Was The French Revolution Successful

Subject: 🏺 History
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 634
Topics: French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte
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King Louis XVI once claimed that the interests of the state should come first. However, it sounds ironic, because in fact this statement is the exact contradiction of what he indeed did when he was king. I suppose that the French Revolution was extremely successful because it achieved a lot of fundamental changes. For instance, social classes were removed and everyone became equal, taxes were reduced and the people of France gained a new and better leader who offered much more benefits to the state. Up to this time, how did the French Revolution achieve such success? In this essay I will try to provide a coherent explanation to this question.

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The Declaration of the Rights of Man

Before the Revolution, there existed 3 separate social classes. The first estate represented the clergy, the second was the gentry, and the third was all the others. Thus, what is the so-called third estate? Everybody, but all chained and suppressed. The third estate was inevitably in the most disadvantaged social position. These people were the only ones who paid taxes, and they were the only ones who labored, and all they were completing their entire lives was delivering the money they made through hard work to the king. However, as we know at present, social classes ultimately disappeared when France passed the Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789. After that, there were no more social classes, everyone paid taxes, and everyone could own land, not just farmers.

Tax cuts for the population

Before the passing of the Declaration of the Rights of Man, taxes on ordinary foodstuffs were unrealistically severe. That is, it directly meant that taxes were so prohibitive that families were starving to death because they simply could not afford to spend money on food for their families. According to history, the prices back then were, for example, five sous for a pound of white bread and three and a half to four sous for the typical kind of bread consumed by the poor. These prices exceeded their capacity and ability to pay and caused enormous suffering. Therefore, as you have already understood, the prices were absolutely impossible. At a certain point, the prices became so soaring that the French began to revolt in order to make the food costs decrease at least a little. In one case, the protests have gone so far that a considerable group of men and women broke into a bakery and took a loaf of bread, because they could not afford even a loaf of bread, thanks to the regressive and unjust taxes of the time.

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The change of the state government

It is also worth noting that King Louis XIV and Queen Marie Antoinette were unpleasant governors. They increased taxes on people more and more to possess money to arrange parties every weekend. As follows, while the king and queen were living in opulence and wasting money without a care in the world, their people were hungry and had nothing to eat most of the time. For example, personal expenditures of the king and queen: 11,423,750 livres. This is a large amount of money that the king and queen could have focused on the people who were starving, not on celebrations and so on. The king was subsequently condemned for conspiracy with foreign countries and then ultimately executed by guillotine. And around this time, when King Louis was punished, Napoleon Bonaparte became the Emperor. He was far more concerned about the people and their fiscal situation than King Louis and Marie Antoinette.


To conclude, the French Revolution was greatly successful because it achieved a number of effective changes, such as reduced taxes, the removal of social classes, and a new governor (Napoleon Bonaparte) who brought much more value to France than King Louis and Marie Antoinette.

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