” THe most striking of the country’s troubles was the chaos in its finances, the result of years of extravagance…No one could think of any remedy except to search for fresh funds.”
1. What dis the noble mean by ” chaos in its finances”?
2. How were the funds raises>
3. How did this lead to revolution?
1: The french treasury was deeply in debt, both from assisting in the American Revolution and the profligate spending by the royalty. Their was no economic policy to speak of. Necker tried to clean it up but the monarchy and nobles opposed his reforms and eventually ran him out. Incidently, one of the Estates General’s (the convention of representatives LouisXVI called to help resolve the crises, mainly by asking for more money) demands was his reinstatement. The Royal’s lifestyle angered the populace, especially Marie Antionette, but this was secondary to the fact the people were starving.
2 Loans mainly. As it got more difficult for France to pay its debts the interest rates got higher, which made it that much more difficult. An ugly cycle.
3 When people starve, they get desperate. the Third Estate (those who weren’t nobles or clergy) saw an opportunity at the Estates General to get real reforms pushed through and gradually got more power. Eventually they executed the King for his collaboration with Austria and Prussia (which to the French people was shown by his abortive escape from Paris and arrest in Varennes in 1791), who invaded France in 1792