1 What were the causes of french revolution? 
2 describe the social causes of french revolution? 
3 Who were the philosophers and what were their ideslas?
4 Explain the circumstances that helped the middle class in bringing social and economic changes in France? 

Asked by Atharva Deshpande | 19th Jun, 2014, 07:51: PM

Expert Answer:

Following are the causes of the French Revolution:

  • When Louis XVI of the Bourbon dynasty ascended to the throne of France, he found an empty treasury. Long years of war, especially France's involvement in the American War of Independence, had caused the royal coffers a dear sum. The State had had to borrow huge amounts from lenders who had started charging 10% interest. Added to this were the expenses of maintaining an extravagant court at the immense palace of Versailles and other regular expenses. This had effectively emptied the royal treasury.
  • Among the three Estates of the French society, only the Third Estate paid the State any taxes. The nobility had the privilege of being exempt from tax payment. Also, they could extract feudal dues from the peasants who were largely landless. The Church too did not pay any taxes but extracted its own tax from the peasants. So effectively, the whole burden of financing the Old Regime in France was borne out by the Third Estate largely consisting of peasants, landless labourers, artisans, merchants, etc.
  • While the population of France had increased rapidly in the 18th century, agricultural output had not kept pace. As a result, even though the wages of workers had remained the same, the price of bread had risen steeply. This led to a subsistence crisis in France, causing major resentment among the masses.
  • The emerging middle class, consisting of merchants, manufacturers, professionals and philosophers, sought to harness this discontent to change the existing system. Philosophers like Rousseau, Locke and Montesquieu put forward their ideas regarding a change in the society. Their ideas were spread aggressively among the masses through public discussions, books and newspapers. As a result, when it became public that the king was seeking to increase the taxes to meet State expenses, the situation became explosive.
  • While the Third Estates representatives stormed out of the Estates General and drafted a new Constitution as a National Assembly, the king ordered troops to move into the city of Paris in order to control the mobs of citizens distressed with hunger and hoarding.
  • Finally, on 14 July, the agitated crowds stormed and destroyed the Bastille and thus began the French Revolution.

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Answered by Soumil Shukla | 20th Jun, 2014, 01:24: PM

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