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The French Revolution

  • Date Submitted: 02/01/2011 08:32 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 56.9 
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Social Change: The French Revolution
It is the year of 1789, and everyday life as a French peasant is one of the hardest responsibilities there is. King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette of France have been living in Versailles living a luxurious lifestyle and spending exorbitant amounts of tax-payer money. The French economy during this time was failing because of the money mismanagement of the King and Queen. Bread prices had doubled, causing many families to starve in the years of famine. Peasants were tired of paying high taxes, having high unemployment rates, and starving to death. The people were calling for change, which would lead to the overthrow of the French government.
In the summer of 1789, to deal with the rising disdain for the King, the Estates General was summoned for the first time since 1614. The legislature, consisting of representatives from the three French social classes, decided on three things: France needing a constitutional monarchy, the protection of individual liberties by law, and abolishment of trade barriers. The first was accomplished by the Tennis Court Oath, where all of the estates met to write a constitution. The King was unhappy with the idea of a constitution, and sent troops to break up the meeting. This didn’t work, causing the National Assembly to be recognized by the King. This was a pivotal moment, and by the National Assembly winning out the King had reached a point of no return.
With the forced recognition of the National Assembly, people were beginning to take real action towards revolution. The true beginning was marked by the storming of the Bastille. Peasants attacked the prison in search of guns and ammunitions. This really showed the true weakness of the King and Queen of France. Soon, peasants on the countryside were rebelling, causing the Great Fear of 1789. The large scale revolts on the countryside showed that real change needed to be done quickly, so in August the National Assembly passed laws to...

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