I have to pay half of my earnings for taxes, and yet, the first and second estate don't have to pay anything?
I want to solve our debt by placing taxes on the second estate!
But the estates-general hasn't met in 160 years.
Hey, I have an idea. What if all of the estates were equal?
That's a good idea.
The French Revolution was a major turning point in how social classes were represented. One of the causes was the taxes put onto the Third Estate. Out of all of the Estates, the third was the poorest. They had to pay half of their wages to taxes and were starving. Also, there were crop failures which caused huge bread riots.
Another reason for the French Revolution was due to the poor leadership of Charles XVI. He had no decisions of his own and spent all of France's money, causing France to sink into debt. The times he did make decisions, it only caused civil turmoil. For example, after trying to tax the second estate to solve the debt, all three Estates had to meet in the estates-general.
I lost many of my powers and I can't even flee from France.
A third cause of the French Revolution is the inspiration of Enlightenment Ideas. Philosophers, such as Montesquieu, Rousseau, Diderot, Voltaire, and Locke, introduced the idea of gaining equality and liberty to the third estate. Louis XVI had not protected any natural rights that Locke inspired.
Yay, we finally have equality!
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, we're about to enter the Reign of Terror.
Lastly, another reason for the Revolution was no equality between the social classes. Whenever the estates had to vote for something, each estate had one vote, and the third estate would get outvoted. In addition, the third estate had to carry the taxes of the other estates. This was a major reason for the Revolution.
As a result of the French Revolution, the king was stripped of many of his powers. In 1791, the National Assembly changed France's government. King Louis XVI approved of this change, causing a monarchy to turn in to a constitutional monarchy. They also created the Legislative Assembly, allowing laws to be created and rejection of declaration of wars.
Finally, another result made by the National Assembly was the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Influenced by the Declaration of Independence, this document stated that "men are born and remain free and equal in rights." These rights included liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression. But we're not done yet. These documents also guaranteed citizens equal justice, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.