What were the causes and the effects of the French Revolution? The major cause of the French Revolution was the disputes between the different types of social classes in French society. The French Revolution of 1789-1799 was one of the most important events in the history of the world. The Revolution led to many changes in France, which at the time of the Revolution, was the most powerful state in Europe. The Revolution led to the development of new political forces such as democracy and nationalism.

It questioned the authority of kings, priests, and nobles. The Revolution also gave new meanings and new ideas to the political ideas of the people. The French Revolution was spread over the ten year period between 1789 and 1799. The primary cause of the revolution was the disputes over the peoples' differing ideas of reform. Before the beginning of the Revolution, only moderate reforms were wanted by the people. An example of why they wanted this was because of king Louis XIV's actions.

At the end of the seventeenth century, King Louis XIV's wars began decreasing the royal finances dramatically. This worsened during the eighteenth century. The use of the money by Louis XIV angered the people and they wanted a new system of government. The writings of the philosophes such as Voltaire and Diderot, were critical of the government. They said that not one official in power was corrupt, but that the whole system of government needed some change. Eventually, when the royal finances were expended in the 1780's, there began a time of greater criticism.

This sparked the peasants notion of wanting change. Under the Old Regime in France, the king was the absolute monarch. Louis XIV had centralized power in the royal bureaucracy, the government departments which administered his policies. Together, Louis XIV and the bureaucracy worked to preserve royal authority and to maintain the social structure of the Old Regime. At this time in French history, the social classes played an important role in the lives of the people.

The social structure of France was divided among three groups: the First Estate, the Second Estate, and the Third Estate. Each social group had a varied type of people within their structure, which presented the different views of the people. The First Estate was the Church. During the ancien regime, the church was equal in terms of its social, economic, and spiritual power. The First Estate owned nearly 10 per cent of all land in France. It paid no taxes but, to support church activities such as school running and caring for the poor, they collected a tithe, or a tax on income.

About one-third of the entire clergy in Franceserved as parish priests. Also included in this estate were the nobles. Some of the nobles lived in luxury in major cities in France, such as Versailles or Paris. Parish priests usually lived a hardworking life. This Estate was the minority of the people in France, having approximately 1 to 2 per cent of the population. The Second Estate in French life was the nobility.

They enjoyed extensive rights and privileges. They made up less than 2 percent of the population. They, like the First Estate, paid hardly any taxes. Economically, the nobility was characterized by great land wealth.

Nobles were generally the richest members of the society. Typical sources of income were rents and dues for the use of their farms or estates. The First and Second Estates were grouped together because they had similar political beliefs. The Third Estate consisted of the commoners. It included the bourgeoisie, peasants and city workers. The bourgeoisie, or the middle class, were by far, the wealthiest.

In the bourgeoisie, there were the merchants and manufacturers, lawyers, doctors and others similar to those types of professions. Peasants made up the largest group within the Third Estate. They were forced to pay hefty taxes, tithes to the church, and rents to their landlords for the land that they lived on. Thelast group within the Third Estate were the city workers. They were servants, apprentices, and household maids.

The major cause of the Revolution were the differences these three groups had. However, there was another important factor during these times. France suffered from harsh economic problems. Poor farm harvests by farmers hurt the economy, and trade rules from the Middle Ages still survived, making trade difficult. However, the most serious problem was the problem facing the government during this time. The French government borrowed much money to pay for the wars of Louis XIV.

Louis still borrowed money to fight wars and to keep French power alive in Europe. These costs greatly increased the national debt, which was, at the time, already too high. When King Louis XVI came into power, he realized that these problems existed. At firs the did not know what to do, until he found a man by the name of Robert Turgot.

He eased the financial crisis of France, but he had difficulties when he tried to introduce a major reform, that of taxing the nobles. He had such difficulties because the king could not tax the nobles unless the Parliament approved of the new tax laws. The people in the courts that voted on these laws were the nobles, called nobles of the robe, and therefore rejected Turgot's reform. After Turgot was rejected, the king fired him from his office. This led Louis XVI to summon the Estates General in 1789.

The Estates General was the place where representatives from each social class could be represented. Here, many issues would be discussed, and at this time in French history, it would be centered around the economic crisis. When the Estates General met in 1789, the deputies, or representatives, from the Third Estate demanded that the three estates meet together, with each deputy having an equal vote. That way, the First and Second Estates could outvote the Third Estate. When the king heard of this, he demanded that the three estates meet separately. This caused anger within the Third Estate.

