The French Revolution has been viewed as the major turning point in European political and social history.The revolution was an uprising that brought the regime of King Louis XVI to an end.The causes that led to this bloody revolution can be looked at from an economic, political, social, and intellectual standpoint.Failed reforms, famine, the Enlightenment, a corrupt bureaucracy, and a divided population are only some of the many aspects that helped influence a revolution to take place in late eighteenth century France.
Economically, France’s government was virtually bankrupt and in debt.The immediate cause of the French Revolution was the near collapse of government finances.Since 1614, which was the last meeting of the Estates General before the revolutionary era, the French monarchy had carried out its business without resort to a legislature.This led to a fiscal crisis in the French government.Due to the spending of Louis XVI on royal extravagance, the Seven Years War, and aid to America during the American revolution, France was in debt and had no means of instituting a fair taxation system.
The main concern of the nobles in France was their privileges; this also contributed to King Louis XVI being incapable of imposing a just taxation system.Basically, the clergy and the nobility paid little or no tax at all, except for a “voluntary contribution” to the state every five years, while the heaviest tax burdens fell on the third estate primarily because of France’s poor financial situation. While in the middle of a financial crisis, France was also in a crisis involving food.
Bad harvests in 1778 and 1788 resulted in food shortages.As the demand for food grew, the prices for food began to rise and resulted in unemployment in the cities.At one point, the poor and unemployed was estimated to consist of about 1/3 of the entire population of France.The poor conditions in the countrys…