Newspaper By: Leon Beasley p4

Causes of the French Revolution

The king during the revolution was king Louis XVI. He lived lavishly with his wife Marie Antoinette during a financial crisis. Together they lived in the palace of Versailles 10 miles outside of Paris.

King Louis XVI palace of Versailles

France during the time had a political structure named the "Old Order". In this structure, the king was at the top and there were three estates under him. These estates would be divided by first, second, and third estate. The first estate consisted of the Roman Catholic clergy and was about 1% of the population. These people payed no taxes. The second estate consisted of the nobles making up less than 2% of population. These people payed few taxes and controlled most of the country's wealth. The third estate was the largest group with 97% of the population. These people included bourgeoisie, artisans, peasants, and sans culottes. They paid many taxes.

Reign of terror

The Reign of Terror lasted from 1793 to 1794. During this time, radical leaders feared that enemies of the revolution would try to overthrow the new republic.
In 1793, a radical named Maximilien Robespierre gained power of the national convention

During the reign of terror, the most common punishment was death by guillotine. The guillotine became a major symbol for the reign of terror. This death was quick. King Louis XVI wife Marie Antoinette was one of the first victims of the guillotine. Those who went against the revolution fell victims to the guillotine. On July 27, 1794 Maximilien and his supporters were murdered via guillotine. During the reign of terror, an estimate of 17,000 people were executed


In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte became empower of France. In his quest to conquer Europe, Napoleon went through a series of battles. Great Britain was a major enemy to France. In 1805, they defeated France.
When Napoleon sustained troops near the boarder of Russia, Czar Alexander I, a Russian ruler, became nervous. He feared that the continental system would affect his countries import of goods.
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Leon Beasley

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