Sunday, August 4, 2019
Causes of the French Revolution Essay -- essays research papers
The Causes Of The French Revolution In the 17th and 18th centuries, France was ruled by an absolute government. The king had all the political power. And the kings who came after him were despots. For example, anyone who criticized the government could be arrested and put in prison without trial. Louis XIV at l east ruled this country efficiently. Last French kings were not good rulers. Louis XIV (1774- 1793) was king at the time of the French Revolution. He was more interested in hunting than governing France. He and his Austrians queen, Marie Antoinette, lived an extravagant life at the Palace of Versailles. They did not really care about the state of their country. The government was inefficient, unjust and corrupt. There were too many government departments, different laws in different parts of the country and officials. Many people became angry about the way France was governed. They could do nothing to change it. The French Parliament was called the Estates- General. It was made up of the First Estate- churchmen or clergy, the Second Estate- nobility, the Third Estate- commoners. The Estate- General had not met since 1614. It could not meet without consent of he king. It had no political power. During the 18th century, the French government spent more money than it collected in taxes. By 1788, the country was bankrupt. Because the government spent a lot of money, taxes were high. The tax system was unjust. The nobles and the clergy paid hardly any taxes. The Church owned one-tenth of the land in France. It did not pay taxes. The peasants paid most of the taxes. Yet, they were the people least able to afford them. In the 18th century, France was a feudal country with class division. People were divided into three estates or classes. The First Estate consisted of the clergy. The Second consisted of the nobility, and the Third included the bourgeoisie, the city workers and the peasants. The estate to which he belonged decided a personÃ¢â¬â¢Ã¢â¬â¢power and rights. The peasants suffered most. Over 80 per cent of the population were made up of peasants. They had to pay heavy taxes. How The Revolution Changed Between 1789 and 1799 In 1789 the king called the estates to a meeting to form a National Assembly where all estates woul... ...;reign of terror." The Jacobins also followed democratic principles and believed in the benefits of the middle class, peasants, and farmers and got to participate for the first time in a political event. The Convention abolished slavery. Many of these reforms were never carried out because of changes made later in the government. Many people of France wanted the "reign of terror", the Jacobin's dictatorship, and the democratic revolution to end. The Convention finally attacked Robesspiere in 1794, and he was executed the following day. The "reign of terror",had finally ended. The Conservatives drove the Jacobins out of power. They replaced the Democratic constitution with the Directory. They started to meet in 1795, but they were troubled by war and economic problems. Bonarpartec a French general, later seized control of France in November 9, 1799, which ended the revolution. The French Revolution brought much discussion into which kind of government was best for their country. Despite all the conflicts, the revolution did create a unified state and a strong central government.