They felt humiliated to be considered inferiors to the nobles. Many urban families had a good education, were sometimes richer than the nobility but were denied access to the top-jobs. Political Cause: The basic cause of the French Revolution was the fact that the common people of France were not given any sort of real voice in their own government. The monasteries were closed in 1790 and Catholicism was even forbidden in 1793, the church lost most of its economical power during the Revolution. Thus, there were some issues on which all the bourgeoisie might unite against most of the nobility. The last years before the Revolution were marked by the attempts of Louis XVI to resolve this financial problem. In 1793 the majority of the deputies sentenced him to the guillotine. The Estates General were reluctantly summoned by King Louis XVI in May of 1789 with an aim to solve the monarchy’s financial crisis. Economic Cause: To know more about the Revolution itself you can visit the Conciergerie which holds a permanent exhibition about it. Painted by Drouais, sourced from Wikipedia. This question is designed to test your ability to work These were further divided into the higher clergy which managed churches, educational foundations and monasteries … The society was strongly divided by the status of the individuals and groups. Fearing they would be forced to bear the burden of the financi… The deeper causes for its collapse are more difficult to establish. Overpopulation caused an unrelenting strain on natural resources in the country, and this led to a number of complications that eventually gave rise to the revolution. The months leading up to the convening of the Estates-General coincided with the worst subsistence crisis France had suffered in many years; a spring drought was followed by a devastating hailstorm that ruined crops in much of the northern half of the country in July 1788. The Social condition of France during the eighteenth century was very miserable. It is important to know that the causes of the Revolution are still a complex and much debated question today among historians. In 1778, Louis XVI decided to support the American Revolution. Each year, the church gave a financial gift to the state. Instead he appeared as a weak king who could be easily defeated by an open opposition. The clergy and the nobility formed the first two Estates and were the most privileged classes in the French society. It could be easy for opportunistic politicians to direct the anger of the crowd against their opponents. Social Cause: These causes include a great divide between the social classes, a crisis which negatively impacts the masses, increasing unhappiness or loss of faith in the government or ruling power and the desire for equality and ideals and philosophies which provide a common rallying ground for … The wars against many powerful European countries had left the country in a great debt that was even increased by the expenses of the crown. On balance, however, it is hard to see how the monarchy, even if it had resolved its financial problems, which it was very far from doing, could have extended this ecumenism from art to politics and social life. The revolution began on 14th July, 1789 with the storming of the fortress-prison, the Bastille. It comes with the PowerPoint in guided student notes format, so that students can follow along and take their own notes as the PPT is presented. Written by Pierre de Beaumarchais it featured a servant telling his noble master: “Because you are a great lord, you believe that you are a great genius! The French Revolution, which broke out in 1789, had affected not merely the political and social destiny of France, but exerted a far-reaching and profound influence in shaping the destiny of … Like most nobles, wealthy French non-nobles were landlords and even owners of seigneuries, which were bought and sold before 1789 like any other commodity. This revolution put forward the ideas of liberty, fraternity, and equality. French revolution started in 1789. This move from the king was very democratic and modern: it was well received as a sign that he cared about his people and valued their voices. Thus, the monarchy seemed fated to failure and the stage set for revolution. Each estate had only one vote. As you can see, the explosive cocktail of the Revolution has different ingredients intertwined: a criticized social order, widespread ideas and hopes of change in a context of economic difficulties. The king could give to someone a title of nobility but this status was usually acquired by birth. Social Inequality in France due to the Estates System. The nobles usually felt superior to the commoners … There were also many urban workers: craftsmen and workers in what we call today the services. The younger mountains and adjacent plains, Gaul and Germany at the end of the 5th century, The shrinking of the frontiers and peripheral areas, Austrasian hegemony and the rise of the Pippinids, The partitioning of the Carolingian empire, The development of institutions in the Carolingian age, The influence of the church on society and legislation, Economy, society, and culture in the Middle Ages (, Economy, society, and culture in the 14th and 15th centuries, The influence of Montesquieu and Rousseau, The French Revolution and Napoleon, 1789–1815, The restoration and constitutional monarchy, The Great Depression and political crises, Society and culture under the Third Republic, The euro-zone crisis and the Socialist resurgence, Chrétien Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes. What really mattered was the desanctifying of the monarchy, the new understanding of the self and the public good, and the belief that thinking individuals might seize the state and fundamentally reshape it. The other privileged order was the clergy. There is also room for the actions and reactions of the groups and individuals involved. Studying the representation of politics, the shape of revolutionary festivals, and the revolutionary cults of sacrifice and heroism, scholars have come to place the transformation of culture at the core of their discussion. The French society was mainly divided into two classes They represented more than 90% of the population. In the 1780s, the population of France was … The deeper causes for its collapse are more difficult to establish. Read more. He is a history teacher and a certified guide in Paris. Painted by Callet, sourced from Wikipedia. The French Monarchs... 