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Harvest Failures of 1787-1788

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Transcript of Harvest Failures of 1787-1788

Harvest Failures of 1787-1788
The series of crop failures caused a shortage of grain, consequently raising the price of bread. Because bread was the main source of food for peasants, this led to starvation. Contributing to the peasant's poverty was a conspiracy theory that the lack of food was a deliberate plot by the nobility. The two years prior to the revolution (1788–89) saw weak harvests and harsh winters.
Where Did It Happen?
The Harvest Failures occured all across France, mainly in the country sides.
What Was the Harvest Failure?
What Were the Effects?
The crop failures :
created a food shortage for people who couldn't afford the high prices for bread
made the price of bread rose almost 80%
the silk harvest of 1787 failed creating a rise in price for clothing
it made the third estate (lowest class) have to spend most of their money on bread so they had less to spend on products made by Artisans creating a decline in the economy
it created panic and fear about the future harvest conditions
How Did it Add to the Tension That Led Up to the Revolution?
After France's Involvement in the American Revolution, it left France on the edge of bankruptcy. This accompanied by the crop failures in most of 1788 and a long period of economic decline, caused the citizens of France to become restless. Also, many people thought that the cause for the economic decline was the goverments fault.
Most landowners had little to no interest in the crop deficiency, and the peasant farmers had no extra time or money to invest in new farming techniques. However, the farmers managed to feed the ascending population for a short amount of time before many people went hungry. This led to peasants and farmers having smaller incomes and the prices of food rising exponentially. The crop failures led to many farmers going broke, hungry, and unemployed. Many third class people were hungry as well but couldn't find a job, meanwhile the nobles, clergy, and King Louis and his family continued to live their sheltered, luxurious lifestyle.
How Did It Move France Towards Revolution?
Primary Source
"A failure of crops or careless administration, may occasion distress and scarcity of bread amoung common people at a particular time. But when there is a permanent poverty through various reigns and for a long tract of years among the peasantry of such a countryas France; this seems the surest proof a careless, and consequently oppresive goverment."
John Moore
French Country side
King Louis XVI of France during 1788
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