The French Revolution lasted from 1789 to 1799 and is one of the most significant events in history. The outcome of the revolution was the end of monarchy in France. There were several causes of the revolution that ended with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Following are the causes of the French Revolution
France had an estate system. The First Estate consisted of the Roman Catholic Clergy, the Second Estate was the French nobility, and the Third Estate consisted of peasants, laborers, lawyers, and merchants. The Third Estate was excluded from positions of honor and political power and was looked down upon by the other Estates. This was resented and led to the Third Estate coming together to revolt against the other two Estates.
The Third Estate was forced to pay heavy taxes while the other Estates were exempted from paying taxes. This was questioned by the Third Estate that planned to fight against this tax system.
Rise of Bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie referred to the rich men and women who became highly influential in the years leading to the revolution. These men and women did not like the power that the other two Estates had and wanted to get rid of the feudal system and this was a major reason for the French Revolution.
France was suffering from an economic and financial crisis because of the high costs involved in the war. The French also supported the American War and spent a lot of money. This led to the mounting of the debts and led France to bankruptcy.
Poor weather conditions led to droughts, famines, and poor harvests that took a toll on the peasants who were already struggling to survive daily. The peasants were angered and this led them to revolt.
Increasing Cost of Bread
The bread was the staple food of people in France and its increasing prices were also causes of the revolt. The rise in the cost of bread led to a food crisis that the monarch was not able to solve. This led to discontent of the poor peasants and they revolted.
The monarch was not answerable to the common people for any of the policies and reforms. Additionally, King Louis XVI was ineffective because he could not solve the financial or the food crisis of the country. The poor economic conditions of the nation angered the masses and became critical of their king. The additional extravagant expenditure of the monarch on personal things as well as in the war made the people consider the expenditures as wasteful and revolted against the monarch.
The French Revolution sparked by a series of events led the common people in France to revolt against the monarchy and overthrow it. The French Revolution also saw periods of a lot of violence where a lot of common people were killed mercilessly and wealth was looted. The revolution came to an end with a coup organized by Napoleon Bonaparte.