Essay on Causes and Effects of The French Revolution

1402 Words 6 Pages
The French Revolution was a time of great social, political and economic tumult in the closing years of the Eighteenth Century. The motivators pushing French citizenry toward revolution are varied in scope and origin. They range from immediate economic woes to an antiquarian class structure. Modern historians still debate the value of the changes that the revolution brought to modern society. The middle class made gains that would never be rescinded, but do revolutions always end in tyranny? In the years before the revolution citizens were rigidly constrained by the estates of the realm. These social strata had been in place since the medieval ages. The people were divided into three groups; clergy, nobility and everyone else. The clergy …show more content…
The high costs of maintaining the army and navy exacerbated the situation, along with the lavish lifestyle of King Louis XVI and his queen, Marie-Antoinette. Louis appointed Charles de Calonne as comptroller-general to solve France’s financial crisis. Calonne knew that the only way to get France out of debt was to fairly distribute the tax burden among the three estates. Of course, this did sit well with the nobility and Calonne was dismissed after giving his presentation at the Assembly of Notables. In a desperate act, Louis called the Estates General. The Estates General was an ancient practice that had not been called since 1614. Events there would prove to be the beginning of the revolution proper. France suffered under years of inept and self-serving monarchs. Louis XVI was preceded by his grandfather, Louis XV. It was his loss of public opinion and war spending that put his grandson in such a precarious position in the years after his reign. The rule of Louis XVI would prove to be a doomed one. He was ousted after a comparatively short 17 years. The outdated political system gave way to a constitutional monarchy, and when that failed, the French Republic. This Republic however would not prove to last. Feudalism was the whole of existence for rural commoners in the time before the revolution. Farmers had no right to the land they worked and lived on. Serfs were beholden to their manor lord