The French Revolution

Topics: Age of Enlightenment, French Revolution, Louis XIV of France Pages: 2 (594 words) Published: January 12, 2014

The French Revolution was a major turning point in the France’s history. There were many factors that helped influence the French Revolution. There were many social, political and economic conditions that led up to revolution. Although, the success American Revolution combined with the ideas of the Enlightenment is what sparked the beginning of the French Revolution.

By the year 1789, many people of the third estate were outraged with the current system of government. France was ruled by an absolute monarchy under King Louis XIV. Often referring himself as the Sun King, he abused his power frequently. Seen in excerpts from cahiers, the third estate asks that the king be forced to reform the abuses and tyranny of letter de cachet (Document #3). Which were letters signed by the king of France that enforced his actions and judgment that could not be appealed. The third estate demanded this and many other changes that the French government must undergo. Many Enlightenment ideas were also brought up in the demands of the third estate. Some Enlightenment ideas expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen were that men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Also, that the free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the most precious rights of a man (Document #8). These were the ideas that inspired many people of the third estate to take part in the revolution.

The unfair economical conditions in France were a huge part of why the French Revolution took place. Heavy taxes were imposed the third estate while the first and second estates were taxed very lightly. In an excerpt from Travels in France by Arthur Young, it is stated that in the south of France there is a taille. Which was a tax on the land and its produce (Document #1). The taille was mostly aimed at the third estate, which owned 65% of the land in France in 1789 (Document #2). This was due to the fact that the third estate was made up mostly...
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