History: French Revolution: Social And Economic Causes For French Revolution

696 words - 3 pages

A. The king-1789 Loius XVI-Married to Marie Antoinette (Austria)-Lived in luxury at palace of Versailles-Believed in the "Divine right" of kings (g-d had put him on this earth as his representative on the throne)-Only G-d could remove him from the throne. The people could not remove him. In theory he ruled as absolute power (absolute Monarch) - monarchy in which kings power is unlimited.- Legislative - the Estate General(Parliament) had not met since 1614 - lit de justice - overule the Parliament-Judicial - lettre de cachet (a letter that could put a person into prison without a trial-Executive - unlimited executiveB. Clergy - first estate-Upper clergy-Lower clergyUpper clergy-e.g. Archbishops, AbbotsMany churchman - took position for advantages-85% of Church's income used by them-Owned and rented ...view middle of the document...

Highest Position in army and navy but incompetent and not qualified for these positions.iii)Nobles of the Robe-Created in 17th Century-Role was to be loyal to the King-Nobles could purchase their positionsE.g. Judges in Parliaments of FranceTherefore Nobles had certain privileges-Exempt from paying taxes-Death sentence did not apply to nobles-Corporal punishment did not apply-Did not have to do military service-Got top positions - not qualified-Right to impose heavy dues on peasantsN.B. Nobles content but grievance that they had no political power.Economic CausesBy mid 1780's France was bankruptWhy?1)Expensive wars - France wanted to extend military domination over Europe therefore fought wars against Austria, Britain and the American war of independence, which left France in heavy debt. To survive France had to borrow money and therefore had to raise loans.2)Extravagance of French court - Especially Marie Antoinette (e.g., buying 100 dresses a year)3)Bad trading conditions - prevented economic progress - internal trade barriers (Octois) prevented expansion and trade4) Revocation of edict of Nantes - ( Hugvends lived in walled cities to protect them from the Catholics) This revocation of freedom of religion led to exodus of thousands of hugvenots (Protestants) and this prevented growth of industry in France.5)Weak financial System: tax exemption-Those who could pay did not therefore France deprived of income.-Tax Collection - Tax collectors corrupt and often pocketed parts of taxes. They made huge profits but country deprived of income


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