Causes of the French Revolution Essay examples

Submitted By elliebert14
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The Causes of the French Revolution France was in a state of unrest, and needed change. The first and second estates were the controlling class and change meant a loss of power and money so the third estate could live better lives, they wouldn’t allow it, and so commenced the French Revolution. The government in France that the third estate rebelled against was suggested by Montesquieu, which was a limited monarchy. His suggested form of government created an unfair separation of power and the third estate was getting the least of everything, despite the fact that they made up a large majority of the population. There were many things that caused the French Revolution but it was mostly because of the contributions of the Enlightenment thinkers, debt, -which led to the third cause-, a famine that spread across France. Undoubtedly one of the contributing factors to the French Revolution was the ideas of the Enlightenment thinkers. As a the ideas of philosophers entered France, “A growing number of the French citizenry had absorbed of equality and freedom of the individual, as presented by the Enlightenment thinkers. These ideas brought them a realization of how they should be treated bt their government” (Philosophers influence the French). This explains the ideas of the philosophers brought light to the subject of how a government should treat its citizens. One of the enlightenment thinkers that had the most effect on the French Revolution was Baron de Montesquieu who, “claimed that a liberal constitutional monarchy was the best system of government for a people who prized freedom on the grounds that separating the powers would create a more fair and democratic government” ( This explains how Montesquieu’s ideas influenced the French government that the people ended up wanting to overthrow. Separating the powers into different groups resulted in some of the groups having more power than the others. Another contributing factor to the French Revolution was the debt that France accumulated France had plans to gain power, “ They had began drawing up a long term plan that would involve constructing a larger navy and building an anti- British coalition force of allies. In practice this led to a mountain of debts” (Wikipedia/ causes of the French revolution). This is an example of the frivolent spending on the part of the French government that plunged all of France into debt. To try and make up for the horrible debt, King Louis XIV applied taxes, “ in order to finance the budget deficit which amounted in 100 million livres in 1745, Machault d’ Arnouville created a tax of 5 % on all revenues… still expenditures outpaced revenues” ( On top of the horrible economy that was present in France at that time, King Louis XIV piled taxes on the people that couldn’t afford to pay