Thedeputies from the Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly. Louis XVI quickly rejected these deputies from the meeting hall. After a while, Louis XVI decided that it would be best if the three estates met together. He ordered the other two estates to join the Third Estate in the National Assembly. Although now the three estates met together, there were divisions among them.

Some wanted to protect their rights, while others wanted to establish a limited, constitutional monarchy. This sparked some change in the French people. Immediately after the National Assembly secretly began working on a constitution, the peasants and workers expected relief from taxes and other dues that they paid. Little happened, and they still faced their same problems of unemployment and inflation. Then there were reports that Louis XVI was bringing troops to Paris. This increased the peoples' fears.

When Louis brought troops to Versailles, many citizens feared that he wanted to get rid of the National Assembly. As a result, they stormed the Bastille. Other disturbances also broke out. People were caught up in what was called the 'Great Fear'. Rumors passed from village to village that robbers were destroying homes all over France. When no robbers showed up, the peasants turned to their landlords.

They destroyed grain towers, and destroyed tax records, showing that they will never pay any taxes, fines or dues ever again. These events forced Louis to summon the National Assembly on August 4 th. They people discussed possible reforms. On this day, the National Assembly ended serfdom. Towards the end of August, the National Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

It stated that democratic principles would be the basis for French government. The job of turning these ideas into a constitution still remained. While the constitution was in the process of being made, an angry crowd in Paris rioted, forcing the National Assembly to recognize their demands. Some of these rioters were women. They were angry about food prices.

They also thought that the king and queen were going against the National Assembly. They demanded that Louis return to Paris where they could watch him. To prevent any further uprisings, he agreed. Throughout France, all ancient customs were thrown away by the revolution. The National Assembly called for freedom of worship and abolished all special activities and privileges of the Catholic Church.

To raise money that was needed, the government began selling off church lands, which angered many Catholics. In 1791, the National Assembly brought forward a new constitution. It made France a limited monarchy and established a system of separation of powers. Under the constitution, the old distinctions between the clergy, nobles, and commoners disappeared. Few people were satisfied with the constitutional monarchy. Louis XVI was frightened at the actions of the National Assembly.

He fled the country with his wife, but he was later arrested and brought back to accept the constitution. After this action by the king, moderate revolutionaries still wanted to preserve the constitutional monarchy, while the radicals distrusted the king and wanted a republic. These were the causes of the French Revolution. Many peoples' lives were changed during this time. Peoples' ideas also changed. After the war between France and Austria and Prussia, prices increased dramatically, and food shortages occurred.

When Louis XVI and his wife fled to the Legislative Assembly, they were imprisoned. They called for a national convention to write anew constitution. The National Convention met in September. The National Convention tried and convicted Louis XVI of treason. He was sentenced to death. News of his death spread all throughout Europe.

Monarchs of European nations feared that the Revolution would spread. By 1793, the French armies occupied the Austrian Netherlands and were about to invade Prussia. But, in 1793, Great Britain, the Dutch Netherlands, and Spain went along with Prussia and Austria in a war against France. With these five powerful nations fighting against France, the French were outnumbered and outmatched. This one war was very hard for France. This war caused many deaths at home due to starvation.

At this point in the Revolution, some people thought that the Revolution had gone too far and should be put to an end. In the effort to restore temporary peace in the society, the National Convention made a constitution that created a Committee of Public Safety. It campaigned against people who we reconsidered enemies of France. Maximilien Robespierre led the Committee of Public Safety.

Hewanted to create a 'Republic of Virtue'. The Committee went all over France to help other groups find traitors to France. During the Reign of Terror, trials for the people were held often. Many people were brought to the guillotine and killed.

Most of the victims were commoners. Thistime of terror had scared the people, and their revolts towards the government ended. The Committee of Public Safety organized new and powerful armies to protect itself from foreign invasion. The Committee also set limits on prices and salaries. By early in 1794, the French armies were winning battles again, but supporters were asking if these executions of the people were still needed in society. The National Convention then arrested Maximilien Robespierre, and executed him, which ended the Reign of Terror.

