For hundreds of years, under feudalism,the people of France were divided into three unequal social classes called estates. Some Enlightenment ideas that inspired the french revolution were liberty,equality, and fraternity.
1st: Clergy (Catholic priest, 1% of the population)
3rd: Commoners (Everyone else, 97% of the population)
2nd: Nobles (Rich landowners, 2% of the population)
In the late 1700s, France was deeply in debt from too much spending on wars and the lavish lifestyle of the royal family.
King Louis XVI
My beloved we owe so much money!What should we do???
Who cares? Just raise taxes. Lets have a party , Let them eat caaakkkke!!
Queen Marie Antoinette
King Louis XVI was forced to call the Estates General, the body of representatives of the people, and ask them to raise taxes. But voting was by estate, so the representatives of first two estates could outvote the third estate representatives.
May 1789: Meeting of the Estates General
We vote yes!
No! How can we lose 2-1 if we represent most of the people? This is not fair!
Should the third estate keep paying all the taxes?
The representatives of the third estate walked out, declared themselves the National Assembly and swore the Tennis Court Oath
We, the National Assembly promise not to separate until we establish a constitution
The people of Paris stormed the Bastille, a royal prison. They were looking for weapons to defend the National Assembly . This started the French revolution
July 14, 1789: The storming of the bastille the revolution begins