By 1787, the French government was bankrupt. It was 4000 million Livres in debt. France had spent a lot of money fighting costly wars, but had nothing to show for it. Many accused the royals, especially the Queen, for spending too much on luxuries. Some said that the tax system was corrupt, and some tax collectors did not hand in all their tax to the government.
France previously had a very rigid social structure from during the ‘Ancien Regime’ and the French society started to be influenced by the idea of what the American Revolutionaries had achieved. French society was split into three estates: The Nobility, The Clergy and The Third Estate, this is everyone else in French society i.e. Bourgies and Peasants. There was growing discontent of the Third Estate, who criticized the privilege of the nobility and clergy and increasing government taxes. France was in huge financial difficulty following its involvement in the American Revolution as well as a food crisis which was crippling the economy.
There were various factors behind on why the Estates General was called in 1789 but the two main factors can be seen as the critical financial crisis in France and also the failure of reforms. In 1786, Calonne, the Controller General, told Louis that the country was in the verge of bankruptcy – there were deficit of 112 million being made due to the extravagant and lavish spending of the royal expenditure compared to how much they were earning. In two years, the deficit increased to 126 million livres, worsening the situation. The financial crisis was the result of France being at war for the past 20 years. First, the War of Austrian Succession 1740 to 1748, then Seven Years War which lasted from 1756 to 1763 and caused France to lose huge amounts of overseas territory due to its defeat.
The Sugar Act made sugar have a higher price and took away food supplies from the colonists. The Stamp Act was passed in order to raise revenue to support a military in the colonies. The Stamp Act made anyone who had a printed document, have to have a stamp to make it legal, which took away more money from the colonists and greatly angered them. The Boston Massacre occurred after the Townshend Acts were passed. The worst of the Townshend Acts was the tax on tea, which on estimate tea was drank by at least one million people usually twice a day, and later caused the Boston Tea Party.
The country was run by absolute monarchy, an increasingly unpopular form of government in that time, had a very skewed distribution of wealth among the people and to make matters worse, was facing a financial crisis. These less than optimal conditions coupled with Louis’ weak ruling style eventually caused the discontent of the people to go over the top and led to what we all recognise as the French Revolution. Now comes the question, was it really inevitable? Perhaps if Louis were a little more decisive and less indulgent in his own lavish lifestyle, then maybe the French Revolution could have been prevented. The 3 largest factors that actually led to it in the first place were firstly, the pre-existing unequal social structure of France at the time, enlightenment ideas developed by philosophers from the Renaissance, and of course, France’s long chain of incompetent leaders, which of course ended tragically during King Louis XVI’s reign.
There are many reasons for the fall of Rome. The three main reasons are inflation, political corruption, and excessive military spending. There are many more scientific theories, but these three seem to be the most important. Towards the end of the empire, after Marcus Aurelius was emperor, the economy had difficulties with the increase of prices of everything. Since Rome was no longer conquering new lands, they weren't getting the extra money so they turned poor.
The Sun Will Rise Again Every country struggles with financial problems at some point, but the extent of France’s problems during the 18th century really hit home hard. The wars of King Louis XIV forced debt to fall upon those paying taxes, which did not include clergy and nobility. This caused upset among the working citizens because they were doing all the work while the higher status citizens gained all the benefits. Also, continual crop failures caused prices of the available food to rise in order for a profit to be made, which had a devastating effect on the citizens. The citizens’ abhorrence towards the nobility continually elevated as the conditions worsened over time, and eventually, on July 14th, 1789, French citizens grew tired of absolving the nobility.
King Louis XVI had bankrupt the French by supporting the American Revolution. He spent more money on maintaining his palace at Versailles then he did on supporting the French army. The need for a taxation came about and this resulted in the high rise in food prices. Only the third estate was being taxed, since nobility and clergy were exempt, and that meant that not enough taxes were being collected properly to support France. The last main cause of the Revolution was the uprising political problems.
In 1789 the French Revolution began with King Louis XVI being the king of France. Before the revolution began there were many problems within the country of France. There was a brutal winter which made the lands bad which caused a shortage of crops like wheat. Bread was a staple food in most homes and when the flour got expensive so did the bread. The cost of bread rose so high that it equalled a month’s earning.
In the Treaty, Germany was forced to accept all the blame for war, and was also forced to pay reparations amounting to about 6.6 billion dollars, which was finally all paid off in 1989. The absence of money from the German economy caused extreme hyper-inflation, which in turn caused many Germans to lose their jobs. In the infamous Great Depression of the 1920s, the US was not the only hard-hit country but Germany too and even more severely so. This was because Germany had lost over 2 million men in the war, and many of those who did come back were crippled and could not work. Germany had also lost trust with many countries who were their trading partners, causing them to lose even more money as they could not export their goods.