Sunday, October 19, 2008

French Revolution

The base layer for the powder keg known as the French Revolution was the three estates.
One of the three estates was the king and lords who lived extravagantly, was unconnected from the people, their cries for reform were met with being locked out of the national assembly, and they heavily taxed them for food and money. The land owners or lords who paid an extremely small amount of taxes and didn't pay any attention to the people and took their land and took foodstuffs as well. Lastly was the Clergy who owned 10% of the land paid almost no taxes and as the others were they also were indifferent. All this and the fact that the almost unrepresented little people floated the taxes by at least 70% lead to unrest. But, beside that the people were also drafted into service and unable to use game on your lord's land or his machines without paying tribute if not you get imprisoned.
Some of the other explosive unrest was political cartoons such as one in which the King and a Priest symbolizing the 3 estates sitting on top of a emaciated peasant. The caption offers hope and conciliation in the form of saying "One hopes this will end soon" but at the same time it implants the seeds of rebellion. Some others from different countries came to France and saw that any chance for prosperity was crushed by immense taxes and required tribute of 20kg o' wheat and 60kg o' oats to the lords and King. They also saw that because of this they couldn't even provide for their families and were extremely poor. So all and all its a story of giving and getting nothing in return.For example a farmer would make 200 livres while others would make 10s of thousand of livres. Partial salvation came in the form of Rousseau a writer and the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was an idea of thinking where it emphasizes human reason plus freedom and equality for all men. Rousseau wrote a pamphlet called "Man is Born Free". He preaches against Divine Right, and supports from the ground up democracy. The pamphlet was later on banned.

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