According to The French Revolution, how does a subsistence crisis happen?

By Ritesh|Updated : September 4th, 2022

The French Revolution was a time of political and social upheaval in France and its colonies that began in 1789 and ended in 1799. Its overthrow of the monarchy, inspired by liberal and radical ideas, influenced the decline of absolute monarchies in other parts of Europe.

During the French Revolution, the population increased from 23 million to 28 million. Due to the increase in population, the demand for food grains also increased. The prices of all commodities also rose. Workers' wages did not match the rise in prices. The gap between the rich and the poor widened, leading to an existential crisis.

Causes of the French Revolution of 1789

  • Social - Social conditions in late 18th century France were unequal and exploitative. The clergy and nobility made up the first two estates and were the most privileged strata of French society. They were exempted from paying taxes to the state. On the other hand, the third estate, consisting of peasants and workers, formed most of the population. They were burdened with excessive taxes without political and social rights. As a result, they were extremely dissatisfied.
  • Economical – The treasury was empty due to the numerous wars waged by Louis XVI. The situation was further complicated by France's involvement in the American Revolutionary War and a flawed tax system. While the privileged classes were exempted from paying taxes, the third estate was increasingly burdened by them.
  • Political - Louis XVI, the Bourbon King of France was an extremely autocratic and weak king who led a life of obscene luxury. This led to great disillusionment among the masses, leading to a life of extreme poverty and widespread hunger.
  • Intellectual - The 18th century was marked by French thinkers' conscious rejection of the "Theory of Divine Rights". Philosophers such as Rousseau rejected the paradigm of absolute monarchy and promoted the doctrine of human equality and human sovereignty. They played a key role in exposing the fault lines of the old political system, i.e., the ancien régime, and articulating popular discontent.

Summary:

According to The French Revolution, how does a subsistence crisis happen?

According to the French Revolution, prices of all commodities also rose. Workers' wages did not match the rise in prices, and the gap between the rich and the poor widened, leading to an existential crisis.

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