An Introduction To Pre Revolutionary France History Essay

Like all wars, a revolution has its roots embedded in past events and actions that call or beg for an opponent reaction. Social, economic and political factors that contributed to old ages of subjugation eventually culminated in an effusion of choler from the Gallic people in which they attacked the Bastille prison. Therefore began the Gallic Revolution which spread throughout France.


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There were many factors that contributed to the Gallic Revolution of which this paper focuses on the three most known causes of struggle: societal, economic and political. First of all the most popular cause of any revolution, societal agitation in an epoch that called for reform due to the inequalities in the societal construction common to Europe and its political orientations. Second, the Gallic economic system weakening due to France ‘s engagement in the American Revolution and the excessive disbursement on behalf of the royal people caused irreversible by-products of societal unfairness and added fuel to the fires of the Enlightenment ideals and the demand for entire reform. The thoughts of the intellectuals of the Enlightenment brought new positions into the political construction and its failure to authorities and society. Last, weak leading provided under Louis XVI and his inability to keep a stable economic system merely increased the supplication of the common common people for reform of their authorities and finally a fundamental law that would vouch the alteration was kept.A This revolution resulted in the terminal of the old government with the constitution of a new oneA that would hold a permanent impact because the Constitution protected these rights.

Social Unrest

Social jobs were a major factor that brought about the Gallic Revolution. In the eighteenth century, France was a feudal state with category divisions. Peoples were divided into three estates. The First Estate consisted of the clergy. The Second consisted of the aristocracy, and the 3rd included the businessperson, the metropolis workers and the provincials. The province which one belonged to decided one ‘s power and rights. This shows the societal category differentiations. The first estate was made up of 1 % of the people and owned 10 % of the land in France. The 2nd estate consisted of 2 % of the people and owned 35 % of the land. The 3rd estate held 97 % of the people who owned 55 % of the land. The people-to-land proportion was unfair looking at the sum of people in each estate. The 3rd estate held really small land compared to the sum of people it had. It was overcrowded. The first and the 2nd estate were the privileged categories. They clergy and the aristocracy were exempt from many revenue enhancements. They had to pay about four-fifths of their income on revenue enhancement. They besides needed to pay the land revenue enhancement: besides the revenue enhancements on belongings, roads, and salt. The 3rd estate was the most discontented category. The middle class were good educated. They were strongly influenced by the thoughts of Voltaire and Rousseau who attacked the unfairnesss of the clip. Rousseau believed that people are fundamentally good but become corrupted by society. In an ideal society, people would do the Torahs and would obey them volitionally. Probably the most celebrated of the philisophes was Francois-Marie Arouet who took the name Voltaire. He used seize with teething humor as a arm to expose the maltreatments of his twenty-four hours. He targeted corrupt functionaries and idle blue bloods. With his pen, he battled inequality, unfairness, and superstitious notion. He detested the slave trade and deplored spiritual bias. They resented the privileges of the aristocracy and wanted a larger function in province personal businesss. City workers were angry because their rewards were non adequate to purchase goods when monetary values were traveling up quickly. The provincials made up 80 % of the population and had to pay heavy revenue enhancements. Although some writers may claim that the Revolution was caused by the in-between categories there are plentifulness of grounds for the provincials to hold a major influence in it. The on the job categories were n’t able to read or compose but people placed in a desperate state of affairs can in fact go a power to command or get down the Revolution. Gallic provincials were capable to certain feudal dues, called platitudes. These included the needed used-for-payment of the Godhead ‘s factory to crunch grain and his oven to bake staff of life. The Godhead could besides necessitate a certain figure of yearss each twelvemonth of the provincial ‘s labour. Peasants were targeted by society. The Gallic provincials as McPhee puts it were, “ victims of longstanding subjugation. ”

Political Discontentment

The political discontent of France was another one of the causes of the Revolution. Before the Revolution there was incredulity as to whether the Torahs were being shaped at the will of the local keepers far off from the position of the Lords. France at the clip was non genuinely united to get down with for it was divided into 36 federalities. It was many parts and lands grouped together over many centuries and had taken their Gallic Rulers as their paternal ushers. The Torahs of authorities differed greatly as did the land itself and the imposts and revenue enhancement of each part. France was basically a feudal state traping different categories over antediluvian and modern rights. The provincials whom, as I mentioned before, comprised about 80 % of the population were pinned under the middle class and all the upper categories and their unfairnesss.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, France was ruled by an absolute authorities. The male monarch had all the political powers when it came down to exerting absolute power. Anyone who criticized the authorities could be arrested and put in prison without test. Even with what seemed such utmost steps of Gallic jurisprudence it was known that France was one of the most indulgent. Louis XVI was king at the clip of the Gallic Revolution. He was more interested in runing than regulating France. He and his Austrian queen, Marie Antoinette, lived an excessive life at the Palace of Versailles. They did non truly care about the province of their state. The extract from the cahiers mentioned in papers 3 shows that the ballots in the assembly were non taken by caput. The people of the 3rd estate felt a sense of treachery when the male monarch supported the block vote over the caput vote. The first two estates worked together to outvote the big 3rd estate to maintain them from going a menace to the power. Lord Acton, an Englishmen, states that the monarchy being overthrown was n’t the flicker of the Revolution. He recognizes the American Independence as the flicker of the Gallic Revolution. The Gallic authorities was inefficient, unfair and corrupt. There were legion authorities sections, different Torahs in different parts of the state and functionaries. Many people became ashen at the manner France was governed. The people could n’t make anything to convey about a alteration. The Gallic Parlement was called the Estates-General. It had non met since 1614 and could n’t without the consent of the male monarch. It fundamentally had no power.

Problems with the economic system

The economic jobs created by the Gallic male monarchs besides contributed to the Revolution. During the eighteenth century, the Gallic authorities spent more money than it collected in revenue enhancements. By 1788, the state was belly-up. Arthur Young, an Englishmen and observer, who traveled to France from 1787 to 1789 angrily describes the life conditions of the provincials in his book Travels in France. The sum of revenue enhancement each individual must pay is unjust. Landowners found in the aristocracy were n’t taxed much. The landowners found in the common mans were taxed to a great extent. There was deficiency of staff of life. The monetary value of staff of life was a batch higher so one ‘s ability to pay which caused great wretchedness for the people of France. Most of the money was spent on wars. France had been at war for about 50 old ages out of the old one hundred old ages. France supported the Americans in the American War of the Independence. After that, France was in fiscal ruins. A big amount of money was besides spent on castles, amusement and gifts by the male monarchs of France. The authorities spent a batch of money which put away high revenue enhancements. The revenue enhancement system was unfair. The Lords and the clergy barely paid any revenue enhancement. The Church owned one-tenth of the land in France and did non pay any revenue enhancements. The provincials were the victims of the heavy revenue enhancement. Louis XVI tried to reform the revenue enhancement system but the aristocracy and the clergy refused to accept the new reforms. Therefore, the male monarch was unable to do any fiscal reforms. The gabelle, salt revenue enhancement, was besides levied by the Gallic Kings. When Jacques Turgot tried to enforce the corvee, revenue enhancement on land belongings, he was opposed by the aristocracy. He failed to go through the corvee and was dismissed by Louis XVI.

The Gallic Revolution was caused by societal, political and economic jobs. Peoples were in discontent with the male monarch. The first two estates were privileged and the 3rd was really unprivileged and had to pay heavy revenue enhancements. The 3rd estate did non acquire along with the first two. Gallic male monarchs spent a batch of money on wars. They spent more money so they made. It was clip for a alteration in France.




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