Challenge to Absolutism

In: Historical Events

Submitted By cpilbeam
Words 2171
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Louis XVIs failings as a monarch primarily account for the strength of the challenge to absolutism in France which existed by the beginning of May 1789 - How far do you agree?

Yes to a large extent it can be argued that it was Louis XVIs failings as a monarch that accounted for the strength of the challenge to the Ancien Regime. For example Louis' weak leadership meant he lacked the confidence to act assertively meaning he couldn't combat the growing strength of the privileged class and push through reforms. Moreover he was too easily influenced and took appeasement of the privileged too far instead of stopping them in their tracks. Although it could be argued that the power of the privileged accounted for the challenge to absolutism due to their self interest and corruption it is clear that without Louis weaknesses this would not of been such a serious issue and thus Louis failings remain the primary account to the strength of the challenge as he failed to keep control and influence within the privileged classes which in turn created difficulty when attempting the all important reforms. Moreover although the grievances could be seen as the primary reason and account for the strength of the challenge to absolutism it is clear they are not the most important. For example although it could be argued that the resentment from the third estate ,due to the tax burdens placed on them, mainly account for the strength in challenge it is clear that without Louis failures to reform and listen to the underlying issues within the country this may not of occurred. Thus meaning Louis' failures primarily account for the strength of the challenge. In addition the state of the economy could be seen as the underlying factor which led to a powerful challenge. For example bad harvests and inflation caused huge unemployment within the country causing the general populous to turn to…...

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