DBQ Essay: Causes Of The French Revolution

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The French Revolution of 1789 had many long-range causes. Political, social, and economic conditions in France mad many French people discontented. Most disaffected were merchants, artisans, workers, and peasants. The ideas of the Enlightenment thinkers brought new views of government and society. The American Revolution also influenced the coming of The French Revolution. Therefore, The French Revolution of 1789 had several causes not only due to political, but also due to social and economic issues and problems as well that made France ripe for revolution. The most important long-range causes of this revolution, however, were the ideas of the Enlightenment, the unfair taxes, the gap between the rich and poor, and the American Revolution…show more content…
There are very few members in the first and second estates, yet they owned the most land, while the third estate made up most of the population, yet owned very little land. “First: Clergy - 1% of the people owned 10% of the land. Second Estate: Nobles - 2% of the people owned 35% of the land. Third Estate - Middle class, peasants, city workers 97% of the people owned 55% of the land.” (Document 2) There were high prices, high taxes, and people were listening to enlightenment ideas. Louis XVI decided to tax the Second Estate. They called a meeting of the Estates-General - an assembly of representatives from all three estates. (ROI) In addition, as a political cause, the third estate had no privileges or say in the government,while both the clergy and nobles did. As mentioned before, the inequality of taxes proved another gap in the social classes. “The Revolution had been accomplished in the minds of men long before it was translated into fact.... The middle class...was sensitive to their inferior legal position. The Revolution came from them-the middle class. The working classes were incapable of starting or controlling the Revolution. They were just beginning to learn to read.” (Document 4) Estates- General was the first such meeting in 175 years. Met on May 5th,1789 in Versailles. In the Estate- General each estate had one vote. (ROI)

Finally, the influence of the American Revolution and
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