Causes of The French Revolution Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 21 July 2016

Causes of The French Revolution

A revolution broke out in France in 1789 between the people of first and second Estates and the people of the Third Estate because the people of the Third Estate were treated incredibly unfair so they came together and took matters into their own hands. The three most important causes of the French Revolution were the bad economy and unfair taxes paid by the Third Estate, lack of voice and rights, and the idea of enlightenment and the inspiration of the American Revolution. The revolution led to the execution of the king and queen of France, Louis XVI and Mary Antoinette.

The cost of food began to rise in the 1700’s because of deficit spending over the years on wars and a building. The government needed to make money so they taxed basically everything possibly available to the people of the Third Estate, which consisted of the middle class, who were landowners, bankers, merchants, manufacturers, and more. Commoners and the poorest peasants are also part of the Third Estate. The First Estate made up 1% of the people and owned 10% of the land, the Second Estate made up 2% of the people and owned 35% of the land, and the Third Estate makes up 97% of the people and owns 55% of the land. Lands held by nobility were taxed very little but lands held by commoners were taxed heavily. Bad harvests caused the price of food to rise even more, therefore many people cannot afford it and hunger spreads. People began to riot and demand for food.

When the delegates of the three Estates and the king met together for the Estates General the Third Estate argued that the voting was unfair and they were always at a two to one disadvantage, they would always be outvoted by the first two Estates. In order to insure the Third Estate the influence it deserves because of its numbers, it’s votes should be taken by head. This and other requests were not taken into consideration by the king and the first two Estates. No matter how wealthy a person is the best jobs were reserved for nobility, which was unfair to the Third Estate. The middle class…was sensitive to their inferior legal position. The revolution came from them-the middle class.

Enlightenment ideas had people questioning the inequalities of the three Estates. People wanted to know why the first two Estates had such privileges
over the majority of the people. The Third estate wanted all of the Estates to have equal treatment and to pay taxes. The spark that changed thought into action was supplied by the Declaration of the American Independence. This example caused the revolution to break out.

97% of the French population had little rights and had to pay high taxes on everything. Many of these people were poor and hunger spread. These people of France were fed-up and they began to rise up and let their voices be heard. Through it all a revolution broke out between the first and second Estates and the Third Estate in France, which led to the execution of the king and queen.

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