Many aspects of the Enlightenment affected the French Revolution including giving the people a voice, creating a social contract, separating church and state, and bringing equality to people of all social status, diminishing boundaries between people...

  • Thesis Statement (continued)

    Thesis Statement (continued)
    ...groups and opening the door for future modernization; similar to the way the bloodiness of the Civil War in the United States had to occur in order for slavery to be abolished.
  • Thomas Hobbes 1

    Thomas Hobbes 1
    The idea for a Social Contract, or the Constitution was brought to the world by Thomas Hobbes, an Enlightenment philosopher of his day. Historians have explained this as, "Hobbes argued that to escape such a bleak life, people gave up their rights to a strong ruler. In exchange, they gained law and order" (Black & Beck 551). This is pointing out that if the common people obeyed laws that were in writing, the government would respect the people’s rights. ...
  • Thomas Hobbes 2

    Thomas Hobbes 2
    ...This concept was adapted by the French when they created the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.
  • John Locke 1

    John Locke 1
    An Enlightenment theorist, John Locke, introduced the truth of equality for all humanity. Black and Beck state, “According to Locke, all people are born free and equal, with three natural rights— life, liberty, and property” (Black & Beck 551). This was a new idea because before people were placed into different castes based on wealth, social status, skin color, and race. Historians have found, “It introduced a brand new form of government in Europe, the government of republicanism, ...
  • John Locke 2

    John Locke 2
    ...represented by the slogan "liberty and fraternity, ..." (www.iun.edu). After the French Revolution, free people of color, slaves, white plantation owners, and poor white people were all seen as equal.
  • Mary Estell 1

    Mary Estell 1
    Mary Estell was a woman who worked to give women an education. Historians have depicted that, “She wrote, ‘If absolute sovereignty be not necessary in a state, how comes it to be so in a family? . . . If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?’” (Black & Beck 555). It was not that all women were slaves, but that at this time period most women did not have the privilege of receiving an education.
  • Mary Estell 2

    Mary Estell 2
    ... This held them back from many of the opportunities that were available to men. She brought up the point that how were they supposed to teach their children if they did not have a proper education themselves? Men and women have nearly equal educational rights today in the United States because of people like Mary Estell.
  • Voltaire 1

    Voltaire 1
    Voltaire was a man who strongly believed in the separation of religion and state. Black and Beck explain it as, “Although he made powerful enemies, Voltaire never stopped fighting for tolerance, reason, freedom of religious belief, and freedom of speech” (Black & Beck 553). During this time, religion was very prevalent within the government. Most people were not content with this and wanted to have the freedom to practice a religion of their choice. ...
  • Voltaire 2

    Voltaire 2
    ... Although Voltaire did suffer, his ideas are seen rampant in most countries today.
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau 1

    Jean Jacques Rousseau 1
    Jean Jacques Rousseau, although he had different ideas than other philosophers, was very correct in his work. Famously he stated, “‘Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains,” ...” (Black & Beck 553). Many people of Rousseau’s day did not want to face the fact that slavery was an injustice. This would mean a drastic change for many people. For the white plantation owners, it would mean the loss of many resources that the slaves had brought them. ...
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau 2

    Jean Jacques Rousseau 2
    ... For most Africans, it meant freedom from slavery. Although sadly modern slavery still exists today in some areas, Rousseau’s ideas are accepted worldwide.
  • Cecare Bonesana Beccaria 1

    Cecare Bonesana Beccaria 1
    Black and Beck published that, “He believed that laws existed to preserve social order, not to avenge crimes” (Black & Beck 554). Cesare Bonesana Beccaria was another Enlightenment philosopher who saw the need to a just court system. Before the French Revolution, the judge could place any punishment they saw fit on a criminal. Beccaria wrote a book called On Crimes and Punishments which displayed a plan for impartial consequences. ...
  • Cecare Bonesana Beccaria 2

    Cecare Bonesana Beccaria 2
    ...Today laws and punishments are clearly available for all to see, which limits the amount of biased punishments given.
  • Giving the People a Voice 1

