March 24 2015
What were the most important causes of the French Revolution? The French Revolution lasted for 26 years; 17891815. The French Revolution had many longrange causes. Discontent spreads throughout the majority of the population of French; the third estate. Starvation, unfair taxation, and the success of the American Revolution were all causes of the French Revolution.
The amounts of land owned by the population made taxes seem unfair. The French
society was divided into a structure called the Old Regime. The Old Regime contained a society based on estates; the First, Second, and Third. From the information from the chart, it shows that the First Estate was clergy. Clergy was 1% of the population and help 10% of the land. The
Second Estate was the nobility. The nobility was 2% of the population and held 35% of the land.
Lastly the Third Estate was the common people; middle class, peasants, and city workers. The common people were 97% of the population but held only 55% of the land. Land held by the rich aren`t taxed enough; the land owned by the poor have too much taxes. The third estate was taxed the most. Taxes on bread became so expensive many could not afford it and it was a day to day survival. However the First and Second Estates were not taxed. This led to discontent in the
Third estate and they joined together to plan a revolt.
Starvation became terrible and it showed throughout the people. It became very hard to
obtain bread and many began to steal food in order to keep themselves and their families alive.
This excerpt from
Travels in France by Arthur Young in 1787 to 1789 shows how terrible starvation was. “In the south of France there is a taille [tax on the land and it`s produce]. There is
March 24 2015
an injustice in levying the amount each person must pay. Lands held by the nobility are taxed very little. Lands held by commoners are taxed heavily.
September 5, 1788: The poor people seem very poor indeed. The children are very ragged.
June 10, 1789: The lack of bread is terrible. Stories arrive every moment from the provinces of riots… The price of bead has risen above people`s ability to pay. This causes great misery.
July 1789: I was joined by a woman who complained of the hard times, “The tailles and feudal dues [rents owed the lords] are crushing us,” she said.” The cities became overcrowded with the hungry. People of the Third Estate became discontent, which made it an environment to lead to revolution. The success of the American…