"The French Revolution And Economic Depression".
In June of 1789 the French revolution had begun. For the next five years there would be bloodshed throughout France. This was due to the fact that the country was going through radical change, there was change in sovereignty and the constitutional monarchy had failed. But to what extent was all this caused by economic distress? Before being able to answer this question, one would have to establish the definition of economic distress. It could be defined as the misery, especially the peasantry, faced due to low income and tax inflation. It could also be defined as the misery the entire country was in due to enormous debts, which had accumulated due to the wars the country involved itself in. The economic situation was only one of the elements that caused the people to question the monarchy in pre-revolutionary France. However, it was perhaps the most combustible of all the different fuels that added to the revolutionary fire.
France was in great debt and almost bankrupt, but this did not stop them from engaging in war. The debt, an economic problem, turned into a social one when the peasants began to feel the effects of heavy taxes. This was done in order to pay for the debt. This caused them to question their position in society and effectiveness of their monarchy. Drought and other natural disasters ruined crop production, causing food prices to rise dramatically. With taxes and prices on food steadily rising, the living conditions of the peasants began to degenerate. The belief in divine right and a sense of blind faith in the monarchy was replaced by ideas of equality and personal welfare. These ideas were set into motion through the enlightenment, which had preceded this era of revolution. The economic situation of the time added to these new ideals only added more hate directed towards the monarchy.
In order to understand why the peasants were disgruntled one must analyze the economic structure of France.