The French Revolution

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The French Revolution started in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s. During this time, the citizens redesigned the French political structure by uprooting absolute monarchy and feudalism. The Revolution was fueled by Enlightenment ideals (Popkin, 22). It started after a meeting that was held in Versailles by the Estates General and King Louis XVI on May 5th, 1789. The Estates General consisted of representatives from the clergy, the nobility, and the middle class (Acemoglu, 4). France was almost getting bankrupt at the end of the 18th century, which was brought about by its involvement in the American Revolution, low crop yields from consecutive harvests, as well as King Louis XVI’s extravagant spending. The meeting was called to discuss how they could avert a possible bankruptcy crisis. The middle class, represented by the third estate, was a representative of about 98% of the population. However, it could still be out-voted by the other two estates. At the time of the meeting, the third estate started mobilizing voting by numbers as opposed to status (Acemoglu, 4). The demands created a power struggle with the third estate declaring itself a ‘National Assembly.' The nobles could not give up their position as this meant giving up the privileges they enjoyed. The King threatened to shut down the National Assembly. They, however, remained adamant. Tension increased within the country, and on July 14, the mob stormed Bastille in attack and fear that the King would retaliate. Peasants were protesting against years of oppression and exploitation, burning down homes of tax collectors and the elite (Acemoglu, 5). However, the movement failed to accomplish all its goals, and

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