Between the years of 1789 and 1794, French life had changed dramatically. There were changes in the lifestyle of the people, as well as in clothes and art. The monarchies were gone, and the king no longer ruled. The National Convention abolished all feudal customs and ended all slavery.

Revolutionary leaders also established the metric system. They wanted to set up free public schools, but that never came about, due to the economic problems. In 1795, after the total ending of the Reign of Terror, the National Convention established another constitution. It established a new system of government called the Directory. This Directory, however, faced many problems. The legislative deputies begged and 'bought' political votes, and prices rose sharply, something which the poor classes of society didn't like.

Along with these problems, it still followed a foreign policy. It built the largest army in Europe during this time. This army were headed by a great military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1793, Napoleon won many battles against the British, and at this time, he was a general. He next won battles over Italy, and in 1798, he invaded Egypt.

He defeated Egypt's army, but he had to pay for his victory. At sea, the Egyptian Navy, led by Horatio Nelson, destroyed the French fleet at the Nile river. This loss meant that the fleet could not take the soldiers back to France, so, Napoleon left them there and he went back to France. Unbeknownst to the people of France about the tragedy in Egypt, he was still welcomed as a hero. When talking to the people at home, he found that many people were not satisfied with the Directory. With the help of troops, he overthrew the government in 1799.

Under this new government, Napoleon was called the First Consul. His military talents helped him to win popular support. With his support, he was named the dictator of France. This time in French History was important to the people of France because of the different types of government they had. Socialism, liberalism and nationalism all were results of the French Revolution.

It gave people the idea that if they tried, they could reorganize a society whenever it was needed. The greatest legacy of the French Revolution, however, was that people could change anything that they wanted with political ideas, words and laws. The French Revolution: Causes and Effects What were the causes and the effects of the French Revolution? The major cause of the French Revolution was the disputes between the different types of social classes in French society. The French Revolution of 1789-1799 was one of the most important events in the history of the world. The Revolution led to many changes in France, which at the time of the Revolution was the most powerful state in Europe. The Revolution led to the development of new political forces such as democracy and nationalism.

It questioned the authority of kings, priests, and nobles. The Revolution also gave new meanings and new ideas to the political ideas of the people. The French Revolution was spread over the ten-year period between 1789 and 1799. The primary cause of the revolution was the disputes over the peoples' differing ideas of reform.

Before the beginning of the Revolution, only moderate reforms were wanted by the people. An example of why they wanted this was because of king Louis XIV's actions. At the end of the seventeenth century, King Louis XIV's wars began decreasing the royal finances dramatically. This worsened during the eighteenth century.

The use of the money by Louis XIV angered the people and they wanted a new system of government. The writings of the philosophes such as Voltaire and Diderot, were critical of the government. They said that not one official in power was corrupt, but that the whole system of government needed some change. Eventually, when the royal finances were expended in the 1780's, there began a time of greater criticism. This sparked the peasant's notion of wanting change. Under the Old Regime in France, the king was the absolute monarch.

Louis XIV had centralized power in the royal bureaucracy, the government departments which administered his policies. Together, Louis XIV and the bureaucracy worked to preserve royal authority and to maintain the social structure of the Old Regime. At this time in French history, the social classes played an important role in the lives of the people. The social structure of France was divided among three groups: the First Estate, the Second Estate, and the Third Estate.

Each social group had a varied type of people within their structure, which presented the different views of the people. The First Estate was the Church. During the ancient regime, the church was equal in terms of its social, economic, and spiritual power. The First Estate owned nearly 10 per cent of all land in France. It paid no taxes but, to support church activities such as school running and caring for the poor, they collected a tithe, or a tax on income. About one-third of the entire clergy in Franceserved as parish priests.

Also included in this estate were the nobles. Some of the nobles lived in luxury in major cities in France, such as Versailles or Paris. Parish priests usually lived a hardworking life. This Estate was the minority of the people in France, having approximately 1 to 2 per cent of the population. The Second Estate in French life was the nobility. They enjoyed extensive rights and privileges.

They made up less than 2 percent of the population. They, like the First Estate, paid hardly any taxes. Economically, the nobility was characterized by great land wealth. Nobles were generally the richest members of the society. Typical sources of income were rents and dues for the use of their farms or estates. The First and Second Estates were grouped together because they had similar political beliefs.

