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Enlightenment and the French Revolution - Essay Example

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ENLIGHTENMENT AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION Name Professor Course Date Introduction Enlightenment constituted a vital development in advancing the French revolution. This period marked remarkable philosophical thought and intellectual development. Beliefs and ideas previously held were replaced and overthrown during the period of enlightenment…
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Enlightenment and the French Revolution
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Enlightenment and the French Revolution

Download file to see previous pages... Enlightenment promoted the ideas of natural law and progress in societal aspects as evident from the writings of Voltaire, Montesquieu and Rousseau. Themes from the enlightenment that contributed to the French revolution include; liberal government, constitutional monarchy, the monarchy, division of power, the Declaration of the Rights of Man, popular sovereignty, The Social Contract and Enlightened Absolutism1. The crumple of the previous establishment contributed to social unrest, economic problems and conflicting ambitions which led to the French Revolution. In the unfolding of the French revolution, the thoughts, ideas, and expressions rose from the enlightenment theorists. The themes of the enlightenment did not share a common idea, and it was not activated by a solitary revolutionary plan. Unlike the other revolutions, the French Revolution occurred in phases, with each amounting to a revolution in itself. The revolutionists repudiated one theme to pursue another. The initial phase of the French Revolution occurred on the basis of the themes expressed by Montesquieu. This theme recognized a liberal constitutional monarchy as an elaborate government system for people who pursued freedom. This theme proposed the dividing of the sovereign state between many centers of power. This provided a balance from any center turning despotic. The English achieved this model by devolving sovereignty between the parliament, law courts and the Crown. Montesquieu suggested that the French should use their familiar estates such as the aristocratic courts, the crown, chartered cities, church and the landed nobility to advance these themes2. Montesquieu ideas gave a conspicuous share of the power to the aristocrats, a class he belonged to, both in courts and on land. The aristocrats actively took part in the revolution during the early stages. They identified themselves with the cause of national freedom and the interests of their estates. Louis the 16th took the revolution as an enterprise for his privileged subjects to emulate what the English did by replacing an absolute ruler with a constitutional monarch3. The French Revolution had three main principles; fraternity, liberty and equity. The enlightenment advanced these principles by targeting aspects that did not include institutions such as the church, monarch and feudalism. The enlightenment gave people the power to rule, without, compulsion to operate within reason, interests or logic. This meant that citizens had acquired rights, powers and respect. The enlightenment themes of nationality, patriotism and absolute rights led to the achievement of the objectives of the French Revolution. The French national assembly has the same principles, and it represents the people and restores the nation to the citizens. This had a positive effect on the national assembly by supporting a democratic nation. The enlightenment gave people believe that they could control and comprehend the universe by empirical research and reason. The natural law dominated the physical world, with the likelihood of the social world also dominating the physical world. The enlightenment emphasized the rejection of beliefs in traditional authority because they found the traditional institutions values as irrational. The enlightenment found the institutions as an obstacle for human development and growth. Their mission required them to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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