Why Was an Estates General Called in 1789

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Why was an Estates-General called in 1789? (10 marks) Estates General was an ancient French body which gave a chance for each estate to voice their opinions and various grievances and also to suggest new reforms to take place. August 1788, Louis XVI summoned for an Estates General to take place on the 4th of May, 1789. The estate General had not taken place since the 1614 and so the announcement was seen as a big deal at the time. 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. It also intervened in the American War of Independence from 1778 to 1783 which cost approximately 1066 million livres. Most of the cost for War was supported through the loans Necker raised, which gave the lenders lack of confidence due to lack of elected parliament to guarantee the loans. Another reason for France’s financial problems was the tax system in France. The tax farming system was ineffective and chaotic - Farmers-General paid the State an agreed sum and kept for themselves any extra amount. The French government therefore never received enough money to cover its expenditure and so frequently had to borrow. Also, the officials who
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