France -- The Cycles of Revolution Part 2: French Revolution


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The Cycles of Revolution Part 2

 
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By Michael Johnathan McDonald

Civil Constitution of the Clergy

• This is part of the early forming of thoughts for the new constitution.

1. This document was created, accepted then published
2. By October the assemble comes up with major reforms.
3. Formally in December the National Assembly does away with Frances Middle Age Laws of Feudalism.
4. Many nobles take fancy names but give up their titles and become normal citizens.


Dealings with the matter of Church, they now become servants instead of overlords ( Rulers. All clergy are now employed by the state. They cannot tax their lands and live off the common people. All property is taken away. This was a modern reform. This meant although that religion could still be practiced, the left wing could no longer hold the commoners' as keepsakes to pay for their extravagant lifestyles. This was good. The political left-wingers were stripped of all their political power, and this was exactly what Voltaire wanted.

In the long term, these reforms seemed to have backfired; and some saw this as an attack by an atheist state. The reforms were just too aggressive. Instead of moving at a slower pace, things got fast and heavy, all at once. The Philosophes, who in the beginning started the processes of reforms, were taken over by the intellectuals ( Not intellects) of whom were a bit too aggressive and desegrable( Not Agreeable persons). The aggressive people went over the top. For example, when the revolution first begun; Thomas Jefferson was pro-French revolution. In the period of the reign of Terror, he will become an anti-French Revolutionist. This is because of the initial beginners were slow and methodical in reforms, all of who were taken over by the brash fast moving grunts of society ( This is similar to a mob that loots when chaos results somehow in society). So the Philosophes lose control and in the hands of the French Revolution are aggressive people with little resonating abilities ( This really applies to the Reign of Terror Period).

So at the time of these beginning reforms, the people said “ Where does the king stand in all of this?” 1790 in the early summer.
1791

Then A form of bakery women gathered in the street. Soon it became a mob. " We want the head backer and his wife," the women said. They gathered pitchforks and firearms and bats and marched from Paris to Versailles. When they arrive at the kings residents the king cannot shot him. So the women force the king out of the palace, dragging him to a coach and force the Queen and others to leave, ushering them to a Palace in Paris where everyone can keep an eye on them.

It was humiliating for the king. Although, he was treated like a person in house arrest with all his luxuries accompanying him, he had make his face shown daily.. Every morning the king would have to go to the balcony and make his presence as the people demanded to see him. Was he still there? " Are you for the revolution or against it?" shouted the people. The king at act like he was in favor would pop a campaign bottle and salutes the people. He thinks he might be able to escape. He seeks help with the Austrians, to put down the revolution, and plans an escape there.

Early 1792 a completed new constitution which called for a limited monarchy that gave the king more power than the English let the king have, in their reforms, of their constitution.

500 parliamentary delegates can be elected by people who pass the criteria, in which some limitations was ownership of land.

Estates General was one Frenchman one vote. Now the landowners could only vote with the new terms of the new constitution.

Once published it was not liked by the population ( Which is an important key in success) including the nobles and king. On the other hand, this constitution has not gone far enough. We want no monarchy. So the significance of this step was that the constitution was unpopular. It didn't arouse the feelings of the populace as a whole. So the delegates say we will meet until we get a new constitution by the new elected delegates. So the Parliament dismisses and elections are held and 500 new people will make up the second phase of the cycle of revolution. This will be the

Legislative Assembly

The biggest problem with the new legislative body was that none of them had any political experience. Under this new Constatutional Monarchy it only lasted a year.

The Legislative Assembly has no experience so they took awile to hammer out what needed to be learned to run an assembly. One of the factors in the Legislative Assembly was that no one could run for these positions that were part of the National Assembly ( The prior assembly). So the people running france now are greenheads ( Novices). Outside in the streets the ajitators are on their soapboxes and whipping the poeple into a frenzy. Paris has one million population at that time and 600,000 were day laborors. This was like day laborers of many American cities, where illegals and poor look for jobs. The significance of this was that they could easily be persuaded by these agitators, in which happened.

The agitators are quite radical and want France to become a Republic. So these radicals were stonewalling (Making it hard) for the Legislative Assembly to do its job. The Girondists are the radicals in power at this time. The name comes from a French district. Meanwhile nobles ( émigrés) form a coalitions to declare war on France and plan to invade them. This was Britain, Some German districts and Austria.

This is the official beginning of the Revolutionary War.

Back in Paris, everyone welcomes the war, even Louis welcomes the war. Louis thinks, “great now I can get back on to the throne. I can get back to being the head of the state." The radicals say " Ha Ha" the war will test the kings motives, " Are you for the war or against the war?" Louis disguises himself and flees in the direction of Austria (June 1791 The Flight to Varennes of the royal family) He manages to pass through several checkpoints undetected then he is detected. He is then brought back to Paris and imprisoned.


Meanwhile, newer radical groups are calling for a constitution. Nothing is being done to get one because of all the executions. " We want a new republican government." At the Legislative Assembly, no one could get any bills passed. 1792 the Legislative Assembly goes out of business. The radicals now say we can have what we want. So in 1792 (September 1792 Establishment of the First French Republic), the first thing the new national Convention does is say that " France is now a Republic." This was before a constitutions, which was absurd. No one makes claim of what a Republic is before its laws. This is why we have a real problem in titles in the 20 Century and 21 Century with nations titles of their governments.

