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SDSU Causes of The French Revelation & Why It Turned Against Itself Q&A Discussion

San Diego State University

Question Description

I need an explanation for this History question to help me study.

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I need help answering this question below.

Explain the causes of the french revelation and why it turned against itself when the American revolution didn't.

Requirements For Term Paper

1. It should be between 8-10 pages (typed and double spaced) in length.

2. Use at least three sources; they should be a combination of academic articles and books or books alone, other than your textbooks. After exhausting your three proper sources, you may use Internet sources with the sites that are “edu” or “org” domain.

The following site has excellent academic articles that may be useful to you. Scholarly Journal Archive (http://www.jstor.org)

3. As aforementioned, your paper should have an Outline, Introduction, Main Body, and Conclusion.

4. Your paper should contain a Chicago style bibliography of your sources (see, http://writing.umn.edu/sws/assets/pdf/quicktips/chicago_bib.pdf)

5. Use Chicago style footnotes or endnotes when quoting or citing data (see,

https://research.wou.edu/c.php?g=551307&p=3785233)

6. Do a spelling and grammar check on your final paper.

Required books

J. Bentley & H. Ziegler, Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past.

(Selected material, sixth Edition and also a copy was put on reserve at the circulation desk in the Love library)

Ross E. Dunn, The New World History: A Teacher’s Companion.

Council on Islamic Education, Teaching about Islam and Muslims in the Public School

Classroom. let me know if you have any question, Thank you.

Student has agreed that all tutoring, explanations, and answers provided by the tutor will be used to help in the learning process and in accordance with Studypool's honor code & terms of service.

Final Answer

Here you go, have a look

Outline
Introduction of the French Revolution
Body
History of the French Monarch
Causes of the French Revolution
Rise of the Third Estate
Challenging economic and financial times
The absolute power of the Monarch
The struggle for representation by the Third Estate
The age of Enlightenment
Differences between the American and the French Revolution
Conclusion
References

Carlyle, T., 2019. The French Revolution. Oxford University Press.
De Tocqueville, Alexis. The old regime and the French revolution. Anchor, 2010.
Fitzsimmons, Michael P. Night the Old Regime Ended: August 4, 1789, and the French
Revolution. Penn State Press, 2010.
Hunt, Lynn. Family Romance of the French Revolution. Routledge, 2013.

Winks, Robin W., and Thomas E. Kaiser. Europe, 1648-1815: From the Old Regime to the Age
of Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.


Running head: THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

The French Revolution
Name
Date
Institutional Affiliation

1

2

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
The French Revolution
The French revolution is one of the most revolutionary events that ever happened in the
European continent, which shaped the path for independence to many European countries and
the history of the world. The revolution, which was between the years of 1787 and 1799,
reshaped society and paved the way for modern trends in the European countries, having a great
emphasis on the freedoms and rights of all individuals. The revolution's most notable
achievement or goal was to overthrow the Monarch and establishing a republic that honored the
rights and privileges of all countrymen 1. The revolution, however, presented a time of great
political turmoil and revolutionary wars that extended from the Caribbean to the middle east 2.
It was an event that truly shaped the history of humankind as a whole, leaving a lasting
impression as a significant event that started the falling of the absolute monarchies and inclining
towards liberal societies and democratic nations. The revolution ended with a lot of bloodshed
and Napoleon being the sole ruler over the newly established France as a dictator. As he
continued conquering Western Europe, Napoleon spread his message of absolute power to the
people throughout Europe as well as influencing the people in other parts of the world. Having
been involved in the American Revolution and the Seven Year's War, the French government
was left deep in debt, and they increased the taxes to recover from the economic depression,
which was an unpopular move 3.

11

Fitzsimmons, Michael P. Night the Old Regime Ended: August 4, 1789 and the French Revolution. Penn State
Press, 2010.
2
Carlyle, T., 2019. The French Revolution. Oxford University Press
3
Fitzsimmons, Michael P. Night the Old Regime Ended: August 4, 1789 and the French Revolution. Penn State
Press, 2010.

