The French revolution was three phases rolled into one revolution. Each revolution had a different approach to enlightened philosophy, political goals, and economic ambitions. Throughout these three phases, the philosophers of the enlightenment from chapter eighteen are represented in influencing the French revolution. These philosophers, including Locke, Smith, Wollstonecraft, Rousseau, and Montesquieu, proved as a guiding force through the best and worst parts of the French revolution. .
The first stage of the French Revolution was caused by financial crisis because they were in debt due to the American Revolution, nobles and clergy resisted taxation, and Louis XVI wanted his rights. To solve the financial crisis, the works of the Scottish philosopher, Adam Smith, is represented and had to be used. Smith believed that rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity through free market capitalism opposed to mercantilism. This way trade can help not only one, but both sides. But capitalism had been tried before and was loathed by the public both times. .
When capitalism was tried the price of foods and many other necessities inflated such as bread creating furious mobs, the mobs were out of control revolting and ravaging bakeries. Much to Wollstonecraft's approval a mob of women marched to Versailles to make their feelings known. There was a bill proposed by Olympe de Gouges that called, "Declaration of the Rights of women " which is very similar to Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman. The financial crisis in France would soon be solved once all of France has committed to free market capitalism. But to solve the crisis Louis XIV calls for the Estates General in this stage. The Estates General Consisted of 3 estates, the 1st estate was the clergy and its officials, 2nd estate was the aristocracy, and the 3rd estate included merchants, doctors, lawyers, and bankers; mainly the upper middle class.