French Revolution - Ancien Regime

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Ancien Regime (France 1774)

  • The King had absolute power but there were other bodies such as the assembly of the clergy which also had a degree of power which the King could not interefere with.
  • Controller General - in charge of royal finances. There was no cabinet or a prime minister. 
  • Direct taxes in France included : taille (main tax - tax on commoners/land), capitation (poll tax) and the vingtieme (5% tax on all incomes). Tithe (tax to the church), (BUT 3rd Estate (peasants) paid all of these taxes, the 2nd Estate (nobles) didnt pay the taille and the 1st Estate (Churchmen) didnt pay any. 
  • Indirect taxes (tax on bought items) included the gabelle (salt tax), octrois (tax on goods entering towns). 
  • French Monarchy never recieved enough inn taxation so it had to borrow money which was hard in wartime when government expenses increase by alot. Therefore, payment of interest was a large sector of government expenditure in France.
  • Fermier General (Farmers General) collected the indirect tax but kept alot for themselves. 
  • Parlements - privilidged body which limited the Kings power. 13 parlements but the Parlement of Paris was the most important. 
  • King…


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