Women's Rights In The French Revolution

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One of the biggest, most controversial, and overlooked moments of the French Revolution was unquestionably the fight of females for their human rights. Unlike the men, who practically had their rights handed to them on a silver platter, women had to fight for theirs. And like the outcome of the revolution, their struggle to gain equality did not come without sacrifice and death. But to determine what had actually unfolded during that time of the French Revolution, the distinctions between men and women’s rights, the spark of Olympe De Gouge’s proposal, and Robespierre’s disgust towards such an uprising need to be assessed. From analyzing the ideas as stated above, there will be enough evidence to show that although women did not have a very …show more content…
And with that, the Declaration of Rights of Man was formed. Issued by National assembly, the declaration is described in Europe And The Making of Modernity as “an enlightenment document that established the individual right to liberty, equality before the law of all, freedom of speech, and the abolition of serfdom, feudalism, and aristocratic privilege.” (Wink, Brown, 5). While this document meant that all men were free to do as they pleased without deterrence, the women, on the other hand, did not have any such freedoms. In Europe And The Making of Modernity, it states that “Revolutionary political sovereignty did not include rights for women or any provisions for economic equality or security for the poor.” (Wink, Brown, 5). The absence of women’s rights was not a matter of lack of desire for such freedoms. It was more about not having the voice needed to express their ideals like the men had. That was until Olympe De Gouges came into the picture; then everything …show more content…
Considered to be the father of the terror, Robespierre found Olympe De Gouge’s attempt to free women as an act of defiance. As such, Robespierre ordered her execution. Robespierre’s reason for eliminating Gouges is made clear in Europe and Making of Modernity, Where Robespierre emphasizes that change is the essence of destruction and anyone who attempts to influence change is thereby considered a traitor to the revolution. However, as convincing as that may sound, though, the bulk of the execution was really because of fear. Fear of breaking tradition, fear of revolt, and fear of the unknown. Had women been given freedom, there is no telling what could have occurred down the road. And from that, Robespierre believed that the only way that peace could be restored to France was through a “Reign of Terror”. In Nineteenth Century Europe, Robespierre says in his speech “terror without virtue is disastrous, virtue without terror is powerless. Terror is nothing without prompt, severe, and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue” (Melancon, Swanson, 14). Thus, emphasizing on the idea that the only way for France to regain peace again is by having hundreds slaughtered for the good of the state. Ironically albeit, like Gouges, Robespierre was also sent to the Guillotine. Which is described by Europe and Making of Modernity and saying “In 1794, Robespierre’s former comrades had decided that Robespierre himself was

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