Economic Concerns Caused French Revolution

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To what extent were economic concerns responsible for the outbreak of revolution in 1789? While the economic concerns present in France in the 1780’s contributed to the outbreak of revolution in 1789, the political concerns played a larger part in its commencement, encouraged by the ‘enlightenment’ ideals arising around this time. The French Revolution began on 14th July, 1789 with the storming of the Bastille and lasted until the abolition of the monarchy in 1792. However, the discontent that sparked this radical change had been building up for years before hand. This discontent lay largely within the 3rd estate, as the politics of the time were unpopular amongst them, particularly as the economic crises hit nearer to 1789. Compounding these frustrations were the new ideals becoming evident in the French society, and so many residents of France, particularly those of the lower classes, now had reason and motivation to push for reform. Economic concerns were an important factor in relation to the revolution as they encouraged many people from the city to join the uprising due to their desperate situations. One of the earliest forms of economic trouble in relation to the revolution began in 1756, when France first began going into debt due to her war with England. This debt was further accentuated by her involvement in the American Revolution from 1775, and the government continued spending more than they were receiving in taxes. This ensured that by 1788, the royal treasury was empty. This forced heavier taxes upon the 3rd estate, such as the hated gabelle, which angered them as this level of taxing was not enforced upon the higher estates, despite the fact that they had more money. However, the 3rd estate faced graver problems than this as, from 1788 – 1789, a series of bad weather events resulted in bad crops. This was a devastating blow to France as the
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