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Life Styles of the Poor during the French Revolution

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Shani Rapapport

on 5 April 2013

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Transcript of Life Styles of the Poor during the French Revolution

During the French Revolution Life Styles of the Poor The occupations of peasants were mostly farmers.
Peasants were victimized by taxes. They were required to pay taxes to the government, the church, their landowners, and taxes in order to receive wine, bread
and salt. Also, they paid their landowners
by working laboriously on the land. Peasants While some peasants could at least hope that they would grow enough grain to cover the money owed to their landlords and the government and provide food for their family, the urban poor— who, if not unemployed, worked primarily in factories and shops—were dependent on the affordability and availability of pre-baked bread. In the summer of 1787, a four-pound loaf, two of which were required daily to feed a family of four, cost eight sous. Due in large part to poor weather and low crop yields, by February 1789 the price had nearly doubled to fifteen sous. A Tale of Two Cities Rebecca Miller & Shani Rapapport Eng II H- Mr.Wunderlich During the French Revolution,
one of the main factors of social stress was due to the increasing population in the eighteenth century. By mid eighteenth century, the population increased by 50% in France. Before the revolution began, Louis XVI left the throne of France bankrupt. This caused the monarchy to charge the civilians in the country heavy taxes which they could not afford to pay. These taxes helped fund the cost of war. People who were left with barely enough money to live on were called peasants. Inflation was a huge problem in the time of the revolution. The government needed more money to pay for their unnecessary costs so they decided to charge way more than a product was worth. This made it difficult for the peasants to
buy resources required for living. Inflation During the French
Revolution, the poor had no
part in running their country. Also, they did not have any privileges. The poor were expected to serve the king in war along with paying completely unreasonable taxes like the gabelle (tax on
salt). Prior to the French
Revolution, most peasants were free. The vast majority of peasants owned plots which were too small to support a family, and rented additional land. As a result, most of them were poor and only a few in each community could afford to own a plough team. Life styles of the poor
immediately worsened when
the revolution began. The problem of
rural overpopulation was compounded
by the rise in prices and rents. The
peasantry of 1789 was in debt,
increasingly suffering and resentful
from the catastrophic effects of
the previous year's bad
harvest. Economical causes
of the French Revolution
were very important and
influential. Other important factors to the
revolution include cultural, social, and
political. Unable to provide for their
families, the lower classes of France were
also in an economical crisis, which was
one of the things that drove
them to revolt. France’s peasants lived under the worst conditions. Although industry was becoming a more important part of the nation’s economy, France was still largely dependent on the feudal system in which powerful feudal lords, or seigneurs, owned profitable farmlands on which peasants lived and worked. Some peasants had managed to earn enough money from their crops to purchase their own small plots of land, but the vast majority lived in poverty, completely under the thumbs of seigneurs. Conditions for Peasants During the Revolution Not only did the peasants owe rent and crops to their feudal lords, they also had to pay burdensome taxes to the government. Economically, even peasants who were landowners were far from comfortable.
To make matters worse, France suffered several droughts and harsh winters during the 1780s, and French peasants were unaware of new, more efficient farming techniques. Therefore, most used outdated tools and methods that dated back to the Middle Ages. The riot began when the citizens of Paris—fearful that troops recently sent to the city by King Louis XVI might decide to attack the populace—began collecting weapons at the Bastille. Similar uprisings against the government followed. Rural citizens began hearing rumors that King Louis XVI was ordering his troops into the French countryside to stanch peasant rebellions. Fearful peasants began burning and pillaging manors, destroying feudal records, and reclaiming what had previously been common land. This is what a house of a peasant looked like For peasants, change came swiftly and violently. In July 1789 France was wracked by what became known as the “Great Fear.” On the fourteenth of that month, a riot at the Bastille, a Paris prison and armory, had resulted in the death of more than one hundred people. Mini- Quiz Time!!! 1. What did society call poor people at that time? a. guttersnipe b. peasant c. vagrant 2.What unnecessary taxes were the poor people required to pay? a. sugar b. coffee c. salt 3. What were their occupations? a. farmers b. warriors c. teachers 4. What kind of privileges did peasants have? a. none b. few c. many 5. In the winter during the 1780's France suffered from several.... a. diseases b. cold snaps c. droughts "Great Fear"- In the French Revolution, a period of panic and riot by peasants and others among rumors of an “aristocratic conspiracy” by the king and the privileged to overthrow the Third Estate.
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