Thursday, August 18, 2011

Changing Attitudes

The Enlightenment
  • Intellectual movement of writers and thinkers.
  • Challenged ideas about religion, nature and absolute monarchy.
  • Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu led the way in France
  • They targeted church and despotic govt
  • The church was seen as wealthy, corrupt and intolerant.
  • The King was challenged as God’s servant.
  • These ideas appealed to revolutionaries. 
Growing Resentment
  • Between tithes, feudal dues, taxes and corrupt laws/judges anger grew.
  • Taxes were raised between 1749 and 1783 to pay for France’s wars. Church tithes alone took between 5-10% of peasants’ income.
  • Rents, however, increased as the population grew and demand for farms grew – Popn: (1705 - 22.4m) to (1790 - 27.9m).
  • Urban workers’ prices rose by 65% (1726-1789) but wages only went up by 22%.

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