In the 18th century the French society was divided into three estates namely, 1)The Clergy, 2) The Nobility and 3) The Third estate (peasants, businessmen,etc.).
The population of France rose greatly in the 1780's which resulted in increase in demand for food grains. Production of food grains couldn't keep in pace with the demand. So the price of bread which was the staple diet of the majority rose rapidly. Wages did not keep in pace with the rising prices. This increased the gap between the rich and the poor. Along with this the treasures of France were drained, resulting in the king of France Louis XVI increasing the taxes. The bad part was that only the people of the third estate had to pay the taxes. This rested in the outbreak of revolutionary protests in France.