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French Revolution

Uploaded by litlmutt on Apr 05, 2001

Essay: What were the reasons and results of the French revolution?

In 1789 financial times were hard in France. The peasants were upset that the nobles were living lavish lives collecting taxes, while they suffered. The prices on food were rising and the people were starving. The French social system was outdated and consisted of three classes. The first class consisted of the clergy. They paid no taxes and led the best lives. The second estate was the nobles. These were people who held top jobs in the government. The third and largest estate was the peasants. The people paid the most taxes and suffered the most. These people paid for Frances deficit spending.

Deficit spending is when the country spends more money than is coming in. Louis XIV left France deeply in debt. Through out the 1700 taxes gradually rose to help repay this debt. By 1789 half its taxes went to paying the interest on this debt. This frustration led to revolt. On August 4th peasants attacked the Bastille. The peasants raided the Bastille but found no arms. This lead to a massive change in the government.

The French government, in late August issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man. The Document was modeled in part of the American Declaration of Independence. In it stated that all men are born and remain free. Man also had the right to enjoy natural right or the right to property, security and resistance to oppression. It also said there are no different in man except his virtues and talents. It also granted freedom of religion and called for taxes to be levied according to ones pay. But this was still not enough for some.

Working class citizens called sans-culottes pushed the revolution into some more radical action. By 1791 many sans-culottes demanded France become a republic. They also wanted the government to guarantee the government gives them living wages. Wars waged over France between those who supported the republic and those who opposed it. The Jacobins wanted this for the government. Others wanted the government to become a democracy.

It was feuds such as these that didn’t help France. The people tried to unite but it failed. Although they managed to gain some rights, they were unsuccessful. And by the nobles living lavish lifestyles they did not help the people in any way. And they led their life at the expense of the peasants,...

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Uploaded by:   litlmutt

Date:   04/05/2001

Category:   European History

Length:   2 pages (412 words)

Views:   1827

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