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History of the French Revolution

            Throughout history, many countries have revolted against their rulers for independence. The French Revolution was a very different revolution of its time. Unlike previous revolutions, the French Revolution was very violent. It was the first revolution where there was no reason, just bloodshed. Many philosophers over the years, like Marx, have studied this event, and tried to conclude why it was so violent. Before we go through the events of the revolution, we must first look at the government and events that led up to the revolution.
             The Ancient Regime was the political structure of France that had been around for many years. There were many problems within the Regime. First of all, its pyramid like structure made it so the rich had way more power than the poorer peasants. The Regime was made up of 3 "parties" of the Estates General. Under the King there were the clergy, which were the First Estate and they owned about 10% of the land in France. The Second Estate, or nobles, owned 20% of the land and were below the clergy. Finally, the Third Estate, which was mostly peasants, owned about 70% of the land. Even though the Third Estate was the poorest, it paid all of the taxes that kept the well-being of the state. This was a huge problem as some of the people of the Third Estate couldn't even feed their families. When the French Revolution occurred, the Ancient Regime was one of the first things to go.
             Even though high taxation was a cause of the revolution, it was also more than that. With the development of the Enlightenment in Europe, many people started to reject the ideas of an Absolute Monarchy. Revolutionaries supported the writings of people like John Locke and Voltaire who wrote about everyone having God given rights. Another reason people pushed for the French Revolution was because there was a great financial crisis. France spent a lot of money on the American Revolution, and was ultimately left in huge amounts of debt.

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