French Revolution Enlightenment Analysis

Improved Essays
The French Revolution was an extraordinary and violent revolt by the French people against their absolutist monarchy. By the people taking action they were able to free themselves from the heavy strains of peasantry and change their country for the better. In addition to this revolution there was another force sweeping Europe, the enlightenment. This was a period in time where man was beginning to shift away from the blind faith of religion and gravitate towards logic and science based thinking, ideals and lifestyles. In this time period France was able to pull influence from the enlightenment and use it to fuel their revolution. The enlightenment was a massive movement that ushered its influence throughout France helping to form a new era through the French Revolution. In this period France was ruled by King Louis XIV, an absolutist monarch born into power. However, despite Louis’s status of a king the people of France reviled him. He was seen as indecisive, introverted and everything a king was not supposed to be. Crops were failing across the country, leading to high bread prices and starvation among the poor, and King Louis’s decision to help the thirteen colonies with …show more content…
As explained by volume 2 of Western Civilizations, “Montesquieu suggested that there were three basic forms of government: republics, monarchies, and despotisms. A republic was governed by many individuals...allowed individual citizens to transcend their particular interests...rule in the common good ”. This was a major influence towards the French Revolution because it introduced the idea of a republic, which would later be used while forming a new government. It also helped to reinforce that a monarchy was not the best idea, as Montesquieu described its soul as honor based, “giving individuals an incentive to behave with loyalty towards

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Human history is comprised of many strides against oppression and revolutionary upbringings. Two notable revolutions, the French, beginning in 1789, and the Mexican, beginning in 1910, had varying goals and outcomes. France wished to debunk the unfair social stratification and the limited rights of the third-estate, ultimately leading to the abolishment of this oppressive regime, while Mexico wished to overthrow an oppressive dictatorship, which eventually ended in the endowment of unprecedented rights to the Mexican people. Eighteenth century Europe viewed governing a civilization through the means of power and control, rather than social and individual needs. In France, monarchs followed a socio-political system titled the old regime, in…

    • 668 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The American Revolution and the French Revolution were both based on Enlightenment standards. The Enlightenment was a time where thinkers began to question ideals, religion and ethics (Modern World History, ch. 1, sec. 1) The American Revolution had a great influence on the French Revolution because Frenchmen that assisted George Washington returned to France and began to spread, “Liberal philosophies of the American experience throughout France” which inspired the need for change in France (Modern World History, ch. 8, sec.…

    • 780 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The French Revolution was a watershed moment in European history that changed French society, politics, and international relations for the worst. There were many changes to society and the way of life for the French citizens at the time of the Revolution. The Revolutionaries wanted to separate the church and state and therefore shut down it down in a de-Christianization campaign (610). Years late, after…

    • 808 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The French Revolution was a period of time where people sought to spread the ideals of liberty and equality. However, Louis XVI, the absolute monarch at the beginning of the French Revolution before power was taken away from him, wanted to remain the head of the country and wanted to pursue his own interests rather than fund the interests of France. Members of the Third Estate did not agree with his actions, therefore being the reason that the French Revolution ever started. The hatred for the absolute monarch, Louis XVI, by the people played a large role in the cause of the French Revolution because they wanted to form a new way of government that didn’t give power solely to one person. The people of France believed that Louis XVI was politically…

    • 721 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Since the people of France knew that they could now have rights as a citizen, they didn’t want to stop. The goals of the Radical phase included: male suffrage, a separation from the church, women’s rights, redistribution of wealth, and the formation of a Democratic Republic. The first “radical” attempt was the trial and execution of King Louis XVI. This happened when, “The king tried to flee Paris in 1791” (PowerPoint). After this event, the people wanted to do more damage to the government.…

    • 1498 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The French Revolution was a revolution in France that overthrew the monarchy from 1789 to 1799 and is generally indicated as the end of the Enlightenment. The French Revolution was influenced by Enlightenment ideals and helped shape the nation. The Enlightenment was a time period during the 18th century that stressed thought and reason, as well as the power of individuals to have a say in how their country was run. Philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, and many others wanted to make drastic changes in government, religion, economics, and more. Their teachings inspired citizens to take a stand on unfair government ways which gave them the transformation they wanted to see in society.…

    • 1247 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The time when we expressed our thoughts came to be called the Enlightenment or the Age of Reason. This is because we shed light on the people and have them a passion for freedom. Radicals is the term used to describe us, and our literature based on politics and other works of the time stirred up rebellion. “Nowhere was the spirit of enlightenment, this climate of daring, more evident than in France, the most powerful country in Europe in the 1700s (Dersin 11).” Our time was developed on the margins of and in open hostility to the French state, and the economic growth and Enlightenment paved way for political revolution (Jones 175). In fact, we produced the American and French revolutions.…

    • 795 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The scientific revolution and the Enlightenment enabled the criticism of existing problems in France and Colonial America and thus inspired and materialized revolutions in both countries; after these great revolutions, Napoleon Bonaparte appeared as the logical result of Rousseau’s totalitarian thought. Many problems afflicted Colonial America and France, including taxation, political and social tensions, the tyranny of the monarch, and the power of the church. The scientific revolution and the Enlightenment, and all of the great thinkers and philosophes born unto them, allowed for and facilitated these criticisms of the existing order and present evils through the popularization of free thought and rational criticism. These criticisms eventually…

    • 1094 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    European leaders also were stuck with fear that their countries would see that light in Locke’s ideas of what a government should and shouldn’t be, and revolt against their leaders. To combat this the leaders quickly and efficiently restored France to a monarchy putting King Louis XVI in charge of France again. The French revolution also set a social standard that if a government was not effectively protecting citizen’s natural rights and keeping general order then it was likely going to be overthrown. This added an incentive for monarchs to keep their citizens happy, not just the rich ones either; the whole population. If it was possible for the 3rd estate to overthrow the French government, it was possible anywhere and for any reason.…

    • 1271 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In France, as in many other European countries, there was a desire to replace the existing structure of aristocracy and feudalism with a new system that favoured sovereignty of the people, equality and natural rights. The lower middle classes are considered instrumental in the rebellion against higher authority, driven by their united enthusiasm to remove the existing political…

    • 1999 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays