Essay On The Role Of Women In The French Revolution

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The French Revolution, which lasted from 1789 until 1799, was a period of drastic social and political, fundamental changes, replacing the ancien regime with three new succeeding political regimes until 1799. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, experienced violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon that rapidly brought many of its principles to Western Europe and beyond. What the French Revolution manifested the abolition of the remnants of the feudal system such as peasant dues and equality before the law. It, on the other hand, created the opportunities for the new social groups to acquire political power. Also, the French Revolution became a starting point for the rise of republics and democracies and accelerated the emergence and development of the modern ideologies such…show more content…
However, the women of the lower classes were mostly excluded from the political matters. The role of women in society among the writers of the Enlightenment was a subject of intense debates. Most of the intellectuals of the Enlightenment often took a traditional stance on the role of the women in society. They viewed women as biologically and therefore socially different from men, destined to play domestic roles inside the family rather than public. In his book Emile, he described his vision of an ideal education for women and advocated that women should take an active role in the family. According to Rousseau, women should be “passive and weak”, “put up little resistance” and are “made specially to please the man”. He also clarifies the dominance of man as a function of “the sole fact of his strength”. Most men and women agreed with Rousseau and other Enlightenment thinkers that women belonged in the private sphere of the home and therefore had no role to play in public
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