World History - Political, Social, Economic Conditions in France

World History - Political, Social, Economic Conditions in France

Jevar Clough
World History

Thesis:  The discontent felt by many 17th century French people-especially those of the third estate-originated from the political, social, and economic conditions in France.

Problems include:

Inequitable taxation.
Famine-Lack of Bread (their main source of food) raised 67% in 1789 alone.
Virtual bankruptcy of France.
Transparency of the Third Estate.

The French government was inefficient, unjust and corrupt. There were numerous government

departments, different laws in different parts of the country and officials. The crumbling political

structure of France was one of the causes of the Revolution. France’s government in the 17th

century was authoritarian where the king held all the political power. Louis XVI was king at the

time of the French Revolution. He and his Austrian queen, Marie Antoinette, lived an extravagant

life at the Palace of Versailles. The first two estates worked together to outvote the large third

estate to keep them from becoming a threat to the power. The article from the cahiers shows that

the votes in the assembly were not taken by head. The people of the 3rd estate felt a sense of

betrayal when the king supported the block voting over the head voting. Lord Acton, an

Englishman, states that the monarchy being overthrown wasn't the spark of the Revolution. He

recognizes the American Independence as the spark of the French Revolution. Many people

became furious at the way France was governed. The people couldn't do anything to bring about a

change because of their lack of political power. The French Parliament was called the Estates-

General. It had not met since 1614 and couldn't without the consent of the king.

Social problems were also a major factor that brought about the French Revolution. People were

divided into three estates. The first estate was made up of 1% of the people and owned 10% of the

land in France. The second...

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