What were some causes and effects of the French Revolution?

The causes were a decadent and absolutely corrupt ruling class, a rampant misery in rural areas and the appearance of new liberal discourses known as the philosophy of Enlightenment. The French state was broke after spending all his money on the War of America (the future territory of the USA) and tried to push a new tax, as bankers would not lend money anymore. The year 1788 had a very tough winter, leading to a food crisis and a strong increase in price of the bread all around the country.

All this fueled the already growing discontent of the local leaders in the French provinces. To calm things down, the king Louis the 16th called a big congress with all provinces representatives in Paris. It was host in early 1789, gathering all the young politicians and ideologists from the time. Eventually, it turned into what is today known as the French Revolution. 

The main effect of this revolution was to establish basis for Napoleon to take the seat 10 years later. After destroying the kingdom, the revolutionaries spent the next years fighting each other. The most radical ones took over and imposed several years of of intense repression called the Terror - when the well-known guillotine was used. They went on “liberation wars “ with several bordering countries that still had a king and were waiting to attack them anyway. On November 9th 1799, one of the military commandant of the revolution army named Napoleon took over during a coup in Paris with his troops from the Egypt and Italy campaign. 5 years later, and only 15 years after the revolution, he was sacred first Emperor of the French by the pope in Notre-Dame de Paris.

This text was originally published in quora.

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