What caused the French Revolution?
A mob storms the BastilleOn 14th July 1789, a mob stormed the Bastille, the royal prison in Paris. This was a challenge to the authority of the French king, Louis XVI. At the same time, riots broke out across the country. The French Revolution had begun. Four years later, the king and his wife were dead and France had become a republic.
The Storming of the Bastille, 14th July 1789
Louis XVI, King of France from 1774 to 1791
Causes of the Revolution
In the 1780s, the ordinary people of France were unhappy about taxation (payments made by people to the government). Rich nobles in France did not pay any taxes, but working people and poor peasants were forced to do so. In 1788, a bad harvest led to many people going hungry. The king and queen, meanwhile, lived in luxury.