Causes of the French Revolution Essay
1068 Words5 Pages
The start of the French Revolution was due to a build-up of inequalities, bankruptcy, and the influence of The Enlightenment and the American Revolution. The First and Second Estates, which was made up of the rich nobles, did not have to pay taxes, and had special privileges. In contrast, the Third Estate was made up of the townspeople who worked hard every day, and paid heavy taxes. This inequality angered the townspeople. The king before Louis XVI was Louis XIV. He spent too much money and caused the government to go into a downward spiral. Then Louis XVI did not cut down on spending either, and by 1789 the government was bankrupt. After The Enlightenment, writers and thinkers ideas’ became widespread and began to encourage the…show more content…
These townspeople were ready to fight to the death to stop the unfair taxation and ways of the government. Instead of the expected one hundred person mob, the guards and soldiers were unprepared to discover over three hundred angry French citizens ready to seize The Bastille. The citizens freed all the prisoners that were put in jail under the hated Louis XVI, and marched their way through the streets, heading next to Versailles, where the King was staying.
Paris Mob Storming the Palace of Versailles and Imprisoning the Royal Family
The storming of the Palace of Versailles was mainly aimed at Queen Marie Antoinette by the women of France. Mothers and wives trying to bake for their families found it impossible due to the shortage and high prices of grains. Rumors were quickly spread that the royal family were hoarding grains in Versailles. The angry mob forced their way into Versailles and demanded for Queen Marie Antoinette to come outside, when she did, the mob told her family to leave Versailles and move to Tuileries Palace where they were put under ‘house’ arrest.
Flight and Capture of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI
Louis XVI and the royal family made plans to flee the country because if they did not soon, they knew their lives would be done for. With a failed attempt in April 1791 to flee, they made a new plan to join other banned royalists. So on the evening of June 20, 1791, the royal family disguised
Factors Leading To The French Revolution Essay
1084 Words5 Pages
“Man is born free, and everywhere he is shackled” 1 were the famous words of French Enlightenment thinker Jean Jacques Rousseau, but these simple words are also an example of the feelings and inevitable reality of most French people during the late eighteenth century. It was the writers, thinkers, and philosophers like Rousseau whose principles shaped the beginning of a monumental movement throughout Europe which eventually led to the French Revolution. The Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason was a time in French history that is best characterized by “… (The) trend that emphasized reason, individualism, and human rights as opposed to tradition.” 2 There are many factors, symbols and events besides the Enlightenment that…show more content…
The first estate consisted of the clergy and accounted for less than 1% of the total population. The second estate was the nobility, a slightly larger group that provided military support and made up 1-2% of the population of France. Lastly, the third estate contained the remaining 97% of the population that were responsible for all goods and services. About 85% of the third estate consisted of peasantry, and less than 40% owned their land. The third estate was very dissatisfied by the fact that they embodied over 95% of the country, but were only represented as one vote in the Estates General. It was because of these unfair conditions that the third estate decided to break off and declare itself the National Assembly. The National Assembly was the group who swore the famous Tennis Court Oath: “Wherever we meet, there is the nation,”3 It was this group who became forerunners in the French Revolution. It was not until July 14th of 1789, when a mob of eighty thousand charged and seized the fortress Bastille, an old royal prison loaded with ammunition, and then carried the governor’s head on a pike, that the vulnerability of the monarch was truly exposed. Alongside the hardships in government, France was undergoing a serious financial crisis. The economy was rural and agricultural, but had no national currency and operated under the mercantilist theory. The state was in its financial ruin mainly