Causes of the French Revolution Essay

990 Words May 8th, 2007 4 Pages
For six of the eight causes of revolution, describe two events, actions or beliefs (evidence) during the years before the French Revolution that led to a developing revolutionary situation. Explain how each contributed to the revolutionary situation.

Frances failed attempts at economic reform contributed heavily to the developing revolutionary situation. In August 1787, when the parlements refused to implement the Kings proposed changes to the financial system, it became clear that the Kings authority was weakening. The parlements rejected these reforms, arguing that only the nation, assembled through an Estates-General had the right to determine the need for tax reform. Its position was clearly stated: "The constitutional principal of
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It is evident that the perception of social inequality in the old regime led the people towards a revolutionary situation.

The perceived economic inequality between the three estates largely contributed to the developing revolutionary situation. This economic inequality is evident when looking at the cahiers de doleances of Dourdan (March 1789), where representatives of the third estate ask "That such tax be borne equally, without distinction, by all classes and citizens and all kinds of property, even feudal and contingent rights.". The unfair system of taxation that allowed members of the first and second estates to gain privileges that exempt them from certain taxes such as the tithe and the capitation, contributed largely to the poverty of the third estate, since they were bearing the burden of taxation. It is also stated earlier in 1783 by Mercier that "The distance which separates the rich from other citizens is growing daily and poverty becomes more insupportable at the sight of the astonishing progress of luxury which tires the view of the poor." It is clear that the third estate were dissatisfied with their government and the economic system, and this contributed to revolutionary ideas.

The harvest crisis before the revolution was also a contributing factor to the French subject's dissatisfaction with the economy. On top of the burdens of taxation, the harvest

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