15th September 2015
Which factor of the “ancien régime” caused more discontent: political/social issues; or economic issues?
The French Royal family (the Bourbons) were the source of many of the discontent amongst the French people. For example, France was ruled by an absolutist monarchy, which required a strong willed monarch. However Louis XVI was very indecisive, and his first Controller-General, Turgot, was unpopular reformer within the government. This caused discontent because without a strong leader, France was unlikely to see any changes to its other causes of dissatisfaction.
Louis’ wife, Marie Aintoinette, lived beyond her (and France’s) means, once spending 400,000 livres on a pair of bracelets. She was clearly out of touch with many people, who deemed her and her supporters traitors – believing them to be in fact supporting her homeland, Austria. Her consistent spending and France’s increasing budget was a significant factor of discontent during the “ancien régime”.