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The French revolution was a period that France faced social and political upheaval. Notably, the French Revolution had a long-term effect both on France and the whole world. The revolution lasted for about ten years, that was, 1789 to 1799. France had a monarchy system of government for over centuries and during this time the leader of France was King Louis XVI. Notably, France had been the most superior country in Europe for a long period of time. They enjoyed the best economic growth for a long period of time and political freedom. Citizens criticized the government freely without being answerable to anybody. However, King Louis and his ministers became infamous for their oppressive method of governance. The dictatorship and difficulties in economy fueled up the French uprising in 1789 and it lasted for ten years up to 1789.
The essay discusses the causes of the French revolution in detail.
Causes of the French Revolution
The French revolution is notably one of the serious revolts to have ever occurred in the world. The revolution was catalyzed by various things like dictatorship and poor governance. Here are the causes of the French revolution in detail.
Firstly, the French revolution was fueled by political and social inequalities. Notably, until the 18th century, France was still practicing a feudalism system of governance (Dabney 30). There were inequalities all over France since the clergy and the nobles enjoyed many privileges’ as the middle class people suffered a lot. The noble and clergies did not pay tax despite the fact that they were earning enormous amounts of money and had bigger jobs and businesses. Unlike them, the middle class people suffered a lot as they were taxed heavily and had to work hard to meet this cost. Most middle class people earned small amounts of wages. As the middle class occupied the third estates, the first and the second estates were occupied by the clergies and the nobles. Additionally, there were political inequalities in the country (Lefebvre and Palmer 102). The middle class did not have power and privileges in politics while the nobles were the decision makers on every issue. The common people who tried to raise a voice to criticize any issue were threatened or even killed by high class officials. This system of rule and lack of freedom for expression angered the French citizens and it resulted to the revolt.
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Secondly, the French revolution was caused by writer’s enlightenment and influence from the Americans success. There were common writers in France such as Voltaire and Rousseau. These writers mainly wrote about politics aimed at enlightening the French people. The works were widespread all over France and millions of people had a chance to read them. As a result, the people discovered that they had their rights and could fight the government. These articles motivated them to move forward and fight for the freedom (Duiker & Spielvogel 78). Moreover, the Americans had overthrown the British government in the recent past. The Americans had been oppressed by the British government for a long period of time and they managed to fight them and regain their freedom. This too motivated the French people to move forward and fight for their rights.
Thirdly, bankruptcy in the government also led to the revolution. Generally, King Louis was an incompetent leader who spent a lot without generating incomes for the government expenditures. The government met its projects in a strenuous way since it did not have enough funds. Despite the fact that some of the ministers were concerned, King Louis did not concur with them. He repeatedly dismissed those ministers who attempted to introduce financial reforms (Russell 90). The aim of these ministers was to help the government regain its financial stability that it had been enjoying initially. As at 1789, the French government was bankrupt with many debts. This made the ministers to mobilize and citizens to revolt against the King Louis and the government in general.
Lastly, the revolt resulted from economic hardships among the common people of France. As noted before, the noble and clergies enjoyed privileges such as not paying tax while they were the ones who spent more resources (Heller 55). The common people in France were heavily taxed and got little wages. This led to a lot of suffering among the common people who had to work hard, earn little and pay tax for the noble and the clergies. Moreover, the economic hardship resulted from government bankruptcy. Whenever, the government is bankrupt, it is the common people who suffer since they are the ones who have to dig deeper in their pockets to pay tax. After a long period of these difficulties, the citizens prompted to go on revolt.
In conclusion, the French revolution occurred between 1789 and 1799. At that time, France was being governed by a King known as King Louis. King Louis was a dictator and dismissed any minister who tried to discuss the country’s issues. There are many issues that led to the French revolution. Firstly, French revolution was caused by writer’s enlightenment and influence from the Americans success. There were common writers in France like Voltaire and Rousseau. There were common writers in France like Voltaire and Rousseau. These writers mainly wrote about politics aimed at enlightening the French people. Arguably, this was among the main reasons that made the French people to revolt. Initially, America had revolted against the British and managed to overthrow them. This gave the French people morale too to revolt against King Louis so that they could get their freedom.