The Third Estate consisted of the commoners. It included the bourgeoisie, peasants and city workers. The bourgeoisie, or the middle class, were by far, the wealthiest. In the bourgeoisie, there were the merchants and manufacturers, lawyers, doctors and others similar to those types of professions. Peasants made up the largest group within the Third Estate. They were forced to pay hefty taxes, tithes to the church, and rents to their landlords for the land that they lived on.

Thelast groups within the Third Estate were the city workers. They were servants, apprentices, and household maids. The major cause of the Revolution was the differences these three groups had. However, there was another important factor during these times. France suffered from harsh economic problems. Poor farm harvests by farmers hurt the economy, and trade rules from the Middle Ages still survived, making trade difficult.

However, the most serious problem was the problem facing the government during this time. The French government borrowed much money to pay for the wars of Louis XIV. Louis still borrowed money to fight wars and to keep French power alive in Europe. These costs greatly increased the national debt, which was, at the time, already too high.

When King Louis XVI came into power, he realized that these problems existed. At first he did not know what to do, until he found a man by the name of Robert Turgot. He eased the financial crisis of France, but he had difficulties when he tried to introduce a major reform, that of taxing the nobles. He had such difficulties because the king could not tax the nobles unless the Parliament approved of the new tax laws. The people in the courts that voted on these laws were the nobles, called nobles of the robe, and therefore rejected Turgot's reform. After Turgot was rejected, the king fired him from his office.

This led Louis XVI to summon the Estates General in 1789. The Estates General was the place where representatives from each social class could be represented. Here, many issues would be discussed, and at this time in French history, it would be centered on the economic crisis. When the Estates General met in 1789, the deputies, or representatives, from the Third Estate demanded that the three estates meet together, with each deputy having an equal vote. That way, the First and Second Estates could outvote the Third Estate.

When the king heard of this, he demanded that the three estates meet separately. This caused anger within the Third Estate. Thedeputies from the Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly. Louis XVI quickly rejected these deputies from the meeting hall. After a while, Louis XVI decided that it would be best if the three estates met together. He ordered the other two estates to join the Third Estate in the National Assembly.

Although now the three estates met together, there were divisions among them. Some wanted to protect their rights, while others wanted to establish a limited, cost monarchy. This sparked some change in the French people. Immediately after the National Assembly secretly began working on a constitution, the peasants and workers expected relief from taxes and other dues that they paid. Little happened, and they still faced their same problems of unemployment and inflation. Then there were reports that Louis XVI was bringing troops to Paris.

This increased the peoples' fears. When Louis brought troops to Versailles, many citizens feared that he wanted to get rid of the National Assembly. As a result, they stormed the Bastille. Other disturbances also broke out. People were caught up in what was called the 'Great Fear'. Rumors passed from village to village that robbers were destroying homes all over France.

When no robbers showed up, the peasants turned to their landlords. They destroyed grain towers, and destroyed tax records, showing that they will never pay any taxes, fines or dues ever again. These events forced Louis to summon the National Assembly on August 4 th. They people discussed possible reforms.

On this day, the National Assembly ended serfdom. Towards the end of August, the National Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man. It stated that democratic principles would be the basis for French government. The job of turning these ideas into a constitution still remained.

While the constitution was in the process of being made, an angry crowd in Paris rioted, forcing the National Assembly to recognize their demands. Some of these rioters were women. They were angry about food prices. They also thought that the king and queen were going against the National Assembly. They demanded that Louis return to Paris where they could watch him. To prevent any further uprisings, he agreed.

Throughout France, all ancient customs were thrown away by the revolution. The National Assembly called for freedom of worship and abolished all special activities and privileges of the Catholic Church. To raise money that was needed, the government began selling off church lands, which angered many Catholics. In 1791, the National Assembly brought forward a new constitution.

It made France a limited monarchy and established a system of separation of powers. Under the constitution, the old distinctions between the clergy, nobles, and commoners disappeared. Few people were satisfied with the constitutional monarchy. Louis XVI was frightened at the actions of the National Assembly. He fled the country with his wife, but he was later arrested and brought back to accept the constitution. After this action by the king, moderate revolutionaries still wanted to preserve the constitutional monarchy, while the radicals distrusted the king and wanted a republic.

These were the causes of the French Revolution. Many peoples' lives were changed during this time. Peoples' ideas also changed. After the war between France and Austria and Prussia, prices increased dramatically, and food shortages occurred. When Louis XVI and his wife fled to the Legislative Assembly, they were imprisoned. They called for a national convention to write a new constitution.

