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The French Revolution
Lower and middle classes were dissatisfied with society
The third estate paid all the taxes.
Frances king was an absolute monarch He ruled by divine right (the idea that God gave him the right to rule)
People like Locke and Rousseau challenged this idea
Too many wars caused financial problems in France
In 1789 a meeting was held with representative from all three estates
The third estate had more representative (more people in this class), so they wanted a national assembly with each representative having one vote
They also wanted a Constitution They met and refused to disband until a Constitution was written
The assembly passed two decrees in 1789 – they limited advantages of upper class and provided basic rights to all people
They also wrote a constitution and re- organized the Catholic Church in France
When the first new National Assembly took over they had many challenges Louis XIV wouldnt cooperate and they were engaged in wars
In 1792, Louis XIV was removed from power, imprisoned, and then executed
After Louis XIV was executed the Jacobins took over
The Jacobins governed France by taking away civil rights and freedom 18,000 people received death sentences
The period became known as the Reign of Terror
However, the Jacobins also followed democratic principles and extended rights to everyone
Eventually the Jacobins were overthrown and replaced with a new government
Unrest continued until Napoleon seized control of the government in 1799
Other European monarchs worried about their power
Laid the foundations for a unified state, strong central government, and a free society dominated by the middle class
Inspired other people to seek democracy and independence (ex. In Latin America)
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