A major cause of the French Revolution was the severe economic stress the country faced near the end of the eighteenth century. France was heavily in debt due to foreign wars, including its support of the American colonies in the Revolutionary War. It also had bad crop harvests for several years and suffered a severe economic depression. Because of a regressive tax system that increased the taxes more on the poor than the rich in order to help pay off the country's debt, the poor were squeezed when the depression hit. Often, they were not even able to afford sufficient food. Meanwhile, an unequal feudal system meant the rich and the clergy were exempt from some of the taxes the poor had to pay, and they continued to live in wealth and splendor as masses of people suffered hunger and want.
Additionally, the prestige of the court at Versailles was waning, and a growing popular press increasingly criticized the excesses of the ruling classes.
Finally, the situation hit the boiling...
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