Mini Essay on the French Rev

Topics: Age of Enlightenment, French Revolution, Voltaire Pages: 2 (644 words) Published: January 9, 2013
The first of these causes was ideas during the Enlightenment. The ideas were about French society. John Locke, an Enlightenment thinker, wrote that each and every single person is born with rights. These natural rights include: life, liberty and property. Locke wanted to get rid of an unjust ruler, and people began to be inquisitive of the authority of the King. Another Enlightenment thinker, Montesquieu, wanted freedom of speech without punishment. A powerful government should be divided into three branches. The Legislative branch made laws and was made up of National Assembly; Executive branch was made up of the King, with limited power, who enforces the laws. The Judicial branch was made up of judges that interpret laws to the people. Other thinkers believed the people should have freedom of speech, press and religion. Another cause of the French Revolution was political problems. The weak leadership of Louis XVI contributed to these problems. He was a weak leader, who, at age 19, did not have the experience necessary to effectively rule France. Estates are divisions of social classes of the French in the 1780's. Louis was not interested in keeping the loyalty of the first and second estates. The first estate was made up of the clergy, and the second estate consisted of the nobles. He also was not concerned with problems in the third estate, which were basically the commoners. Financial hardships caused the French to become bankrupt. The French were supporting the Revolution in America 9The American war of Independence). Louis XVI spent money on maintaining his palace, Versailles, when the money should have been spent on supporting the French army. His wife Marie Antoinette also lived lavishly, purchasing pricy clothes, and overspending in order to maintain her lifestyle. While the king and queen were spending extravagantly, the cost of food escalated for e.g. in the case of bread, where the cost for a loaf became equal to a month’s wages. Only the third...
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