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The French Revolution and the Cultural Renewal of Europe - Essay Example

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The paper “The French Revolution and the Cultural Renewal of Europe” will discuss the French Revolution, which altered the cultural sensibilities of Europe’s nation states as well as the continent’s traditional political power structure. …
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The French Revolution and the Cultural Renewal of Europe
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Download file to see previous pages The seminal event in the evolution of political thought also was transformative for the development of Europe’s great cultural tradition. A civilization in which Neo-Classically influenced works of art and literature honored royalty and aristocracy underwent a radical change. The toppling of the ancien regime in France did more than set off a chain of events that would transform Western Europe from monarchy to democracy. It radically changed the very notion of culture. After the revolution, the idea that culture was the exclusive province of the wealthy and powerful changed forever. Culture in a world where noblemen had been patrons of the great artists was now the property of everyone, of rich and poor.
The ideas that fired the revolution were equally motivating to the painters, composers and writers of Europe, who had seen nothing comparable to the fervor with which Marat, Robespierre and other firebrands of the Revolution took up the philosophies of Rousseau and Montesquieu. The power of Enlightenment thinking took solid root on both sides of the Atlantic, inspiring political and cultural leaders to adopt the cause of liberty, equality and fraternity as their own. “The tide of Revolution that swept away much of the old political order in Europe and America in the last quarter of the 18th century had momentous consequences for the arts. Both the American and French revolutions had in fact used art as a means of expressing their
spiritual rejection of the aristocratic society against which they were physically rebelling…” (Cunningham and Reich, 2006). The art of David typified this spiritual and physical break with the past, using classical imagery to glorify the ideals of the Revolution. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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