History Essay Section 3

Maile Shackelford
History 1
February 2, 2016  

History Essay Section 3
Most historical events don’t happen overnight, the French Revolution didn’t happen so fast the tensions had been simmering for years. The feudal system that existed in France for most of its history allowed for great differences in income levels and a total separation of the classes. This often left the peasants isolated from the rest of society. Heavy taxes, inflated prices, and stagnant wages made life unbearable for the urban working class in France as well. The Estates General, the representative assembly of the three estates of France, had not met in more than 150 years. Calling a meeting of the assembly represented a drastic measure on the part of Louis XVI. As is so often the case money, mostly lack of money, caused a lot of problems for the French government. France had rising debts, but it had limited means of raising revenue. The tax system put most of the burden on the people least able to pay. In addition, banks were weak and underdeveloped. From the people having to pay tax people got angry and began to cause mayhem and eventually overthrew the monarchy.

The First Estate was made up of two groups of clergy and accounted for less than 1 percent of the population. The bishops and abbots made up the first group. They were wealthy and held great authority in the church. The other, lower group consisted of the priests and monks who had modest incomes and little say in matters of the church. The responsibilities of The First Estate did very many things, these things included the registration of births, marriages, and deaths, they also censored books, served as moral police, operated schools and hospitals, and distributed relief to the poor. The Second Estate consisted of the nobility The Third Estate was made up of everyone else, from peasant farmers to the bourgeoisie, the wealthy business class. While The Second Estate was only 1 percent of the total population of France,...