What were the main causes of the French Revolution

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The French Revolution was a period of radical social and political turmoil in France from 1789 to 1799 that greatly affected the French and modern history, marking the steady decline of powerful monarchies and the rise of democracy and nationalism. The trigger for the revolution was the autocratic government of the King, Louis XVI. With absolute power over the people, the King could make all laws, appoint government officials, wage war on whomever he pleased, and imprison anyone he wished. As a consequence the majority of the citizens became disgruntled and disillusioned with the state and problems that came about which later played a part in causing the revolution. The French revolution was attributed to a number of factors which are identified and discussed below.
First and foremost was the poor state of the economy. The financial mismanagement of the French economy was evident in the wasteful expenditure of money which contributed to the dangerously high levels of national debt. The debt was accumulated over the preceding years through excessive expenditure on luxuries by Louis XVI, including the Palace of Versailles. ?? Marie Antoinette, queen of France, spent incredible amounts of money from the treasury on luxuries such as jewels, clothes, city trips and gambling which further added to the debt. Marie Antoinette was nicknamed Madame Deficit because of her extravagance and her insensitivity towards the people. The huge debt was further magnified by the funding of wars such as their unsuccessful Seven Years’ War against Britain (1756 – 1763), as well as the funding of the Americans in their War for Independence. The structure of the Taxation system which was unfair and irrational also contributed to the poor state of the eco...

... middle of paper ... influence the people and lead to the revolution through the spread of the writings of the philosophers. The spread of their ideas brought about a change in the minds of not only the people of France but also other countries.
The economic and social problems in France as well the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment were the main triggers to the French Revolution. The troubles the majority of the people, who were members of the third estate, suffered because of the economic collapse and social inequality brought about discontentment towards the monarchy, the church and the nobility. The spread of the Enlightenment ideals challenged the authority of the monarchy and changed the way the people viewed the government. These factors further fuelled the anger and frustration of the majority towards the state of affairs which lead to revolts and later on the revolution.
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