French Rev Essay

Submitted By Josh-Fish
Words: 822
Pages: 4

Josh Fish
AP World
French Revolution Essay During the late 18th century, France was in a state of political upheaval, the 1st and 2nd estates had absolute power over the 3rd estate. They treated the third estate as unequal’s and very unfairly. Therefore after the fall of Bastille the French Revolution began. The third estate revolted against the 1st and 2nd estates due to the heavy taxes placed on them, the lack of rights and voice they had in the government, and the horrible condition in which they lived compared to the monarchs. Heavy taxes placed on the 3rd estate were a big factor leading to their revolt. As seen in Document 14, the third estate was the only estate taxed in France, yet they were receiving the smallest income (doc 2.) Therefore the 3rd estate had to use all of the little income they had to pay on things like bread (doc 3, 15, 6), which was one of the only sources of food for the poor. If a poor person of the third estate could not buy bread because of the heavy taxes son it, they would likely die. Both document 3 and 6 were written by Arthur young who was a British traveler visiting France, and he seemed baffled by how cruel the taxes placed on the third estate were. If a non-French citizen can so clearly see the problems in France, there is an obvious problem that needs fixing. These cruel taxes continued to rise as France got into more debt (doc 5), they had become the scapegoats of Frances debt, while they suffered horrible taxes and poverty, and the nobility continued living in luxury. This angered the third estate and this anger built up until they finally revolted in 1789. Another Factor leading to the French Revolution was the lack of rights and voice the 3rd estate had in Politics (doc 9). As seen in document 8(a pamphlet written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau) since 1775, the 3rd estate, which was the 99% of the population wanted power in the government. The reason these ideas started emerging in 1775 was because this was the age of enlightenment, and the start of people questioning their government. Rousseau was one of the main Enlightenment thinkers during this period, and this pamphlet shows the seedlings of the future Revolution to come. Although the Third estate was part of the Estates General, they only had 1 vote, while together the 1st and 2nd estate had 2 votes. Therefore the 3rd estate was just outvoted by the 1st and 2nd whenever they wanted something done in the government. As a result of this the third estate agreed they would separate from the states-general and create the National Assembly (doc 11, 12). This change in government sparked the people into revolt, they now felt they didn’t need the monarchy, they had made their own government which would give them equal rights and a say in politics (doc 18, 13, 17). Lastly, the horrible conditions in which the 3rd estate lived compared to the monarchy was another factor leading to the third estates revolt. There was a huge gap between the