Western Civ. 2611

Western Civ. 2611 - Adherents of most historical models...

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Adherents of most historical models identify many of the same features of the Ancien Régime as being among the causes of the Revolution. Economic factors included hunger and malnutrition in the most destitute segments of the population, due to rising bread prices (from a normal eight sous for a four- pound loaf to 12 sous by the end of 1789), [3] after several years of poor grain harvests. The combination of bad harvests (due to abnormal/severe weather fluctuations) and rising food prices was further aggravated by an inadequate transportation system which hindered the shipment of bulk foods from rural areas to large population centers, contributing greatly to the destabilization of French society in the years leading up to the Revolution. Another cause may have been France's near bankruptcy as a result of the many wars fought by previous rulers, as well as the financial strain caused by French participation in the American Revolutionary War. The national debt amounted to almost 2 billion livres. The social burdens caused by war included the huge war debt, made worse by the loss of France's colonial possessions in North America and the growing commercial dominance of Great Britain. France's inefficient and antiquated financial system was unable to manage the national debt, something which was both partially caused and exacerbated by the burden of an inadequate system of taxation. To obtain new money to head off default on the government's loans, the king called an Assembly of Notables in 1787. Meanwhile the royal court at Versailles was perceived by many as being isolated from, and indifferent to
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Western Civ. 2611 - Adherents of most historical models...

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