Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
- Ruled by divine right
- Duty to recognise and protect privilege
- Absolute monarchy
- Country on verge of bankrupcy
- Dominated by queen
- Ruled by counsel
- Daughter of Austrian emperor- relatives used her to pressure decisions
- disliked - undermined monarchy's reputation
- extravagence/ gambling debts- "madame Déficit"
- had many favourites
Political Structure of France
Political structure of France
- 1789- 35 provinces
- Absolute monarcy- head of state, government and chief judge
- Government had mainly financial power
- Court held in Versailles
- King advised by conseil d'état - 32 intendants
- Decisions of counsel supposed to be made like court
- Appeared to only apporve already-made decisions
- six departmental ministers
- Resposible for controlling grain trade, censorship etc
- 3 estates- 1st --> church
- 2nd --> Nobility
- 3rd --> peasants and bourgeoisie
- Boundaries beginning to erode as bourgeoisie were sometimes more wealthy than nobility
- high clergy - extremely rich and powerful
- lower clergy - privileges only thing separting from third estate
- Don gratvit - only church tax and voluntary
- (two types) Noblesse de l'épée - blue blood/ large lands etc
- Noblesse de robe - often government officals/ bought titles
Aim - everything must be examined, without exception, with new intensity!
- Questioned society, church and absolutism
- Church attempted to supress
- Believed ruled should regard himslef as "servant of the state" and work for the equality of all people.
- Réné Descartes- "I think, therefore I am"
- But the writers weren't organised and differed greatly so not very big impact.
- Not considered revolutionary.
Problems with France
- 7yrs war/ american revolution had cost a lot
- large national debt (royal spending)
- bad harvests and tax system
- poor paid majority of tax (one of the reasons for tension)
- church still powerful
- weak monarchy/ ruler
J.Hardman --> promonarchy.
A.Cobban --> Louis XVI was an "uninterested and unintresting" spectator.
F.Furret --> Economic collapse due to monarchy.