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Causes of the French Revolution

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The French Revolution was incited by a variety of reasons. At the time, the government was in a serious deficit resulting in great taxations. They had spent huge sums of money on the French and Indian War, and the king and nobility consumed much money to keep up with their lavish lifestyles. In addition, there was a severe economic depression at the time. In areas of agriculture, manufacturing, and trade, there were great downturns. Also, revolutionary ideas were instilled within the people during the Enlightenment. Together, the financial condition of the government, the economic depression, and the Enlightenment ideas played a pivotal role in causing the French Revolution.

In the late 1800s, the condition of the French government was pitiful, and corruption was everywhere. France was already in great debt after spending large sums of money on soldiers and weapons for the French and Indian war. In addition, the King and members of nobility wasted the government’s money on frivolous luxuries. The government’s great debt led to a crisis over taxation. At the time, France was broken into three estates. The first estate was made up of the clergy, the second estate was the nobility, and the third estate was comprised of the middle class, peasants, and city workers (Document 2). The first two estates made up three percent of the population and owned nearly half the land; however, solely the third estate was taxed. In order to pay off deficits, the French people of the third estate were taxed brutally. Peasants and the middle class had to pay unfair feudal dues, taxes on land, taxes on food, and taxes to the king, lord of manor, and to the church. Meanwhile, the first two estates were given a free pass despite their great wealth (Doc...

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...in great debt after the French and Indian War and corruption of the monarch and nobility. This led to a crisis over taxation, and the king started abusing his power by specifically only taxing the third estate, the poorest segment of the population. Matters slowly became worse with the economic depression. Decreased economic activity and the agricultural revolution caused many people to loose jobs and go hungry. People were already angry about taxes, and the lack of food and work only aroused the people even more. Then, the ideas from the Enlightenment convinced the people that the government was corrupt and denying people of their natural rights. Ultimately, the financial condition of the government leading to the taxation crisis, the downturn in economic activity, and the ideas of the Enlightenment were the three mos vital reasons in causing the French Revolution.
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