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Causes of the French Revolution

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The French Revolution was a period in France when individuals ousted the government and assumed command over public authority. The Revolution started in 1789 and finished in the last part of the 1790s. Before the French Revolution began, individuals of French were isolated into gatherings or “Domains”.

The French Revolution is one of the most critical and renowned occasions in world history. Enduring from 1789 to 1799, it came about, in addition to other things, toppling the government in France. There were different reasons which achieving the Revolution. These incorporate scholarly reasons like the thoughts set forward by the thinkers of the Age of Enlightenment; social reasons like the ascent of the bourgeoisie class; political reasons like the ineffectual administration of French ruler Louis XVI; social reasons like the uncalled-for Estates System; monetary reasons like French association in costly conflicts; and financial reasons like the ascent in the cost of bread. 

Causes of French Revolution 

Social Inequality in France due to the Estate System

During the 1780s, the number of inhabitants in France was around 24 million and 700 thousand and it was partitioned into three homes. The First Estate was the Roman Catholic ministry, which numbered around 100,000. The Second Estate has comprised the French respectability, which numbered around 400,000. Every other person in France; including shippers, legal counselors, workers, and laborers; had a place with the Third Estate, which contained around 98% of the French populace. The Third Estate was avoided from places of high standing and political power; and was peered downward on by different bequests. It was subsequently infuriated and despised its situation in French society. This prompted them to meet up to send off the French Revolution in 1789.

Tax Burden on Third Estate 

The First Estate in France, or the ministry, possessed 10% of the land however it involved under 0.5% of the populace. It was exceptionally well off and settled no charges. It had many honors, including the assortment of offerings. Tithes were one-10th of yearly produce or income taken as an assessment for the help of the Church. The Second Estate, or the aristocrats, possessed around 25% of the land. They were excluded from covering many assessments and were permitted to gather levy from workers. Interestingly, the Third Estate had to pay weighty assessments while the other two were excluded. This troubled the Third Estate prompting they’re scrutinizing this vile Estates System and intend to oust it.

The Rise of Bourgeoisie

The bourgeoisie were the rich people of the Third Estate who began to become persuasive in the years prompting the insurgency. They developed into another rank with their own plan and political desire. The bourgeoisie loathed the place of the First and the Second Estate, which they accepted was gotten from their endeavors. Also, they sought to achieve political balance with the other two domains. The longing of the bourgeoisie to free themselves of medieval and regal infringements on their own freedom, business possibilities, and responsibility was one reason which prompted the French Revolution.

Thoughts put Forward by Enlightenment Philosophers

The Age of Enlightenment was a scholarly and philosophical development that ruled the universe of thoughts in Europe during the eighteenth 100 years. Edification thinkers like John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Baron de Montesquieu scrutinized the conventional outright power of the ruler and divisions of society like the Estates System. For instance, Locke contended that a pioneer may possibly oversee a general public assuming he had the assent of those he represented; Rousseau was against all class divisions, and Montesquieu pushed for an arrangement of government in view of the partition of abilities. The works of Enlightenment masterminds were examined in France more than elsewhere and they extraordinarily affected the progressives.

Monetary Crisis caused due to Costly Wars

All through the eighteenth hundred years, France took an interest in a progression of costly conflicts principally against its drawn-out rival Great Britain. Louis XV, who managed France from 1715 to 1774, lost the Seven Years’ War against Britain. He then attracted up an arrangement to retaliate for the misfortune by building a bigger naval force and an enemy of the British alliance of partners. Be that as it may, this man brought about a pile of obligations. Louis XVI, grandson of Louis XV succeeded him in 1774, then elaborate France in the American War of Independence against Britain. However the U.S. won the conflict, and France acquired little from it. French help for the conflict was costly costing 1.066 million French lives, a gigantic total at that point. 

Uncommon Weather and Poor Harvests in Preceding Years

In June 1783, Laki’s spring of gushing lava in Iceland ejected sending volcanic debris high into the air in Europe. This prompted a serious winter in Europe in 1784 and the accompanying summers included outrageous dry seasons that caused unfortunate harvests and starvation. France then, at that point, encountered one more series of unfortunate harvests in 1787 and 1788 with outrageous winters. 10 years of outrageous weather patterns and unfortunate harvests negatively affected the unfortunate workers of France, who were attempting to endure every day. The disappointment of the workers irritated them to revolt.

The Rise in Cost of Bread

The circumstance in France deteriorated when unfortunate harvests made the cost of flour increment decisively, which thus raised the cost of bread. Bread was the staple nourishment for most French residents and it has been assessed by antiquarians that the common laborers of France were spending upwards of 90% of their day-to-day pay on bread. Louis XVI executed the liberation of the grain market however it brought about an additional rise the bread costs. The ascent in the expense of bread seriously impacted the normal French residents who detested the ruler for not having the option to settle the food emergency.

