Absolutism And French Revolution Essay

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Rival enemies France and Britain, were among the dominant global powers engaged in international power politics leading into the eighteenth century. The continual large-scale wars involved in empire building, produced devastating effects on the economy and social cohesion of the countries involved. In particular, the impact the Seven Years War and the American War of Independence had on the French economy created a volatile environment, setting off a sequence of events leading to the revolution. Spurred by the enlightenment ideals and the devastating effects of the financial crisis, representatives of the Third Estate challenged the political system of absolutism by forming a National Assembly. Initially, the American colonies functioned independently …show more content…
Central to the ideas of the Enlightenment, the joint determination for increased individual liberties and a more powerful and efficient central government emerged in many European countries towards the latter part of the eighteenth century (Palmer 1965, p. 565). Essentially, the movement impacted on the power and authority of the church in several European countries; in France, the impact was felt by both the church and nobility during the French Revolution (Palmer 1965, p. 565). Both in France and England, the social and political changes eventually resulted in the middle classes having more political control by successfully removing the monarchy (Palmer 1965, p. 565). According to Palmer (1965, p. 421), the revolutionary era in the late eighteenth century was produced by a widespread dissatisfaction in government and society. In France, as in many other European countries, there was a desire to replace the existing structure of aristocracy and feudalism with a new system that favoured sovereignty of the people, equality and natural rights. The lower middle classes are considered instrumental in the rebellion against higher authority, driven by their united enthusiasm to remove the existing political

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