The French Revolution The years before the French Revolution (which started in 1789 AD.) were ones of vast, unexpected change and confusion. One of the changes was the decline of the power of the nobles, which had a severe impact on the loyalty of some of the nobles to King Louis XVI. Another change was the increasing power of the newly established middle class, which would result in the monarchy becoming obsolete. The angry and easily manipulated peasants, who were used by the bourgeoisie for their own benefit were another significant change, and finally the decline of the traditional monarchy, that for so long had ruled, were all factors to the main point that the French Revolution was caused by a political base, with social disorder and economic instability contributing to the upheaval.
The French revolution was attributed to a number of factors which are identified and discussed below. First and foremost was the poor state of the economy. The financial mismanagement of the French economy was evident in the wasteful expenditure of money which contributed to the dangerously high levels of national debt. The debt was accumulated over the preceding years through excessive expenditure on luxuries by Louis XVI, including the Palace of Versailles. ??
During the late 18th century, the French Revolution took place which completely changed France. French society was in it's worse condition with poverty, unfair systems both socially and politically, and economic declines. The third estate became overwhelmingly unsatisfied of the unfair laws and the privileged classes. With economic failures, the monarch began to tax harshly to the third estate which brought rage among the third estate. From then on powerful and effective actions were taken to rebel against the French government.
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.
The war disrupted normal economic activities and forced the country to fend for themselves. Without any resources coming in the country was doomed to face a dismal market and decline. Prices skyrocketed and the country sunk deeper and deeper into economic disorder. France manufacturers and merchants were forced to find alternative markets making France's economy worthless. Budget deficits and tax increases caused discontent and a recession in 1810 to 1811 hurt the industry dramatically.
The Enlightenment, the American Revolution of 1775 through 1783, and France’s political, social, and economic state in the years before the outbreaks of revolts, all acted as stimuli to the anger of France’s citizens. This anger brought about the three major phases of the French Revolution: the uprisings of peasants such as the Storming of Bastille, the Red Terror which resulted in many unjust deaths, and the Thermidorean Reaction in which the Committee of Public Safety lost its power. The incompetence of the monarchs led the French government in great desperation, and out of this desperation, France was forced to call the first Estates-General meeting s... ... middle of paper ... ... or mutiny, against the government and allowed Napoleon to rise to power shortly afterwards. The French Revolution was an inevitable event in France’s history. The incompetence of the monarchy of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, along with the built up anger of the French society influenced by philosophes and the American Revolution and the tension between estates, were all key factors of the disintegration of the old regime of France.
Causes of the French Revolution The French Revolution caused many problems within the country and within the people, as it was a trying time full of disagreements, fear, and many changes. Beginning in 1789 and ending in 1799, the French Revolution started off as a threat to the king and his inability to properly rule the country. But other issues came to surface, causing France to enter into a time of confusion, social stress and disparity. The three main causes of the French Revolution however were an ineffective ruler in Louis XVI, enlightenment ideas, and a weak economy. These ideas were the main causes of the French Revolution as they directly affected the people to make them want to enter a state of revolution until new policies were instituted.
Therefore in order to attain a final answer it is necessary to study and analyze what really happened, thus approaching a fair assessment of the causes of the French Revolution. During the 1770s and 1780s, a great economic decline took place, following then a long period of prosperity, which had a terrible psychological impact on all social classes, which faced a harsh decline in their status. Therefore society was threatened by two internal forces, which already existed in the 18th century but due to the economical crisis were now more emphasized. The first force was the hostility between the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie; and the second was each class' attempt to change the policies of monarchy and absolutism. Both forces obligated the King to take actions, which lead to disruption of the central government, and consequently the end of the ancien regime.
This worsened during the eighteenth century. The use of the money by Louis XIV angered the people and they wanted a new system of government. The writings of the philosophes such as Voltaire and Diderot, were critical of the government. They said that not one official in power was corrupt, but that the whole system of government needed some change. Eventually, when the royal finances were expended in the 1780's, there began a time of greater criticism.
Demise of Feudalism There were numerous factors involving the demise of Feudalism in Europe. All the different small problems added to the confusion and replacement of feudalism by The Renaissance. The concentration of power in the hands of a few was always a great disruptive force in the feudal system. The rise of powerful monarchs in France, Spain, and England broke down the local organization. One of the determining factors in the downfall of feudalism was the Hundred Years War.