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The French Revolution - Research Paper Example

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Name Instructor Course Date The French Revolution The French revolution dates back to 1789. The French people changed their form of government during 1789 revolution. These people were determined to eliminate the excess privilege that was associated with the royal family…
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Download file to see previous pages There has been, however, a lack of consensus about what led to the French revolution exactly. In same context, different historians have come with different theories that explain what really caused the revolution. Gorges Lefebvre, for an instance used his Marxist interpretation to explain the cause of the revolution. For him, the French revolution was rooted in the bourgeoisie rise (Burbeck 18-19). Another Marxist writer, Albert Mathiez, was of the notion that the French revolution stemmed from class conflict (Duvall 13-14). Majority of historians and students of the French revolution hold the notion that this insurrection was a bourgeois revolution, fueled by class conflict. For a long time, inequality reined supreme in France. In ancient French, the clergy and nobles led privileged lives. They were, for instance, exempt from paying tax on their incomes. “The taxes were mainly paid by the Third Estate.” 1 Third Estates consisted of artisans, peasants, professionals and merchants. Political and economic inequalities also existed in France. Furthermore, despite the Third Estates paying their dues to the king and nobles, they were still required to pay dues to the church. Paying the dues to the church was seen as pointless obligation because people were coming to terms with the age of reason. The writers and poets of this time also played a critical role in sparking thought and dissatisfaction among the French people (Burbeck 18-19). Before the revolution, France was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. This bankruptcy was caused partly by the wars of Louis XIV and by the royal family spendthrift indulgence and that of his predecessors. Even the so, the 250 million dollars that America was lent to fight for their independence also contributed to the bankruptcy. France in 1789 in presumption was a supreme monarch, a progressively more disliked form of government at the time. In reality, the King’s ability to assume on his supreme powers was edged by the equally disliked power and rights of the nobility and the clergy, the surviving scions of feudalism. The massive and growing population of French middle class, and a section of the nobles and working class, had embraced the ideology of equality and liberty of the majority of people. Similarly, philosophers and intellectuals like Voltaire, Turgot, and Didero influenced this type ideology. Little, however, is attributed to the theorists of Enlightenment. Additionally, the French had been influenced by the American Revolution, which portrayed that it was possible to implement Enlightenment ethics about the organization of the government. The French revolutionalists ganged up against the less democratic government (Orlando 121). Taxes rates in France were relatively high. Taxation was based on a mechanism that targeted internal tariffs that Balkanized some regions of France. This regional separation led to a slow economic growth. For instance, taxes like gabelle were taxed on farmers, whereupon the private collectors signed contracts for the collection of taxes. This mechanism led to unfair collection of taxes. Similarly, royal taxes were collected as mandatory labor. Furthermore, this method also exempted the clergy and nobles from paying taxes on their pay perquisites. The weight of the tax burden was placed on the shoulders of merchants, peasants, and business classes. These classes of people were denied government positions, causing insurrection (Tocqueville 111). For a century, the French monarch operated without ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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