French Revolution Essay

Submitted By glummiee
Words: 1183
Pages: 5

French Revolution
Between the years 1789 and 1799, it was a period of change and revolt for the French people. A lot of changes occurred during these years because people showed their disagreement with the way the power was divided in France. Therefore, those ten years were a time of change for this people. This essay will discuss the causes and the stages of the French revolution.
In the first place, there are three main causes for the French revolution. The first one is the social inequality during the 18th century. In fact the three main estates weren't equal in the amount of taxes they were paying as well as in the power each estate had. The clergy were paying taxes once every 5 years and it was on a voluntary basis. The nobility were simply exempted of any tax and the commoners were the only ones paying taxes regularly. However, the ones who were the most heavily taxed were the peasants. Therefore, the peasants who were already poor had the highest taxes to pay. This inequality was the basis of all the problems in France at this stage. In fact, there were other factors such as the economic problems as well as the bad harvest years, but they both relate to the poverty of the poor and the richness of the rich. In order to make this clearer, let me explain myself.
The economic problems were due to the continuous wars, to maintain military as well as the sumptuous and extravagant way of living of the nobility. The continuous wars forced the French to maintain the military forces high. Therefore, the taxes were higher for the French people. Also the fact that the nobility and the clergy were living the good life didn't help because it resulted in the difference between the different estates and the gap between the rich and the poor became bigger and bigger. This resulted in bankruptcy for France.
The bad harvest years were as well a big cause of the French Revolution. In fact, the peasants had the higher taxes to pay and were getting poorer and poorer. At the same time, the price of the bread was going up because of the bad harvest years. “Bread constituted the staple of most urban diets, so sharp price increases were felt quickly and were loudly protested at grain markets or at local bakers' shops.”(Exploring the French Revolution) Therefore, the peasants couldn't even afford eating bread which was the only food they used to buy. They were starving while the nobility was living life and paying themselves everything they wanted.
Now that I talked about the causes, let's see the French Revolution itself. What marked the beginning of the French Revolution is the “creation of the National Assembly by the 3rd estate in Versailles on June 17th, 1789.” (Richard, XVI) Three days later, the third estate delegates went to find their room in Versailles but Louis had locked all the rooms except for the Tennis court. Therefore, the representatives gathered there. At this meeting, the delegates agreed not to disband until a Constitution was written. About a month later, on July 14th 1789, there was the storming of the Bastille. Parisians seized the Bastille because they feared that the kind plotted against the National Assembly and that the army would sock the capital. This act showed the king that the Parisians supported the National Assembly and it led to the end of absolutism. On October 5th 1789, the Parisian women marched to Versailles to force the royal family to leave Versailles for Paris. The National Assembly followed to movement so the Parisians could closely monitor the king and the National Assembly. After these events, the National Assembly proceeded to many changes. Between the years 1788 and 1791, they got to the abolition of privileges, the tax exemptions, to monopoly of highest offices, the feudal dues, the religious freedom, the Declaration of the rights of Mon and of the citizen (equality of all men), the freedom of speech as well as the Constitution (in September 1791). The creation of the Constitution implied a