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DBQ French Revolution Essay

History can be seen as a series of changes people put upon one another. Throughout the years, these changes have had affected society significantly resulting in more or less conflicts. The French Revolution was one of the many changes that affected society resulting in both conflicts beginning and others being resolved.

The French Revolution began in 1789 due to the inequality of French society. The French society was divided into three estates. The first two consisted of clergy and nobility respectively. The third was made up of merchants, businessmen, lawyers, and peasants. They had the least rights and privileges compared with the other estates. The third estate had to pay all the taxes imposed by the king, King Louis XVI, whereas the other estates were excused from it. This made life harder for the peasants, but also sparked the French revolution when the Third Estate began to demand more rights.

King Louis XVI ignored the demands of the Third Estate. When the Third Estate wanted to form the National Assembly, this exposed Kind Louis XIV’s abuse of power. The Estates General was unfair due to the Third Estates constantly being outvoting by the first and second estates. This resulted in the Tennis Court Oath which said they wouldn’t give up. Instead, the people of the Third Estate turned to rioting like when they stormed the Bastille to free political prisoners.

After the revolution, the peasants made sure they were heard. They started killing nobles; the guillotine was made making the death sentence faster and cheaper. Thousands were killed with the guillotine including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, his wife. The time after this was known as the Reign of Terror, when Maximilien Robespierre took over. During this period of famine and panic, the peasants were finally heard and released from feudalism. This French Revolution changed a lot helping commoners, but not the other people. It actually created a bigger war killing thousands of people. The people were left in fear and the commoners were still left poor and had little food.

The Revolution resulted in several negative outcomes as well as positive. Negatively, the Reign of Terror broke out and its aftermath, which includes countless deaths. Likewise, Louis XVI was overthrown fortunately, which gave the crown to Robespierre and eventually to dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte, who was able to create a stable economy and equalized taxes. I think the French Revolution definitely gave people some sense leading to stabilizing their way of life.

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