Economic Causes Of The French Revolution

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Near the end of the 18th century, the Europe’s most ostentatious nation would soon face a revolution that would alter the course of history. France’s Third Estate was starting to grow tried of being politically inferior to the other two estates, but having an overwhelming larger population. There were new taxes imposed by their king after he and his Austrian queen bankrupted the nation, throwing them deep into debt. Bread, the main source of a Frenchman’s diet, was scarily found after seasons of bad harvests. New thinkers and ideals were emerging in France, causing new political leaders to raise up, wanting the monarchy abolished and a new republic system in place. When the people of France believed they could reconstruct their society based largely on Enlightenment ideals, France’s politics, lower-middle class, financial problems, and economic issues would start a new republic nation out of the bloodiest and most important event in Western history. The financial crisis in France seemed to stem from the king …show more content…
Following a terrible harvest in 1788, the price of bread dramatically increased because of the bad wheat yields. Jack Goldstone in his section of The Origins of the French Revolution discusses the ramifications of this harvest saying, “Inflation was seen as a direct result of the crown’s failure to manage markets and prices, and hence as a fault to be remedied, not a reasonable condition for which the crown should be allowed to raise taxes” (Goldstone, pp. 96). But, the high prices of bread stopped at the gates of Versailles, the king and queen still living in extreme indulgence, oblivious to the complaints of their subjects. Because of Louis’s financial negligence, food supplies become sparse and the cost soon skyrocket. (Kaiser) (Goldstone; Merrick; Thomas Kaiser; Goldstone; McPhee; Darnton)

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