Prior 30% of France’s land. On the contrary, 95%

Prior to the French Revolution, over 95% of France’s population was suffering and debt-ridden due to the economic and social inequalities in the Old Regime. The French Revolution was successful because it gave the people of France and the Third Estate more power and freedom by limiting the power of the privileged estates in political decision making. The French Revolution also terminated the Old Regime, absolutism in the French monarchy, and overturned the aristocracy.By the time Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette ruled France, the broad gap between the rich and the poor created resentment towards the privileged. The privileged also known as the clergy and nobles made up less than 5% of France’s population, paid almost no taxes, and owned around 30% of France’s land. On the contrary, 95% of France’s population belonged to the Third Estate. The Third Estate paid high taxes to help pay off France’s enormous debt from previous years and lack privileges. As debt began growing and taxes became higher, the angry mobs of the Third Estate forced Louis XVI to call in the Estates-General in May of 1789 to approve of his new tax reform – to impose taxes on the nobility. This tax forum failed due to the facts that the First (clergy) and Second (nobles) Estate dominated the Estates-General and could always outvote the 3rd Estate. This failure caused the Third Estate to create and name themselves the Nation Assembly. The National Assembly could pass laws and reforms in the name of France’s people. The creation of the National Assembly was the first act in advancing towards a representative government and the end of an absolute monarchy. Shortly afterward, few members of the 1st and 2nd Estate began to favor the 3rd Estate. This rose concern to Louis XVI and established an army of Swiss guards around Versailles. This action gave reason to the French that Louis XVI would station military force in Paris and on July 14th, Parisians stormed the Bastille and seized control of the prison. This allowed the Third Estate to obtain more power in the government and reduced the power held by the aristocracy. Within two years of the National Assembly, it was replaced by the Legislative Assembly. Under a limited constitutional monarchy, the Legislative Assembly created laws, approved or rejected declaration of war, and stripped Louis XVI from a majority of his power. The National Assembly and the Storming of the Bastille were successful in obtaining more power and control for the Third Estate. The French Revolution was also successful in abolishing the absolute monarchy. During the time of the revolution, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were the rulers of France. Their improper exposure to ruling a country led France to food shortages and economic crisis. To make up for those issues, Louis XVI they instituted loftier taxes on the French. The taxes that he imposed were old and unethical. Louis XVI’s actions encouraged revolution on those being oppressed by his taxes. By 1791, when the Legislative Assembly stripped Louis XVI of his power after approving the newly imposed constitution, the monarchy was abolished one year after approving the constitution. The abolishment of the monarchy ended when Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were found guilty of treason and executed by guillotine. After their execution, Maximilien Robespierre took control over France as a dictatorial, radical Jacobin. The Reign of Terror was a result of his dictatorial leadership because he believed that anyone who was a threat to his beliefs and France’s constitution, shall be tried and put to death via guillotine. His rule ended when his people turned on him and was eventually executed himself in July of 1794. After his death, a period of fear and instability swept through France and was resolved with the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon acted France’s constitutionally chosen leader but was later crowned Emperor of France. He believed in spreading revolution through war while winning the hearts of France’s people. He later fell out of favor after a failed attempt to invade Russia. Napoleon was later exiled to the island of St. Helena. To meet the issues of France’s failing rules, the Council of Vienna met. The council agreed to make France a constitutional monarchy. In conclusion, the French Revolution was a success. Even though the amount of violence from the lower class was numerous and unnecessary at points, France’s lower class was given more rights, rid the feudal system, and never returned to an absolutist monarchy. The lower class was able to spread revolution through the ideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity.