3. • Social Cause
One of the main factors that led to the French Revolution was the
unbalanced social structure of society during the Old Regime.
• Economic Cause
It was the main reason of the depletion of the treasury of the king.
• Political Cause
• King was a person of Mediocre Intelligence.
• Immediate Cause
Formation of the Estate General.
• Intellectual Cause
Influence from the writers.
4. • The First Estate, which made up about one
percent of the total population, was divided
into two groups: upper and lower.The upper
clergy included archbishops, bishops, and
• Due to the power of the Roman Catholic
Church, these people were exempt from
most taxes. These men of high status and
privilege enjoyed luxurious lives in their large
palaces. Meanwhile, the lower clergy, which
included poorly-paid village priests, had to
suffer along with the third class peasants.
5. • The Second Estate was composed of about 30,000
families who belonged to the nobility
ㅡ Duke and Duchess, count and countess, and marquis
and marquess. Like the clergy, the nobility represented
another privileged Estate.
They held the highest position in the Church, the army,
and the government. As well, they were exempt from
paying taxes of any kind.
They collected rent from the peasant population who lived
on their lands. They also collected an extreme amount of
customary dues, as
well as dues on salt, cloth, bread, and wine. Most of the
nobility was descendants from the warriors, who helped
the King conquer France
in the early days. They lived a life of lordly ease and
luxury and enjoyed great privileges.
6. About 26 million citizens, the Third Estate
consisted the bourgeoisie, the peasantry,
and the urban artisans. The bourgeoisie,
which included merchants,
manufacturers, bankers, doctors, lawyers,
and intellectuals, were generally
prosperous and often as wealthy as
Third Estate was dominated by the
Blending of aristocratic and bourgeois
classes by 1789
Middle class were Big Winners
Revolutionary goals of the middle class
7. In 1774, Louis XVI of the Bourbon family of kings ascended the throne of France.
He was 20 years old and married to the Austrian princess Marie Antoinette. Upon
his accession the new king found an empty treasury. Long years of war had drained
the financial resources of France.
Added to this was the cost of maintaining an extravagant court at the immense
palace of Versailles.
Under Louis XVI, France helped the thirteen American colonies to gain their
independence from the common enemy, Britain. The war added more than a billion
livres to a debt that had already risen to more than 2 billion livres.
Lenders who gave the state credit, now began to charge 10 per cent interest on
loans. So the French government was obliged to spend an increasing percentage of
its budget on interest payments alone. To meet its regular expenses, such as the
cost of maintaining an army, the court, running government offices or universities,
the state was forced to increase taxes. Yet even this measure would not have
The Church too extracted its share of taxes called tithes from the peasants, and
finally, all members of the third estate had to pay taxes to the state. These
included a direct tax, called taille, and a number of indirect taxes which were levied
on articles of everyday consumption like salt or tobacco. The burden of financing
activities of the state through taxes was borne by the third estate alone ,which
angered the common People
8. Louis XVI attempted to tax the nobles.
The nobles forced the king to call a meeting of the Estates-General an
assembly of delegates from each of the three estates.
9. • Louis XVI, the king of France, was a person of
mediocre intelligence. He ruled with the help of his
empty headed wife ‘Marie Antoinnette’, who appointed
a number of her friends and relatives at high posts and
kept some of them at pension. These people neither
did any work nor they contribute to the National
treasury. Instead they took salary from the Royal
• Louis XVI wanted to increase his territory. And to do
so, he had to be engaged in wars which meant that he
needed a large army for that purpose. Appointing so
many soldiers, required money to pay salaries to them.
It depleted the Royal treasury.
As a result, the king was forced to
raise the taxes with the consent of the three estates .
As the common people had to pay taxes, they became
agitated against their monarch – Louis XVI.
10. • The eighteenth century witnessed the emergence
of social groups, termed the middle class, who
earned their wealth through an expanding overseas
trade and from the manufacture of goods such as
woollen and silk textiles that were either exported
or bought by the richer members of society.
• In addition to merchants and manufacturers, the
third estate included professions such as lawyers
or administrative officials which were educated.
• Middle Class believed that no group in society
should be privileged by birth. Social position must
depend on his merit.
11. • Compelled by Financial bankruptcy, the French
Emperor Louis XVI called a meeting of Estate
General in 1789. It generated much heat as
the members of the 3rd Estate were
determined to put forth their demand.
However, the first two Estates i.e. ‘the Clergy’
and ‘ The Nobility’ refused to have a joint
meeting with the Third Estate. The members
of the Third Estate walked of the Assembly.
13. ◊ Representative
government did not
mean democracy or
became the National
Assembly in June of
1789 with the power
to frame a
◊ Tennis Court Oath
was formed due to
the disagreement of
the 3’rd Estate and
14. Louis XVI did not
actually want a written
When news of his plan
to use military force
against the National
Assembly reached Paris
on July 14, 1789, people
stormed the Bastille
Gouges argued in
of the Rights of
women are equal
reforms just as
also served as a
leader in the
was able to
Women did gain some
rights during the French
Revolution, but these
were designed for
purposes other than
• Women could inherit
property, but only because
doing so weakened feudalism
and reduced wealth among
the upper classes.
• Divorce became easier, but
only to weaken the Church’s
control over marriage.
18. The Directory
Napoleon’s Rise to
the Bank of
Role Of the Napoleon