Unit 2: Absolutism and Revolution Portfolio In this unit, you examined the American and French Revolutions. The American Revolution, sparked by conflict over British rule and influenced by Enlightenment ideas, broke colonial ties with a monarchy and yielded a new nation. The French Revolution, inspired by the American Revolution as well as the Enlightenment, freed French citizens from an absolute monarchy and secured equality before the law for all male citizens. In your unit study, you explored the causes and effects, characteristics, as well as the consequences, of each of these revolutions. What did they have in common?
The French Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, and experienced violent periods of political turmoil. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, it profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. There are mainly three aspects of the causes of the French Revolution—political, economic and cultural. The inequality of the French government’s policies in favor of the first two estates is a main factor of the French Revolution. A chart revealing the life of Frenchmen in 1789shows the differences among the nobles, clergies and the Third Estate.
“What do we mean by revolution?” Wrote John Adams to Thomas Jefferson in 1815. “The war? That was no part of the Revolution; only a consequence of it. The Revolution was in the minds of the people, and was effected, from 1760 to 1775, in the course of fifteen years before a drop of blood was spilled at Lexington.” In the words of John Adams, the American Revolution was more than a war, it was an intellectual movement that transformed the mindset of a nation. In the light of an Enlightenment era radical ideas were nothing new, however radical ideas against the British government (and the european lifestyle in general) were dangerous.
The French Revolution began to abolish privileged, high class society as people rose up against the authority and monarchy in France. As a result of this political upheaval almost all of Europe was shaken by social changes, revolutions, and wars (“French Revolution”). Artists and artwork began to reflect this new sense of change and nationalism with a movement called Neoclassicism. Neoclassicism is characterized by strong drawing, rationality, and better moral ideology. Artists began to no longer show their brush strokes and paint more about nationalism and patriotism in society.
How revolutionary was the French Revolution? Did the Revolution simply replace the old ruling elite with a new bourgeois one? What were the major effects on different groups of people, including nobles, priests, peasants, urban workers, slaves, and women? This essay will address the French Revolution and the degree to which it can be aptly described as “revolutionary.” How revolutionary was the French Revolution? Was the storming of the Bastille, the destruction of feudalism, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of a fundamental and radical and revolutionary nature, or, alternatively, simply a series of historical events that results in the supplanting of one authoritarian regime for another and at great cost in lives and treasure?
Furthermore, there had been an increase in social antagonism between the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy. Louis XVI’s inefficiency to resolve the problems emerging in the state and economic hardships as a result of the 1788-89 agrarian crises also generated discontent in the state due to shortage of food. The French Revolution ultimately emerged when certain groups of the state challenged the monopoly of the government as they felt that the authority is no more loyal and legitimate. The French Revolution, which lasted from 1789 to 1799 led to various accomplishments. It resulted in the formation of two distinct models of government, such as the representative and authoritative government.
This allows one to examine and compare his reign to the nadir of Louis XVI only a century later, whose authority had been fatally undermined as France was in turmoil; on the verge of bankruptcy by 1789, it was blighted by increased poverty and revolutionary ideas were spreading. This was evident with the open, public satire of the King and widespread desire for change from France’s traditional monarchical rule. This culminated in tumultuous events which brought about the end of the dynasty.
His laws changed the political system of Austria therefore, "Joseph II was the eighteenth century 's epitome of political reform” (Padover). The determined ruler created the national court system which copied many of philosophe Cesare Beccaria’s ideas that banned capital punishment, such as death penalty and torture, and gave equal sentence to people convicted of crime. Moreover in 1786, he released a penal code which handled all defendants, despite their social status, equally on court and therefore removing the unfair privileges that had existed for the nobles and the Catholic Church. On February 10, 1789, he issued the revolutionary
Goethe’s Rebellion Through Werther: An analysis on the works of Goethe indicates his rebellion against the Age of Enlightenment, and through the character of Werther and the surrounding cast uses the story as a cautionary tale of philosophical arguments posed in open disagreement during the Romantic Movement. Following the Age of Enlightenment and the introduction of the Industrial Revolution, the societal ramifications that not only occurred throughout Europe also bled into a number of intellectual aspects which evolved after Enlightenment thought - leading to the intellectual movement of Romanticism. As a rebellion against the radical rise of rationalism being applied to the world, while the new approaches to investigation, reasoning
Revolutions occur in either peaceful or violent forms. We have seen peaceful revolutions such as those of Mahatma Gandhi in India and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States of America. However, more often than not, revolutions are violent, such as the French Revolution, the Communist Revolution in China, the American Revolution, and the August and the February Revolutions in Russia. The roots of revolutions are found in inequalities. To be more precise, inequalities in terms of wealth, power, and dignity are the inequalities which spark revolutions.