How to avoid the French Revolution?

there's a true irony in the fact that where parliament helped the people of England (as much as such a monarchy would or could) but in France it stopped the monarchy from actually being able to do anything. but yeah Louis XV was honestly the problem- he also struggled to coordinate the military during wars with Britain, causing massive issues in how they were conducted.
French Parlements are judicial courts, not in anyway an elected legislative body.
 
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You're right to question it. The financial situation was bad but IMO is overrated as cause (as is intervention in America to a large extent). Things could still have continued ticking without the sweeping Napoleonic-esque reforms people sometimes demand to avoid the revolution. This is a good article on it: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2122504
I've read elsewhere that XV's final years saw slow improvement. XVI took over and reversed course.

It has been said that the revolution was the result of a perfect storm of factors. Dislocate any of those factors and the revolution becomes less likely.
 
No useful splendor, that policy was deeply stupid. Call the notables earlier, and give them the books to look at when they ask. Then hammer out a reform package with at least grudging approval by the most powerful men in France. With them onside it will be far harder for the parlements to refuse the bills. Then announce the Estates General will be called in the near future, and announce how it will meet ahead of time.

And make sure the delegates are housed with people from their own regions, not people who agree with them.
 
Not so much of avoiding the French Revolution, but no Flight to Varennes would have allowed Louis, and Marie to keep both their heads, and the throne.

It would have left Lafayette, the National Guard, and the moderate Patriotic Society of 1789 in a position of strength and legitimacy rather than entering into a sharp decline.

France could have settle down as a Constitutional Monarchy.
 
No useful splendor, that policy was deeply stupid. Call the notables earlier, and give them the books to look at when they ask. Then hammer out a reform package with at least grudging approval by the most powerful men in France. With them onside it will be far harder for the parlements to refuse the bills. Then announce the Estates General will be called in the near future, and announce how it will meet ahead of time.

And make sure the delegates are housed with people from their own regions, not people who agree with them.
I disagree with this. I think giving an inch would lead to them taking a mile. Give them a whiff of grapeshot.
 
No useful splendor, that policy was deeply stupid. Call the notables earlier, and give them the books to look at when they ask. Then hammer out a reform package with at least grudging approval by the most powerful men in France.
The problem is that the Second estate simply will not make a deal. Not only is it obsessed with keeping its ancient rights, it believes that the Third estate alone can come up with the money.

Summoning the États-généraux could help, but only if a majority of the First (clergy) are on board with reform, which is uncertain at best.
 
I disagree with this. I think giving an inch would lead to them taking a mile. Give them a whiff of grapeshot.
Too true

Not so much of avoiding the French Revolution, but no Flight to Varennes would have allowed Louis, and Marie to keep both their heads, and the throne.

It would have left Lafayette, the National Guard, and the moderate Patriotic Society of 1789 in a position of strength and legitimacy rather than entering into a sharp decline.

France could have settle down as a Constitutional Monarchy.
And that was something with which both Marie and specially Louis were NOT in agreement at all as they felt to be prisoners (and were NOT wrong). A successful Flight of Varennes would be better for both the Royal family and the moderate patriots (whose likelier reaction would be saying who Louis had essentially abdicated and replace him with Philippe Egalite, who would be a very good Constitutional Monarch unlike his cousins
 
The problem is that the Second estate simply will not make a deal. Not only is it obsessed with keeping its ancient rights, it believes that the Third estate alone can come up with the money.

Summoning the États-généraux could help, but only if a majority of the First (clergy) are on board with reform, which is uncertain at best.
There is another possibility. Though it's not a guarantee it could be better.

Keep the Third Estate from trying to highjack it to protest only having one vote. And let the estates general vote fail.

It's not like the king and his ministers are going to ignore that there is a problem after this. So maybe doing they could use this to galvanize the relationship between the king and third estate.
 
Two things spring to mind.

1st France avoids getting involved in the American Rebellion so it's finances are in better shape, allowing lower taxes.
2nd French peasants are persuaded (or forced) to grow (and actually eat) potatoes reducing the famine that provided the spark for the revolution.
 
I disagree with this. I think giving an inch would lead to them taking a mile. Give them a whiff of grapeshot.
You’re going tonhave to risk it. If you don’t give an inch you won’t lose a mile but the entire distance. France cannot continue without drastic reform. If its financial position was better then you could talk about not giving in on points. But its not. You’re staring down national insolvency. Right. Now.


The problem is that the Second estate simply will not make a deal. Not only is it obsessed with keeping its ancient rights, it believes that the Third estate alone can come up with the money.

Summoning the États-généraux could help, but only if a majority of the First (clergy) are on board with reform, which is uncertain at best.
Except no, that isn’t true at all, and is based on outdated views of the revolution. Most of the Second Estate did agree that some change was needed, ESPECIALLY among the notables, who were not reliant on their tax exemptions for solvency. The largest resistance in the second estate were from former Third Estate men who had purchased their way into the Second.
The First Estate was also not nearly universally opposed to reform, as many of them were local priests who disagreed greatly with upper level clergy about affairs. What turned hoth these groups decisively against the revolution later was when the nutty side of the 3rd Estate got into power and decided that alienating, and then murdering, all of their opposition was the solution to every problem.
 
