An analysis of the economic crisis during the french revolution

He removed government restrictions on the sale and distribution of grain in order to increase grain sales and, in turn, government revenue. Membership in such courts, or appointment to other public positions, often led to elevation to the nobility the so-called Nobles of the Robeas distinguished from the nobility of ancestral military origin, the Nobles of the Sword.

causes of french revolution pdf

However the French historian Georges Lefebvre argues that France's key problem was its tax code, the multitude of tax exemptions that the first and second estates possessed preventing the collection of hundreds of millions of livres in taxes every year.

Naturally, holders of these offices tried to reimburse themselves by milking taxpayers as hard as possible.

causes of the french revolution essay

In theory, this would eventually lead to a war of revenge and see France regain its colonies from Britain. This caused further resentment.

Economic causes of the french revolution

The increasingly numerous and prosperous elite of wealthy commoners—merchants, manufacturers, and professionals, often called the bourgeoisie —aspired to political power in those countries where it did not already possess it. During the Age of Enlightenment , the physiocrat school of economy emerged. He removed government restrictions on the sale and distribution of grain in order to increase grain sales and, in turn, government revenue. Violence spread to the countryside, where peasants demanded the feudal system be dismantled. In each country, servicing the debt accounted for about one-half the government's annual expenditure; where they differed was in the effective rates of interest. In earlier days such catastrophes had not been announced and publicly discussed. In theory, this would eventually lead to a war of revenge and see France regain its colonies from Britain. The tax burden, therefore, devolved to the peasants, wage-earners, and the professional and business classes, also known as the third estate. This negative turn of events signaled to Louis that he had lost the ability to rule as an absolute monarch, and he fell into depression. In good times, the taxes were burdensome; in harsh times, they were devastating.

Still, expenditures outpaced revenues. As with the nobility, it paid no taxes and merely contributed a grant to the state every five years, the amount of which was self-determined. These protests blended with those of others, most notably an influential group of professional intellectuals called the philosophes.

Heavy expenditures to conduct losing the Seven Years' War —and France's backing of the Americans in their War of Independenceran the tab up an even further 1. The hunger and despair of the Parisian women was also the original impetus for the Women's March on Versailles in Octoberthey wanted not just one meal but the assurance that bread would once again be plentiful and cheap.

French revolution economic crisis

Tax collection was farmed out privatized to "fermiers", through a system of public bidding. Jacques Necker France sent Rochambeau , Lafayette and de Grasse , along with large land and naval forces, to help the Americans. This policy also failed; therefore, Louis convened the Assembly of Notables in to discuss a revolutionary new fiscal reform proposed by Calonne. Furthermore, from about , higher standards of living had reduced the mortality rate among adults considerably. They redefined such terms as despotism, or the oppression of a people by an arbitrary ruler; liberty and rights; and the nation. France was a wealthier country than Britain, and its national debt was no greater than the British one. In each country, servicing the debt accounted for about one-half the government's annual expenditure; where they differed was in the effective rates of interest. This doctrine resulted in a system of absolute rule and provided the commoners with absolutely no input into the governance of their country. They were replaced by Jacques Necker , who supported the American Revolution and proceeded with a policy of taking large international loans instead of raising taxes. Furthermore, the monarchy almost always spent more each year than it collected in taxes; consequently, it was forced to borrow, which it did increasingly during the 18th century. The First and Second Estates owned most of the land and were lightly taxed; the Third owned little and was heavily taxed. Violence spread to the countryside, where peasants demanded the feudal system be dismantled. Food scarcity was common in the 18th century, but the grain police would forbid exportations from regions facing bad harvests and would import grain from regions enjoying overproduction.

The French population exceeded 28 million; of Europe's to millions, only Imperial Russia had a greater population 37 to 41 million. In springfamine arose in this new context: before Turgot's edict, every region faced its own shortages, so that some would have suffered a genuine famine while others would have been totally spared and supplied through stable prices; a royal intervention would have been requested, and without a doubt obtained, to assure the supply of the regions most affected.

I did not, in '89, believe they would have lasted so long, nor have cost so much blood.

Significance of french revolution

Often an additional tax, called "paulette" was paid by the holders of an office to upgrade their position to one that could be passed along as an inheritance. This doctrine resulted in a system of absolute rule and provided the commoners with absolutely no input into the governance of their country. The Catholic Church maintained a rigid hierarchy as abbots and bishops were all members of the nobility and canons were all members of wealthy bourgeois families. Members of these courts bought their positions from the king, as well as the right to transfer their positions hereditarily through payment of an annual fee, the paulette. The upper echelons of the clergy had considerable influence over government policy. As with the nobility, it paid no taxes and merely contributed a grant to the state every five years, the amount of which was self-determined. Some American diplomats, like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson , had lived in Paris, where they consorted freely with members of the French intellectual class.
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French revolution with fiscal crisis