French revolution causes

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Information about French revolution causes

Published on December 27, 2013

Author: abhisheksngh555



the revolution that changed the world



• Social Cause  One of the main factors that led to the French Revolution was the unbalanced social structure of society during the Old Regime. • Economic Cause  It was the main reason of the depletion of the treasury of the king. • Political Cause • King was a person of Mediocre Intelligence. • Immediate Cause  Formation of the Estate General. • Intellectual Cause  Influence from the writers. ABHISHEK

The Social cause – First Estate • High-ranking members of the Church • Privileged class – Second Estate • Nobility • Privileged class – Third Estate • Everyone else – from peasants in the countryside to wealthy bourgeoisie merchants in the cities • Unprivileged class ABHISHEK


 In 1774, Louis XVI of the Bourbon family of kings ascended the throne of France. He was 20 years old and married to the Austrian princess Marie Antoinette. Upon his accession the new king found an empty treasury. Long years of war had drained the financial resources of France.  Added to this was the cost of maintaining an extravagant court at the immense palace of Versailles.  Under Louis XVI, France helped the thirteen American colonies to gain their independence from the common enemy, Britain. The war added more than a billion livres to a debt that had already risen to more than 2 billion livres.  Lenders who gave the state credit, now began to charge 10 per cent interest on loans. So the French government was obliged to spend an increasing percentage of its budget on interest payments alone. To meet its regular expenses, such as the cost of maintaining an army, the court, running government offices or universities, the state was forced to increase taxes. Yet even this measure would not have sufficed.  The Church too extracted its share of taxes called tithes from the peasants, and finally, all members of the third estate had to pay taxes to the state. These included a direct tax, called taille, and a number of indirect taxes which were levied on articles of everyday consumption like salt or tobacco. The burden of financing activities of the state through taxes was borne by the third estate ABHISHEK alone ,which angered the common People

France Is Bankrupt  The king (Louis XVI) lavished money on himself and residences like Versailles  Queen Marie Antoinette was seen as a wasteful spender  Government found its funds depleted  As a result of wars including the funding of the government spending more money than it takes in from tax revenues  Privileged classes would not submit to being taxed ABHISHEK

• Louis XVI, the king of France, was a person of mediocre intelligence. He ruled with the help of his empty headed wife „Marie Antoinnette‟, who appointed a number of her friends and relatives at high posts and kept some of them at pension. These people neither did any work nor they contribute to the National treasury. Instead they took salary from the Royal treasury. • Louis XVI wanted to increase his territory. And to do so, he had to be engaged in wars which meant that he needed a large army for that purpose. Appointing so many soldiers, required money to pay salaries to them. It depleted the Royal treasury. As a result, the king was forced to raise the taxes with the consent of the three estates . As the common people had to pay taxes, they became agitated against their monarch – Louis XVI. ABHISHEK

• Compelled by Financial bankruptcy, the French Emperor Louis XVI called a meeting of Estate General in 1789. It generated much heat as the members of the 3rd Estate were determined to put forth their demand. However, the first two Estates i.e. „the Clergy‟ and „ The Nobility‟ refused to have a joint meeting with the Third Estate. The members of the Third Estate walked of the Assembly. ABHISHEK


ABHISHEK ◊Representative government did not mean democracy or “mob rule” ◊Estates-General became the National Assembly in June of 1789 with the power to frame a constitution ◊Tennis Court Oath was formed due to the disagreement of the 3’rd Estate and the Monarch.

Louis XVI did not actually want a written constitution When news of his plan to use military force against the National Assembly reached Paris on July 14, 1789, people stormed the Bastille ABHISHEK



Storming the Bastille  Events of the night of July 13, 1789  Reasons for the attack on the Bastille the next morning  The stubbornness of the governor of the fortress  Celebrations on the night of July 14th  Sparks tremendous popular revolution all ABHISHEK over France


Freedom Freedom Freedom of of the of speech press religion Right of Guarante “Liberty, the equality, ed people to fraternity property create !” rights laws Right to a fair trial ABHISHEK

Journalist Madame Jeanne Olympe de Roland also Gouges argued in served as a her Declaration leader in the of the Rights of women’s rights Woman that movement, and women are equal was able to citizens and heavily should benefit influence her from husband (a governmental government reforms just as ABHISHEK official). Women did gain some rights during the French Revolution, but these were designed for purposes other than liberating women. • Women could inherit property, but only because doing so weakened feudalism and reduced wealth among the upper classes. • Divorce became easier, but only to weaken the Church’s control over marriage.



Maximillian Robespierre  Maximilien Robespierre (Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre) was born on May 6th, 1758, in Arras where his father was based as an advocate. Robespierre and his three younger siblings were brought up by diverse relatives after their father dramatically lost his way in life after the death of his wife in childbirth in 1767. Robespierre was educated for a short time at a College in Arras and then in Paris initially at the very prestigious College of Louis-le-Grand and later at the College of Law. Robespierre qualified as an advocate in 1781 and sought to establish a legal practice at his home town of Arras. He became known both as a successful advocate and as a participant in local literary and philosophic circles. ABHISHEK



 Execution of 40,000 “Enemies of the Nation”  Stress on radical definition of equality  Wanted a legal maximum on personal wealth  Wanted a regulation of commercial profits  End of Robespierre‟s dictatorship on July 28, ABHISHEK 1794

A conspiracy overthrew Robespierre. On July 27, 1794, he was barred from speaking in public and was placed Under arrest. An uprising by his supporters was thwarted, and on July 28 Robespierre died on the guillotine with his other supporters. Eighty more followers ABHISHEK of Robespierre were executed the next day.


Role Of the Napoleon Bonaparte The Directory (1794-1799) Napoleon’s Rise to Power Establishment of the Bank of France Reconciliation with the Catholic Church  --Concordat of 1801 Heavy Censorship Napoleon’s “Art of ABHISHEK

Death of Napoleon Bonaparte ABHISHEK



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