The French Revolution was a time of great social, political and economic tumult in the closing years of the Eighteenth Century. The motivators pushing French citizenry toward revolution are varied in scope and origin. They range from immediate economic woes to an antiquarian class structure. Modern historians still debate the value of the changes that the revolution brought to modern society. The middle class made gains that would never be rescinded, but do revolutions always end in tyranny?
It will be argued that the France’s economic factor caused the French Revolution. Before the time of the French Revolution, France was divided into three estates, the clergy, nobility and commoners. The Ancient Regime system was based on the concentration of economical, social and political power held by these three estates that France was divided into. The first estate consists of clergies. This included archbishops, bishops, abbots, parish priests, monks and nuns.
Because of its financial and social effects, the fiscal crisis was an important cause of the French revolution. In conclusion, social inequality, the food prices and shortages and the fiscal crisis were extremely important in the lead-up to the French Revolution. Social inequality meant that the third estate received unjust treatment, such as hefty taxation, unfair representation, and the majority of physical labour. This led to the third estate storming the Bastille, the trigger of the Revolution. Therefore, the social inequality that developed from the three estates system was the ultimate cause of the French revolution.
The first estate consisted of the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church. They owned ten percent of the land and paid two percent of the taxes. The second estate was formed of the rich nobles, who owned twenty percent of the land and paid nearly no taxes. Lastly there was the third estate which was made up of three different groups. The bourgeoisie included bankers, factory owners, merchants, skilled artisans and professionals.
The social structure of France was divided into three groups: the First Estate, the Second Estate, and the Third Estate. The First Estate was the church people. The First Estate owned nearly ten percent of all land in France. They paid no taxes but to support church activities they collected a tithe. The Second Estate in French life was the nobility.
The French Revolution Gradually after the American Revolution, France had it's own Revolution in 1789. The French were very unhappy with their current status, jobs, and living conditions. They saw what the Americans did to achieve liberty, and how successful they were. Many of them had also read the writings of the philosophers and believed that change was necessary. Nevertheless, the main problems that led to the French Revolution were deep debt, competition between social classes, and the unlawful conduct of the king.
At the end of the 18th century, France was the center of cultural sophistication. However, beneath the shiny surface, a storm was brewing. The absolute monarchy was broken; majority of France was starving and disgruntled with the system of government. As the Enlightenment took hold and ideas about the right kind of government began to spread, tension only began to increase. By the late 1780’s, France was in the middle of the French Revolution, thanks to weak leadership, the call for change across France’s social classes, and radical thinkers willing to make a stand.
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.
The French Revolution Why was there a French Revolution? This is a question of continual interests not only to professors and philosophers, but to everybody who takes an interests in the history of the world. Genuinely, therefore, it is also a subject of much contention. The statement citing the fundamental cause of the French Revolution as the collision between a powerful rising Bourgeoisie and an ingrained aristocracy, defending its privileges it had for centuries, has great relevance in reiterating the great conflict of 1789. However, it was the financial debt of the government, and the financial crisis it caused, which was at root of the actual course to revolution.
The Third Estate had no success in voting because of the differing opinions about the tax system between them and the Second Estate. The Third Estate despised the privileges of the Second Estate and hated the tax system, which involved only themselves, the majority, paying the heavy taxes. There was a huge need amongst the Third Estate, who represented the 'people' of France for tax reform. The Second Estate worsened this situation because they were determined not to give up their tax concessions.