Mark Twain is often reputed as to have said, “History does not repeat but it often rhymes.”
The French Revolution – The causes of the French Revolution are complex and are still debated among historians. Following the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolutionary War, the French government was deeply in debt and attempted to restore its financial status through unpopular taxation schemes, which were heavily regressive. Years of bad harvests leading up to the Revolution also inflamed popular resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. Demands for change were formulated in terms of Enlightenment ideals and contributed to the convocation of the Estates-General in May 1789. The first year of the Revolution saw members of the Third Estate(commoners) taking control, the assault on the Bastille in July, the passage of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in August, and a women’s march on Versailles that forced the royal court back to Paris in October. A central event of the first stage, in August 1789, was the abolition of feudalism and the old rules and privileges left over from the Ancien Régime.