You’re going tonhave to risk it. If you don’t give an inch you won’t lose a mile but the entire distance. France cannot continue without drastic reform. If its financial position was better then you could talk about not giving in on points. But its not. You’re staring down national insolvency. Right. Now.



Except no, that isn’t true at all, and is based on outdated views of the revolution. Most of the Second Estate did agree that some change was needed, ESPECIALLY among the notables, who were not reliant on their tax exemptions for solvency. The largest resistance in the second estate were from former Third Estate men who had purchased their way into the Second.
The First Estate was also not nearly universally opposed to reform, as many of them were local priests who disagreed greatly with upper level clergy about affairs. What turned hoth these groups decisively against the revolution later was when the nutty side of the 3rd Estate got into power and decided that alienating, and then murdering, all of their opposition was the solution to every problem.
Of course there were pro-reform nobles, these people weren’t unanimous about anything. But from the actions of the parlements and the vote of the Second estate when it was convened in the spring of 1789, we can conclude that as a body, it is going to be in opposition.

The clergy is likewise a heterogeneous group (with the lower clergy more likely to embrace reform) but overall is more likely to side with the Second estate, as witnessed in 1789.

In any event, whatever chance there is of reaching a deal likely requires a much stronger personality on the throne than Louis XVI possessed.
 
Here's one possibility: Avoiding the American Revolution. Granted, France still had a large amount of debt even without the American Revolution but French involvement IOTL definitely expedited its financial issues by adding even more debt to the large heaping plate it already had. Also, with no French Revolution, many of the principles that helped spark the French Revolution would not have gained popularity the way they did in France.
 
No useful splendor, that policy was deeply stupid. Call the notables earlier, and give them the books to look at when they ask. Then hammer out a reform package with at least grudging approval by the most powerful men in France. With them onside it will be far harder for the parlements to refuse the bills. Then announce the Estates General will be called in the near future, and announce how it will meet ahead of time.

And make sure the delegates are housed with people from their own regions, not people who agree with them.
The thing is, most of the budget was not actually spent on the splendour, but on the over-bloated military France had at the time and servicing interest of debt from previous wars.
 
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Here's one possibility: Avoiding the American Revolution. Granted, France still had a large amount of debt even without the American Revolution but French involvement IOTL definitely expedited its financial issues by adding even more debt to the large heaping plate it already had. Also, with no French Revolution, many of the principles that helped spark the French Revolution would not have gained popularity the way they did in France.
Which would he a good thing in the long run in my view,
 
How did the revolutionary government handle the previous debt and further military spending?
For the most part they didn’t pay it. The creditors can be divided into several parts: bankers from the Netherlands, domestic bourgeouisie and the nobility(a lot of whom were bourgeoisie who bought their titles). The Republic was at war with the Dutch and succeeded in conquering the Netherlands. Good luck getting money from the French. The aristocrats were for the most part purged.Therefore, the republic only needed to pay bourgeoisie and remaining members of the nobility who survived the purges and didn’t flee—since fleeing would automatically forfeit your property.To gain further credit with the remaining bourgeoisie and nobility, they sold the land forfeited by nobles who were purged or fled as well as land seized from the church.
 
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The problem is that the Second estate simply will not make a deal. Not only is it obsessed with keeping its ancient rights, it believes that the Third estate alone can come up with the money.

Summoning the États-généraux could help, but only if a majority of the First (clergy) are on board with reform, which is uncertain at best.
The secret for the monarchy is to get the backing of the first estate and third estate to screw the second.
 
there's a true irony in the fact that where parliament helped the people of England (as much as such a monarchy would or could) but in France it stopped the monarchy from actually being able to do anything. but yeah Louis XV was honestly the problem- he also struggled to coordinate the military during wars with Britain, causing massive issues in how they were conducted.
Honestly, I think people are way too obsessed with the idea of eliminating parlements as being some miracle cure that’ll save France.

I’m too tired to give a long answer, but to quote Bailey Stone

But those who denounced Chancellor Rene ́-Nicolas-Charles Augustin de Maupeou’s coup of 1770 against the parlements were in the end rescued by something less fortuitous than Louis XV’s death in 1774. For, even prior to that event, the government was apparently moving toward a complete reversal of Chancellor Maupeou’s policy. It seems, in other words, that extreme authoritarianism in France – meaning, chiefly, government without the moderating influence of institutions like the parlements – was viewed at
Versailles as unworkable. Therefore, Durand Echeverria’s assertion that Louis XVI’s dismissal of Maupeou in 1774 was “the inevitable liquidation of an exhausted expedient” essentially rings true.
 
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