The main cause of the French Revolution

Essay by Jordan HolmesHigh School, 11th gradeA-, January 1996

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Deals with the bourgeoise, Louis XVI, and the other classes in Revolutionary France Good work

The years before the French Revolution (which started in 1789 AD.) were ones of vast,

unexpected change and confusion. One of the changes was the decline of the power of the nobles,

which had a severe impact on the loyalty of some of the nobles to King Louis XVI. Another

change was the increasing power of the newly established middle class, which would result in the

monarchy becoming obsolete. The angry and easily manipulated peasants, who were used by the

bourgeoisie for their own benefit were another significant change, and finally the decline of the

traditional monarchy, that for so long had ruled, were all factors to the main point that the French

Revolution was caused by a political base, with social disorder and economic instability

contributing to the upheaval. All of the sub-factors relate with one-another, but are separate in

their own ways.

For centuries, the French noble was well set in society. He found prosperity and security

in the old regime, and all he had to do was pay homage to the king, and provide the king with his

services. This all came to a gradual stop, however beginning with the loss of the noble's power

over their own land at the hands of Louis XIV.1 This was the foundation of the revolte nobiliaire

in the fact that it formed a basis of mistrust, and anger for the monarch.2 In that time the feudal

system was still being practiced, so social status was based on the amount of land you could attain.

With no land, the nobles saw themselves to be as common as the common folk. Even in their

arrogance they saw that they were losing power. The next blow to...