What war for independence. Americas success cost France

What problems inFrance led to the French Revolution?  – The beginning of the end. How the French revolution started isfundamental to know.

The French revolution is known to be one of the most importantrevolution to happen, and the one everyone learned from. There are many reasonsthat ignited this war.  There werecultural, social, economic and financial reasons why this war started.  FinancialKing Louis XVI was named king at a young age,not ready to take on the responsibility of a country. He inherited a countrythat was already falling apart. This father, King XV, fought the seven yearswar against England, in which France had no victories. France became bankruptdue to over expenditure in wares and luxury.

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When King XVI became king the economybecame weak. He was a simple man but he was influenced by his queen Marie Antoinettewho always interefered in the state affairs.  The revolution was the government’s inability tobalance its income and its expense. Marie Antoinette was known to spend moneyin luxury items, while most of the population was dying from hunger.

King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinettecontinued to spend lavishly and live a life of luxury in Palace of Versailles duringthe difficult economic times.  Their spending habits increased the Frenchdebt.  The king tried to impose taxation on the Second Estate, but wasunable to influence changes because he was not a strong leader.  TheKing was in constant rivalry with its neighbors. So forth, France raised a 400,00-soldierarmy, that was costly. France aided the Britain’s American colonies in their warfor independence. Americas success cost France more debt.

CulturalAnother reason, the Revolution began wasbecause societies thought process changed. People no longer believed what they weretold and began to think for themselves. The Enlightenment was a philosophical movementthat began in Europe during the late 17th and early 18thcentury.  Enlightenment philosophers beganto question traditional authority and embraced the notion that humanity couldbe improved through rational change. The primary philosophers that impacted Frenchsociety were Locke, Voltaire and Rousseau. The educated bourgeoisie were the people whowere familiar with the writings of Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau. They werealso familiar with the British system of government that limited the King’spower and the success of the Americans in rebelling against the British kingthat was based on Enlightenment ideas.

It was the bourgeoisie, who allotted tothe first and second estate that began to question whether they could also changetheir social and political standing in France. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was passed bythe National Assembly on August 4, 1789, a plan for Constitutional government. Peopleno longer wanted the king to have absolute power and that is why this declarationwas created, so that the people could have equal rights. “Article 1. Men areborn free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may only be bases on commonusefulness.

” 1 SocialSocial inequalitywas also one the causes of the French Revolution.   Socially France stilloperated under a feudal class system called the “Ancien Regime,” or”Old Order” in the 18th century.  The top of the “AncienRegime” was the absolute monarch.  Then the “Ancien Regime”divided French society into three groups, called the Estates.  The First Estate included the Roman Catholic Clergy which made up1% of the population.

 The First Estate had many privileges that most ofFrench society did not, including exemption from taxation and many laws. The Second Estate was the French nobility and made up less than 2% of thepopulation.  The nobility was the wealthiest class in French society, butpaid few taxes.  The Third Estate included over 95% of the Frenchpopulation.  The Third Estate included groups that paid most of the Frenchtaxes, but had no role in government.  The Third Estate included thebourgeoise, the growing professional and merchant class, the san culottes, theworking class and artisans, and the peasants, who were typically miserablypoor.

Politically each Estate had a vote in a representative body called theEstates General.  The Estate-General only was called to meet whenwarranted by King Louis XVI.  Each Estate only had one vote and typicallythe First and Second Estate would vote together making it difficult for theThird Estate to make positive changes.  It was unfair for the Third Estateto have only one vote since over 95% of the population belonged to the ThirdEstate. To try to make things more “fair” now there was 600 people to representthe third estate, that made no difference.

The third estate wanted the vote togo by person not by estate but obviously that would not work good for the firsttwo estates. The Third Estate later call themselves the National Assembly. The memberstake Tennis Court Oath, pledging to not cease meeting until they create a new Franceconstitution. EconomicAlong with the King and Queens financialissues came the economic issues. The economic condition of France formed anothercause for the outbreak of the French Revolution.

As I mentioned before theeconomic condition of France became poor due to the foreign wars of Louis XIV,the seven years’ War of Louis XV and other expensive wars and  that during the reign period of Louis XVI, theroyal treasury became empty as extravagant expenses of his queen MarieAntoinette.To get rid of thiscondition. Louis XVI appointed Turgot as his Finance Minister in 1774. Turgottried to minimize the expenditure of the royal court. He also advised the kingto impose taxes on every classes of the society. But due to the interference ofQueen Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI dismissed Turgot. Then Necker was appointedas the Finance Minister in 1776.

He published a report on the income andexpenditure of the State to arouse the people. But he was also dismissed by theking.The next person who wasappointed by the King as the Finance Minister of France in 1783 was Callone. Headapted the policy of borrowing to meet the expenditure of the royal court. Butdue to this policy, the national debt of France increased from 300,000,000 to600,000,000 Franks only in three years.

Then Callone proposed to impose taxeson all the classes. But he was dismissed by the king. In this situation, theking at last summoned the Estates General.

The economic instability formed oneof the most important causes of the French Revolution.Along with economic problemscame food shortages that arose from several crop failures, drought and cattle deceasethroughout the 1780’s.  Bread was scarce causing extremely high prices. Peasants not only were heavily tax, but many were starving. Peasantsexpressed desperation and resentment by rioting, looting and striking against aregime that failed to provide relief. French government kept spending moremonet than it was receiving by taxes.



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