The French Revolution By: Averie Grantham

By being influenced by Enlightenment ideals, the American Revolution, and social injustice, the French Revolution began in 1789. The Enlightenment brought different ideas and views to France. With Frances involvement in the American Revolution and their kings expensive spending had left them on the edge of bankruptcy. Along with bankruptcy, France was also facing two decades of poor harvest, drought, disease, and overly priced bread. To top it off, citizens had to pay heavy taxes and while they did protest to show their resentment nothing came out of it.

On May 5, 1789 the Estates-General was summoned by the king. The First Estate was the clergy, the Second Estate was the nobles in France, and the Third Estate was everyone else like peasant farmers. Of the three estates, the Third Estate made up 96% of the population and was not given equal rights opposed to the First and Second Esates. In the meeting of the Estates-General the Third estate wanted the voting system to change from voting by heads instead of voting by status, but the nobles resented the thought of giving up their priveliges.

When the debate on the voting process took a turn for the worst between the three estates, on June 17 the Third Estate and became the National Assembly and took the Tennis Court Oath three days after. On July 14 when the Bastille fortress was stormed to secure weapons and gunpowder many considered this to be the start of the French Revolution. The beginning of Napoleans rule marked the ending of the French Revolution.

The Reign of Terror impacted the French society and revolution by end of political parties, exiles of nobles and clergy, and wars with other nations. The Reign of Terror brought the downfall of political clubs and pluralism in France. The exiles of the nobles and clergy had led to several of them becoming Émigrés asking assistance from other countries. The wars with other nations led to countries invading France.

Other countries saw the French Revolution as an inspiration to find their own independence while others saw it as the beginning of a war. As others sought out to find their own freedom, wars were starting in other countries against the French due to Napoleons reign.

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Averie Grantham
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