This paper is on the The Long Term Causes of the French Revolution. It will
explain events that leaded up to the revolution and how they occured and caused the great
revolution to happen.
Louis XVI, who was of the royal house of Bourban, became the absolute monarch
of France when his grand father Louis XV died. When Louis the XVI became king,
France was having a lot of problems, and was changing very fast. So France needed a
strong leader to make wise decisons and to deal with problems with the French people.
Although Louis had lot's of good Ideas he was weak ruler and he could not make the
decisons need at the time.
In 1770 when Louis was fifeteen he married the fourteen year old Marie
Antoinette, who was the daughter Maria Theresa, the Emperss of Austria. the marriage
was set up to build a stronger alliance between France and Austria.
During the fist couple
of years they were married she became extreamly unpopular. The reason why she became
so unpopular is because she liked to spend allot of money which the people thought was
just a waste of time. Because of this she was nicked named 'Madam Deficit' (1) The
people blamed a lot of the countries problems on her because they dispised her so much.
Even though France was going through hard times the majority of people liked
Louis, but he had little or nothing to do with the lower class, he spent allot of time with
the Nobles of France and was generally surrounded by thousands of Nobles in the Palace
at Versailles. Louis did know to much what was going on in the country in which he ruled,
especially in the Debt that France had. France was suffering large finacile trouble and
owed allot of money to other countries.
'The Enlightenment is the popular name given to much of the philosophical
thought of the eighteenth century'(2). Under the Enlightenment there were many great
names in the field of philosophy names like: Locke, Voltaire and Rousseau were all
comanly known all through out the world. They tried to solve the problems that the lower
class were faced with. They commented against the Church, Nobility and any body else
they felt were robbing the lower class from there rights and freedoms which they felt every
one was able to have and should have. Most of them did not want to take the throne away
from the King but they did how ever feel that the should have a Constitional Monarchy,
they wanted a more democratic government that gave the people more of a say.
Some people criticized against the Philoshers because the thought that they
wanted to destroy French Society. But what these people did not realize is that most of
them wanted to improve the society in which they were living. After seing the success of
the Amercain war of Independence was a success this also got people thinking of what it
would be like to press for there right to obtain there own goverenment.
In theroy France was a well united county but is was not really the Nobles were
jelouse of the king and they thought of him as a threat, At the same time the middle class
were jelouse of the nobles because the Nobles held all the important offices. The Church
was like the Nobles and had feudal rights that no one else had this also made the middle
class jelouse because the Church was making allot of money and they had to pay no taxes.
Therefore all the taxes fell on thoes who could least afford to pay them Although
life was improving for the middle class life was getting worse and worse all the time for
the lower class It was estimated in the years 1771 and 1789 there were 7 million beggars
The kings series of Finance ministers suggested to the king that every one and all
land should be taxed, but these Ideas did not suite the Nobles and louis was to weak of a
ruler to go against the Noble of France. because of this the lower class started looking at
the success of the American Revolution and the wanted change in the royal government.
The Nobles seen a chance to greater there power and lower the kings and the cried Liberty
and then the French Revolution Began.
The king and Queen and the court were a bourden on france because Louise was a
week ruler and he was lazy and a very dirty man. The Queen was very lazy and did not
want to have any thing to do that will be considered a burden to her, She did not like to
think she just wanted to have fun, The people really despized her. As for the court the
people of France did not like them because they did not look after the needs of the people
and they gave the king bad advise atleast that is what the people thought.
Francois Marie Aroute who wrote under the name Voltaire was the most
'corrosive, spiteful, sparkling,witty, and malevolent' (4) He he assullted whatever he
wanted in a time where all books where censored even educational school books. He
attaked the the clergy as being rich usless parasites. He attaked the church as a
institiontuin that the state gave every thing to for a few prayers. He also demanded
tolerance he felt taht no one has the right to judge another man for there opinions and for
there beliefs. he also felt that every one should stick together and not always fight. He was
not a conventional revolutionary he wanted change and he expressed his Ideas to outhers
to help him get the changes he demanded for society..
Turgot came up with a plan to stable the economy and to lower cost he expressed
his concerns and his program to the king and the king was impressed and gave Tugot his
support but when it came down to the court Louis was not able to fight for Turgot and the
Ideas were not aloud in. After this Turgot wrote Louis a letter basically stating that he was
not half the king his grand father was and that the country was going to fall apart because
of him. This letter cause great sorrow for Louis and he spent allot of time weeping
because of the strong letter and he realized it was right, and that he realized that the
country was going to fall apart and that he would never been able to pay of the huge debt
that the county owed..