To What Extent Were Poverty And Prosperity Causes Of The 1789 French Revolution?

921 words - 4 pages

Historical processes are not consequence of a single cause, there are always several complex structures involved and the historian must be careful to study all of them in their mutual interconnection. The French Revolution is a particularly complex process because it is a turning point in history and even now there are different points of view about its causes, development and consequences, however it is clear that one of the main short-term causes was the French social structure, the Ancient Regime. The division into three estates with different rights and duties, produced a clear situation of injustice with poverty for the greater part of the people and the extreme wealth for just a few. 1 ...view middle of the document...

They enjoyed their luxurious lives with no economical worries.4 On the contrary, the obligations felt upon the third estate.Most of the nobles looked at the peasants as beneath them, and they called the peasants canaille meaning "vulgar" or low and crude.5 While the favored class didn't have to worry about their living, the peasants had to work very hard to survive and to pay taxes. The members of the third estate were heavily taxed and the prices of goods had increased in a tremendous manner because of the economical problems that the country had suffered.6 On the other hand, the educated people from the third estate, the bourgeois, were searching for a way to make equality in the society. 7The bourgeois were being influenced by the ideas of philosophers such as Rousseau ,"man should born free". These new ideas were the results of the Enlightenment, that began in 1600s and lasted until the 1700s.The third estate was by large the greatest part of the French population, 27 million people were members or the third estate. The bourgeoisie introduced to the peasants the rights of man, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.8 The Enlightenment brought the idea that the nation should be based on logical thinking and science. The agreement to this ideas encouraged them to write a cahier with all the grievances and new rules that they wanted. In it, the Third Estate suggested "Art. 21. No tax shall be legal unless accepted by the representatives of the people and sanctioned by the king.", "Art. 22. Since all Frenchmen receive the same advantage from the government, and are equally interested in its...

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