The French Revolution


was an unstable, blood-filled time. With 20,000 sent to the
guillotine and an equal number to prison, it is not hard to find importance but rather to
find meaning. The most crucial thing to look for in the revolution is justification, reasons
that excuse or bring significance to the deaths of many. John Locke, a philosophe of the
time, may have argued that a leader who does not provide his people with inalienable
rights is grounds for dismissal in the form of regicide1. On the other hand Thomas
Hobbes, also a philosopher, may have taken a different argument. It was his belief that
‘man is a brute’, therefore he needs a dictator to keep the peace. John Locke’s idealistic
view point ...

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Paine a radical thinker of the era once said ‘Time makes more converts
than reason’. With this quote we can see why revolution was successful in England, but
not France. England slowly used the Magna Carta (1213), Petition of Rights (1628), and
the Habeas Corpus Act (1679) to limit it’s monarch. It was a long road that was by no
means perfect. With monarchs who paid little attention to the act(s) in place during their
reign and parliament, like James (1603-1625) and Charles I (1625-1649) it was hard to
see progress quickly. These acts played a vital role in Britain’s journey to democracy,
through them came proper representation of the people, equality, and what is now known
as the ‘Glorious Revolution’.
France seemed to be on it’s way to a similar fate. In 1789, the Estates-General2
had now received a promise of a head count from Louis XVI. Prior to this time the very
large third estate3 (26 million) had the same number of representatives in the
Estates-General as the ...

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Added: 1/3/2004 10:04:34 PM
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 926
Pages: 4

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