French Revolution Term Paper

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The French Revolution

The statement citing the essential cause of the French Revolution as

the "collision between a powerful, rising bourgeoisie and an entrenched

aristocracy defending it's privileges" has great pertinence in summarizing

the conflict of 1789. The causes of the French Revolution, being provoked

by this collision of powers, was the Financial debt of the government and

the long-standing political differences in the government.

Over the course of twenty-five years after the Seven Years' War, the

government of France--the Bourgeoisie royalty, could not manage it's

finances on a sound basis. This was worsened when France aided the

American Revolution against Great Britain. The Government had reached

great financial debt. The problem lied and continued because of the

government's inability to tap the wealth of the French nation by taxation.

There was a great paradox in France being a rich nation with a government

in poverty. The deteriorating finances of the government is what triggered

the prolonged differences between the Bourgeoisie and the aristocracy.

The political differences between the monarchy and the nobles came

about after the Seven Years' war also. The increasing debt of the

government escalated the hope for the monarchy to resume a "absolute power"

status as it did with Louis XIV. However this could not be accomplished

because of the doubt that the public had towards the present kings Louis XV

and Louis XVI, and the public could not be swayed to help. The only result

of the attempts for absolutism by the monarchy were a series of new and

increase taxes on the nobles. The aristocracy immediately reacted to these

taxes as declaring them unfair and would not accept them. Louis XV began

with a series of Financial advisors chancellors which all had the intention

of saving the monarchy from financial ruin. They made many attempts at

taxation, such as a land tax, but each of these were defeated by the nobles

-- the Parlements were even destroyed for a brief time, but were later

restored by Louis XVI in attempt to gain public support. The government

continued to become poorer and poorer and it seemed the only successful

taxation was done towards the peasants, whom had the least money. The

monarchy eventually fell and caused great unrest leading to the French


The French Revolution was caused by the escalating rivalry between the

monarchy and the aristocracy. The conflict would make an impact on all of

Europe to come and even world history. All this turmoil was caused by a

bunch of greedy Nobles and kings which wanted power and money. It seems

this problem repeats history, even today -- because big money-makers, like

Texas Oil Ranchers, wouldn't pay to fix pollution problems early on it

eventually lead and is still leading to great conflict for the future.

Word Count: 464

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