The Enlightenment certainly had a hand in the changes. Philosophes called for equality and discussed the inequities of a noble class and clergy who cared little for the populace that made up the majority of the populace. Newspapers, cartoons, and art proclaimed the political and social deficiencies of those in power and exposed the peasants to information that they might otherwise not have had. Further, the peasantry was suffering the most from the financial ruin France had incurred through overspending and the support of the American Revolution. Starving, and becoming increasingly frustrated with taxation, tithes, and the inability to change their circumstances, the ideology that humanity could be, and deserved to be equal spurred on a fundamental change in their belief system.
Inherent to the cause were the ideas of freedom, liberty, and civil equality. The supporters of the Revolutio...
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...h and subjecting the peasants to unfair taxation.
The changes in France begun in 1789 ebbed and flowed through the ten years of war and ever after. The ideas begun with the Salons of the Philosophes were the most powerful aspect that created an atmosphere of change that altered the landscape of political idealism, allowing for the Republicans and their supporters to challenge the social structure of France. Freedom, liberty, and individual identity became the norm, constitutional monarchy was eventually implemented, and the destruction of feudalism was finally accomplished. The French Revolution was revolutionary for its long-standing affects that altered the way that people viewed themselves. No longer were they subject to the vagaries of those born into wealth or those that held power. The power was in the people, an ideology that the French Revolution epitomized.
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