French revolution Essay

Submitted By Princess0716
Words: 309
Pages: 2

1. Louis XVI's government was very ineffective and inefficient. The estates system contributed to the paucity of his administration as many bureaucratic positions were filled my members of the aristocracy who were ineffective administrators. The upshot of this was firstly high taxation, as nobles etc. all took a cut of tax, and secondly resentment, as the path up the social structure was blocked by nepotism and favouritism. This decentralisation of government through the aristocracy was also inefficient and chaotic. It meant that Louis had little idea how much money he was spending (and therefore how bankrupt the country actually was) government was so chaotic that 'budget' was a term unknown to French officials, and Louis' government ended up in a deficit spiral (where the interest on loan repayments is greater than tax revenue) which in turn led to even high taxes. Economic mismanagement meant that people went hungry- and as Lefebvre famously argues, the revolution began with the hungry peasants of the north. added to this economic mismanagement was Louis' image problem. Whilst the people starved, he continued his sumptuous (and very expensive) living at Versailles.

2. the effect of the estates system was to codify and make more obvious this economic grievance. With a clearly defined social structure, it was evident to the peasants, and the embryonic bourgeoisie, who their enemies were and who was responsible for their troubles; it was the clergy and aristocracy in…