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Among one of the factors that had played into the French Revolution was the philosophical view of human right and government structure. At the Age of Reason, many philosophers created new ideas about the government and questioned the basic rights of all humans. Such ideas influenced the French Revolution. There were three major enlightenment thinkers, and they were John Locke, Montesquieu and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Locke was an English philosopher who witnessed political turmoil in England during the 17th century. One of his most influential ideas on French Revolution was the equality of human and the three natural rights, which are life, liberty and property. In France, serfs and peasants didn’t have the same rights as aristocracy because they didn’t enjoy the same freedoms and property that the wealthy population enjoyed. Furthermore, they made up 80 percent of the population (Kreis). Thus, they were unsatisfied with their unequal rights. In addition, the “bourgeoisie”, or the middle class, could be as rich as the some nobles because the bourgeoisie were the people to get engaged in trades and a variety of businesses that helped them to gain a good amount of wealth and influence the French economy. However, the bourgeoisies were still considered as commoners because their statuses in society were not heritable as nobilities (Kreis). Consequently, the bourgeoisies wished the government to open more positions to base on the individual’s merits. But it was impossible to do this under the Old Regime due to the huge differences in social classes and privileges. Hence, the commoners, including both peasants and bourgeois, were inspired to revolt from the new philosophical ideas that were widely spread and accepted of the individual human rights.


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