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The French Revolution Since the days of Louis XIV France had been the most populous riches and most powerful country in Western Europe France set European trends in literature fashion the arts and politics The French Revolution 1789-1799 violently transformed France from a monarch state with a rigid social class system into a modern nation in which the social structure was loosened and power passed increasingly to the middle classes This Revolution had an impact on the world and all of Europe The French societies known as the Old Regime were divided into estates The first estate consisted of clergies priests the second were the nobles and the third were the commoners The third estate was the largest estate and the most influential group which consisted of the middle class bourgeoisie that rose to power composed of merchants professionals and shopkeepers According to a sheet the third estate had the biggest population and had the most land ownershipThere were many inequalities in Old Regime France which was based on age-old traditions that we would find hard to accept today The clergies and the nobles had many special privileges like as being exempt from most taxes Only nobles could fill certain posts in the army or the Kings court As the middle class grew wealthier and powerful they came to resent the special privileges of the nobles During the 1700s French kings almost bankrupted the state through expensive wars and excessive borrowing but in 1789 Louis XVIs ministers started to believe the only way to solve the governments financial problems was to tax the nobles The nobles refused to agree to pay taxes unless the king first summoned an Estates General which was a national assembly in which each of the three social classes would be represented King Louis XVI agreed and gave the demanded for the Estates General to meet They met in May 1789 According to the 3 estate cartoon
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