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In late 18th century, France was facing bankruptcy. Two decades of poor farming, cattle disease, and inflation led to unrest from the majority of the population, the poor. King Louis XVI had left his royal coffers depleted, leading the poor to see him unfit to be king.
In 1786, Charles Alexandre de Calonne proposed a financial reform package to tax everyone including the priviliged. Louis XVI assembled the Estates-General, while the Third Estate (a representation of the poor) began to support equal representation and voting by head and not by status.
Assemble the Estates-General!
The Enlightment had spread to France, taking its ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity. Philosophers favored limited monarchy, an idea that the French quickly took to the streets.
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