Term Paper on The French Revolution

This essay has a total of 627 words and 4 pages.

The French Revolution

The year 1789 brought France the biggest period of change she had or would ever
experience. During the next ten year period, now known as the French Revolution, saw the
overturn of and murder of Louis XVI, a time of chaos and much bloodshed, and the
establishment of a new government that would change France forever. Many aristocrats were
murdered during the Reign of Terror, and many leaders of the revolution themselves were
murdered as the people continued to revolt. A new constitution was written and then
another immediately followed as the Declaration of the Rights Man was proclaimed
throughout the land. This time period ended when Napoleon Bonaparte became the first
consul of France.


France Before the Revolution
Before the revolution, France was divided into three classes, or estates as they were
called. The first two, the nobility and the clergy, received many privileges that the
other classes did not. The third class was made up of merchants, professional people, the
workers, and the peasants. This caused a major division between the classes and the third
class was becoming very upset with the way they were being treated.

At this point in French history, the kings of France had believed that they were only
responsible to God for the way they chose to rule. However, if they wanted to receive
advice, they could ask a legislative body called the Estates General that contained
representatives from all three classes. The problem was that the kings were not required
to do this and had not done so since 1614.

The royal taxes were very heavy which drained all the money from the third class and was
then used by the king to live luxuriously. The nobles also drained all of the money from
their estates so that they could continue to live a rich lifestyle.


Causes of the Revolution
The Philosophers. The philosophers were brilliant men who wanted to reorganize the
government and society on a basis of reason. They're were some who thought that the
English system of government was better while one man's writings, Jean Jacques Rousseau,
even influenced the writers of the United States Constitution.


Louis XVI Becomes King. Louis XVI became king when he was after his grandfather Louis XV
died. The young king meant well for his country, but was inexperienced, immature, and not
very intelligent in his dealings with government.

When Louis XVI came to the throne, there were some big problems in France, the main
problem being money. He proposed some new government reforms to help raise money, but the
nobility and clergy were not happy with them as well as the land tax that was proposed
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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