The Main Causes of the French Revolution

2204 Words Dec 16th, 2012 9 Pages

I. Causes of the French Revolution
1. International: struggle for hegemony and Empire outstrips the fiscal resources of the state
2. Political conflict: conflict between the Monarchy and the nobility over the “reform” of the tax system led to paralysis and bankruptcy.
3. The Enlightenment: impulse for reform intensifies political conflicts; reinforces traditional aristocratic constitutionalism, one variant of which was laid out in Montequieu’s Spirit of the Laws; introduces new notions of good government, the most radical being popular sovereignty, as in Rousseau’s Social Contract [1762]; the attack on the regime and privileged class by the Literary Underground of “Grub Street;” the broadening influence of public opinion.
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Discontent was becoming more general and vocal.
Discontent was no longer confined to one section of society. This new Disposition of Mind had encouraged various sections of society to become more vocal and critical of the system. People were now willing to speak up about their grievances and their was more pamphlets published in this time.
The Aristocrats were denouncing the monarchy’s absolutism
The Nobility had long been discouraged by their loss of rights. They worked hard at getting themselves in positions of power that surrounded the monarchy. The special concern of the nobles was to see that the King did not introduce tax reform. They wanted more political power to make sure events like this did not happen. While they denounced the monarchy’s absolutism they wanted to set up their own form of it.
The Bourgeoisie also attacked it; they also attacked privileges of the Nobility
For centuries the Bourgeoisie had accepted a position of social inferiority to the nobility. Due to the increasing monopoly that the nobility held on privileges as well as the Bourgeoisie’s own improving conditions, many Bourgeoisie began to despise the aristocracy. They also despised the absolutism of the monarchy. They had been the most influenced by the Disposition of mind.
The peasants
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