History - Year 10
Assessment Activity: Essay on French Revolution
By Debajyoti Chaudhuri KM10
Q: To what extent were the financial difficulties of the government the cause of the French Revolution
To a large extent, the financial difficulties of the government were the cause of the French Revolution. A major cause was the economic crisis and financial debt accumulated by the French Government which brought national unrest leading to revolution. The financial and taxation structure of the French Government was unjust and discontented the majority of the people, especially the poor Third Estate, and drove them to revolt. The immense poverty and lack of food for the common French people triggered rebellion. However, it must be noted that financial difficulties were not the only cause of the French Revolution, but were accompanied with poor leadership, Enlightenment Ideas, and a breaking down social structure which only amplified the financial difficulties of the French Government. These economic and financial difficulties of the French Government were a main reason for the revolution.
The economic crisis and financial debt of the French Government enraged the people of France. Exorbitant debt led to the financial crisis of the French Government (French Revolution Causes: An Economic Crisis, 2011). Streich (2009) explains that extravagant expenditures on luxuries by Louis XVI, whose rule began in 1774, were compounded by debts that were run up during the reign of his profligate predecessor, Louis XV. Heavy expenditures to conduct the losing Seven Years' War against Britain, and France's attempt for revenge against the British by backing the Americans in their War of Independence increased debt even further (Streich, 2009). Finally after compounding enormous debt, both banks and financial institutions denied France any more loans. Bhattacharya (2005) identifies that the financial strain of servicing old debt and the excesses of the current royal court caused...