Chapter 1

NCERT
Class 9
History
Solutions
1. Describe the circumstances leading to the outbreak of revolutionary protest in France?

Question:

Describe the circumstances leading to the outbreak of revolutionary protest in France?

Answer:

The French Revolution took place due to Political, social, economical and intellectual factors. Some of the factors are as following:

  • Louis XVI, the king of France was an autocratic and inefficient ruler who could not compromise with his luxurious life with his queen Marie Antoinette. People were frustrated with his system of administration as it was based on inequality.

This frustration of people turned into a revolt against the government.

  • When Louis XVI ascended the throne he found the royal treasury empty due to long wars and extravagant ways of maintaining his luxurious palace of Versailles and lifestyle.
  • Louis XVI decided to increase taxes to meet their expenses such as the cost of maintaining an army, running government offices and universities etc.
  • The French society was divided into three estates: The first and second estate i.e. clergy and nobles were the privileged sections of the society. They were exempted from paying taxes. The third estate consisted of lower and middle classes. The burden of paying taxes was borne by the third estate only. They did not have any political rights and social status.
  • The third estate had the most educated and prosperous members who disapproved of the theory of absolute monarchy. They felt that an individual's social status must depend on his merit. They had some significant ideas of freedom and equality by philosophers like Rousseau, Voltaire, Locke and Montesquieu. The members of the Third Estate established clubs where they discussed ideas of philosophers and popularised them among the common mass. The third estate members demanded equal voting rights. This struggle of the third estate became the immediate cause of the French Revolution.

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