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

3

Causes of The French Revolution
Many factors led to the French Revolution as depicted by many historians, but the most
valid one was the hunger for freedom from the old established political landscape and institutions
like; the Feudal system and the Monarch, which seemed only to favor the royalty and noblemen
of the country 4. Some causes ranged from social and cultural changes, the age of the
Enlightenment, economic and financial difficulties, inability for the state to feed itself, and the
political actions of the reigning powers which were not favoring the minority. Like in many
revolutions, the French Third Estate felt like the Monarchy was not only becoming unfair but
also making it hard for them to leave a simple healthy life. They were pushed to the point they
could not afford bread, which was the staple food of the French.
The Revolution of 1789, as it was commonly referred to, marked the end of the ancient
regime in France. This is not to be confused with the later French Revolutions of 1830 and 1848,
which came later and for other reasons. It was during the reign of King Louis XVI the French
Revolution uprising began, and he would then meet his death together with his wife Marie
Antoinette by guillotine 5French had been involved either directly or indirectly in several wars
during the 1700s, which had left the country in an economic crisis. War is always expensive, and

4

Fitzsimmons, Michael P. Night the Old Regime Ended: August 4, 1789 and the French Revolution. Penn State
Press, 2010.
5

Hunt, Lynn. Family Romance of the French Revolution. Routledge, 2013

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

4

during the American Revolutionary War against France's longtime enemies, Britain, King Louis
XVI spent a lot of the countries' resources supporting this war.
In the struggle for its independence from the Brutish colony, America needed the help of
its Allies like the French to win. Supporting this war took a toll on the economy of France,
almost Bankrupting the nation in its efforts to support the war. Being an absolute Monarch,
Louis spent his countries money without necessarily planning for the future with no possible way
of refunding or replenishing its resources. Their resentment of the British Empire and the fact
that they had been at war with Britain before, made the American revolution personal. They
promised their full support to America, and they helped the American people immensely in their
efforts.
There was also the issue of the Seven Year's War of 1756 and 1763, which involved all
major European countries and spanned over five continents. There were two sides that the war
split the European continent, one being led by the Kingdom of Great Britain and the other the
Kingdom of France. Being a significant player in this war, France had also spent a lot of
resources in the war, significantly affecting its economic position 6. King Louis XVI expenditure
and the previous regimes were extravagant in their spending, stretching the countries resources to
the maximum. For example, the building and remodeling of the Palace of Versailles over the
years, even the inclusion of a theatre by Marie Antoinette in the years before the French
revolution, significantly depleted the countries resources.
In a bid to take France out of the financial crisis, the King imposed an increase in the tax
rates, even suggesting taxes from the nobility. The King's general controller proposed a reform

6

Winks, Robin W., and Thomas E. Kaiser. Europe, 1648-1815: From the Old Regime to the Age of Revolution.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

5

tax reform package that would imply a universal land tax to all members of the country,
including the nobles who had been previously exempted from. In a bid to pass the reforms, king
Louis XVI invited the Estates-General, which were the countries clergy and nobility, together
with the middle class to a meeting in 1789. Each group was supposed to come up with a list of
grievances that they thought should be changed to aid the country to rise again from the
economic depression by uniting all the factions.
The country was experiencing unrest from the common folk and peasant from their
disapproval of how the Monarchy was spending money but also by the recent unyielding crop
harvests. The royal coffers were already empty, and the people had suffered lousy harvest for the
past two seasons, coupled with cattle disease and drought. This had driven up the prices of food
and, most importantly, bread, which was quite popular. The people were enraged with the
Monarch for outing heavy taxes on them while doing nothing about the state of the country,
which was occasionally exposed to riots and looting. The people were airing their discontent
towards the Monarch is the most populated in the country; the Third state demanded changes7.
The population difference in France has changed over the past recent years, with the
growing numbers of the non-aristocrat members of the society now presenting nearly 98% of the
people. There were three distinct classes and estates that made up the France population, the
Clergy, the Nobles, and the third state, which were all the other people in France. The clergy and
noblemen had many privileges, like holding higher offices in the church, government, and the
army. The nobles collected dues from the peasants while the church received a tithe from the
people which led to both this Estates becoming wealthy and powerful they controlled the church,

7

Fitzsimmons, Michael P. Night the Old Regime Ended: August 4, 1789 and the French Revolution. Penn State
Press, 2010

