Napoleon Bonaparte, who was a dictator, and has a lot of power. Through all of these changes through the years, the power of France was never really divided amongst many people as it is in the United
States, few French people held the power. Between 1600-1789 there were three estates in France. There were the peasants in the third estate, the nobles in the second estate, and the clergy in the first estate. Close to all of the people in France at the time were part of the third estate, so they were peasants. These peasants made up about 97% of
France’s population. These people had close to nothing, and didn’t really get to live their lives. They had little food, and their living conditions were extremely harsh. The upper two estates, being the nobles and the clergy, was much different. These people were much wealthier, just because of the things they would get from the bottom third estate. These wealthier people would hold a tax on the less-fortunate peasants. Towards the end of all this, around 1614, the estates went to vote. Each one of the estates were given one vote. In this voting process, the two upper classes would always win against the third estate, just because it was two to one. Even though the first estate only made up a very small amount of France’s population, they still overruled the third estate who made up around 97% of the population. From 1789-1804 there was an enlightenment period in France. During which, all governments began to be questioned. Nothing that was normal before, stayed normal. Everything began to change, and everyone became unhappy. The people in power were questioned, and their authority was questioned as well. Equal rights also became a problem, especially when it came to the third estate.
The third estate realized they had close to no power when it came to decisions, because the two upper classes would always vote in their own favor. So when the third estate realized so, it led to a revolution.
This is what sparked France’s famous reign of terror.
The guillotine became extremely symbolic of this