Causes of the French Revolution

verge of bankruptcy and revolutionfiscal and agricultural crisisFrance's fiscal crisisFrench Revolutionsources of the Revolution
The causes of the French Revolution can be attributed to several intertwining factors: * Cultural: The Enlightenment philosophy desacralized the authority of the monarchy and the Catholic Church, and promoted a new society based on reason instead of traditions.wikipedia
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French Revolution

RevolutionRevolutionary FranceRevolutionary
In order to resolve the crisis, the king summoned the Estates-General in May 1789 and, as it came to an impasse, the representatives of the Third Estates formed a National Assembly, against the wishes of the king, signaling the outbreak of the French Revolution.
The causes of the French Revolution are complex and are still debated among historians.

American Revolution

RevolutionRevolutionary WarRevolutionary
The American Revolution demonstrated that it was plausible for Enlightenment ideas about how a government should be organized to actually be put into practice.
Heavy spending brought France to the verge of bankruptcy and revolution, while the British had relatively little difficulty financing their war, keeping their suppliers and soldiers paid, and hiring tens of thousands of German soldiers.

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette

Marquis de LafayetteLafayetteGeneral Lafayette
France sent Rochambeau, Lafayette and de Grasse, along with large land and naval forces, to help the Americans.
On 29 December 1786, King Louis XVI called an Assembly of Notables, in response to France's fiscal crisis.

Ferme générale

fermier généralFarmers-Generalfermiers généraux
Collections of taxes, such as the extremely unpopular salt tax, the gabelle, were contracted to private collectors ("tax farmers"), who, like all farmers, preoccupied themselves with making their holdings grow.
Therefore, at the end of the 18th century, the French state had become involved in considerable debt, which factored among the causes of the French Revolution.

Women's March on Versailles

The Women's March on VersaillesOctober DaysThe March on Versailles
The hunger and despair of the Parisian women was also the original impetus for the Women's March on Versailles in October 1789, they wanted not just one meal but the assurance that bread would once again be plentiful and cheap.
Bringing together people representing sources of the Revolution in their largest numbers yet, the march on Versailles proved to be a defining moment of that Revolution.

Banalité

Banal rightsBanalitésseigneurial rights
Peasants were also obligated to their landlords for: rent in cash (the cens), a payment related to their amount of annual production (the champart), and taxes on the use of the nobles' mills, wine-presses, and bakeries (the banalités).
* Causes of the French Revolution

Revolution

revolutionsrevoltdethronement
All these factors created a revolutionary atmosphere and a tricky situation for Louis XVI.

Estates General of 1789

Estates-GeneralEstates-General of 1789Estates General
In order to resolve the crisis, the king summoned the Estates-General in May 1789 and, as it came to an impasse, the representatives of the Third Estates formed a National Assembly, against the wishes of the king, signaling the outbreak of the French Revolution.

National Assembly (French Revolution)

National AssemblyAssemblée nationaleFrench National Assembly
In order to resolve the crisis, the king summoned the Estates-General in May 1789 and, as it came to an impasse, the representatives of the Third Estates formed a National Assembly, against the wishes of the king, signaling the outbreak of the French Revolution.

Age of Enlightenment

Enlightenmentthe EnlightenmentFrench Enlightenment
A growing number of the French citizenry had absorbed the ideas of "equality" and "freedom of the individual" as presented by Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Denis Diderot and other philosophers and social theorists of the Age of Enlightenment.

Bourgeoisie

bourgeoisburgherburghers
This was a consequence of the fact that peasants and, to a lesser extent, the poor and those aspiring to be bourgeoisie, were burdened with ruinously high taxes levied to support a wealthy monarchy, along with aristocrats and their sumptuous, often gluttonous lifestyles.

Clergy

clergymanclericclerics

France in the American Revolutionary War

FranceFrenchAmerican Revolutionary War
Heavy expenditures to conduct a losing campaign in the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), and France's backing of the Americans in their War of Independence, added a further 1.3 billion livres in debt.

Parlement

Parlement of ParisParlement de ParisParliament of Paris
Under the new king, Louis XVI, radical financial reforms by his ministers, Turgot and Malesherbes, angered the nobles and were blocked by the parlements who insisted that the king did not have the legal right to levy new taxes.

Grain

grainsfood grainfood grains

Seven Years' War

Seven Years’ WarSeven Years WarThe Seven Years' War
Heavy expenditures to conduct a losing campaign in the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), and France's backing of the Americans in their War of Independence, added a further 1.3 billion livres in debt. This economic crisis was due to the rapidly increasing costs of government and to the overwhelming costs incurred by fighting two major wars: the Seven Years' War and the American Revolutionary War.

American Revolutionary War

Revolutionary WarAmerican War of IndependenceAmerican Revolution
Heavy expenditures to conduct a losing campaign in the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), and France's backing of the Americans in their War of Independence, added a further 1.3 billion livres in debt. This economic crisis was due to the rapidly increasing costs of government and to the overwhelming costs incurred by fighting two major wars: the Seven Years' War and the American Revolutionary War.

David Thomson (historian)

David Thomson
David Thomson argued that the bourgeoisie and peasantry had "something to lose, not merely something to gain" in their demands for a fairer society and this fear too was a major factor in the revolutionary situation.

Voltaire

François-Marie ArouetVoltairianFrançois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)
A growing number of the French citizenry had absorbed the ideas of "equality" and "freedom of the individual" as presented by Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Denis Diderot and other philosophers and social theorists of the Age of Enlightenment.