The main causes of the French Revolution were the tax rates of the commoners, the lack of taxes paid by the nobility and the clergy and the high food costs. The way the country worked was that the top three percent of the population(the clergy and the nobility) did not have to pay taxes, so the bottom 97% had to pay all the taxes. France was also in crippling debt because of their king, Louis XVI, waged expensive wars and lived a rather lavish lifestyle with his wife, Marie Antoinette. During this time France was enduring a food crisis, because of two things, a severe hail storm had damaged many crops and a drought that killed many others, this drove the food prices insanely high.
The three French estates before the Revolution
I believe that the French Revolution was not initially successful, because it didn't solve the problems. After the king was killed France had many unsuccessful governments. “Like the American Revolution before it, the French Revolution was influenced by Enlightenment ideals, particularly the concepts of popular sovereignty and inalienable rights. Although it failed to achieve all of its goals and at times degenerated into a chaotic bloodbath, the movement played a critical role in shaping modern nations by showing the world the power inherent in the will of the people.”(History.com Staff. "French Revolution." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.). One of these governments was responsible for the reign of terror.
A painting of an execution
The reign of terror was one of the worst things to happen in France. The reign of terror (1793-1794) was a period of time in which tens of thousands of people were beheaded, sometimes, for pretty flimsy reasons, such as being beheaded, because you cut down the wrong tree. The group responsible for the reign of terror was called the Committee of Public Safety, there job was to protect the people from enemies of the resistance.
The Committee of Public Safety was responsible for other thing that happened in France, like their calendar being remade to wipe out every trace of old France. The leader of the Committee was Maximilien Robespierre. Robespierre governed over France like a dictator. Robespierre would have people tried in the morning and executed in the afternoon.
Many countries were appalled by the execution of king Louis XVI. The ones most appalled were Austria and Prussia, they were worried that their own citizens would start similar rebellions. Some countries sent armies to to the border of France to stop them from starting anything.