Compare and Constrast Essay on French revolution

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french revolution

French Revolution

French Revolution, one of the major revolutions in
European history. The revolution marks a turning point in
Frence history and in world history in general. Forms of
government, morals, ideologies, and social development were
greatly affected by it in all Europe and even in U.S.

The beginning of the Frence Revolution in generally
dated from June, 1789. But the crisis in political and
economic affairs in France in that period was so great that
social unrest, rioting, a and rebellion were common for two
years before. The end of the revolutionary perios was
marked by the establishment of the Empire by Napolean in

The basic causes of the French Revolution were rooted
in the rigidities of French society in the 18th century.
Lines of distinction between classes were tightly drawn, and
opportunites for social advancement were very few. The
economy was not growing as fast as it should have been.
Then needs of an increasing population were not being met.
Governmet was inefficient and unrepresentative. Economic
problems made the heavy tax exempt but neary so, while the
peasents and middle classes were subjected to greater and
greater burdens. Crops falied, and trade was stagnant.
The people could no longer be taxed, but the government
faced bankruptcy unless new revenues were found. The only
soulution was to tax the privileged classes. But they were
jealoous of their privileged posistion. Altought they were
not completely unwilling to contribute some additional
taxes, they never understood how grave the economis
crisis was. They say the crises as only some form of
financial corruption that could be explained away by firing
the king's finace ministers. The libiral ideas of the French
Enlightenment had been absorbed by some of the clergy and
the nobility but only by a very few. The upper classes
in France in 1789 were more jealous of their privileges then
they had been at any time in the 100 years before.

When the French aided the Americans during the American
Revolution, they only sent men and ships and guns but lent
saubstantial financial aid as well. As a result, the budget
of the French government was thrown out of balance. When
economic depression in France made the every growing debt
even greater, the state seemed on the verge of bankruptcy.
It was necessary to vote new taxes.

The king's power was not as absoulute as he pretended
it was, and no new taxes could be decreed unless the king's
edicts were registered in the district courts, the
parliaments. Their members were mostly members of the
priviliged classes and were always ready to oppose the
king's measures. Becuase of their continual refusal to
register tax and reform edicts, it was necessary for the
king, Louis XVI, to find some other way of legalizing his

France had never had a parliament exactly like the
British, but it had a similar institution called the States-
General. Unlike the British institution it met very
frequently. The last one had met in 1616. The States-
General was called, and it convened in May, 1789.

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