The National Convention met in September. The National Convention tried and convicted Louis XVI of treason. He was sentenced to death. News of his death spread all throughout Europe.

Monarchs of European nations feared that the Revolution would spread. By 1793, the French armies occupied the Austrian Netherlands and were about to invade Prussia. But, in 1793, Great Britain, the Dutch Netherlands, and Spain went along with Prussia and Austria in a war against France. With these five powerful nations fighting against France, the French were outnumbered and outmatched.

This one war was very hard for France. This war caused many deaths at home due to starvation. At this point in the Revolution, some people thought that the Revolution had gone too far and should be put to an end. In the effort to restore temporary peace in the society, the National Convention made a constitution that created a Committee of Public Safety. It campaigned against people who we reconsidered enemies of France. Maximilien Robespierre led the Committee of Public Safety.

Hewanted to create a 'Republic of Virtue'. The Committee went all over France to help other groups find traitors to France. During the Reign of Terror, trials for the people were held often. Many people were brought to the guillotine and killed. Most of the victims were commoners. Thistime of terror had scared the people, and their revolts towards the government ended.

The Committee of Public Safety organized new and powerful armies to protect itself from foreign invasion. The Committee also set limits on prices and salaries. By early in 1794, the French armies were winning battles again, but supporters were asking if these executions of the people were still needed in society. The National Convention then arrested Maximilien Robespierre, and executed him, which ended the Reign of Terror. Between the years of 1789 and 1794, French life had changed dramatically.

There were changes in the lifestyle of the people, as well as in clothes and art. The monarchies were gone, and the king no longer ruled. Te National Convention abolished all feudal customs and ended all slavery. Revolutionary leaders also established the metric system. They wanted to set up free public schools, but that never came about, due to the economic problems. In 1795, after the total ending of the Reign of Terror, the National Convention established another constitution.

It established a new system of government called the Directory. This Directory, however, faced many problems. The legislative deputies begged and 'bought' political votes, and prices rose sharply, something, which the poor classes of society didn't like. Alongwith these problems, it still followed a foreign policy. It built the largest army in Europe during this time. This army was headed by a great military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte.

In 1793, Napoleon won many battles against the British, and at this time, he was a general. He next won battles over Italy, and in 1798, he invaded Egypt. He defeated Egypt's army, but he had to pay for his victory. At sea, the Egyptian Navy, led by Horatio Nelson, destroyed the French fleet at the Nile River. This loss meant that the fleet could not take the soldiers back to France, so, Napoleon left them there and he went back to France. Unbeknownst to the people of France about the tragedy in Egypt, he was still welcomed as a hero.

When talking to the people at home, he found that many people were not satisfied with the Directory. With the help of troops, he overthrew the government in 1799. Under this new government, Napoleon was called the First Consul. His military talents helped him to win popular support.

With his support, he was named the dictator of France. This time in French History was important to the people of France because of the different types of government they had. Socialism, liberalism and nationalism all were results of the French Revolution. It gave people the idea that if they tried, they could reorganize a society whenever it was needed. The greatest legacy of the French Revolution, however, was that people could change anything that they wanted with political ideas, words and laws. The French Revolution was essentially a class war between the emerging Bourgeoisie against the Privileged class, this meant they saw the Privileged class as the only hurdle between themselves and equality within French society.

Many of the ideas they pursued stemmed from the enlightenment and they believed that in order to gain their full economic, social and political potential and gain equality, the Bourgeoisie had to eradicate the privileges that were halting their rise in society. To do this they had to seize power for themselves and gaining power within the government and making badly needed changes, such as, improving the tax system, creating a fair system of production where profits went to the producer, improving the whole fiscal system of the government, improving the geographical divisions of France and the problems they caused, plus many more. The revolution was a fight for equality and recognition by the Bourgeoisie, it was not a revolt against poverty, for many of the French people had been living in poverty for centuries and had learnt to live with it. France had prospered in the Eighteenth century. France had had no major famines or plagues, its population had increased, there had been no wars on its soil, industry such as textiles was doing well and offshore trading had increased enormously.

