Even though the French Revolution of 1789 had many long range causes; political, social, and economic conditions in France at the time contributed to the discontent felt by many French people. The Third Estate was by far the most displeased of all others. They faced high taxes and overcrowding with little or no representation in government. The French Revolution sparked many new reforms in France that were not previously available to the Third Estate. The American Revolution was also a huge influence to the French Revolution. The French Revolution was a pivotal period in the history of French, European and Western civilization. During this period of time there was the formation of republicanism, which replaced the absolute monarchy in France. In the years leading up to the French Revolution, the economic, social, and physical conditions that separated the classes began to reach a fever pitch. Most of the members of the third estate lived on crowded lots of lands while nobles and clergy owned large estates. The middle class was made to pay heavy taxes but most could not afford the outrageously high food prices. The poor had very little, their children were frail and raged and starvation was the norm (Doc 1). Although the third estate made up most of the population of France, it owned less land then the first and second estate (Doc.2). These conditions combined with the lack of economic equality and growth were major factors in the overthrow of the monarchy.
The French people lacked political involvement. The government of France at the time was run by the King who led with abuse and tyranny. The Third Estate demanded reforms to be taken about by the king to shape their lives for the better good. Their was grievance about the king, taxing, and voting in the estates general, shows the absence of connection the third estate had with the nation (Doc 3).
Another major contribution to the French Revolution was the period of Enlightenment. During this time, several philosophers such as John Lock, Baron de Montesquieu, and Thomas Hobbes, came forward with progressive ideas regarding human rights and natural laws that govern human behavior and solve problems of society. In addition, concepts were introduced that suggested there should be separation of power within the government that provided for three separate branches that had checks and balances for one another. As a result of the ideas of the Enlightenment, members of the middle class took the lead in forming ideas about The French Revolution (Doc 4).
The last major contributing factor to the French Revolution was the Declaration of American Independence. For years the French people had endured the suffering and harsh conditions