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

6

army, and government to their advantage without much opposition. They had, for many years,
trifled over the rights of the Third Estate population, creating apparent social and economic
differences that created an air of hostility towards each other.
The clergy represented the smallest number in the Estates, estimated to be around 100,000
in the 1780s, and they owned roughly 6% of the land in France. The nobility was approximately
400,000 in number and held about 20% of the property. The total population was estimated at
that time to be about 24,700,000. Having the most significant number of citizens in the Third
state did not necessarily give them an advantage 8. The problem was that they did not have
enough representation in the decision-making process or consulted even on matters concerning
their rights. Having representation would mean having a say in issues, and their decisions are not
vetoed by the other estates.
There was a time when the peasants would have just bowed down to the authority as they
had been doing through the reins of the previous regimes, but there was a spark that had been lit
by the Age of Enlightenment. The Enlightenment had occurred earlier in the 18th century, but
the beliefs, ideas, and thinking that questioned traditional authority. The views of democracy and
liberty had been presented to the people, and it was a time that it sparks a revolution. Absolute
power was a thing that should not be left to one side of the community but spread through all
concerned parties. Enlightenment thinkers challenged the absolute Monarch and the hard
decision of classes in the city like feudalism or the Estate system of France. This inspired the
citizens and revolutionaries to question the government authority that led to the revolution [7].

8

Fitzsimmons, Michael P. Night the Old Regime Ended: August 4, 1789 and the French Revolution. Penn State

Press, 2010

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

7

The ruler of the country, King Louise XVI, had, for many years being an in-effective
leader driving the country into a downward spiral economically and socially. Kings before him,
had not salvaged the situation by the degradation and oppression of the Third Estate community.
They needed and demanded change once the situation was un-bearable. This was during a time
where people all over were revolting and taking independence from the formal authority. France
was at the point that they needed change, and the current regime was not giving it to them, they
decided to take matters into their own hands.
There came a time that the Third Estate could not bear to be ruled by a leader that they
considered ruthless and sided with the other two Estates. The third Estate community, some had
served the army and were aware of the stand that the Americans had taken against the British
nation, which was a far much larger adversary than the one they faced. The people revolutionary
company was out to ensure that they get new leaders that would enable the equality of rights and
privileges of all the people. Louis did not seem to care about them; neither did he consider them
a threat, so it was so easy for the people to surprise the Monarch with a revolution that shook the
fabric of their society.
There was also a significant reason why the French revolution broke out in the 1770s, and
the 1780s was lack of food in the country. There had been climatic changes in the France regions
for the past decade or so; shifting weather made the production food in the country. In 1783 there
was a Volcanic eruption from Laki in Iceland, which sent ash clouds in the atmosphere, causing
harsher winter's and summers. The situation was not salvaged because there were even more
poor harvests in 1787 and 1788. The winter of 1788 was by far the harshest experienced in the
region freezing crop even in-store [ii]. Transportation was also unbearable during the time, also
making the transportation harder. Following the winter, spring was ridden with massive floods

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

8

and water lodge soils with the melting of the ice. The peasants and Third Estate, who made up
most of the population and who mostly relied on the grain harvested from the fields, suffered the
most during these times.
The American Revolution had already occurred before this, and they had gained their
independence from the British with the actual help from the French. Even this American
revolution put the pressure on the French to expedite their clutch of autonomy. The Americans,
quite unlike the French, were not fighting for abstraction but the preservation of the rights of the
Englishmen. One of the biggest points of advocacy for the American revolution went with the
slogan "no taxation without representation" was a tangible goal that would make a difference.
The Americans were fighting for them, ruling themselves while the French were fighting for who
should rule the country. Englishmen fought the British on the battleground for their
independence and weren't stuck fighting against each other. There were, however, fighting for
almost similar things in the long run just that the French were more concerned about their
internal threats while America was external threats.
The French Revolution was trickier to win because they knew they could not mean
against the state if they went out for force by the state. Equality, liberty, and fraternity were won
by the French thought reforms and pushing for more inclusive policies and equal representation.
The authority, however, had to accept the claims legitimately, even if they fought how had they
could not elect themselves into offices. They could have achieved it by brute force, but this
would not result in liberty. The French revolution is considered as real as they come; they were
fighting for their independence but also to get the people out of the misery that the Third Estate
was facing from the other Estates. They were fighting for the bare minimum just for survival;
they had to fight if they were to survive. The American revolution was, however, instigated by

