It was a period of great turmoil in France. The French Revolution started in 1789 and lasted for 10 years, until 1789. This revolution`s purpose was to overthrow the absolute monarchy as well as the three estate system. The people that were in the three estate system were dissatisfied with the conditions of living and they hoped things would change.
This is where Louis XVI comes into play. He was the first king to rule during those times of turmoil; his reign started at the beginning of the French Revolution. Louis XVI has never been a popular king. He was considered a very weak and indecisive monarch and his wife, the notorious Marie-Antoinette wasn`t making things easier. She was constantly spending money and she adored luxury. One of her quotes is still famous, even now, after so many centuries: “Let them eat cake”. She muttered these words when the people in the streets were shouting that they didn`t have anything to eat, not even bread.
Her careless way of living has made France have a debt of over 2 billon livres. Making matters worse, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed.
The people from the Third Estate were finally demanding their rights. They didn`t have a say in the government. They worked crops without receiving a decent amount of money; they weren`t allowed to keep the food they had harvested… Sooner or later, something had to happen. The people from the Third Estate have started very violent revolts.
The next ruler to take Louis XVI`s place was Robespierre in 1794. He didn`t improve things; on the contrary. A lot of innocent men were killed by guillotine under his reign. He was arrested after only one year or reign.
All of these terrible situations had brought a lot of changes in France. The French Revolution meant a New Constitution, too. The ideas found there finally spoke about unalienable rights. A lot of reforms combined with many enlightened ideas brought the end of the revolution. The Third Estate achieved what it wanted, thanks to the Revolution. The new France was ready for more modern times; times that encapsulated the idea of citizenship, nationalism, unalienable rights and last but not least the new concepts brought by the Enlightenment have helped shape the French. A lot of historians consider that the French Revolution was inspired by the American one.