“Bastille Day, on the Fourteenth of July, is the French symbol of the end of the Monarchy and the beginning of the French Revolution”.It is very much like Independence Day in the United States because it is a celebration of the beginning of a new form of government.
There are several factors that led to the Revolution. King Louis XV and King Louis XVI both led extremely extravagant lives. They spent a lot of the government’s money on luxuries even while the government had some financial problems.
One of the government’s main jobs back then was to protect their country from, and manage wars. In the Seven Years War against England, France spent large sums of money on the war effort but they still lost the war and had to give up their colonies in North America. Many French citizens regarded this loss as a major humiliation.
The population was divided into three estates. The Third Estate, also known as the commoners was made up of the bourgeoisie, wage earners and the peasantry.
They were the majority of the population. The Second Estate was for the nobility. The First Estate was composed of the clergy. The Upper Clergy were very wealthy and powerful and therefore they related to the First Estate.The Lower Clergy related more to the Lower Estates.”Thefirst two states enjoyed privileges over the Third Estate. Although they were the richest, they were exempt from taxes.They were also the only members in society who could hold positions of importance such as Officers in the army” (www.
members.aol.com). This caused great discontent within the Third Estate.
In 18th Century the peasant population increased dramatically. This growth in population increased the demand for more land. Land was being divided into smaller and smaller sections to cope with this problem.Eventually some sections of land were not even enough for a peasant to support his own family.