The French revolution of 1789 had many long-range causes. Political, social, and economical conditions in France contributed to the discontent felt by many French people especially those of the third estate. The ideas of the intellectuals of the Enlightenment brought new views of government and society. The American Revolution also influenced the coming of the French Revolution. Three of the most important causes of the French Revolution included the lack of skill of Louis XVI, the vast gap between the rich and poor in France, and the revolutionary ideas of the Enlightenment in America. The French Revolution was based mostly on the Third Estate wanting to obtain liberty and equality. France's social system was set up so it would be a matter of time before a revolution took place. The economic classes of France were set in three estates. The first estate was the church, or clergy who included one percent of the people and 1% of the people owned 10% of the land, the second estate was the nobles, which two percent of the people owned 35% and the third estate consisted of peasants and the uneducated, 97% of the people owned 55%.(Document 2). France's economic system allowed for the highest taxation of the third estate while the clergy members were exempt from taxes, and the nobles paid little or no taxes at all. People who are starving and can barely afford to survive can only pay so much before they refuse to pay anymore. The poor people were really poor. The lack of bread also made it hard for people in the third estate to live because the price had raised above peoples abilities to pay. (Document 1) That is probably why the third estate took immediate action to Louis XVII's decision for higher taxes. The third estate played a huge part in the French Revolution and without the Tennis Court Oath there probably wouldn't have been a revolution.
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