French Revolution

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France was a nation ruled by an absolute monarch who had power beyond the grasp of any peasant, and just out of the reach of the aristocracy. King Louis XIV (1774 - 1791) of France was not willing to give up his monopoly that had existed for seventeen years. It was the perfect situation for his absolute government, and may have remained that way if he had been able to manage France’s finances successfully. More money had been spent on roads' canals and wars then were being collected through taxes. In addition the government lost control over the bourgeois class. The bourgeois (working class merchants) gained control by using the disorganized peasant class, members of the Third Estate, who presented their grievances in cahiers to the Estates General. The disbanding of the Estates General resulted in the formation of the new National Assembly governed by the Third Estate. This assembly wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens that described political changes and freedoms for the Third Estate. The constitution of 1791 also resulted in dramatic changes to the political structure. It, however, did not bring relief to those who most deserved it, the peasants. These events were the prologue to the French Revolution, the most important event in France’s history. The French Revolution was a direct result of overspending by King Louis XIV and Louis XVI, leaving France a financially unstable nation and ultimately resulting in a revolt by the Third Estate upset by the dwindling social and economic conditions. Drastic overspending by the government of King Louis XVI left the treasury depleted of funds, and with little revenue coming in from taxes, France was experiencing the beginnings of a revolution. With the Se... ... middle of paper ... ..., Ontario: Penguin Group, 1988. Corzine, Phyllis. The French revolution. San Diego, Claifornia: Lucent Books Inc., 1995. Dowd, David L. The French Revolution. New York, New York: Harper and Row, 1965. Durant, William and Ariel. Rousseau and Revolution. New York, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967. Ferrero, Guglielmo. The Two French Revolutions. New York, New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1968. Johnson, Douglas. The French Revolution. New York, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons: 1970. Lefebvre, George. The Coming of the French Revolution. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1967. Palmer, R.R. The World of the French Revolution. Toronto, Ontario: Fitzhenry and Whiteside Limited, 1972. Tames, Richard. The French Revolution. London: George G. Harper and Co. Ltd., 1980.

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