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Here are the 10 major causes of the French Revolution.
The bourgeoisie resented the position of the First and the Second Estate, which they believed was derived from their efforts.
Moreover, they aspired to attain political equality with the other two estates.
In contrast, the Third Estate was forced to pay heavy taxes while the other two were exempted.
This burdened the Third Estate leading to their questioning this unjust Estates System and planning to overthrow it.
Everyone else in France; including merchants, lawyers, laborers and peasants; belonged to the Third Estate, which comprised around 98% of the French population.
The Third Estate was excluded from positions of honor and political power; and was looked down upon by the other estates.
The First Estate was the Roman Catholic clergy, which numbered about 100,000.
The Second Estate consisted of the French nobility, which numbered about 400,000.
Enlightenment philosophers like John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Baron de Montesquieu questioned the traditional absolute authority of the monarch and divisions of society like the Estates System.
For example, Locke argued that a leader may only govern a society if he had the consent of those he governed; Rousseau was against all class divisions; and Montesquieu advocated for a system of government based on separation of powers.