French Empire Research Paper

Decent Essays

The French empire has often been perceived as being one of the most difficult empires to define as a total whole (SOURCE). There is no such thing as one coherent history of the French empire, but rather the Empire could be divided up into roughly three different individual empires. One can distinguish between three different French empires as starting with the period of the rule of the ancién regime, known as the Kingdom of France, lasting from 1594 to 1789. Subsequently, one can distinct the empire as created by Napoleon I as a second empire which lasted from 1804 to 1814 (and a brief restoration in 1805), which was the first to be actually named an empire, and finally the second French empire, founded by Napoleon's nephew Napoleon III …show more content…

So when crises hit, the third estate was always hit hardest as their taxes were increased dramatically to maintain the wealth of the other estates. More importantly, whereas the first and second estate had direct representation in the judicial bodies of the empire, the third estate did not and so their voices were barely if not at all heard. The before mentioned crises found their foundations in the engagement of the empire in several costly military endeavors, most notably the Seven Years War and the American Revolutionary War, as well as in persistent crop failures which damaged a partially agriculture-dependent economy. Resulting famines putting further pressure on the people and in addition to these social and economic inequalities the emerging ideas of the Enlightenment – striving for intellectual reasoning and individual equality rather than building upon tradition of inequality – were of significant influence. The result of the Revolution was a much more equal society, primarily through one of its most important documents, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The document holds several important passages regarding the fundamental rights of people, claiming these to be

Get Access