Causes And Background Of The French Revolution

1786 Words Oct 20th, 2016 8 Pages
Causes and Background of the French Revolution
French Revolution: 1789 - 1799
French military intervention helped garner revolutions elsewhere.
At the time, France was the most populous and advanced society.
“The essential fact about the Old Regime was that it was still legally aristocratic and in some ways feudal. Everyone belonged legally to an ‘estate’ or ‘order’ of society. The First Estate was the clergy, the Second Estate was the nobility, and the Third Estate included everyone else, i.e. the peasants and the bourgeois. The individual rights and personal prestige varied between the estates.”
The rich Third Estate (the bourgeois) was extremely influential before the revolution.
The Old Regime
Over ⅘ of the people were rural. France was mainly a country of small farmers.
The agrarian system had developed so much that there was no serfdom; the peasant owed no labor to the lord.
The manor, however, still retained certain surviving features of the feudal age, like hunting rights and taxation over surrounding land. However, there was lots of diversity of land ownership. The peasants owned 40% of the land, while the nobles and the church combined (First and Second Estates) owned only 30%.
In 1789, the bourgeois owned more land than the church and almost as much as the nobility. (between 10-20%.)
France had a sense of unity. Since the peasants owned 40% of the land yet paid many fees to the manorial lords, social conditions were unpopular.
Political Culture and Public Opinion…
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