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Political Power in France 1780-1815 - Essay Example

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The French Revolution of 1789-1799 had a great impact in the shift of power from one individual to another. This Revolution experienced the overthrowing of the monarchy. This paper will look into the events of that time and how they led to a dramatic change in political power in France…
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Political Power in France 1780-1815
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"Political Power in France 1780-1815"

Download file to see previous pages The period 1780-1815 was marked by various happenings in France. In the years before the French Revolution, France was experiencing difficult times. The cost of necessities had gone up tremendously. Bread, which was the staple food of the French, had its cost sky rocketing. The reason behind the price of bread going up was that a severe drought and extreme winter hit France. These conditions affected wheat yield which consequently affected bread production. Due to the law supply of bread and the high demand for the same from people, the prices went high. The poor Frenchmen could not afford bread. During the same period, King Louis XVI was in reign. He was weak and could not make decisions in time. He married Marie Antoinette with whom they lived lavishly at the expense of their countrymen. France was in huge debts following the policies of rulers before Louis XVI. Louis XIV and XV had used foreign policies that led France to costly wars. France was driven into deeper debts with the royal family and the nobility living lavishly. A taxation system that exempted the Nobility and Clergy was put in place. This was unfair since these were the well off people in society yet they were not to pay these taxes. All these and more factors that will be discussed in the paper will explain the unfolding that took place in France during the period 1780 to 1815. As mentioned earlier, the wars that were initiated by Louis XVI had put France in serious debts. Food scarcity was also becoming a very big problem. Economic problems were on the rise during this period. Suggestions by some ministers to tax the nobility were met with contempt. The problem of the serious debts was not going to be sorted if the nobility and the clergy continued to be exempted. By 1788, the attempts to salvage France from these debts were registered a failure. A meeting of the Estates-General was called by the King. The First Estate was made up of church members or the clergy. The second Estate constituted of the nobility, then the third Estate constituted of the remaining Frenchmen. The issue of classism was not uncommon during meetings. The third Estate, which constituted mostly of the Bourgeoisies, had the majority of members. The last meeting of the Estates-General had been held in 1614. Being the majority, the third Estate demanded greater representation in the house. Their demands were not met which led to their breaking away and forming the National Assembly. This group was the voice of the whole nation thereby challenging the King and the two orders. Liberalism that was fueled by the spirit of Enlightenment led to liberal-minded members of the clergy and nobility joining the National Assembly. The members of the National Assembly accentuated the need for the parliament in France being similar to that in Britain. These people swore to see to it that a constitution was written and sanctioned. The Tennis Court Oath as it came to be known was the movement by the National Assembly in their bid to get a new constitution for France. King Louis XVI, rallied up his troops against the supporters of the National Assembly, as well as, on the National Assembly members. Paris and Versailles were besieged by the King’s defense force. However, the king vacillated bringing the first act of the movement come to a stand. For the first time in the history of the French monarchy, Louis capitulated some of the power that was held absolute. This power had been considered absolute for over two centuries and many say that Louis XVI surrender jeopardized his authority over France. When France’s finance minister, Jacques Necker was dismissed, many were displeased. During the severe climatic conditions, food ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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