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When Louis XIV reign ended,the economy was collapsing, and famine and war were threatening. The old regime was ineffective, and unfair to the third estate. The estates-general were made up of the clergy, the nobles, and the rest of the people.
Although the third estate made up 97% of the population, they only had one vote. They declared themselves the national assembly, and made the tennis court oath. The bourgeosies worked with the peasants.
The third estate stormed the Bastille prison in an attempt to free political prisoners. There weren't any, but this became a symbol of the revolution.
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