Causes of french Revolution

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The event most commonly associated with the beginning of the French Revolution is the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. Instigated by rumors that the King had begun to organize military forces for a counterattack against government reformers, a crowd of urban Parisians converged upon the Bastille with the intent of staging a preemptive strike against the monarchy. A state prison and military armory, the Bastille had been seen by the mob as representative of the King's dictatorial rule. The pubic's dissent upon the Bastille, which ultimately ended as a success for the mob, has been seen as a symbolic marker in the beginning of the French Revolution, deposition of the monarchy, and the eventual establishment of a new French republic.
However, to begin discussion of the French Revolution with the storming of the Bastille negates a number of important factors that had influenced the publics' actions on July, 1789. As France emerged from the Middle Ages, the nation had maintained archaic social and governmental systems. Prolonged use of the feudal system had allowed for the development of a French society divided into three castes, known as the Three Estates. With the first two estates drawing its membership from the noble elites and clergy, wealth and power was poorly distributed throughout France, with approximately two percent of the population holding a position of privilege over the Third Estate. Socially disenfranchised, the Third Estate, comprised of France's rural and urban peasantry; and the wealthy, but not noble, bourgeoisie, also suffered political underrepresentation.
As an absolute monarch, King Louis XVI was granted total authority over the French government. Ascending to the throne in 1774, Louis ha...

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... a sense of legitimacy and pushed the bourgeoisies' cries for government reform into the public arena. Over the following two weeks, Louis would go on to take further actions with would, unbeknownst to him, further fan the flame of revolution. His orders to have troops surround the cities of Paris and Versailles, although made in an attempt to appease French nobility, was seen as a threat to members of the Third Estate. On July 11, the removal of financial minister Jaques Necker, an advocate of tax reform and dismissal of noble privilege, was interpreted as the King's continued refusal to cooperate with the National Assembly. Combined with an ongoing famine, Louis' political mishandlings continued to create social unrest among the peasantry and bourgeoisie alike. These tensions would ultimately come to head on July 14, resulting in the storming of the Bastille.
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