This is in the form of an opening statement for a debate, and outlined arguments against the peasant class.
Gentleman, after Cardinal Mazarin died in 1661, Louis XIV declared that henceforth he would rule France without a chief minister, something no French king had done in living memory. He intends to rule as an absolute monarch, believing that his power as king is derived from God and that he is responsible to God alone. There we see one lie among many, however there is one universal truth among all rulers. He is obliged to rule for the benefit of his people. This is something that our all too powerful king has failed to do. Speaking on behalf of the peasant class, I hope that you consider our issues with Louis XIV with empathy for our financial situation. With the more prosperous classes being exempt from taxation, France’s tax burden falls heavily on us, we who are the least able to pay. It’s a question of equity. Why should the peasant class be solely responsible for the economy of France? Why is it solely us who will pay for the Palace of Versailles’ many expensive paintings and fine food? To make matters worse, these remorseless taxes could not have been called for at a worse time. Other hardships plague us at the moment such as poor harvests, the persistent deflation of our currency, and the unpredictably changing price of grain.
Nationalism, Legislature, Militarism, And Colonial Rule At The Turn Of The Century In Europe In an era of vast change, the idea of nationalism sprung up among most nations across Europe. Nationalism, the belief in and respect for national traditions and causes, was the major factor in the chang of legislature, militarism, and colonial rule. During the late 19 th century and the early 20 th ...
Gentleman, I pray that you will show some compassion in this matter and consider extensive tax reform. The peasant class also would like to formally complain about our newly hired controller general of finances, Jean-Baptiste Colbert. Some of this may come as news to some of you, but as part of his elaborate goal of French mercantilism, Colbert plans to make Canada, rich in untapped minerals and pristine agricultural land, part of an extensive French empire. It’s recently come to my attention that Colbert intends on gathering thousands of peasants and forcefully shipping them to Canada to populate the province of Quebec. To put it mildly, this is outrageous. It’s unfair. How can you sit idly and allow one man the ability to move thousands people around the world as though we were mere chess pieces on a board? There’s only one of him, and millions of us. We have jobs here, homes here, families here, our children are here. As you would put it, we have petty, pointless, and meaningless lives here. What it all comes down to is this, we may not be very intelligent, we may not have a lot of money, and we certainly don’t have the respect of the likes of you or the king. So my question is this: if we’re so insignificant, why is that you’ve placed so much trust in us to reach the absolutist goals of France? I foresee that these new financial burdens will force many peasants to leave France, leaving no one to pay taxes. An inadequate tax base will make King Louis’ absolutist goals, unattainable. He’s arranged things in a certain way, and if we fail to pay these new heavy taxes, it’s he who will feel the pain when he wakes up one morning without butter on his croissant.
• With such a large peasant population, it’s only natural for the king to tax the largest group of people in order to maximize revenue.
o While this is true, it still does not justify exempting the noble class and a select few of the middle class from paying taxes. What are their contributions to society if not for impressing the king and being prestige whores? If anything, the king should tax all classes in order to maximize revenue.
• How else do you suggest Colbert conduct mercantilist activities? After all, colonialism will do nothing but help strengthen France in a time of war with foreign powers.
The causes of tensions and conflicts generated in the old regime that contributed to the outbreak of revolution The composition of society was a major contributing factor to the tensions and conflicts generated under the old regime. Society was divided into Three Estates, the first Estate comprised of the clergy (1%), the nobility, and rest of the population was classified as the Third Estate. Not ...
o Instead, Colbert can employ more skilled workers from the middle class. That will only make for a more efficient business. Or, he can call for volunteer peasants to move to Canada, those who don’t have previous duties to fulfill here in France.