The French Revolution
1. Causes of the revolution
Although there were different causes for that complex event, we pointed our attention in the following:
- The discredit of monarchy. In many monarchies the favourites were the rulers. In France, Louis XVI weakness favoured the revolution. (see Louis XVI figure)
- The economic crisis. Large expenditures in the court made necessary raising taxes over working and middle classes, but upper classes were exempt from them.
- Discontent of the bourgeoisie. The working classes wanted a political transformation which would allow them to participate in the government of the country, which was in the hands of the upper classes.
- New revolutionary ideas in the encyclopaedia, which attacked monarchy, religion and society.
- Inconsistency of the nobility. The nobles were the first to be against the monarchy, but there were also the first who died in the guillotine.
- The revolutionary cycle. The revolution fastly spread over Europe. The Paris Commune guillotined thousands of Frenchmen: first kings and nobles, later bourgoises and last heir own revolutionary leaders. To bring order to the country a leader was needed, and Napoleon Bonaparte got the power. It was a paradox: the revolution started to erase an absolutist monarchy and gave birth to a tirany ruled by an emperor.
2. Choose the correct causes: discredit of the monarchy, economic crisis, discontent, ideas, inconsistency or revolutionary cycle: