Battle of Saratoga-When the Americans won this battle, the French monarchy decided to help them and sent a fleet and soldiers to aid the Americans.Battle of Yorktown- The soldiers on the American side were ¼ Americans and ¾ French. A fleet stopped British supplies, and the fleet consisted of only French ships. -France had lost its colony, and now helped to ensure Britain’s loss of its colonies. Was this a French victory? Yes, but very expensive.<Selling bonds to cover expenses:The French sold bonds to cover war expenses, but the problem was that bonds and interest eventually had to be paid back. The French government was paying from 5-8% of National debt of France.
After 1778- Debt so large that interest payments alone amounted to 30% of taxes. <The French government is headed for disaster now. Why? Because they helped the Americans.>Fiscal Crisis – Louis XVI is facing a terrible problem. The only way he can get more money is from the Noblemen and Clergy, and they only way they’ll pay is if he makes some concession...by giving them some power. 1787- Louis XVI calls some liberal noblemen and clergy and asks for help in convincing the privileged to pay direct tax. They respond: “No taxation without representation” justliketheAmericanshad.Louis XVI does something that had not been done since 1614 by Louis XII.: calls a meeting of the Estates General in the Spring of 17891789, Meeting of Estates General.It had been 175 yrs since the last meeting of the estates general had been called. What does calling this meeting mean? <The King has a fiscal crisis and now a political crisis as well.>Estates General: 3 estates-I-Clergy-II- Nobility
-III- CommonsClergy and Nobility represented only 4% of the population, while the estate of Commons represented the other 96%. Each estate had about 300 representatives, but there was only one vote per estate. So, when it came time to chose the Estates General, 2 changes were proposed: 1.) Doubling the 3rd(the Commons), and 2.) Vote by head, not by estates.If these changes had taken effect, Commons would almost be sure to dominate, but Louis XVI agreed to #1, but not to #2, so nothing really changed.Btw 1740-1789-Population of France had nearly doubled. 1775- was an especially bad year.1778- The harvest of 1788 was very bad, some sai it was as bad as the harvest of 1709. The harvest was about the same, but the population had doubles since 1709. People were starving and unhappy....they don’t remain silent...this causes trouble.