    Giving the People a Voice 1
    Patrick Comstock, a historian, once collected, “In preparation for the Estates General, various writers and activists began to circulate pamphlets that gave a voice to the many members of the Third Estate” (Comstock).The Third Estate made up about 98% of the French population and were the lowest caste in their society. During the Enlightenment, John Locke came up with the idea that everyone had the rights to life, liberty, and property. ...
  • Giving the People a Voice 2

    Giving the People a Voice 2
    ...Many of these people did not believe that their rights were being protected and worked to reform that.
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

    Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
    Before the Enlightenment, people did not have a book of rule to follow. It seemed that whatever the King wanted was put into practice. Historians have found that, “The National Constituent Assembly, one of the first ruling bodies of the newly reconstituted French nation, drafted a document known as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen” (Comstock). This was based off of Jean Jacques Rousseau’s idea that every successful government should have a social contract based on equality.
  • Issues on Religion 1

    Issues on Religion 1
    “Some within the court, notably the Guise family, saw the rise of Protestantism as a threat which needed to be dealt with” (Kalthof). During the time before the French Revolution, the government was run by Catholic people and people who practiced other religions were discriminated against. An Enlightenment philosopher who used the pen name Voltaire, believed in the separation of church and state. ...
  • Issues on Religion 2

    Issues on Religion 2
    ...This was one of the topics which led to the French Revolution. Following the revolution, the French were free to practice any religion of their choice without the government involvement.
  • Tennis Court Oath

    Tennis Court Oath
    David Koeller once wrote, “The Tennis Court Oath was an assertion that sovereignty of the people did not reside in the King, but in the people themselves and their representatives” (Koeller). One of the main reasons for the Enlightenment was to give power to the people instead of all of the decisions being made by the monarchy. This was what happened during a meeting of philosophers in a tennis court where an oath was signed giving the common people a voice.
  • Free People of Color

    Free People of Color
    Research has proven that, "Free people of color from the colonies explained to the Assembly that despite their legal freedom, they could not enjoy the full rights due to citizens of the French Republic” (Slavery and Remembrance).Not only were the African slaves unhappy, but so were the free people of color. Although they had legal freedom, they were not treated justly by others in society. This is similar to how life in America was before the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Abolition of Slavery 1

    Abolition of Slavery 1
    Slavery was a very large issue that was resolved by the French Revolution. It is concluded that, “In February 1794, the French republic outlawed slavery in its colonies” (Slavery and Remembrance).It was not merely the common people who wanted reform to take place, but also the many slaves owned by French plantation owners. There is no way for every person to experience freedom if there are still people forced to work as slaves. ...
  • Abolition of Slavery 2

    Abolition of Slavery 2
    ...Some people wanted slaves and others believed that they should be free and this caused much controversy.
  • Works Cited 1

    Works Cited 1
    Beck, Roger B. World History: Patterns of Interaction. McDougal Littell, 2005. Coffin. “Events in the French Revolution.” IC 190. Spring 2006. https://community.plu.edu/~olufsdw/FrenchRev06.htm Comstock, Patrick. “Historical Context for the French Revolution.” The Core Curriculum. https://www.college.columbia.edu/core/content/french-revolution/context
  • Works Cited 2

    Works Cited 2
    Iun.edu. “The French Revolution (1789-1815)”. 2018. http://www.iun.edu/~hisdcl/h114_2002/frenchrevolution.htm Kalthof, Maura. “Faith and Terror: Religion in the French Revolution.” University of Colorado, Boulder. Spring 2015. https://scholar.colorado.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2091&context=honr_theses Koeller, David. “Tennis Court Oath.” Web Chron. 2016. http://www.thenagain.info/WebChron/WestEurope/TennisCourt.html
  • Works Cited 3

    Works Cited 3
    Slavery and Remembrance. “French Revolution.” United States Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. 2019. http://slaveryandremembrance.org/articles/article/?id=A0065