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

9

the rich in a bid to get out of paying taxes from the motherland. American taxes imposed by the
colony were not as high as those in French, but they just decided they did not want to be ruled
anymore. This was a major difference between the two revolutions.
The outcome of the Revolutions was also different when compared, while the American
revolution leads to the instilling of a president and a democratic republic, the French Revolution
led to the rise of a dictator, Napoleon. Even though they had gained their freedom from the
controlling factions, they had traded one ruthless leader for another, and this would affect their
development in the long run. America formed a union of states which come together under one
president in order to work together for the betterment of the community. Napoleon, on the other
hand, went ahead to lead the country into endless wars in a bid to gain more colonies and power,
which finally led to their defeat and decline to his reign.
There was also a significant difference in who were fighting the war in both revolutions
and to what end they were fighting for. Making a case against a Monarch to get independence
that would mean just equality between country me who seemed to be selfish to their own
development, while American revolution was divided between two parties; one loyal to the
crown while the other against the colonial power. In both cases, the participants got what they
wanted, more for the American revolution than the French revolution; however, they felt that the
win was massive for the French. Toppling the reign of Hereditary Kings from single families,
which had been in power for the longest time, amassing wealth for themselves and neglecting the
people 9.

9

De Tocqueville, Alexis. The old regime and the French revolution. Anchor, 2010

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

10

Another big difference between the two revolutions is the casualties sustained and the
number of resources dispensed for the wars. The American Revolution, which was fought in the
Battle of Lexington, which was the American colonies gathered to disrupt the British from
capturing their leaders, led to the injury of one British soldier and the wounding or killing of
about 20 American soldiers. The war was brief and rather minimal in all aspects leaving the
country almost not shaken by the events. The French revolution, on the other the storming
Bastille which was orchestrated to free the Revolutions leaders imprisoned. The siege that lasted
a whole day led to the death of 100 or more rioters and the notable assassination of the forts
military governor Bernard Jordan de Launay.
The French revolution cannot be accurately dated when it ended, and some say that it
ended when Napoleon staged the coup in 1799. There was, however, political unrest in France
well into the 19th century. France was a country filled with conflict and turmoil for many years
after the revolution with a persistent outbreak of violence time after time. Even with Napoleon
on the seat, as a sovereign leader, the country was still not stable, and the Third Estate population
continued to suffer due to the unending war efforts of the country. The people suffered for much
longer before they could enjoy a democratic society. The American Revolution, on the other
hand, ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris 10. This led to the downing of arms in the
country and ensuring the independence of America as a sovereign republic.
The American revolution gave them freedom from the reins of the colony. Still, the American
people made a point to learn from their mistakes and make better decisions regarding their
leadership. Their experience during this time led them to form a government; however, copied

10

De Tocqueville, Alexis. The old regime and the French revolution. Anchor, 2010

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

11

from others, it ensured that they got the making of a government more natural and effective.
From what they had learned, they establish a constitution and government which, could lead the
people to the intended direction. Revolution is supposed to bring change and relief to the current
situation, but in the French Revolution, it is harder to decipher if they learned from their
mistakes. They were back to where they began with, a Monarch that has never been democratic
and meant they could still suffer oppression.
Revolutions aim to save a nation from a situation that cannot be salvaged by reasonable
means and where conventional methods are ineffective. It is essential to ensure that the goals and
aims of a revolution are clearly defined, and a way forward is clearly defined. The vacuum of
power created by a revolution is a dangerous time if unchecked and can lead to even more
problems for the people. Picking up the pieces after the misfortunate occurrences is always hard,
and the less the destruction left by the French revolution, it would be harder for the nation to get
back on its feet.

12

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
Bibliography
Carlyle, T., 2019. The French Revolution. Oxford University Press.
De Tocqueville, Alexis. The old regime and the French revolution. Anchor, 2010.
Fitzsimmons, Michael P. Night the Old Regime Ended: August 4, 1789, and the French
Revolution. Penn State Press, 2010.
Hunt, Lynn. Family Romance of the French Revolution. Routledge, 2013.

Winks, Robin W., and Thomas E. Kaiser. Europe, 1648-1815: From the Old Regime to the Age
of Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Use this one

Running head: THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

The French Revolution
Name
Date
Institutional Affiliation

1

2

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
The French Revolution
The French revolution is one of the most revolutionary events that ever happened in the
European continent, which shaped the path for independence to many European countries and
the history of the world. The revolution, which was between the years of 1787 and 1799,
reshaped society and paved the way for modern trends in the European countries, having a great
emphasis on the freedom...

Drval (27014)
UIUC

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