Causes of the French…
Causes of the French Revolution
Louis XVI is an
, meaning he is the only one able to make decisions in France. This angered many people as most of the laws benefitted the wealthy.
A noble first brings about the idea of rebelling by saying that the state was built by the people, so it should be run by the people.
Growing burden of feudal dues
In France, the class divide meant that the poor were very poor and the rich were very rich. The poor were having to pay tax, meaning they had barely any money to themselves.
As the burden of feudal dues became worse, people were starving, poor and weak.
Growth of industry/ the rise of the middle class
The middle class was growing bigger, with people becoming rich but still not having a say in politics.
America had just beaten Britain in the Civil War. The British had recruited French troops in the Civil war and the ideas of
freedom and democracy
influenced the soldiers when they returned to France.
Growth of new ideas
New ideas such as that everyone is born equal began to come about. People began to think that if everyone was born equal why Louis was in a position of power.
Attempt to tax the nobles
Louis asked the nobility to pay tax, but they refused to do so. This was an injustice as the people with all the money did not have to pay tax but the people with the least money were having to pay tax.
Tax burden on the Third Estate
The tax rate was rising rapidly as the country's debt rose. As well as this, most of tax was indirect and so they had no control of where this ended up.
Growing governmental debt
The government was in a 4000 million livre debt and had an extra 318 million livre debt interest.
Louis called the Estates General because he was in debt. Louis wanted to raise the taxes, the nobles hoped they could control taxes and get concessions, the people of France wanted Louis to solve their problems.
Louis' mistake was that he did not propose major reforms as he was more concerned for his son's health. This caused many representatives from the Third Estate and the clergy from the First estate to group together to form the National Assembly.
The people of France were getting desperate by 1789 because the cost of living rose and the wage was not increasing enough to cover this cost. They were starving as the crops were failing. People were losing their jobs due to the financial crisis.
Tennis Court Oath
was an oath made by the newly founded National Assembly who said that they would not disband until they had achieved their aim. Louis was forced to agree to their demands but secretly started calling up troops. The people of France were afraid Louis would use these troops to destroy the National Assembly.