The Enlightenment principles influenced the French Revolution through the apprised intellectuals voicing their desire for human rights, government reforms, and a stabilized economy; resulting in an enhanced change of lifestyle for the inhabitants of...

By cindyc1
  • Thesis Continued

    Thesis Continued
    France; similar to how the United States today protects its citizens and their individuality.
  • Locke

    “According to Locke, all people are born free and equal, with three natural rights—life, liberty, and property. The purpose of government, said Locke, is to protect these rights. If a government fails to do so, citizens have a right to overthrow it” (Black and Beck 551). Locke focused his attention on the natural rights all humans are entitled to. He believed in the three main privileges, life, liberty, and property. He expressed how it is the government's duty...
  • Locke 2

    Locke 2
    to protect these rights and if they didn’t do so, the people had the authority to rebel and potentially diminish their government.
  • Wollstonecraft 2

    Wollstonecraft 2
    She wrote numerous writings, conveying her thoughts onto those who were curious and to those who agreed.
  • Wollstonecraft

    “In A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft argued that women deserved the same rights as men” (Black and Beck 555). Throughout the Age of Enlightenment, various individuals, specifically women began to stand up against the inequality females were facing. Wollstonecraft highlighted the point that both genders should be granted the same privileges, instead of having the male population be portrayed as superior and more qualified to have those basic rights...
  • Monarchy and Enlightenment

    Monarchy and Enlightenment
    “The philosophies tried to convince monarchs to rule justly. Some monarchs embraced the new ideas and made reforms that reflected the Enlightenment spirit” (Black and Beck 561). Efforts were made by philosophers hoping to open the eyes of rulers to lead in a more beneficial way for all. Some of these ideas actually reached certain rulers and provided their nation with reform. Rulers mainly allowed themselves to be swayed by these thoughts in order to maintain power...
  • Monarchy and Enlightenment 2

    Monarchy and Enlightenment 2
    and control over their country. If they were to have no change at all, it would be more likely for an outbreak of conflicts to occur.
  • Voltaire 2

    Voltaire 2
    same ideas. Voltaire continuously advocated for this specific human right and emphasized on its importance.
  • Voltaire

    “He even dared to raise doubts about the Christian religion… Although he made powerful enemies, Voltaire never stopped fighting for tolerance, reason, freedom of religious belief, and freedom of speech” (Black and Beck 553). Voltaire’s values and ideas went against the Christian religion and the power they were given by being a part of the government. He stood for the acceptance of all religions, instead of having just a prime one controlling all the individuals, who did not all value the...
  • Montesquieu

    “Montesquieu proposed that separation of powers would keep any individual or group from gaining total control of the government” (Black and Beck 553). One of Montesquieu’s main focuses was on the division of power. He emphasized on the fact that power should be balanced throughout the branches so that not just one group has that majority of influence on decisions. If it were to be unbalanced, decisions would be completely biased for one group instead of being impacted by all the parts.
  • Rousseau

    “Rousseau believed that the only good government was one that was freely formed by the people and guided by the “general will” of society—a direct democracy” (Black and Beck 554). Rousseau believed that between the government and people there was a contract that each group had to oblige to. Rousseau expressed that a stable and well managed government was obtained if the people were heard as well as protected. The social contract also stated that if the government failed to...
  • Rousseau 2

    Rousseau 2
    accommodate for its people, then the inhabitants had the right to rebel against the system that was lacking in quality.
  • Raid of Bastille

    Raid of Bastille
    It is stated by a site named 'Exploring the French Revolution', “But the taking of the Bastille had great significance to the people, who made clear their sense of triumph soon thereafter by leveling the building, an act that symbolized the felling of despotism” Bastille was a fortress established in Paris, France. It’s capture and raid was a major event in the French Revolution since it was a main contribution to the start of the war. An Enlightenment thinker known as Rousseau stood by...
  • Raid of Bastille 2

    Raid of Bastille 2
    the idea that a well established government consisted of all the people and their decisions. The Bastille mainly represented the rule of Monarchy in France and how it was more of a dictatorship than anything. This form of government did not appease to the people of France since they did not get a chance to voice their opinions and ideas.The enraged groups of citizens, having this ideology in mind, took action and stormed the Bastille in order to make a point against tyranny.
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

    Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
    It is said, “Another impact of the Enlightenment on the French Revolution can be seen in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The document was adopted by the National Assembly on August 26th, 1789” (
    In this document key elements of freedom are established throughout it. It explained and listed the rights certain individuals had if they met the criteria. It’s importance was seen in the French Revolution since it represented the change the people wanted...
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen 2

    Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen 2
    to see within their society. Locke, a major enlightenment thinker, believed that all people are born free and with rights they are privileged to, the moment they are born. Locke’s ideas sparked for the creation of this type of document, allowing the inhabitants of France to continue on with their cause in establishing an improved form of organization for the nation.
  • Destruction of the Church 3

    Destruction of the Church 3
    providing religious freedom for all. By the end of the revolution, tolerance of religion was granted to the people of France.
  • Destruction of the Church

    Destruction of the Church
    “As revolutionary fever spread around France, Church property became a major focus of the mobs' anger. In the North, as elsewhere, the Church was a major landowner and landlord...They used their power and influence to support the established authorities and protect their own wealth and position” ( In France, the Church had quite a considerable amount of impact on the government and other institutions. The Church remained stable and prominent due to the fact that it..
  • Destruction of the Church 2

    Destruction of the Church 2
    focused on itself and its power. Instead of supporting the revolution, the Church would make efforts to protecting itself. Enraged at the institution and its lacking quality of selflessness, mobs went out and destroyed markings of it, such as churches, cathedrals, and monasteries. Voltaire, a key Enlightenment thinker, spoke about his thoughts on the Church, He states that the Church and government should be separate...
  • High Bread Prices

    High Bread Prices
    “Still, the general problems that the King and Queen faced became most evident on the night of 5–6 October 1789... Amid the ongoing political struggles between the King and the National Assembly, bread prices in the capital remained at the highest levels of the century” ( In the economy of the nation, issues caused tension between the people and their monarch. The failing harvest of grain crops during this time, meant an increase of percentage being taken out of the worker’s...
  • High Bread Prices 2

    High Bread Prices 2
    wages and the implement of unjust taxes. Many participants of the market were outraged with the prices and with the little amount of effort put in by the king to try and improve the dilemma. However, once he faced10 the backlash, he agreed to return to France and make a change in the prices. Various philosophies encouraged rulers to embrace new ideas being presented and rule with a purpose for their people. The King of France, however failed to take part in this reform leading to his overthrow.
  • Feminism During the Revolution

    Feminism During the Revolution
    It is expressed, “In July 1790 a leading intellectual and aristocrat, Marie-Jean Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet, published a newspaper article in support of full political rights for women. It caused a sensation. In it he argued that France's millions of women should enjoy equal political rights with men” ( During the war, feminism was also on the rise. Women and men were bringing light onto the fact that women should have a voice and the same rights as men. Mary Wollstonecraft,..
  • Feminism During the Revolution 2

    Feminism During the Revolution 2
    for example, was a significant influencer and advocate for women rights. Her perception on the idea was not widely accepted by all, however it did influence the women during the revolution to take action. Many of the women of France had been exposed to discussion of the Enlightenment and what its ideas meant for them. They wanted their involvement to increase and actually have an impact on the decisions being made. This allowed the revolution to gain support from these women...
  • Feminism During the Revolution 3

    Feminism During the Revolution 3
    This is similar to the protests and advocating still seen today for women and gender equality. The movement has made progress, but it still needs to improve.
  • The Third Estate

    The Third Estate
    “Within a month, leading deputies from the Third Estate had decided that to gain a share of power, they would have to seize it. Thus, on 17 June 1789, in a truly radical departure that eclipsed past old regime conflicts, the deputies of the Third Estate declared that they alone represented the nation” ( During the French Revolutions, difficulties arose within the nation's government and social classes. Each estate wanted their own share of power, however certain...
  • The Third Estate 3

    The Third Estate 3
    The Estate’s power had not been organized in this way leading to conflict and unbalanced authority. This same moral and idea also influenced the fall of monarchy by the end of the revolution.
  • The Third Estate 2

    The Third Estate 2
    fields obtained more than others.The Third Estate was mainly the one that had the most limited amount of authority. Seeing that they were not being heard nor taken seriously, the group decided to claim they were the ones with full control over the country. Montesquieu, another Enlightenment thinker believed in the separation of power. He valued the idea of having power divided and balanced in order to prevent one group from having a great amount of influence, based on their opinions...
  • Work Cited 1

    Beck, Roger B. World History: Patterns of Interaction. McDougal Littell, 2005.
  • Work Cited 2

    History Crunch. “Impact on the French Revolution.” History Crunch - History Articles, Summaries, Biographies, Resources and More, 2015,
  • Work Cited 3

    Invicta Media. “French Revolution 1789.” French Revolution,
  • Work Cited 4

    Rosenzweig, Roy, et al. “The Enlightenment and Human Rights.” Omeka RSS,
  • Enlightenment Principles Today

    Enlightenment Principles Today
    Many of the same ideas that arose during the Enlightenment era, continue to be present in modern day society. Numerous revolutions have occurred, using these principles as their foundation and reasoning for their cause. If they had not been established as early as they were the world would not be as developed and open minded to these concepts.