The efffects of Louis 16th on France

Length: 6 Pages 1475 Words

The French Revolution was a significant milestone in European history, remembered by many in historical and literary works. The situation in France, mostly under the leadership of Louis XVI, had a negative influence in France, thus creating a perfect climate for the French Revolution. France was plagued by both debt, and poor decision making. prior to 1789. France was poverty-stricken and burdened with some of the highest debts. On the financial side, Louis XVI was aided by: Finance Minister Anne Robert Jauques Turgot, and Interior Minister Chretien Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes (*The economic origins of the French revolution, pg. 4). Louis introduced some of the most oppressive taxes and instituted financial reforms. Greater reforms were prevented by the opposition of the upper classes and court. This opposition was so strong that Turgot was forced to resign and was replaced by Jauques Necker. Lengthy wars, the support to the American Revolution and the gross amount of taxes paid and the lavish spending of the court contributed to the huge national debt. The government’s financial problems were made worse after 1740 by the renewal of costly wars (the French revolution, pg. 9). The war of Continue...


In this time period there were class tensions. The nobles had all the privileges and rights. Louis XVI was described as not overly intelligent, weak and incapable king ( Encarta, ref: Louis XVI). 27) The wealthy consisted of the nobles, clergy and the bourgeoisie and there was approximately 120,000 wealthy. They were hoping to weaken old rivalries and regain lost colonies. The hopes of the French were not realized and their participation in the war increased an already heavy national debt. Necker also helped Louis decide that the commoners (third estate) would have as many voters as the First and Second Estate (clergy and nobility) combined. There were also poor living conditions. Substantial sections of France were faced with declining standard of living. He preferred to spend a lot time and the people's money on extravagant things, and his wife. Many people were left homeless because they couldn't pay the taxes. All classes were discontent with the Ancien Regime and wanted a change. Her lavish life style and the fact that she was a foreigner made her unpopular with the public. It was well known that Louis was more concerned with his own personal affairs than with the interests of the court and the people.