The Economic Origins of the French Revolution

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The inflated opinion the French monarchy had about themselves and other nobles lent itself to how they contributed to and handled the economic downturn in France for centuries prior to the French Revolution. Forming the foundation of many of France’s financial issues, the monarchial system granted royals and the nobles who surrounded them the ability to feel as if they are intended to be superior to the rest of France, a mentality that would last until the French Revolution began. With this monarchial system, each king of France from 1610 to 1789 would contribute in both positive and negative ways, depending greatly on the Chief Ministers they appointed. [ADD] Marking a significant beginning stage of the economic downturn was the Seven Years’ War, a battle that saw few positive achievements, but several losses both in terms of land and money, which had been acquired through loans that would establish France’s first significant debt. The reign of Louis XVI would further this debt, while also creating a greater divide between the estates of France by placing the heavy burden of repaying much of the new debt on the poorest class of France, the Third Estate. Participation in another war, only ten years prior to the French Revolution would create even more debt for France as they entered the American War of Independence, again with funding from loans that would need to be paid soon thereafter. Throughout this period of debt creation within France, society worsened in many ways due to the inability of the nation, from royalty to the Third Estate, to evolve economically, socially and agriculturally. With this overall sense of decline throughout France, a nearly unanimous desire amongst France’s Third Estate, the most populous, was to pa... ... middle of paper ... ...onomic Origins of the French Revolution: Poverty or Prosperity? Lexington: D. C. Heath and Company, 1958. Print. Hibbert, Christopher. The Days of the French Revolution. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1980. Print. Sée, Henri. Economic and Social Conditions in France During the Eighteenth Century. Trans. Edwin H. Zeydel. Kitchener: Batoche, 2004. Print. Smitha, Frank E. "The French Revolution." World History and Timeline. Gaertner Humanities, n.d. Web. Stark, Nicholas. "Reforms Under Napoleon Bonaparte." Napoleonic Society. Napoleonic Society International, n.d. Web. Spielvogel, Jackson J. "Chapter 11: The French Revolution and Napoleon." Glencoe World History: Modern Times. New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2008. 326- 355. Print. "French Revolution Cause: An Economic Crisis." French Revolution Cause: The Economic Crisis. Bastille-Day.com, 1 July 2012. Web.
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