Map of Blachly on By the second half of the 18th century a series of costly wars had drained the treasury of the French monarchy that was detached from reality and largely inept to govern. Almost 50 percent of the tax revenue was earmarked for debt payments while 25 percent went to maintain the military, not leaving enough resources to run the country. The intervention in the AMERICAN REVOLUTION produced no material advantages that could have compensated for the military expenses. The first two estates (or classes), the clergy and nobility, were tax-exempt despite being the largest landowners. The third estate (over 90 percent of the population), a diverse social group ranging from upwardly mobile bourgeoisie to unskilled day laborers and peasants, united only by legal status, and having no political voice, carried the tax burden. The rigid Old Regime, founded on the feudal orders from the Middle Ages, had become outdated and it ceased to correspond with social reality. In 1877, Louis XVI called an Assembly of Notables to gain support for the introduction of general tax on all landed property. Map of Blachly 2016.
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