Essay on French Revolution

Submitted By AoifeForte
Words: 1167
Pages: 5

Cause of the French Revolution.
By A.Forte.


The monarchy was the cause that contributed the most to the starting of the French Revolution. The King did not enforce his power so France fell into debt and poverty. France went bankrupt in 1789 at the fault of the Monarchy. However there were two other components that contributed to the French Revolution, firstly, the economy was so bad that buying a loaf of bread took up 75% of the money that was earned by the people of France. Secondly, in society, the three estates were completely separate and the people divided. You were either a peasant, nobility or part of the clergy. There was no chance of moving between those estates as long as the absolute monarchy was ruling France. These other two components contribute much less to the French Revolution and other problems in France at that time.

The Economy.

One important cause of the French Revolution was the economic problems, because the price of food, in particular bread, had increased dramatically. The country counted 30 million people in 1789,that is 8 to 10 million more than in 1700.Outside of a few large cities (for example Paris, Lyon and Marseille), 80% of the people lived in the countryside. This 80% lived solely off the land. These peasants were forced to rent their lands from wealthy lords.They had to pay them huge taxes,which most could not afford, to have the right to grow crops.This was not the only problem for the members of the third estate , the cost of flour was getting higher by the second. This made their life significantly harder as bread was a staple in the people of the third estates diet.This drove many of the third estate to riots, one in particular, was the Bread Riots.This riot contained mostly women, very strong women who worked in the market. This riot was started by a baker who tried to charge 34 sous for a loaf of bread which had only been 30 sous that morning.The women he was trying sell it to we're so enraged they gain quite a crowd. That crowd, of about eighteen hundred, who were all angry at bakers and their high prices started to throw flour and dough in the gutter. They looted the bakes house from top to bottom and a few people gained from the riot as they stole silver wear and other valuables.

The Social State of France

Most of the people in France were living in poverty.Set into three groups, the first, second and third estate. You could guess the first estate was very rich and as was the second estate, but these two only represented a mere 3% of France. This was seen as unfair by the other 97% of France as this tiny proportion of the French population had a power over them. This is because when ever the country was to vote, each estate had only one vote. This meant that the two rich estates could out vote the poor third estate because they held 66% of the the vote. As you could imagine this sparked the third estate's need for change.The real people of France , the peasants and people of the third estate, were enraged by the changes made that would effect them. Even though they were angry, it as not enough the people of the third estate had one vote that could easily be out votes by the other two. A situation did arise when there was a vote on whether to tax the third and second estate of course they were out voted, This just left the third estate with more taxes and less money to pay said taxes.

The Monarchy.

The monarchy is failing the people of France and going bankrupt. We can't give all the blame to one king , the monarch had been bad for as long as anybody in France could remember. Although combined with his lack of care for the world around him and his foreign money wasting wife, Louis XVI was the straw that broke the camels back. He didn't want to make any enemies around Versailles so was extremely reluctant to tax the first and second estate. He didn't enforce any taxes apart from taxes on the people that had no money to pay them. If he had