The French Revolution ppt .docx - The French Revolution and...

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The French Revolution and Napoleon French Society Divided Ancien Regime – socio-political class system which existed in most of Europe during the 18 th century Countries were ruled by absolutism – the monarch had absolute control over the government Classes of people – privileged and unprivileged Unprivileged people – paid taxes and treated badly Privileged people – did not pay taxes and treated well In France, people were divided into _________________________________ First Estate Clergy : High-ranking members of the Church Privileged class, wealthy Paid no taxes, owned 10% of land Second Estate Nobility, Knights Held top government jobs Privileged class, paid very little taxes Third Estate Everyone else (diverse) – from peasants in the countryside to wealthy bourgeoisie merchants in the cities and urban workers 98% of France Unprivileged class, paid many taxes Economic Conditions under the Old Regime France’s economy was based primarily on agriculture Poor harvests meant that peasants had trouble paying their taxes ; Certainly could not afford to have their taxes raised King Louis XVI lavished money on himself and residences like Versailles; Queen Marie Antoinette was seen as a wasteful spender Government found its funds depletes as a result of wars ; Including the funding of the American Revolution Deficit spending – a government spending more money than it takes in from tax revenues
Privileged classes would not submit to being taxed Preparing for the Estates-General Winter of 1788-1789 Legislative Body of elected representatives from all estates Had not been called for 175 years Nobles hoped it would limit absolute monarch Monarch hoped it would end food riots Louis XVI asks for Cahiers Traditional lists of grievances written by the people Nothing out of the ordinary Asked for only moderate changes such as fairer taxes Meeting of the Estates-General : May 5, 1789 Voting was conducted by estate Each estate had one vote First and Second Estates could operate as a bloc to stop the Third Estate from having its way

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