Estates General was summoned to decide the financial issue of equal
taxation on all the classes. Robertson holds the opinion that "the very
mention of the estates general was enough to set France ablaze.
It was as if a fraudulent firm, unable to meet its liabilities, had
been forced at last to lay its affairs before a meeting of its
The taxation system in France was also disorganised and mismanaged.
The wealthiest people belonging to the privileged class were free from
all taxes while the peasantry had to pay 80% of their income in taxes to
Inequality in taxes had created dissatisfaction and dejection among
the masses. Moreover, the method of realising the revenue was also
The revenue was realised by the contractors who used to realise more
than was due from the farmers but deposited in royal treasury only a
part of it and thus appropriated a good amount for their own use.
Thus whereas the farmers were exploited, the royal treasury was also being looted by these revenue officers.