It was the Bourgeoisie that had enabled this abundance of wealth and they were emerging as the economic power inside France. But their new found power was being smothered by the privileged class. The privileged class of nobility and clergy, who owned the bulk of the land, were using their ancient rights to plunder most of the profits that were made by the lower classes. This meant that the;' i Prosperity came only to those who held fairly large estates, who exercised feudal rights, or who could manipulate farm rents.

^i 1 The only people who fell under these categories were the Nobles of the robe and the clergy. So in order to get the prosperity equally divided in society and thus profit themselves, the bourgeoisie had to get rid of the privileged classes ancient rights. To do this they had to revolt against the government, that supported the privileged classes and which was reluctant to make the necessary reforms. It is seen here that it was the Bourgeoisie were struggling against the Privileged class for their rightful share of profits that was taken away by the privileges of the upper class, not a fight by the peasants who were living in poverty. Taxes and prices were another battlefield for the Bourgeoisie and the Aristocracy to fight on. The tax base in France fell on the middle class who were the producers.

Some of the taxes in France were: the Taille which taxed commoners, nobility exempted, the Capitation which was a poll tax on where you lived and what services you used, nobility exempted, the Vingtieme was a five per cent tax on all income, again the nobility didn " it have to pay. There were also taxes on salt and a tax whenever a person passed over a provincial border, these taxes meant that a large cut of their profits from their work went to the government. This was made worse when the government found itself in major debt. Because the government supported the Aristocracy, who didn " it pay taxes, the middle class was taxed even more. This created resentment for the Aristocracy because they were the ones who were getting all the money through their privileges yet it was the lower, poorer, classes who were getting taxed.

This spurred an even bigger will for equality. To solve this problem their had to be an equal society where taxes were paid according to wealth or land and most importantly by everybody. To achieve this the Bourgeoisie had to be able to voice their views and opinions, thus they had to be able to hold office in government. But the privileges of the nobility stopped them from doing this. Therefor it is shown that the Bourgeoisie were fighting the Privileged class against their privileges which were making their taxes rise and stopping them from being able to make the necessary changes through the government. Again it is seen that poverty was not a factor in this issue because the Bourgeoisie was fighting against privileges that made them the highest tax payers, not because they were living in poverty due to the taxes they had to pay.

The prices of goods such as bread, were increasing rapidly. This was due to numerous reasons, the governments debt problem being the major one. Prices were rising faster than the middle classes wages due to tax increases. The solution to this was that taxes had to be paid by all and they should be measured by wealth. This would mean a lot more revenue for the government and thus a lower tax rate for the middle class and wages would increase and prices drop. It would also allow the Bourgeoisie to profit from price rises rather than suffer because they were the producers.

But because the government still supported the Aristocracy the Bourgeoisie had to get into the government to change things. In order to do this they had to abolish the privileges that were stopping them doing this in order to get rid of the privileged class that was not paying tax and taking a cut of the middle classes profits. So it is seen again that in order to make changes the Bourgeoisie had to eradicate privileges, so it is shown that the Revolution seeds from a battle against the Privileged class, not a battle against poverty. The way the government was run also helped the Privileged class help itself to the middle classes profit margin. France was divided into provinces and districts.

Many of which overlapped each other, this caused problems for the Bourgeoisie who were trading and had to cross these borders. The Aristocracy put dues on anyone who wished to cross the borders and the goods they had. This in itself caused outcries because there was not one single system of weights and measures operating in France so costs varied. When a trader was travelling they had to pay on-costs every time they crossed a border.

This plus the tax and the ancient dues taken by the aristocracy resulted in little or no profit for the producing class, instead the profit fell on the consumers. To solve this the governments structure had to be changed, from an the ancient structure in place at the time to a more modern structure. But again the Monarchy was reluctant to do so. So the middle class was left with two way of getting the changes they needed, getting into positions within the state or force. The problem was though that one had to be of noble birth to be able to hold a government post.

This left force as the only way to solve the problems. Poverty again played no part in the issues in the build up to the revolution, it was a struggle against privileges.' i The commercial and industrial Bourgeoisie had been growing in importance in the Eighteenth century and had become stronger economically than the nobility. ^i 2 If this was the case then surely the government should have seen that if they made a capitalist society France might begin to find her feet again. To gain their full economic and social potential the Bourgeoisie had to have a capitalist society. But the Monarchy was still not making reforms to move in that direction, even though it would be backing the strongest class, economically, in France. The only way was to revolt against the King in order to get rid of the privileges that were stopping them from entering government offices, to try and do something themselves, and from having to pay ancient dues that were cutting into their profits.

