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The Climate That Spurred the French Revolution

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The people of France had been under the rule of an absolute monarch for a long time, so it took a perfect climate of political unrest and the confluence of numerous factors to start the French Revolution. The French Revolution took place in the ideal political, economic, and intellectual climate for a revolution. Short Term Causes Louis XVI had created a large amount of debt through bad tax collection practices and funding american revolution. Bad tax practices included not taxing nobles, which put all of financial burden of France on the middle and lower classes. These classes weren’t able to support the high costs of running a nation in addition to supporting a foreign war that brought no tangible benefit to France. To raise more money Louis XVI decided to sell noble titles to some upper middle class who could afford it. This provided the King with fast cash, but reduced his overall tax base because he wasn’t taxing nobility. The American Revolution was a large contributing factor to the French revolution. Ideas from the American Revolution were making their way back to France, especially the idea of essential human rights and the validation of John Locke’s theory that Government should serve the people. France’s working class was suffering because of bad harvests. The Guild system didn’t allow for farmers to row what they wanted. This caused increased economic pressure on the entire country, but because of Louis XVI’s tax structure it placed an especially large amount of pressure on the working and middle class. To deal with France’s economic impending doom Louis XVI called all of the nobles and those with significant wealth together and requested to borrow money from them. Because there was no legal way for the l... ... middle of paper ... ...ral in the french army and was given a lot of recognition for his actions by the Directory. This created a very positive public image of him within the french population and gave him the political capitol to stage a coup upon the Directory. Bonaparte named himself Emperor of France and was able to win a multitude of battles across Europe. Napoleon finally lost his power and was removed from his position by the people of France after a scathing defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Because Napoleon was able to conquer so much of Europe, the European nations met in Vienna to redraw the borders of Europe. This conference established many of the borders that are still in place today. Soon after Napoleon lost his power Louis XVII assumed the French throne for the first time since his older brother Louis XVI had been beheaded. Thus marked the end of the French Revolution.
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