Factors that Caused the French Revolution to Occur. The motto— Liberte, egalite, fraternite (freedom, equality, and brotherhood), where do they exist? If your answer is the French Revolution, then you deserve a thumbs up. Taking you back to the past, this historic event occurred during the reign of Louis XVI in the 18th century (1789).
Why are we talking about revolution, the French revolution, in particular? Revolution is a social and cultural change that involves the main points of people’s lives and necessities. In the revolution itself, the changes that occur can be planned or unplanned and can be carried out without violence or through violence.
The occurrence of the French revolution is mainly caused by four factors— absolute power of the king, political injustice, economic crisis, and the emergence of new thinkers.
Absolute Power or Absolute Monarchy
- — Before the last king of France— Louis XVI, the previous king. Louis XIV has already brought the system of monarchy close to an end. Because the people could no longer stand the power of the monarchs and that. Must assume the king was right, then the French Revolution occurred. Thus, Louis XIV’s absolutism also got him involved in conflict with the Huguenots (the French Protestants) and the papacy (the bishops and authorities), with devastating consequences. To maintain his absolutism, he built the Bastille prison, intended for anyone who went against the king’s commands. Louis XIV’s absolutism was out of control because his power was not limited by law— l’etat c’est moi (I myself am the nation).
- — In political factors, the nobles made all the rules and were directly approved by the king. Thus, political injustice can be seen from the election of government employees who are based on the descendants (family factor) and not based on profession or expertise. The unlimited power of the nobles caused the state administration to be chaotic and resulted in acts of corruption. Another political injustice is the exclusion of the ordinary people from participating in any government activities.
- — The life of the previous king and royal nobles, as well as the consort of King Louis XVI. Named Maria Antoinette (known as Madame Déficit) who lived full of luxury and grandeur. Thus, she was the main reason for the economic crisis of the French country at that time. In addition, the inheritance of debts from King Louis XIV and Louis XV makes the state debt piled up even more.
- — The emergence of reforming philosophers also contributed to the outbreak of the French revolution. Their influence of understanding of rationalism and accepting the truth must be supported by reason. This understanding has led to a revival and humanism leading people to think freely to express their opinions. Therefore, these philosophers had a major influence on European society, including the leaders of French society. Three main reforming philosophers and their work include J. J Rousseau (Du Contract Social or the Community Agreement). John Locke (Two Treatises of Government or the teachings of popular sovereignty), and Montesquieu (L’es prit des Lois or The Spirit of the Laws).
In general, an event that changed the lives of French and European citizens. Known as the French Revolution, occurred in 1789. Thus, from absolutism to new thinkers, this revolution is able to influence and change the development of the other nations in the world.