The crashing and stank of inequality. There was
The people of France overthrew their absolutist government in 1789. What caused this revolt over the French government? The American Revolution and the Enlightenment had brought upon new ideas as to what a fair government should look like. Although the French Revolution is very complex, three main reasons can be pinpointed. The cause of the French Revolution was the need for equality.
First off, France’s government ruled by absolutism. This meant that the king had unlimited power and no one had any say in what he could or could not do. King Louis XVI, was an untrustworthy king. He was not elected by the people and he ruled by absolutism. He claimed that he received his right to govern by God. The king was able to imprison anyone without a trial because of “Lettres De Cachet”, which were letters that were signed by the king and his ministers that could warrant for anyone’s arrest. Along with this, he was able to declare war and peace and could appoint military officials. Since his power was not limited, he was able to charge taxes as he pleased and spent the taxpayers money as he wanted. The country of France was still recovering from helping fund the American Revolution, and the reckless spending of tax money by the king and queen outraged the people.
Another cause of the french revolution was the inequalities in the first, second, and third estates. The king heavly censored the people as well. The First and Second Estates consisted of clergymen, royalty, and nobles. All of these people looked down on the third estate, which consisted of the “common” people. The third estate was taxed very heavily while the two other estates were exempt from taxation. This caused basic necessities, such as bread, to be expensive and people were unable to pay for it. There was still leftover influence from “the feudal system of the Middle Ages”. Because of this, nobles would give land to peasants for having them serve this. Although, the peasants still had to pay dues to the nobles. Along with this, rabbits and other forms of wildlife might destroy peasant’s farms but they were not allowed to take action and get rid of the pests because “they were protected for the lord’s hunting.”
The economy? Before the french revolution was crashing and stank of inequality. There was a taille on the land perpetuated by the king (one of the money reasons why the people HATED the king) Taxes, they were bad. The third estate had to pay dues to the nobles (because of the leftovers of the feudal system from the middle ages) AND had to pay dues to the church as well. They were taxed unevenly, but they were the only estate out of the three that were taxed. During this time, there was a decline in agriculture as well which caused the tax on food to be unreasonably high, more than the people could afford. As Arthur young said, “The poor people seem very poor indeed. The children are terribly ragged. ” Finally, the French people, especially in the Third Estate were fed up with all the inequality and took matters into their own hands and created the “Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen” in 1789.
In conclusion, the peopbecause of the need for equality. The people of France were tired of the constant social, economic, and political inequality that occured within their government.