Like many other rebellions, the French Revolution was the result of angry citizens who were fed up with those in charge. The monarchy had led the country into heavy debt problems, extremely high taxes that were forced on the poor, bad harvests leading to starvation – the issues were endless. Those prepared to make a stand simply wanted equal rights for all – a concept that has still managed to evade many countries even today.
Refresh your memory on one of the most influential eras in European history, which went on to inspire numerous more revolutions around the world.
10. The Meeting of the Estates General
The Estates General would gather together to make important government decisions. The three classes of representation – the nobles, the clergy and the remaining public – all only carried one vote each, so the nobles and the clergy could easily overrule the majority of the population in most matters.
However, in May 1789, King Louis XVI brought the Estates General together with an aim to figure out a solution to the monarchy’s financial crisis. The Third Estate were sure they would be forced to bear the brunt of the financial burden, so they decided to form their own National Assembly to counter it. From then on, they would gather at an indoor tennis court, pledging themselves to the so-called Tennis Court Oath and vowing to keep going until a new constitution was drafted.