French Revolution Essay

865 WordsDec 31, 20134 Pages
French Revolution "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!" was the fundamental theme of one of the most important rebellions, the French Revolution, against a government. Although the revolutionary period was very brief, lasting only from 1789 to 1815, many key events took place. Because the privileged classes and the monarchy was also at fault, the Enlightenment was only partially responsible for the Revolution. All of these factors contributed to the emergence of the French Revolution. The first major cause of the French Revolution was the Ancien Régime (Old Regime). The people of France were divided into three estates. The first estate , made up about 5% of the population, consisted of the clergy. The second estate, made up about 10%, consisted of the nobility, Lastly, the third estate, made up about 85% of the population, consisted of the commoners. Although the third estate made up the majority of the population, the first and second estate owned nearly most of the land. Living the rich life, the first and second estates were exempt from paying talle. There was a severe amount of unfairness in the tax system because the third estate had to pay a steep amount of taxes (Spielvogel 526). In addition, prices of rent and bread were above the people's economic ability to pay. In particular, the nobles wanted to preserve their privileges, and they were not versatile enough to compromise. The only people who the privileged classes were concerned of was no one but themselves while they oppressed the peasants (Hunt 12). They didn't care about anything except for losing their titles and privileges and even stopped reforms from occurring. Thus the privileged classes both prevented the financial problems from being solved and intensified these problems into full-scale revolts by the third estate. As a result, the privileged classes turned a financial crisis into a political

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