the same period in history, however it can still be linked back to the British and French fighting in North America, with the enlightenment igniting the American Revolution. ...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 Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

There are some examples of useful analysis here but the vast majority of this essay is a narrative account of the conflicts between Britain and France and does not therefore address the question.

3 Stars.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 24/10/2014

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 Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Extended Essay: Bismarck and The Unification of Germany

    5 star(s)

    The economy was developed further due to the introduction of a banking system and the growth of the steel industry. Economy also boomed due to regular artillery orders from Von Moltke's army. In addition to creating an economic, free-trade area, the Zollverien also introduced a single currency, thus stimulating economic growth.

  2. Early Jamestown: Why Did So Many Colonists Die? In early Jamestown, from 1607 ...

    Finally, in the Native Americans point of view, the men who came had strange customs. Many colonists died because the environment. The main reason the environment killed them was because of the contamination of their water, tides and droughts. The contamination of their water happened when they decided to throw their waste in the water.

  1. The Enlightenment Essay

    Two of the key pioneers of the Scientific Revolution and who many historians consider to be the fathers of the Enlightenment were Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and Rene Descartes (1596-1650. In addition to their individual contributions to their particular areas of scientific study they also started to define how science operates; the scientific method."

  2. The colonists of Jamestown had to overcome many hardships upon their arrival. They were ...

    Lastly, the colonists were constantly in conflict with the Indians. At first the Indians wanted to be friendly by restraining to kill colonists, but however, the colonists refused. Apparently, a colonist named Francis West forced the Indians to trade for corn when he and his men cut the heads and extremities off of two Indians.

  1. What was the impact of the Norman Conquest

    The Domesday Book is a statistical document and was used as an administrative tool; a basis for more decisive taxation of the Norman's new realm and to fund William's warfare. It involved the first kingdom-wide poll taken in Europe since the Roman era and it helped the Normans to integrate with their conquered territories.

  2. To what extent did WW1 cause the collapse of Tsarism?

    Due to the overcrowding, however, factories were packed full of workers creating poorer, cramped working conditions. It was said by Karl Marx that the Proletariat (working class) would rise up against the Bourgeoisie (factory owners) and revolution would begin and he was correct.

  1. To what extent was Napoleon a Dictator

    The authoritarian nature of the Constitution and set up of government proved Napoleon was a dictator, because by the end of 1802 he had centralised power around himself for the rest of his life. More proof that Napoleon was a dictator was the police state he set up.

  2. Religious Concerns solely explain the strong opposition to the Third Home Rule Bill. ...

    This in the long term becomes a victory for the British as the war lasts for four years and Redmond who had been so optimistic in September 1914, quickly became downhearted and it felt like a defeat to him. Bonar Law, the leader of the Conservative Party, was very sympathetic to the Unionist cause in Ireland.

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