A Soldier's Letter To His Mother: Analysis

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Leaders of the French Revolution who represented the Third Estate, which made up the vast majority of the French population, were motivated by the lack of representation of the lower classes and the growing inequalities between the nobles and the peasants. Additionally, the reexamination of traditionally accepted beliefs in the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment due to increased rational thinking and applied philosophy fueled a reconsideration of France’s irresponsible and ineffective absolute government. This dissatisfaction only increased when the Third Estate shared their opinions with the existing government, who chose to ignore them; thus the Revolution begins in 1789 with the Tennis Court Oath and the Storming of the Bastille.
The Cahiers were a list of
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The soldier writes “When la patrie [the motherland] calls us to her defense, we ought to fly there as if running to a good meal. Our life, our wealth, and our talents do not belong to us. It is to the national, la patrie, that all that belongs” (Joliclerc, 63). This speaks to the warrior mentality and runs parallel to Rousseau’s Social Contract in that an individual gives up their will for the good of the entire people. It becomes even clearer when Joliclerc writes to his mother “If I should perish there, you ought to rejoice. Can one make a finer sacrifice than to die for one’s country? Can one die for a more just, glorious, and fairer cause?” (Joliclerc, 63). A cause worth taking pride in the possibility of sacrificing one’s own life for must be one of great significance. This piece invokes a sense of revolutionary nationalism and exposes the general public’s ideas on the Revolution at the height of the Reign of Terror, when the Jacobins were overthrowing suspected counterrevolutionaries and absolute

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