The French Revolution By: Marth lauama

The French Revolution Begins

In the 1700s, France was considered the most advanced country of Europe. It had a large population and a prosperous foreign trade. It was the center of the Enlightenment, and France’s culture was widely praised and imitated by the rest of the world. However, the appearance of success was deceiving. There was great unrest in France, caused by bad harvests, high prices, high taxes, and disturbing questions raised by the Enlightenment ideas of Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire.

In the 1770s, the social and political system of France—the Old Regime— remained in place. Under this system, the people of France were divided into three large social classes, or estates.

During the 1770s and 1780s, France’s government sank deeply into debt. Part of the problem was the extravagant spending of Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette. Louis also inherited a considerable debt from previous kings. And he borrowed heavily in order to help the American revolutionaries in their war against Great Britain, France’s chief rival. This nearly doubled the government’s debt. In 1786, when bankers refused to lend the government any more money, Louis faced serious problems.

Dawn of the Revolution

The clergy and the nobles had dominated the Estates-General throughout the Middle Ages and expected to do so in the 1789 meeting. Under the assembly’s medieval rules, each estate’s delegates met in a separate hall to vote, and each estate had one vote. The two privileged estates could always outvote the Third Estate.

TheNationalAssembly TheThirdEstatedelegates,mostlymembersofthebour- geoisie whose views had been shaped by the Enlightenment, were eager to make changes in the government. They insisted that all three estates meet together and that each delegate have a vote. This would give the advantage to the Third Estate, which had as many delegates as the other two estates combined

Siding with the nobles, the king ordered the Estates-General to follow the medieval rules. The delegates of the Third Estate, however, became more and more determined to wield power. A leading spokesperson for their viewpoint was a clergyman sympa- thetic to their cause, Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès (syay•YEHS). In a dramatic speech, Sieyès suggested that the Third Estate delegates name themselves the National Assembly and pass laws and reforms in the name of the French people.

After a long night of excited debate, the delegates of the Third Estate agreed to Sieyès’s idea by an overwhelming majority. On June 17, 1789, they voted to estab- lish the National Assembly, in effect proclaiming the end of absolute monarchy and the beginning of representative government. This vote was the first deliberate act of revolution.


Napoleon is a hero and villain eyes, because he was a story military leader which allowed him to expand French territory.But he could also be seen as a villain because the battles he involved himself in & how the soldiers that died during it. He's a hero in some ways you can say because he turned Frances enemies, he put France in a constant state of war and lastly he enlarged the French Revolution was to abolish absolute of the monarchy but he brought that back 10 years later. He wasn't elected he just receives the throne of heir and that was a violation because it had to be chosen by the people

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