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I'm tired of paying all these taxes and not being able to afford bread!!
The Estates General
Tennis Court Oath
In 1789, France had a social ranking system that came out of the Middle Ages. Everyone in France had a specific class they belonged to; First, Second, and Third Estate. The First Estate were the the clergy which was the Church. The Second Estate were the nobility of the French society which was 2% of the population. Lastly the Third Estate included the peasants and bourgeoisie which were outraged with paying taxes, little jobs and lack of food.
In 1788, Louis XVI called for the Estates General because the bread riots were growing, and nobles, fearful of taxes were denouncing royal tyranny. He had the three estates to make a cahiers that lists their grievances. They asked for reforms like fairer taxes, freedom of the press, and some asked for the right to kill animals that were damaging their crops.
The Third Estate declared themselves to be the National Assembly. The asked for delegates from other estates to help them write the constituion, that states laws of government and basic rules. The National Assembly assumed the king planned to disband them when they found that the meeting was locked. So they found a nearby Tennis court and an oath to always stay together until the constitution was signed.
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