Taking notes causes of revolution the french

This preview shows page 4 - 6 out of 30 pages.

TAKING NOTES Causes of Revolution The French Revolution and Napoleon 651 MAIN IDEA WHY IT MATTERS NOW TERMS & NAMES ECONOMICS Economic and social inequalities in the Old Regime helped cause the French Revolution. Throughout history, economic and social inequalities have at times led peoples to revolt against their governments. Old Regime • estate Louis XVI Marie Antoinette • Estates-General • National Assembly Tennis Court Oath Great Fear 1 SETTING THE STAGE In the 1700s, France was considered the most advanced country of Europe. It had a large population and a prosperous foreign trade. It was the center of the Enlightenment, and France’s culture was widely praised and imitated by the rest of the world. However, the appearance of success was deceiving. There was great unrest in France, caused by bad harvests, high prices, high taxes, and disturbing questions raised by the Enlightenment ideas of Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire. The Old Order In the 1770s, the social and political system of France—the Old Regime remained in place. Under this system, the people of France were divided into three large social classes, or estates . The Privileged Estates Two of the estates had privileges, including access to high offices and exemptions from paying taxes, that were not granted to the members of the third. The Roman Catholic Church, whose clergy formed the First Estate, owned 10 percent of the land in France. It provided education and relief services to the poor and contributed about 2 percent of its income to the government. The Second Estate was made up of rich nobles. Although they accounted for just 2 percent of the population, the nobles owned 20 percent of the land and paid almost no taxes. The majority of the clergy and the nobility scorned Enlightenment ideas as radical notions that threatened their status and power as privileged persons. The Third Estate About 97 percent of the people belonged to the Third Estate. The three groups that made up this estate differed greatly in their economic conditions. The first group—the bourgeoisie ( BUR •zhwah•ZEE), or middle class—were bankers, factory owners, merchants, professionals, and skilled artisans. Often, they were well educated and believed strongly in the Enlightenment ideals of liberty and equality. Although some of the bourgeoisie were as rich as nobles, they paid high taxes and, like the rest of the Third Estate, lacked privileges. Many felt that their wealth entitled them to a greater degree of social status and political power. The workers of France’s cities formed the second, and poorest, group within the Third Estate. These urban workers included tradespeople, apprentices, laborers, and domestic servants. Paid low wages and frequently out of work, they often The French Revolution Begins
652 Chapter 23 went hungry. If the cost of bread rose, mobs of these workers might attack grain carts and bread shops to steal what they needed.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture