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The Causes and Effects of the French Revolution

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The Causes And Effects Of The French Revolution

The French Revolution was a very impactful revolution. The French Revolution was caused by the French people having major doubts in the hierarchy due to the ideas in the Enlightenment. The French Revolution made a huge impact on France and the rest of the world.

The French Revolution was caused by many problems in France. New ideas inspired the French to want a better government. Due to wars like the War of 27 years, War of the Spanish Succession, and the War of the Polish succession, France spent a large sum of money on war (Hickman, Kennedy). The monarchs of France also tended to live in a luxurious manner which cost a large amount of money. Top of these financial problems France had a imperfect harvest. Thus, the poor people, the commoners, were paying a large amount of taxes and going hungry due to a lack of food. King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were the monarchs at the start of the revolution. King Louis XVI was aware of the hunger problem in France but continued to live a luxurious life with his wife. Louis XVI even dismissed the reform that financial ministers tried to bring about, that would have benefited the starving French people. Therefore, the luxurious life lead by the monarchs, the expensive wars France had engaged in, and the imperfect harvests had caused a large reason for the people of France to rise (Spooner, Anna).

Also to the political and financial problems in France, the social classes of France were not equal or fair. Before the French Revolution there were three social classes in France, these social classes were a major cause of the revolution. Above all of the social classes in France was the king, who was believed to be chosen by god. The other highest social class in France was the clergy. The clergy worked for the church, owned 10% of the land, and made up 1% of the population. The nobles were the wealthy landowners who made up 2% of the population and owned 25% of the land. The commoners were the lowest of the social classes in France (Schwartz and O’Connor 11) The commoners made up 98% of the population, owned 65% of the land, and paid 100% of the taxes (Jackson J. Spielvogel 14). This lack of balance combined with the financial state of France lead to the French people rising against the government that they began to doubt. Another cause of the French Revolution was the influence of the Enlightenment and the American Revolution. The success of the American Revolution evoked some thought from the French people who were unhappy with the state of the France (Spooner, Anna). The Enlightenment was also another cause of the French Revolution. The Enlightenment was a philosophical period during the 1700s and 1800s where ideas like reason, liberty, and the scientific method were talked about in different pieces of work by philosophers. The Enlightenment ideas like Rousseau’s Social Contract



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