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Word Count: 510
The Causes of the French Revolution There were many causes of the French Revolution Political Social and economic discontent Discontent of the Bourgeoisie Enlightenment ideas Financial collapse Before the revolution there were three estates vThe first which Consisted of the higher and lower clergy vThe second which consisted of the nobility They owned a quarter of the land in France They held the highest offices in government and army vThe Third Estate was composed of peasants city workers and the middle class Political Concerns King Louis XV and Louis XVI had extravagant lifestyles France was spending more money than it was bringing in Both kings spent the countrys money on unnecessary items The main job in the government was to protect the country and manage wars The wars drained Frances money and often France gained nothing from being in the war In the Seven yrs war for example France lost large amounts of money lost the war and even lost their colonies in North America Many regarded this loss as humiliation and a show of weakness on their governments part Social and Economic Problems During the late 18th century the peasant population increased dramatically This sudden increase called for more land Land was being distributed smaller and smaller until a farmer could no longer support his own family on the bit of land that he now owned Peasants could barely do anything with the small plots of land that they were receiving due to the increase in population Wars cost France a great deal of money The wars in America left France in debt To make up for this loss of money the government increased taxes The weight of these taxes fell heavily on the peasants King Louis asked the First and Second Estates to pay a land tax but they refused and because of the way government was run The hardships the peasants
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