The Influence Of The Ancien Regime

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“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” was the motto of the French Revolution. This radical movement in France began in 1789, and lasted until 1799. Though it might seem like a sudden change to some, it was a storm that spent many years brewing. The problem was the “Ancien Regime,” which meant the class system, led by a monarch. The upper class, known as the nobility and clergy, brought on several political, social, and economic problems which the lower classes sought to change. Their efforts against these regulations of the Ancien Regime began the French Revolution. The Ancien Regime was made up of three social classes: the Nobility, Clergy, and the Third Estate. The Third Estate was made up of the Bourgeoisie, who were merchants and tradesmen,…show more content…
However, one major key that he was aware of was taxation. One of the many privileges that came along with nobility was exemption from taxation. Simply because one was born into a noble family, they never had to pay taxes to the king. This left all the burden upon the bourgeoisie and the third estate. A great portion of the third estate was made up of farmers, who often struggled just to get by. They believed it was extremely unfair that they had to bear the burden of taxes, while nobility did no work at all, and did not have to pay. Arthur young said, “The abuses attending the levy of taxes were heavy and universal.”(Young, p.378) The Monarch often increased taxes on the poor and the bourgeoisie, so that the king could afford all the wars he led and his lavish lifestyle. Nobility often led a life so grand, that they would hire servants just to carry their luggage. According to Madam Campan, who wrote about the life of Marie Antoinette, “The tire-woman had, likewise, under her order a principal under-tire-woman, charged with the care and preservation of all the queen's dresses: two women to fold and press such articles as required it; two valets, and one porter of the wardrobe. The latter brought every morning into the queen's apartments, baskets covered with taffety, containing all that she was to wear during the day, and large cloths of green taffety covering the robes and the full dresses.” Not only would noble women go shopping constantly and live luxurious lives with no work, they would hire others to do simple tasks. To have these riches and pay no taxes infuriated both the third estate the and bourgeoisie. The National Assembly fought to abolish these unfair privileges in the French Revolution, but declaring in the “Decree for Abolishing the Feudal System,” “Pecuniary privileges, personal or real, in the payment of taxes are
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