Role Of Enlightenment In French Revolution

Thaqif Kamaruszaman Enlightenment and the French Revolution Marques
The fires of the revolution that swept the nation of France during the 18th century were fueled by Enlightenment ideas brought in by thinkers, coming from the recent Scientific Revolution, to France composed of various backgrounds. From the execution of a monarchy, to the creation of a monumental empire, the French Revolution was ravaged and fought on the ideas of freedom and justice for all. The people of France were playing with something that had never been seen in Europe, and the standard of how far a nation could go with Enlightenment was being set by them. Although the whole ideology of Enlightenment played a major part in establishing the revolution, some may
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Examples such as the October March in the early stages of the revolution was a vital part in starting the flames of the revolution upon the nation. However, the values of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity did not seem relevant to the women of France during and after the revolution. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen that was adopted by the National Assembly in 1789 is supposedly a document that stands against the discriminatory actions from and by the French monarchy and the upper classes that was taking place before the revolution. The Declaration declared that “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights -- All the citizens have a right to decide, either personally or by their representatives,” (Declaration of the Rights of Man 1789) The peculiar factor of this document in regard to the revolution was that it was not being properly pledged upon. Women in post-revolution France were second class citizens with no right to vote. The ‘rights of man’ only applied to ‘some’ citizens of France and not all, as the National Assembly began to take the constitution to their own literal understanding. The ‘human rights’ that the document supported “only applied to free, non-enslaved men.” (Flower 8) This occasion only highlights the bizarre tendency of the French republic to turn their backs on previous installments in their constitution that were deemed unfit. Even Napoleon Bonaparte, the Emperor of the French during and after the revolution, degraded women to an insulting degree by slandering them with “Women are nothing but machines for producing children,”. The French men of this period had little respect for the mothers and daughters of France, and it was showing through the treatment that the women of France received. Equality, did not apply to

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