Finally, it made the third estate realize how the taxation was simply greed. It made their eyes open to the fact that... ... middle of paper ... ... corruption of the government in many countries including France. It stated what was reasonably correct not just what was traditionally taught to people. It allowed the French people to gain a surfeit of power and have a say in the government. However, their work was obliterated once Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself dictator of France in 1799 (French Revolution 13).
The first and main reason for the French Revolution was the terrible leadership of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. The peasants wanted to overthrow them as they made France bankrupt by overspending. He spent a little less that 228 million livres in the span of 15 years. King Louis had sent huge amounts of money, military equipment and soldiers to America during the American Revolution because he wanted to help them beat Britain. He also spent a lot of money to build his palace, the Versailles.
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... ... middle of paper ... ...in great debt after the French and Indian War and corruption of the monarch and nobility.
They were exempt from taxation. However, the Assembly of the clergy, dominated by bishops, negotiated with the King to make an annual payment to the crown, know as the “don gratuit”. It was always much less than they would have paid in normal taxation and was under 5% of the clerical income. They made up 2% of the population. The First Estate owned nearly 10 per cent of all land in France and therefore was the single largest landowner in France.
The first two estates, the clergy and nobility, represented only about one-percent of the French population. Combined, they owned about a third of all private property, paid the least in taxes, and held the greatest power in government next to the monarch. Meanwhile, the Third Estate held all of France’s peasantry and middle class. Despite these citizens being at the low end of the wealth distribution, they paid the most in taxes. The peasantry frequently called for relief, sometimes revolting against the monarchy, but always being stifled before any progress was made.
"What the Revolution was less than anyhting else was a chance event. While it is a true that it took the world by surprise, nevertheless it was only the culmination of a long period of travail-the sudden and violent termination of an enterprse on which men had laboured for ten generations." On this I belive that the social and economic disorder that took place in France in the eighteenth century was the cause of the revolution.
Creating a new Society 14 July 1789 to 9 Thermidor II,(27 July 1794) (snapshot Napoleonic France 1804) According to Joseph Weber, foster brother of Queen Antoinette, there were three primary causes of the French revolution 'the disorder of the finances, the state of mind, and the war in America.' The 'disorder in the finances' acknowledged that the bankruptcy of the monarchy opened the doors to defiance of the King's authority. The greatest single cause of the revolution was the economic crisis, which forced the King to recall the redundant Estates General which had not been called since 1614, which opened the debate for people to make complaints with the current system through the cahiers of the three Estates. The 'state of mind' largely attributed to the philosophes of the Enlightenment who challenged the very foundations that the Ancien Regime was based on. Another contributing factor to the crisis was a plight of millions of peasants, and the even more critical situation of the landless vagrants and the unemployed masses in the towns.
Napoleon Bonaparte restored stability and leadership in France but at a costly expense. The Napoleonic wars devastated the economic structure of France. Due to inflation incurred because of the wars French currency became vulnerable. Since all of France's money was going into the army it put the state into great debt. The wars and ultimate defeat also put France in a crisis regarding foreign trade.
Louise XVI hired the head of the notables – Brienne – to be his new finance minister in 1787. Brienne reviewed the budget and realized that Calonne had been telling the truth, but when he presented his case to the notables, ... ... middle of paper ... ...ear, not popular support. Executions continued to increase (258 in April of 1794, 345 in May, and 688 in June) and differences in the Committee became irreconcilable. On July 27, 1794 Robespierre was shouted down in the National Convention while giving a speech to answer attacks against his policies. Cries of "Down with the tyrant" were raised and Robespierre's arrest was decreed.
A well known insurgency climaxed on July 14th, when rioters stormed the Bastille fortress in attempt to get gun powder and weapons, this is now a holiday in France called Bastille da... ... middle of paper ... ...t. Royalists and Jacobins fought the new regime but were shut down by the army led by Napoleon Bonaparte. Within four years of the directory being in power they started facing financial crises, popular discontent, inefficiency, and above all political corruption. By the late 1790s the directory was falling apart and needed the army to keep them in power because without the army making them powerful the people would take them down. the directors gave most of their power to the generals in the field. November 9th, 1799, as frustrations with their leadership reached a fever pitch, Napoleon staged a revolution taking down the directory and placing himself Frances "first consul."