25 What were the social, economic, and political issues that led to the French Revolution?

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Social Issues: The Three Estates The estates systemwas the class structure or hierarchyin France before the French Revolution. The same groups that held power during the Middle Ages still had control after the Middle Ages ended.clergy:people who work for the church like the Pope, bishops, and priestsnobility: wealthy landowners and people with high status in societycommoners:peasants and city-workersImage 1Source: Schwartz and O’Connor, Democracy and Nationalism, Globe Book Company (adapted) from the NYS Global Historyand Geography Regents Exam, August 2007Image 2Source: Jackson J. Spielvogel, World History, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2003 (adapted) from the NYS Global History andGeography Regents Exam, January 2007.Image 3The Three Estates, You Should Hope this Game Will Be Over Soon, 1788Source: Reproduced with permission from the National Museum of France from the NYS Social Studies ToolKit. 1. Under the estates system, what were the three social classes?clergynoblescommoners2. Under the estates system, which social class was taxed the most? ______nobles_________________________________3. Under the estates system, which class was the largest portion of the population? _______commoners___________________4. What does image 3 reveal about social issues in pre-revolutionary France?That king provides alot of things
5. Based on the images above, identify the social issues facing pre-revolutionary France?pourness6. How might these social issues lead the French people to revolt against their government? Higher taxes
Political Issues: Absolute Monarchy An absolute monarchyis a form of governmentin which one ruler has supreme authority without limitation. Portrait of King Louis XVI of France painted by Antoine-Francois Callet Image is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and is public domain.. . . Powers of the king.—The King, Louis XVI, was absolute. Heruled by the divine right theory which held that he had receivedhis power to govern from God and was therefore responsible toGod alone. He appointed all civil officials and military officers. Hemade and enforced the laws. He could declare war and makepeace. He levied taxes and spent the people’s money as he sawfit. He controlled the expression of thought by a strict censorshipof speech and press. By means of lettres de cachet(sealed letterswhich were really blank warrants for arrest) he could arbitrarily[without reason] imprison anyone without trial for an indefiniteperiod. He lived in his magnificent palace at Versailles,completely oblivious to the rising tide of popular discontent[frustration]. . . .Source: Friedman & Foner, A Genetic Approach to Modern European History,College Entrance Book Co., 1938 from the NYS Global History and GeographyRegents Exam, January 2007.7. Using the text above, identify five powers held by King Louis XVI and describe why these powers may lead the French people to revolt against their government.

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