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Lecture 3

HIST 125 2011 Week 3 Sept 26&28.docx

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Queen's University
HIST 125

Week 3 Sept. 26 2011 Causes of the French Revolution  Problems with the Monarch  Eve of July 14 1789 the Storming of the Bastille took place  “Is this a revolt? – Louis “No Sire, it’s a revolution!”  Despotism power to one supreme ruler (tyranny)  Power received through God Divine Law – absolutism  Arbitrary arrests  King still had to follow countries rule and customs (i.e. Hereditary rule)  Versailles was built by Louis XIII as a hunting lodge and as time continued the other kings added to it  Louis XIV built a Noble’s accommodations to keep an eye on these Nobility and to make them busy with competing against each other to gain accommodations at Versailles  10% of France’s GDP went to run Versailles  Weakness of the monarchy in terms of revenue  Lots of military expenses – 400,000  As poor population increased monarch’s could provided less  Law courts and parliament began to challenge the monarch and elites  Failure to Reform  France needed to collect more revenue, but the Monarch lacked the efficiency to collect them  Tax collection was a corrupt process and people could get steal money and evade taxes  Tax farmers collected for the government leaving room for exploitation (take 10,000 from 15,000 who would be the wiser)  Every reform attempted was stopped by special interest groups  Social Structure and Social Crisis  The 1 Estate  Clergy  Exempt from taxes  Church right to collect taxes from the people – Tithe – 10% of total income  ndChruch was rich  The 2 Estate  Nobility  Exempt from taxes  Special status  Ability to charge to cross bridges and roads and public service utilities rd  The 3 Estate  Commoners 97% of France’s population rd  Bourgeoisie made up a portion of the 3 estate (the higher end)  Limited rights kept in the old feudalism and serfdom  Church promoted to hold material goals unnecessary  Negotiate free market industry destroyed middle class  The first stage of the revolution is the Bourgeoisie Revolution  Bourgeoisie tried to gain noble title  Tension between men of business and bourgeoisie grew  Conditions of the Lower Classes  Standard of living improving, but also high taxation  Mass still rural with that income one may have to sell oneself as hired labour which created tension and strain  1787 and 1788 massive crop failures which created tension and strain  Wealth of the middle
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