What was life like in France before the French Revolution?


Quick Answer

For most people in France, life was full of challenges with many living in poverty and few securing well-paying jobs. The population was also rapidly increasing causing further strain in the resources available.

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Full Answer

Shortly before the French Revolution, a small percentage of the population comprised of the clergy and a few nobles were known to be quite wealthy and lived a luxurious lifestyle. However, the majority of the population consisting of peasants was living in abject poverty. People would spend days searching for employment without luck, and when they finally found work, the pay was only enough to feed their families.

Most people lived in the countryside, as the conditions there were a bit bearable as compared to city life. Urban residents generally had a shorter life span since the air was filled with pollution while water was quite dirty. Disease outbreaks were quite rampant leading to many deaths both in the city and the countryside.

The huge economic gap between peasants and the elite is one of the primary reasons why the revolution began. Peasants were also not afforded equal rights as those who were considered wealthy, and this intensified the discontent of the people of France during that time.

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