DBQ- Causes of the French Revolution.

Essay by ynksjb24High School, 11th gradeA+, December 2005

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The French revolution was the result of many problems concerning the unfair treatment of the middle class and peasants (the 3rd Estate). The 3rd Estate made up 97% of the total population of France, and yet they only counted as one third of the total votes. The lower class was forced to pay heavy tailles, while the upper class paid minimal. The price of bread had also risen above the peoples' ability to pay. These three problems led to a huge revolution that would change the shape of France forever.

The 3rd Estate numbered about 27 million people but they always seemed to have less voting power than the clergy and nobles. The 1st and 2nd Estates took up 3% of the total population and counted as two thirds of the total votes, while the 3rd Estate counted as the other one vote of the three. With this system of government the peasants, though heavily outnumbering the high class, always lost 2-1 when voting.

This caused great discontent among the 3rd Estate. When the cahiers were written and sent, it stated that (as seen in document 3) in order to assure the 3rd Estate the influence it deserves because of its numbers, its' votes in the assembly should be taken by head. However, this was not immediately allowed and it resulted in a stalemate and greater tensions.

In France there was a high taille on the land owned by the 3rd Estate. There was an injustice in levying the amount each person must pay. Lands held by the nobility were taxed very little while the lands of the commoner were taxed much heavier (as seen in document 1). The peasants were taxed on everything from land to soap, while the rich upper class was not. There income was meager due...