French Revolution Causes

The French Revolution was the product of many significant events accumulating both in and around France in the 18th century, and saw the public execution of King Louis XVI and with him the French monarchy itself. The economic slump that preceded the revolution played a pivotal role in the uprising, but there were other factors that arose towards the end of the century that also contributed to the rebellion. Corrupt politics, coupled with individuals who began opposing the principle of the absolute monarchy and authoritarian regime; meant that by the end of the 18th century, France was suffering from a substantial amount of unrest. Additionally, changing attitudes carried over from the American Declaration of Independence years earlier compounded …show more content…
In a period of two years, France was hit by a series of harsh weather conditions that meant harvests failed and peasants starved. Prices were raised so high that some urban workers had to spend three-quarters of their wages just to buy bread. People then became unhappier than they had been in past years, as many were now starving as well as jobless. This then lead to people desiring a change more so than ever before, , and with an unstable industry the economic downturn became the final trigger for the peasants’ revolt. However, the fact that it was the peasants who revolted and not the members of the other Estates shows that there was a lot more to the revolution than poor harvests. The extreme social injustice and discrimination people of the Third Estate – the peasantry - faced, such as the unreasonably high taxes, was amplified by the economic decline and could be considered as the primary cause of the revolution. Therefore, to a large extent, the economic slump was a fundamental occurrence that catalysed the seemingly inevitable revolution, but it was not the primary cause as social segregation played an arguably more consequential …show more content…
The monarchy had previously been seen as a ‘Representative of God’ and had unlimited power. Members of the Third Estate did not like King Louis XVI, as he was influenced by his wife Marie Antoinette and their boasted extravagance lifestyle and ignorance of his starving subjects. Additionally, corrupt politics meant that the peasants were subject to discrimination in courts and had to pay extortionate amounts of tax whilst the clergy were exempt and the nobility resisted. This caused those poorer to become angry with the unfairness of the tax system, as they felt the brunt of the burden of repairing the economy after multiple financial failings. People were then pushed to limit after taxes increased in an attempt to repair the economic downturn in the later 1780s. However, despite the large impact politics had on causing the revolution, a lot of the policies at the time reinforced the divide between the between the social

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