Inadequate Leadership of Louis XV and Louis XVI

In France, as in most other European countries, the ruler administered based on the heavenly right of lords. He was in this manner not liable to his subjects. Nonetheless, the methods of reasoning of Enlightenment masterminds made the public think in an unexpected way. Louis XV neglected to beat the monetary issues confronting France. He couldn’t orchestrate the clashing gatherings at court to show up at sound monetary approaches. Louis XVI then, at that point, attempted to achieve revolutionary changes but flopped pitiably. The poor financial state of the country maddened the majority and they became incredulous of their ruler. In addition, both Louis XV and his grandson knew about the enemy of monarchist powers that were undermining their family’s standards yet they couldn’t stop them.

Parliaments’ Successful Opposition to Reforms

A few French clergymen, including Anne Robert Jacques Turgot and Jacques Necker, proposed modifications to the French expense framework in order to incorporate the aristocrats as citizens. This might have decreased the monetary emergency in the country and would have diminished the resentment of the poor as the expense framework would have become all the more. A parliament in France was a commonplace redrafting court. They were not official bodies but rather comprised of redrafting judges. The parliaments were the points of honorability’s protection from illustrious changes and they forestalled any change in tax assessment that would incorporate respectability.

The Extravagant Lifestyle of French Monarchy

The lavish use of extravagances, first by Louis XV and afterward by Louis XVI, intensified the monetary emergency confronting the country and was one of the essential explanations for the transformation. For instance, the development and rebuilding of the Palace of Versailles through the seventeenth and eighteenth hundreds years brought about an immense expense for the country. These enormous uses by the French government caused disappointment among individuals who started to see its chiefs as inefficient which they experienced because of the poor financial condition of the country. This thusly prompted public agitation and at last the Revolution.

Financial Crisis of 1780s

The Financial Crisis of the 1780s was a period of economic turmoil that began with the bankruptcy of the French East India Company in 1785. This led to a sharp increase in the price of bread, which sparked riots in Paris and other cities. The financial crisis deepened when King Louis XVI attempted to enact austerity measures, including raising taxes and reducing government spending. This led to further unrest, and ultimately the storming of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution.

Political Crisis of 1780s

The Political Crisis of the 1780s was a period of turmoil in the French government. The main cause of the crisis was the financial problems of the state, which led to a series of protests by the people. The other causes of the crisis were the corruption in the government and the increasing power of the king. The financial problems of the state were caused by a number of factors. Firstly, there was a lot of spending on wars, which drained resources from the state. Secondly, there was a decrease in revenue from taxes due to the economic recession. Thirdly, there was an increase in borrowing by the state, which further increased its debt burden.

The corruption in government was another major cause of the Political Crisis of the 1780s. The officials in government were not accountable to anyone and they misused their power for personal gain. This led to resentment among the people who felt that they were being exploited by their own government. The third cause of the Political Crisis of the 1780s was the increasing power of the king. The king had absolute power and he used it to further his own interests rather than those of his subjects. This led to a feeling among people that they were not being governed democratically.

Causes of Storming of Bastille

The Storming of the Bastille was one of the defining moments of the French Revolution. It was a symbol of the people’s power and it showed that the people would no longer tolerate the rule of King Louis XVI. There were many causes of the Storming of the Bastille. One cause was the growing feeling among the people that they deserved more say in how their country was governed. The French king had absolute power and he was answerable to no one but himself. This frustrated and angered many people, who felt that they should have a say in how their country was run. Another cause of the Storming of the Bastille was economic inequality. The rich were getting richer while the poor were getting poorer. This led to resentment and frustration among those who were struggling to make ends meet. Finally, another cause of the storming of the Bastille was fear. The people were afraid that King Louis XVI would use his army to crush any uprising against him. They were also afraid that he would take away their rights and freedoms. These fears led to paranoia and ultimately to violence.

Causes of Women’s March on Versailles

The Women’s March on Versailles was a turning point in the French Revolution. On October 5, 1789, a large group of women from Paris and the surrounding area marched to the Palace of Versailles to demand justice for the high price of bread. The women were met with resistance by the guards, but they eventually made their way into the palace. The march was a response to the growing economic crisis in France. The bread was one of the most essential food items, and its price had tripled since 1788. The cost of living was rising, but wages were not. This put a tremendous strain on working families, who were already struggling to make ends meet. The Women’s March on Versailles signaled a shift in power from the monarchy to the people. It was an act of defiance that would ultimately lead to the downfall of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Sample Questions

Question 1: Examine the political reasons for the French Revolution.


The Bourbon ruler of France, Louis XVI, was an incredibly absolutist and frail-willed lord who carried on with an existence of profane extravagance. This prompted a great deal of embitterment among the majority who then were driving the existence of outrageous neediness and inescapable appetite.

Question 2: What are the scholarly reasons for the French Revolution?


The eighteenth century was set apart by a cognizant refusal by French masterminds of the ‘Heavenly Rights Theory’. Scholars like Rousseau dismissed the worldview of outright government and declared the principle of balance of man and power of individuals. They assumed a critical part in uncovering the fault lines of the old political framework, for example, the old system, and articulating the famous discontent.

Question 3: How did the edification impact the French Revolution?


The thoughts of the Enlightenment assumed a significant part in motivating the French Revolution, which started in 1789 and underscored the privileges of average people rather than the select freedoms of the elites. Thusly, they established the groundwork for present-day, judicious, majority rule social orders.

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Last Updated : 29 Nov, 2022
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