Causes of the French Revolution
The French Revolution overall was a failure for France. The Old Order is what caused inequalities in the French Society, King Louis XVI was at the top of the order while the three estates were at the bottom. The first estate was made of the Roman Catholic clergy. This estate had more privileges than the two others. For instance, they did not have to answer to the same laws as everyone else. The second estate was made up the of nobility. They controlled much of the country's wealth, but did not have to pay much taxes. The third estate was the largest group, it was made up of many different groups of people. They were merchants, factory owners, lawyers, shoe makers, carpenters, bricklayers, dress makers, and laborers. At the bottom of the third estate were peasants. The majority of them were poor and had to perform labor without pay.
American colonists that were influenced by enlightment ideas rebelled successfully against Britains King. The way ideas began transforming in Britain, the bourgeouise considered how the ideas would be in France. Economic issues affected France due to debt. France borrowed money for wars including the American Revolution. King Louis XVI also would spend money luxurious things would resulted in borrowing money and being in dept. He failed trying to tax the second estate, they refused. Economic problems were arising and the people of France were angry and hungry.
Reign of Terror(1793-1794)
Maximilien Robespierre was a radical leader known for his intense dictation to the Revolution. He began to lead the national convention during its most "blood-thirsty" time. Due to the King being executed, the new government formed resulted in thousands of citizens being executed as well.
Revolutionary leaders began to fear they would lose control of France. Actions were taken to avoid a revolution against the government. This created the accusations, trials, and executions know as the Reign of Terror. To get rid of any resistance to the Revolution, Maximilien Robespierre had said terror was needed to defend the republic from its enemies. How many were affected by the cruel punishment during the Reign of Terror? During the 10 months of the terror, 300,00 people were arrested and about 17,000 were executed. This period of time was meant to protect the Revolution but instead it had weakened it.
Napolean Bonparte was a intelligent military leader who had many successes during his mission to conquer Europe. He began a series of wars called the Napoleanic Wars. This period in time resulted in France becoming the dominant European power. The wars lasted until 1815, keeping France in a state of near-continuous warfare for more than a decade. Great Britain was still one of France's biggest enemies.
Britain helped organize a series of coalitions of European nations against France. Although Napolean was defeated by Britain, he won a victory against Russian and Austrian troops. Portugual remained neutral and refused to be involved. In result Napolean sent troops to take control of Portugal and sent out the king,