While the Third Estate Waits... Tiona Thorpe

French society was arranged into three estates, or socioeconomic classes, based on one's land ownership and family name. The First Estate consists of the Roman Catholic clergymen, the Second Estate contains the families that own large shares of land and are able to call King Louis XVI a personal friend, while the Third Estate includes 98% of the population from peasants to wealthy merchants that spend their lives supporting the upper estates. There is an expanding state of unrest in the lower estate due to the feeling of being overlooked in the King's presence when it comes to concerns that widely affect them.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ATroisordres.jpg By M. P. (Bibliothèque nationale de France) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As a result of their rapid accumulation of war debt after the Seven Years War and the American Revolution, France required the poverty-stricken Third Estate to bear the burden of paying the increase in taxes without the aid of the wealthier First and Second Estates being they refused to have their personal taxes raised. This unequal distribution of wealth and payment of the taxes will most likely lead to revolting among the citizens of the Third Estate.

In a desperate attempt to discuss the necessary inflation in taxes after the First and Second Estates' refusal to pay an increase in their taxes, King Louis XVI called a meeting with the Estates General in which the representatives from each estate gather to hold counsel with the monarch. The Estates General hadn't met since 1614, so the Third Estate saw this meeting as an opportunity to address their desire to progress the French government into a constitutional monarchy with a legislature of elected officers. This modern style of government was not popular among King Louis XVI and a majority of the nobles because it would undermine their authority as elites. To express their determination in the idea of France adopting a constitutional monarchy, the representatives of the Third Estate and the supporters from the other estates combined to form the National Assembly. King Louis XVI, fearful of being overpowered in the Estates General meeting, locked the National Assembly out of their gathering place.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALibert%C3%A9%2C_%C3%A9galit%C3%A9%2C_fraternit%C3%A9.jpg By Thermidorimage (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

King Louis XVI's refusal to hold an audience with the National Assembly could result in potential horrendous repercussions. In an effort to emphasize their voices in the Estate General, the National Assembly may enlist the help of a foreign ally that sympathizes with their desire to have a greater say in their government with a constitutional monarchy, such as the newly-developed United States of America which achieved freedom from their mother country of Great Britain through the American Revolution. The Third Estate may choose to display their lack of allegiance to King Louis XVI and his rule by protesting and refusing to pay their taxes, or if actions truly speak louder than words, the National Assembly could rally the support of the Third Estate and possibly lead a revolt against the king to prove their passion about this endeavor. The moral of the story is that citizens do not take kindly to being ignored and King Louis XVI will soon learn this.


Created with images by charlemagne - "versailles architecture france"

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