Throughout the era ·         The centuries-old opposition of privileged bodies and castes to royal absolutism. ·         The Enlightenment leads many European writers to criticize the absolute monarchy and espouse democratic, liberalist, nationalist, and socialist ideas. ·         The power of the French nobility erodes with the emergence of a powerful bourgeoisie. ·         Wars compound the debt situation and increase taxation. ·         Food shortages occur due to poor harvests and market manipulations.  
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