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Causes of the French Revolution


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Causes of the French Revolution

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