By the beginning of July 1789 many contemporary observers, such as the Briton Arthur Young, thought that the French Revolution had come to an end. The king had been forced to concede to the demands of the Third Estate and the nobles had given up their tax privileges. The National Constituent Assembly had been charged with the task of drawing up a new constitution. In reality, however, there were many problems ahead.
- There was widespread mistrust of the king – would he use the armed forces to overthrow the Revolution?
- The poor harvest of 1788 meant that France, in particular, the urban areas, was faced with severe food shortages.
- Both in Paris and the countryside a range of economic and political grievances that had not been addressed.