Causes Of The French Revolution - Grade 10 - Essay

1201 words - 5 pages

The ideas of liberty that emerged from the philosophers and the influence of ideas from
the American war of Independence was the primary as well as the main cause of the
french revolution. This period of new ideas and intellectual thinking became known as
the age of enlightenment, in which the people of France began to question the authority
and systems in France, it was this movement of ideas and thinking that subsequently
led to the other social, political and economical causes of the french revolution.
The american war of independence and the ideas from the philosophers at the time, led
the citizens in France to, for the first time, question their views and opinions on the
social system in France. The social conditions in France were both unequal and
exploitative. In France the people were divided into three estates, the clergy and the
nobility formed the first two estates and they had all the privileges. They owned most of
the land and did not pay taxes. The third estate, which were mostly peasants, had to
pay all taxes and were denied any land or privileges. It was this unjust and unequal
system that led to tension and the need for something to change. In America, the
American colonies together with France, were fighting against the British for the
American colonies to become independent and free from British rule. They were
successful and many of the ideas from the French philosophers were included in their
constitution. So when some of the french soldiers returned to France inspired by their
ideas of democracy for which they had been fighting for, ideas began to grow in France.
The war began to inspire people to form their own opinions and envision a society that
was equal, for the poverty stricken and angry third estate, these ideas of democracy
gave them the answer to their problems.
The cost of sending an army to fight in the american war of indepence caused an
economic crisis in France. France was already in a bad-state, it was unstable and
lacking in funds. The upper class continued to spend the country's money whilst the
lower and middle class were heavily taxed and continued to live a life of poverty. The
high cost of the American war, sent the country further into debt and because of the
poor tax system it impacted the third estate the greatest, making their living costs
greater and making them even more desperate for change, so when ideas of liberty and
equality from the american war of independence and from the philosophers in France
started to form, it gave the desperate third estate a chance to change their situation.
The soldiers of France also would have come back, talking of a country who had
gained their independence through challenging the authority, and were now both equal
and wealthy. This would have further inspired the third estate to take a stand, and mimic
what the American had just done in a desperate attempt to change the system
Due to the unjust and unequal social system and the failing economic situati...

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