Causes of the French Revolution

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Causes of the French Revolution by Mind Map: Causes of the French Revolution

1. Weak leadership (Louis XVI)

1.1. Diffident and weak willed

1.1.1. did not introduce reforms to gain the support of people

1.2. Weak advisors

1.3. Wasted resources (Marie Antoinette)

1.3.1. extravagant spending on courts

1.3.2. over ambitious wars

1.3.2.1. eg. 7 years war against Britain (1756-1763) --> fighting losing battle --> economically drained

1.4. System of privilege limited his call for action

1.4.1. could not tax the nobles because he had to protect the rights of the nobles

1.4.1.1. however, this is the only solution he has for the financial crisis

1.4.1.1.1. The king got trapped in this system of absolutism

2. Financial Crisis

2.1. revenue is less than expenditure

2.1.1. deficit budget --> development of a constant loan cycle

2.2. did not tax the nobility --> the Third Estate only had limited money to tax on

2.2.1. Turgot tried to make aristocrats pay taxes

2.2.1.1. aristocrats were unhappy because they traditionally did not have to pay any taxes

2.3. no modern banking system to underwrite loans

3. Hunger and Starvation

3.1. poor harvest

3.2. low productivity

3.3. famines and droughts

3.4. Large amount of money spent on food (88% of wages - 1788)

4. Discontent within the Estates

4.1. Structure based on custom & tradition (born into the different classes)

4.1.1. 1st Estate

4.1.1.1. Those who pray (clergy)

4.1.1.1.1. Tax exempted

4.1.1.1.2. 1% of population owned 30% of the land

4.1.2. 2nd Estate

4.1.2.1. Those who fought (nobility)

4.1.3. 3rd Estate

4.1.3.1. tax-burdened

4.1.3.2. Those who worked (peasants)

5. Taxation

5.1. First & second Estates: exempted from tax

5.2. Third estates: taxed on items such as salt, bread, use of oven etc.

5.2.1. Pay taxes and tithe (10% of income to church)

5.2.1.1. usually did not have enough money to buy food

6. Impact of Enlightenment Ideas

6.1. People demanded own rights

6.1.1. Current system was unjust and unfair

6.2. Idea of social contract (Rousseau)

6.2.1. Introduced possibility of negotiating with God (since King derived his power from God) -Reciprocal Relationship

6.2.1.1. appealed to the general masses

6.2.1.2. led to the questioning of the norms, beliefs, and values