Once again poverty had nothing to do with this issue. Another reason why the middle class was heading towards a revolution was because the nobility had used its privileges to broaden the gap between the two classes and thus create discontent. The Bourgeoisie saw its fight as 'iA struggle for equal right^i 3 and freedom from the harsh deal the privileges dealt them. They were discontent because the profit was landing with the consumers and not the producers. Also the nobility didn " it have to pay taxes where as the middle class was losing a lot of money through tax and watching prices soar and wage values plummet. They were also angered at the fact that they were unable to change this because they were stopped from entering the government departments and they were not listened to by the King.

They saw no way of getting what they needed peacefully so they could only do one thing and that was to revolt against privilege and that meant against the Monarchy itself. Most of the Bourgeoisie were unhappy at the way the country was being run. They were given little or no freedoms and were being held back in their rise to social, economic and political power by the privileges of the Privileged class. Although they were unhappy they didn " it really have an ideas to solve the problems they faced. The Enlightenment was the thing they were after. It gave their struggle direction and something to aim for.

The Enlightenment was a period where philosophies were written about personal freedoms etc. The Philosophes who wrote of such things were not spreading revolutionary ideas but were stating what the rights of every human being should be. The Bourgeoisie looked what they had and looked at what they should have and from this revolutionary ideas grew. The freedoms they aimed for included freedoms such as freedom of the press, speech, trade and justice for all. They saw that they weren " it getting these and saw that it was the Privileged class that was stopping them from getting them. It is shown again that the privileges were at the heart of the issues the Bourgeoisie wanted to change, not poverty.

Finally the third estate were allowed to take a step towards its goal. The Estates-General was opened. This was a representative body that was used to pass or veto laws that the King put forward. But the King continued to reflect the interests of the first and second estates. This caused a lot of mistrust and discontent within the third estate.

The King made reforms but they were still beneficial to the upper classes. The Bourgeoisie stormed out of the meeting and made a stand against the King and the aristocracy in the tennis court next door. The King got rid of the Estates-General. The Bourgeoisie saw this as more support for the privileged class by the king. They realised that even though they had a say in government through the Estates-General they still couldn " it change things. They received support for their stand from the Sans Culottes and some nobles.

Demonstrations caused the King to reopen the Estates-General. The Bourgeoisie took control of the third estates interests and had the majority when voting by head was introduced. The Bourgeoisie was now on the road to getting power and getting rid of Privileges. Poverty played no part in the events and issues surrounding the Estate-General, it was fuel led by the Kings continuing support for the Privileged class that put the middle class on the road to revolution. The French Revolution was a middle class uprising. It was an uprising against the privileges that were crippling the middle classes rise to social, economic and political power.

It was caused as a reaction against privileges but was fuel led by greed for power and money by the Bourgeoisie, not to solve the poverty in which thousands of French people lived. This was seen after the revolution when the rich Bourgeoisie and the land owning Bourgeoisie held the same level of power and influence the nobility had before 1789. The French Revolution was a struggle between the Bourgeoisie and the Privileged class. To gain the economic, social and political power they deserved and desired the Bourgeoisie had to get rid of the Aristocracy and the privileges attached to them, because their privileges were taking large percentages of profits, adding on-costs to goods, causing massive inflation and reducing the wages of the middle class. In order to do this though they had get the reforms they wanted by having a role in government and take some of the power from the king, because he supported the Aristocracy. At no point in the build up to the revolution did poverty become an issue, the Bourgeoisie were looking after their own interests and trying to create a equal society in which they would become the most powerful and richest.

Word Count: - 2, 148 words Citation 1. Johnson, D. (1970) The French Revolution, Wayland, London. 2.

Townson, D. (1990) France in Revolution, Hodder and Stoughton, London. 3. Townson, D. (1990) France in Revolution, Hodder and Stoughton, London. Bibliography 1.

Microsoft Encarta, USA, Funk and Wagnall's, 19942. Er gang, R. Europe From the Renaissance to Waterloo Third Edition, USA, Heath and Company, 19673. Townson, D.

France in Revolution, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 19904. Fisher, H. A History of Europe Volume 2, G Modern European History - French Revolution Essay - Jonah Haines - 1293.