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Development Of French Economic Crisis Into Political Revolution By October 1789

934 words - 4 pages

Several factors that contributed to the development of France's economic crisis between 1787 and 1783 into a political revolution, one of which being the inevitable bankruptcy the nation faced from 1786. France's financial problem resulted from the country's participation in four foreign wars between 1733 and 1783. This heavy expenditure left France in heavy debt and with financiers reluctant to lend more money, bankruptcy was imminent. The fiscal policy arose from this in attempt to raise more revenue through a complete tax reform. France's tax system was both unjust and inefficient, with the peasants of the Third Estate contributing most heavily and the upper classes exempt. The ...view middle of the document...

From these feelings of discontent, the working class identified the relationship between their problems and the political situation of the nation. This realization that the government was greatly influential to their rights and well being, urged action to be taken to reform France's political status, hence starting the revolution.The royal family was inundated by the public's negative perception of them, encouraged either by the actions of Louis XVI and his queen personally, or by the distribution of pamphlets by enemies. Marie-Antoinette was greatly criticized for her wasteful spending during the financial crisis in France. Although the stories were at times exaggerated and not always true, the public believed these perceptions, creating resentment of the queen. The concepts of divine right and absolutism were powerful by religious confirmation. However a deluge of crises during the reign of Louis XVI undermined the people's belief in his benevolence and credibility. The consequences of the King's decisions and the popular ideas of the Enlightenment changed the people's positive view of him. This, compounded by the grievances of financial struggle eventually led to the demand for the King's deposition. Retaliation by the parlement using remonstrance decreased the people's confidence in Louis and challenged his competence. The parlements refused to register any laws and although the King, in fighting their resistance, ordered them to dissolve, he could not stop their popular return. Louis believed strongly in the absolute monarchy, despite the radical ideas of the time and the growing discontents of his people, hence his failure to support plans for reform in 1788. The King's reluctance to accept political change and the unpopularity of his wife were detrimental to the reputation of the French monarchy; therefore a...

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