This social class was comprised exclusively of the feudal nobles. According to this view, the nobility, led by the parliament, decided to challenge the monarchy as it had done several times in the past when it became dissatisfied. This time, though, there was a rising urban class of shopkeepers and artisans, known as the bourgeoisie, who took part and refused to give up the struggle. This bourgeoisie focused their dissatisfaction on the entire noble landowning class. This class had traditionally been the support of the monarchy and was easily blamed for any sense of oppression felt by the bourgeoisie. With the bourgeoisie success, the noble class was taken out of power including dethroning the king as the figurehead of this social class and this system was replaced by the First Republic. In many ways, the search for the reasons and participants in the French Revolution can be discovered within the theories brought forward by Karl Marx. This can be seen in the popular protest movements of the day which provide a more accurate view of both how the monarchy lost its favor and who was most in control of the political and social changes that were happening in those years.
French society at the time of the Revolution was very similar to most of the other countries of Europe of the period in that it had an absolute monarchy that followed much the same pattern of rule that had been established by Louis XIV in the early 1700s. As a part of this system, there was an aristocratic class that held most of the status and wealth of the nation in a feudal-type system and a merchant class called the bourgeoisie that, at times, held enough wealth to rival the nobles but had none of the political clout. There was “a vast peasantry accounting for one in seven or one in eight of the population, most of who were legally free but bound to their seigneur … by a myriad of services and obligations surviving from the medieval