What was the Immediate Cause of the French Revolution?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Immediate Cause of the French Revolution was a Financial Embarrassment. The country’s finances were in shambles during the reign of King Louis XVI, and there was substantial political unrest too. Beginning in 1789 and lasting until 1799, the French Revolution was a period of social and political upheaval in France and its colonies.

Immediate Cause of the French Revolution

The financial instability occurred due to multiple wars undertaken under King Louis’s rule and the corrupt luxury of his court. Furthermore, the government failed to prevent the inevitable bankruptcy as the nobles refused to pay tax while the commoners were simply unable to. Soon, riots broke out in France, and thousands of aristocrats were killed, which meant the end of the Monarchy.

  • France’s moral and financial support of the American colonies’ rebellion against England at the time worsened the situation. It ended up being a total failure.
  • The American Revolution finished the financial destruction of the nation while simultaneously setting an example of successful resistance to oppression.

Because the nobility refused to pay and the commoners were unable to pay, the government was unable to stop the impending bankruptcy. Louis XVI was forced to convene the States-General to find a solution (1789). It should be remembered that it had been two centuries since the States-General met.

Effects of the French Revolution

Now that you know the Immediate Cause of the French Revolution, here are some additional reasons that were equally important.

  • The exploitation of common people
  • Uneven distribution of taxes
  • Increase in the prices of all the basic amenities
  • Injustice during the voting system


What was the Immediate Cause of the French Revolution?

While there are multiple reasons for the revolution, financial embarrassment was the Immediate Cause of the French Revolution. This happened because, during King Louis XIV’s rule, many costly wars were fought that left the country penniless, and the poor became poorer. Moreover, the nobility refused to pay taxes, and the country’s finances were shambling. Soon, the nation went bankrupt, and the monarchy was overthrown.

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