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Causes of the French Revolution
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Causes of the French Revolution



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  • 1. Causes of the French Revolution
  • 2. What factors led to the French Revolution?
    • I.
    • Absolute Monarchy
    • Louis XVI (1774 - 1792)
      • a. claim to divine right no longer as strong
      • b. Louis XVI was too
      • harsh in response
      • to public criticism
    Political Causes-
  • 3. II. Luxury spending & War Debt a. Absolute rulers spent more than the country made b. Marie Antoinette (Louis’ wife) was a symbol for overspending & was extremely hated Economic Causes -
  • 4.
      • c. French spent too much in wars:
        • - American Revolution (influenced French!)
        • - Seven Years War (vs. British for North American land)
  • 5.
    • III.
    • “ Estates” Rigid Social Structure
    • (the Old Regime)
      • French population was divided into three groups
      • All three groups were unhappy with absolutism
    Louis! Stop spending money! Social causes-
  • 6. 1 st Estate = clergy (made up 1%) 2 nd Estate = nobles (made up 2%) 3 rd Estate = ordinary people (made up 97%)
  • 7. c. “What is the 3rd Estate? The Nation!” - members included: 1. Bourgeoisie (professionals that made up the middle class)
  • 8. 2. peasants and skilled laborers - largest group - had the least amount of rights & privileges
  • 9.
    • IV.
    • Spread & popularity of Enlightenment Ideas
    • Philosophers did not call for violent revolution b/c it’s against reason (logical thought
    • Instead their ideas helped challenge the order of things (status quo) and created a revolutionary state of mind in France
    Intellectual Causes-
  • 10. 1. What were the three social classes that the French population was divided into? 2. What social class complained about inequality & high taxes? 3. What kind of government is it when the people have no rights & are ruled by one person?