With the French Revolution began the institutionalization of secularized individualism in both social life and politics; individualism and rationality found expression in parliamentary government and written constitutionalism. Obviously, the English and American revolutions of and prefigure these changes, but it was the more universalist French… Origins of the Revolution The French Revolution had general causes common to all the revolutions of the West at the end of the 18th century and particular causes that explain why it was by far the most violent and the most universally significant of these revolutions. The first of the general causes was the social structure of the West.
This economic crisis was due to the rapidly increasing costs of government and to the overwhelming costs incurred by fighting two major wars: Since the s, several attempts by different ministers to introduce financial stability had failed.
As a result, there was "an insistent demand" for reform of these abuses of privilege, for an equitable means of taxation and for improved government processes.
The population of France in the s was about 26 million, of whom 21 million lived in agriculture. Few of these owned enough land to support a family and most were forced to take on extra work as poorly paid labourers on larger farms.
There were regional differences but, by and large, French peasants were generally better off than those in countries like Russia or Poland.
Even so, hunger was a daily problem which became critical in years of poor harvest and the condition of most French peasants was poor.
Similarly, the destination of tithes which the peasants were obliged to pay to their local churches was a cause of grievance as it was known that the majority of parish priests were poor and the contribution was being paid to an aristocratic, and usually absentee, abbot.
The Catholic Church maintained a rigid hierarchy as abbots and bishops were all members of the nobility and canons were all members of wealthy bourgeois families. As an institution, it was both rich and powerful. As with the nobility, it paid no taxes and merely contributed a grant to the state every five years, the amount of which was self-determined.
The upper echelons of the clergy had considerable influence over government policy.
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Successive French kings and their ministers had tried with limited success to suppress the power of the nobles but, in the last quarter of the 18th century, "the aristocracy were beginning once again to tighten their hold on the machinery of government".
Some American diplomats, like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jeffersonhad lived in Paris, where they consorted freely with members of the French intellectual class. Furthermore, contact between American revolutionaries and the French troops who served in North America helped spread revolutionary ideas to the French people.
In short, while it may have lagged slightly behind the Low Countriesand possibly Switzerlandin per capita wealth, the sheer size of the French economy made it the premier economic power of continental Europe.
Extravagant expenditures on luxuries by Louis XVIwhose rule began inwere compounded by debts that were run up during the reign of his even-more-profligate predecessor, Louis XV who reigned from to In theory, this would eventually lead to a war of revenge and see France regain its colonies from Britain.
In practice, it resulted in a mountain of debts. Still, expenditures outpaced revenues. So, inTurgot was dismissed and Malesherbes resigned. They were replaced by Jacques Neckerwho supported the American Revolution and proceeded with a policy of taking large international loans instead of raising taxes.
Jacques Necker France sent RochambeauLafayette and de Grassealong with large land and naval forces, to help the Americans. French aid proved decisive in forcing the main British army to surrender at the Battle of Yorktown in However, the British sank the main French fleet inand France gained little, except for the colonies of Tobago and Senegalfrom the Treaty of Paris that concluded the war.
The war cost 1. Necker concealed the crisis from the public by explaining only that ordinary revenues exceeded ordinary expenses, and by not mentioning the loans at all.
This policy also failed; therefore, Louis convened the Assembly of Notables in to discuss a revolutionary new fiscal reform proposed by Calonne. When the nobles were told the extent of the debt, they were shocked; however, the shock did not motivate them to rally behind the plan — but to reject it.
This negative turn of events signaled to Louis that he had lost the ability to rule as an absolute monarch, and he fell into depression. France was a wealthier country than Britain, and its national debt was no greater than the British one.
In France, the debt was financed at almost twice the interest rate as the debt across the Channel.
This demanded a much higher level of taxation and less flexibility in raising money to deal with unforeseen emergencies. See also Eden Agreement. Edmund Burkeno friend of the revolution, wrote in The desire to do so led directly to the decision in to call the Estates-General into session.
Taxation[ edit ] Louis XVI, his ministers, and the widespread French nobility had become immensely unpopular.Exploring the causes of the French Revolution. Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present; People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account; This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation; A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation; Learn more about this feature in our knowledge .
Despite this shortcoming in historical documentations, some events do look more closely through the eyes of women. The French Revolution of the eighteenth century is one of these events.
This investigation will be exploring the French Revolution, and asking: to . French Revolution, also called Revolution of , the revolutionary movement that shook France between and and reached its first climax there in Hence the conventional term “Revolution of ,” denoting the end of the ancien régime in France and serving also to distinguish that event from the later French revolutions of and The page "Exploring the french revolution" is a very extensive collection of material about the french revolution, among other also an article about the social causes of the revolution: Liberte Equality Fraternity - Exploring the french revolution.
Counselors. virtually no one could imagine France being governed without French Revolution: exploring the major causes of the french revolution The revolutionary movement that shook France between and and reached its first climax there in Hence the An analysis of the law which is arbitrary but necessary conventional term In the s.
Exploring the Factors Leading to the French Revolution The French Revolution began due to many different reasons. The French Revolution of had many long-range causes. Political, social, and economic conditions in France contributed to the discontent felt by many French people-especially those of the third estate.