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France was an absolute monarchy Louis XIV 1643 1715 was the envy of all other rulers in Europe During his reign he had centralized the government and had encouraged trade and manufacture His undoing was the long list of over ambitious wars that he had participated in His successors Louis XV 1715 74 and Louis XVI 1774 93 also participated in lengthy and costly conflicts France had suffered defeat in the Seven Years War against Britain 1756 63 Her army in Europe was crushed by the Prussians The involvement in the American Revolution was for revenge against Britain after the Seven Years War A fatal weakness in the French absolute monarchy system was its inability to produce strong monarchs Louise XVI was not strong On the eve of revolution all sections of French society had reason to be unhappyThe nobles wanted power that was taken from them by the monarchy The bourgeoisie resented the privileges of the nobles The Bourgeoisie and the Peasants criticized the tax system Ancien Regime refers to the old order in France the social and governmental system that lasted until the Revolution The Government order in France was an Absolute Monarchy Due to the increasingly large powers of a monarch over society including National System of Justice Influenced the Catholic Church The Right to decree Taxation and Leader of the military forces the monarch has to be a string and stable person Louis XVI was neither strong nor stable The population was divided into three estates The Third Estate was made up of the bourgeoisie wage earners and the peasantry They were the majority of the population The Third Estate was also known as the estate of the commoners The Second Estate was for the nobility They numbered 400 000 with most of them being of minor rank The First Estate comprised the clergy The Upper Clergy were very wealthy and powerful and therefore they related to the First Estate The
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