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The French Revolution was a major event in modern European history. The causes of the French Revolution were many: the monarchy's severe debt problems, high taxes, poor harvests, and the influence of new political ideas and the American Revolution, to mention only a few. Starting as a movement for government reforms, the French Revolution rapidly turned radical and violent, leading to the abolition of the monarchy and execution of King Louis XVI. Though the monarchy was eventually restored, the French Revolution changed France and the rest of Europe forever. It inspired a number of revolutionary movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that made the final end to institutions such as absolutism, feudalism, class privilege and legal inequality, and spread the principles of natural right, equality and freedom throughout the world.The Estates General were reluctantly summoned by King Louis XVI in May of 1789 with an aim to solve the monarchy’s financial crisis. There were three classes represented by the Estates General: the nobles, clergy and the rest of the population or the so-called Third Estate. Each estate had only one vote. As a result, the nobility and clergy could always overrule the Third Estate. Fearing they would be forced to bear the burden of the financial crisis, the members of the Third Estate decided to form their own National Assembly. After being locked out of the meeting of the Estates General, they moved to an indoor tennis court where they pledged the so-called Tennis Court Oath, vowing to remain there until a new constitution had been written.
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