2. The Storming of the Bastille. In June 1789 Louis XVI lost the control of the General Estates: the deputies declare themselves the National Assembly. But such issues, it is now claimed, were relatively unimportant. Free to print or download (PPT, PPTX, or PDF). The main social cause of the French Revolution was the high population density in the country. One school of interpretation maintains that French society under the ancien régime was rent by class war. However, they were assemblies of nobles that defended their privileges and blocked the necessary financial reforms of Louis XVI. The French society before 1789 is referred to as the Ancien Régime. There were three main classes: The clergy (1st estate), the Nobles (2nd Estate) and the common people (3rd estate). By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The kings Louis XV and Louis XVI did not manage to stop the wars campaigns despite of their proclaimed will of peace. It explains why the deputies elected in the Assembly of 1789 went much further than what they were asked: to solve a financial problem. Following were the social, economic, political and intellectual causes of the French Revolution: Social - The social conditions in France in late 18th century were extremely unequal and exploitative. An example of this critics can be found in a very successful play of 1786: Le Mariage de Figaro. The advices of the parliamentarians turned into reproaches and they refused to register the financial reforms decided by the king. In March 1765, in keeping with the British intent on making … Causes of the French Revolution. Henri de Boulainvilliers, in his posthumous essays of 1732 on the nobility of France, had even developed a wholly fraudulent but widely praised theory of noble racial superiority. Revisionist historians in the 1980s, however, responded that the bourgeoisie had no monopoly in these sectors; nobles were also heavily involved in foreign trade, in banking, and in some of the most modern industries, such as coal mining and chemicals. The Cardinal de la Rochefoucauld, son of a high-noble. This organization of the society started to be criticized from the middle of the eighteenth century. The third order were the commoners, or the Third Estate (Tiers-Etat) as they were called at that time. Louis XVI painted by Caillet in 1779. France - France - The causes of the French Revolution: In an immediate sense, what brought down the ancien régime was its own inability to change or, more simply, to pay its way. This revolution put up the ideas of liberty, fraternity and equality. During the eighteen the Century France was the centre of autocratic monarchy. Nov. 17, 2020. Paris - What you need to know before coming to Paris, Caricature of 1789. To support our blog and writers we put affiliate links and advertising on our page. There were 3 orders in the society. Mathieu got to experience all the sides of Paris: born in the island of Notre-Dame, he was a student in the Left Bank and is currently living in the Right Bank. This was a terrible blow to the old enemy of France, England, but also to the finances of the country. As a result, the nobility and clergy could always overrule the Third Estate. 1. (2) The government imposed heavy taxes on the French citizens to meet its expenditure. Or you can ask for your private tour of the Revolution to see the places where history was made! This position implies that the French Revolution revolved around issues of class; it has led to the class analysis of prerevolutionary society as well as to the class analysis of the opposing Revolutionary factions of Girondins and Montagnards and, more generally, to what the historian Alfred Cobban called “the social interpretation of the French Revolution.”. The French Revolution, one of the most popular events in History, materialized due to many reasons. He summoned the General Estates (Etats-Généraux), a traditional assembly composed of deputies of the 3 orders that had not been summoned since 1694. They mixed it with their own demands about the abolition of feudal rights and a right to be preserved from hunger. Causes of French Revolution: Social cause (French society during late 18 TH century) However, this was also risky. Starving Parisians riot while some claimed slogans like “Liberty!”. No Taxation Without Representation. French revolution started in 1789. There was no apparent justification to the privileges given by birth to the nobles. The inequalities prevailing in the society created much discontentment among the masses and forced them to oppose the prevalent social structure. The fortress was demolished. Desperate people would riot against the people they consider responsible for the situation: the speculators, the local and national authorities. Many histories of the French Revolution, beginning with those written in the era itself, assumed, almost axiomatically, that the ideas of the philosophes had caused the “coming” of the event. There were two areas, however, in which the nobility enjoyed important institutional privileges: the upper ranks of the army and the clergy were, in the main, aristocratic preserves and had become more so in the 1780s. You remain an ordinary enough man!“, The cover page of Le Mariage de Figaro. I narrowed the question to what caused the events of the first year of the Revolution: 1789. Origins of the Revolution The French Revolution had general causes common to all the revolutions of the West at the end of the 18th century and particular causes that explain why it was by far the most violent and the most universally significant of these revolutions. The morning of July 14, 1789, the Bastille, a prison the … In addition to political unfairness, an economic crisis had swept over France causing financial turmoil in the nation. Many historians argued that this economic situation is the main reason to explain the start of the Revolution. The vast neorepublican canvases of Jacques-Louis David (1748–1845), such as his Oath of the Horatii (1784), glorifying traditional republicanism, were commissioned by the king’s dispenser of patronage, the marquis d’Angivillers, a friend of Turgot. This covers the entire French Revolution (1789-1799) from the Old Regime, through the Tennis Court Oath, Reign of Terror, and death of Robespierre, to the coup d'etat of Napoleon in 1799. In keeping with this interpretation, Marxist historians from the 1930s to the ’70s emphasized that the French 18th-century bourgeoisie had assumed a distinct position in French society in that it was in control of commerce, banking, and industry. We know that the French revolution is one of the most important event in the modern history of Europe. The people revolted against the cruel regime of monarchy. Contemporary historiography has refocused the discussion regarding the causes for the Revolution. 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