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Causes of French Revolution
There are many factors contributing to the causes of French Revolution. The French
Revolution happened in France during the 1700s, while France was the center of Europe. By
using the old political system, France got asked questions about the Enlightenment ideas by
John Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire. The system at that time was opposing on the
Enlightenment ideas such as John Locke's ideas; people should have three rights, which is life,
liberty, and property. At that time, people do not have these rights. Second one is based on
Rousseau's ideas, which is a social contract between the government and the people. In
Rousseau's ideas, people are having their opportunities to give opinions. Yet, what's going on
at that time was on the opposite. Last one is based on Voltaire's ideas, which is about
separating the church and the government. On the other hand, at that time the church officials
are in the privileged estates. Unfair treatment leads to this system. This social and political
system of France is called Old Regime. People are divided into three estates, which include
first, second, and third. First and second estates are the nobles and do not need to pay taxes
and receive special treatment. The tax is burden on the third estates and they wanted a change,
while it was the third estates that move the economy. The economic problem came from tax
burden, because of its deceiving image on the prosperous France and together with the bad
weather. Bad leader leads France, Louis XVI, have a less patience on his government
advisers and his wife, Marie Antoinette, and is only adding more problems. After all, these
factors lead to the change caused by peoples resentment, French Revolution.
The social and political system that is one of the factors that lead to French
Reovlution is called Old Regime. It means by dividing people into three estates, which
include first, second, and third. The first and second are considered to be the privileged
estates that does not need to pay taxes and access to the high office. The first estate is full of
people like cardinals from the Roman Catholic Church. The clergy owned 10% of the land.
They provided education and relief for the people, which contributed about 2% of their
incomes to the government. The second estates are mostly nobles and they owned about 20%
of the land. Their population is about 2% of the overall population. Yet, about 97% of the
population is in the third estates. Even though, the third estate is made up of two groups, the
first group is similar like the nobles so they are not affected. On the other hand, the second is
affected because of low wages and unfair treatment. Most of the third estates are peasants and
they paid half their income to nobles, Church, and kings agents. Having tax burden, the third
estate is not able to conduct their business due to debts. This leads to economic troubles for
the deceiving image that France has. This is the reason why, the peasants have resentment on
the privileged estates and eager for change.
Deceived their image on prosperous economy, France is facing an economic problem.
Most of the merchants and factory owners are from the third estates and they have a
responsibility in paying the burden of taxes. This makes them unable to conduct their
business as usual. Moreover, the cost of living rises as well. Not only being unable to conduct
a business but also facing a bad weather. These events caused the crop failures and starvation.
Because of crop failures, grain that used to make bread is rare and expensive. Therefore, the
price of bread doubled. More factors lead to economic problems is debt and extravagant
spending. The debts are from government to government. Since Louis XIVs reign, he built
the palace of Versailles, which caused a lot of debt to the people at that time. Now in Louis
XVIs reign, he inherited the debt from previous kings. For instance, he also helped finance
in the American Revolution with Great Britain, Frances rival. By helping at that time, France
sank deeply more into debt. A weak leader and an unpopular wife only make more debt by
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spending money unwisely. This leads to the last cause on French Revolution, which is weak
leadership.
Louis XVI was a leader in France at that time. Being a leader, he should be decisive,
paid attention to advisers, have patience in governing. Yet, he did the opposite. Moreover,
having a queen does not relieve the problems. Instead, she added more by interfering with the
government and offered Louis poor advice. In addition, Marie Antoinette came from a royal
family in Austria, Frances enemy. This was the reason why she was unpopular and unwanted
in France. Furthermore, she made the situation worse by spending money on gowns, jewels,
gambling, and gifts. From this, she was known as Madame Deficit. A leader should be
brave and listen to other peoples opinions, which Louis XVI does not have a capability of
being a leader. This leads to the opening of the French Revolution.
One of the most important revolutions in history, French Revolution mainly causes by
three causes. These factors include the Old Regime, economic problems, and weak leadership.
Having the old system also got questions from the Enlightenment thinkers, such as dividing it
into estates. The system is not treating the three estates fairly among each other. The tax only
burden on the third estates, which is the estates that move the economy. If the problems are
imposed on the economy, the cost of living rises and making the breads price doubled. Due
to the weak leadership, all of these problems are not solved. Louis XVI is not listening to any
advisors, but listens to his queens poor advice. Marie Antoinette not even helps cutting the
expenses but help uses it instead. These are the three causes that lead to the beginning of the
French Revolution.