To what extent was the French monarchy both the main cause and the main victim of the French Revolution?

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The Bourbon Monarchy was undoubtedly both the main cause and the main victim of the French Revolution. Enlightenment ideas encouraged the people of France to question their government and demand popular sovereignty, natural rights, and equality. These ideas were wildly popular mostly because the Bourbon kings were notoriously theocratic and tyrannical. French monarchs had been abusing their financial power for far too long, and the people were tired of their greed and governmental mismanagement. Lastly, because Louis XVI refused to listen to his Estates-General, giving up some of his power and making much-needed reforms, he and his entire family were killed during the revolution. Along with their deaths came the demise of the Bourbon dynasty in France.

Beginning in the late seventeenth century, Enlightenment ideas spread across Europe like wildfire. By the mid-eighteenth century, Paris was the center of the movement. Salons filled with educated upper- and middle-class Parisians...

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