Why did the meeting of the Estates-General in 1789 fail to solve the situation in France?
The simplest answer to this question is that by the summer of 1789, when Louis XVI summoned the Estates-General, the fiscal crisis that beset France in the late eighteenth century was probably too far gone to be salvaged. Indeed, in this climate, the meeting of this body (which was almost never convened) really made things worse and proved to be the seminal event in the outbreak of the Revolution. This was because the representatives of the First and Second Estates (the clergy and the nobility, respectively) insisted on sitting...
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