The To suppress the riots guards were put at

Topic: EconomicsInfluences on Political Economy
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Last updated: June 17, 2019

The day was July 14th  1789, known as the day Paris took power into their own hands.

The people of Paris fed up with lack of representation among the classes and an unevolved king took power into their own hands by storming the bastille. This prison reminded them of the oppressive monarchy which they desperately wanted to get rid of.The lower classes depended on grain as their main source of food, in  August 1788 France experience severe crop failure, this caused inflation, which made it difficult for the lower class to be able to afford grain. As the prices soured from August to January only the nobility could afford the souring price of bread, while the working class hardly could afford a single piece of bread.

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As the price of bread kept rising, so did the frustration among the lower class causing them to riot. To suppress the riots guards were put at the market places to keep order. Engulfed in hunger the third class began to become more rebellious and violent. The lower classes begged the government to intervene in the harsh treatment of the lower class, the government controlled and managed grain trade and distribution among, failing to notice the working classes plight, the working class had a strong resentment towards the government and Louis XVI. With high tensions rising in France within the lower class the The Estates General assembled to discuss the crisis France was facing, the estates general is “comprised of deputies from all three estates it was summoned occasionally by the king, often in times of war or crisis”(alpha history). The Estates General had no authority or legal power, it was commissioned to advise the king and support him. The General Estate was known to convene “usually when the king sought the political, financial or military support”(alphahistory).

72 years passed  for the Estates General to convene because ” Louis XIV, who considered the Estates General unnecessary in an age of absolute monarchical power”(alphahistory). It was believed that when The General Estates was summoned by  Louis XVI in 1789  the people of France had seen it as a revolution and that the monarchy had collapsed.  The Estates General is made up of three parts. The First Estate comprised of the clergy, and Second Estate comprised of the nobility and the king, while the Third Estate is the commoners. Each of the Three Estates discussed matters separately and each estate cast one vote in unison. Third Estate was the biggest percentage of  the population, which represented around 97 percent of the people, but had the smallest representation in the General Estate, it was always outvoted by the First and Second Estates,they represented the remaining three percent.

Author Peter Davies states that “The third estate started meeting on its own, and on June 10, in opposition to the other two Estates, it verified its own powers as the communes”(31). Having felt unrepresented and not justly treated on June 17 the Third Estate  “announced itself to be the National Assembly- a new body which incarnated the desires of the Third Estate..”(Davies 32). On June 20th, the members of the National Assembly gathered to attend the meeting in the  hall at the Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs at Versailles, the members could not get in because they were locked out and the doors were blocked by guards.The members of the National Assembly feeling disrespected by the king decided to have their own meeting. The meeting was held in Versailles’ indoor tennis courts “the 577 deputies took an oath..

.together, they pledged to remain assembled until a new national constitution had been drafted and implemented”( Alphahistory). This meeting was a stimulus that would later overthrow the old regime and the king. Determined to get their way, the Third Estate declared ” that it would not cease its activities until a new constitution had been passed” (Davies 32).

Richard Cobb, a historian states, “the Tennis Court Oath had cut the ground from under the king’s feet”(alphahistory). With tension still rising among the lower class ” by the summer of 1789, France was moving quickly toward revolution. The military governor of the Bastille, Jordan Bernard-René the military governor of the Bastille, feared that his fortress would be a target for the revolutionaries and requested reinforcements. Fearing attack from the revolutionaries ” on July 12, royal authorities transferred 250 barrels of gunpowder to the Bastille, and Launay brought his men into the massive fortress and raised its two drawbridges(”. The majority of those detained in the Bastille were not common criminals but political prisoners or men held at the king’s pleasure.

They tended to rebellious or troublesome noblemen, aristocrats with large gambling debts, young rogues caught in affairs with the wives of powerful men, religious heretics or critics of the church, seditious journalists and political pornographers. Some inmates were detained there by the courts, others by royal lettres de cachet.   

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