Now Louis is stripped of all his kingship and is now a citizen. The called him Citizen Capet. Now the other countries start their warring against France. With more fervor the allies ( Other countries) began to advance and win. The radicals begin to panic. " The army is loosing." The officers, you should remember were the nobility ( Under feudalistic France), and some were still in positions of their ranks in the military. Most of them had fled and the army had no direction.
The panic of the loses and the advancing army believed Louis was going to be placed back onto the throne, so the radicals quickly tried him and executed him and his Queen. Only his son was spared, but lost in the ruckus and never heard from again.

Now the radicals were burning their own britches. Out on the battle field the radicals, who are in control know, said " If the King was an enemy of the Revolution, there much be others, especially in the army." So the witch-hunt was on. "Let’s find the enemies of the revolution," they said. Now the Girondists are mild group for the revolution and a more extreme radical group has taken over.

There no political groups in the French revolution. They were what is called political interest groups. The types we know as today. Political groups usually have long term goals and ideas, a strict platform in which they follow. Short term ideas belong to interest groups. So the new ultra radicals are the Jacobins, who are a club that meets in restaurants and cafes and public places. They say " We have to find the enemies of the revolution and kill them." The reason why they are called the Jacobins is because they meet in a restaurant called " Jacks."

In other parts of the revolution a committee is formed called the Committee of Public Safety. It was a nice title. Their mission was to seek and destroy the enemies of the revolution. First they would bring them to trial then they would executes them. The leader of the Jacobins was a little man named Maximilian Robespierre. He is in charge of the Committee of Public Safety.

How are you going to recognize them? The answer was you can’t. Either it was neighbor that you owed money too and he lied to the Committee of Public Safety and you were guillotined or a person didn’t like you and you were singled out. There were legitimate people who were caught and this brought notice to the people who saw a turn around in the military. Now they were having victories and a new moral among the soldiers was evident. One of the most easily seeable things about the Committee of Public Safety affect on the army was, if a commander lost he was suspected of not supporting the revolution, and thus was sentenced to death. In this case the commander fought will all his might and talent to win the battle. This was a key in turning the tides of French failures on the battlefield.


Kings execution: Tried for treason and dragged of to be executed by the very machine he helped to work efficiently.


Revolutionary tribunal

A quick court was set up that could be three citizens who judge a "enemy of the revolution."

The Flag changes colors and design. The old one was yellow and had lilies on it. Now it was three stripes indicating the three estates which all have equal placement on the flag. People changed their dress to what we consider casual dress: Slacks and a nice shirt. Everyone calls each other polite names. No more formalities of classes when addressing a fellow French citizen.

The significance of the " Seek out the enemies and kill them policy " had a fantastic effect on the army. Now they started to win battles. In reality commanders take more chances and fight harder knowing that if they loose then possibly they will be executed by their own people. This causes a fervor of nationality.

Nationality Begins For the French by coining the term (nationality, in concept and other words, has always been a term used for identifying of a group of people to a cause or idea – ‘unity,’ before the French coined the term, doesn’t mean that nationality never existed prior to the French Revolution—many historians use this term incorrectly, by stating nationality began with the French, during the French Revolution).

This event will usurer in the modern term of Nationalism. The army changes significantly as well. First people now enlisted because they wanted to fight for freedom (remember the other countries are trying to save the king). Second, in the feudalistic France and other parts of history ( Even Sumerian) The army would go into the farming communities and business districts and kidnap child boys and force them in the army ( Remember back then they were fighting for nobles profits and nothing for themselves. Recruiting becomes enmass. A popular marching song is sung throughout the land, and  is a French version of the Star Spangled Banner ( National Anthem). The armies are visibly pushing outward and toward the invading countries, away from their boarders.

Robespierre went over the top in his atheism and started a pagan religion called the Cult of Reason. He also went on to kill some people he felt were traitors in his own club (The Jacobins). This religion was the worship of reason. And he wanted it to be the only religion aloud. This is a lesson to many leftist who want to do away with religion because they think it has caused more bloodshed in history then any other factor. They are not smart in determining histories motives for war. Most wars and almost all of histories wars were fought over taking others land and property in a quest of money and power. For example, the French are mainly guilty of starting and acting in what we call the Crusades. They did not because they wanted to conquer the Holy Lands, which was a major excuse and a rally cry to recruit troops, but because they leftwing feudal government of France at the time was making life impossible for economic stability and France needed to loot other countries to off set the greed (harboring) of the wealth by the Nobles. The went for trade and not religion. It was the nobles trick to make it a religious theme so a zealous religious serf (poor people) could find some way to survive. There population was increasing and the nobles had no plans to take care of them. So making a pagan religion was not the answer to the problem. Although the Cult of Reason became the official religion of France, their creator didn't manage to do that well.

The festivals were like Greek themes with statues and dancing flutists, etc...

Slavery was outlawed and the calendar change to signify the first day of creation, which was France. 1792 in the year of the revolution.

• Some people referee to the National Convention as the Constitutional convention.


Reforms:

Silly: Meanwhile kangaroo courts are set up for people to be excecuted. The Cult of reason was silly..
Good: Stamp out the enemies of the revolution was significantly working. In fact, without this policy there would be no more France. A centralized government is taking up control in Paris and creates 89 departments, each about the same size. The French bring in the metric system. Now the French are creating the Republic of Virtue. All these procedures were the sacrifices in revolutions for the sake of saving a country.

1783 Some who are the members of the National Convention are deemed ' enemies of the revolution' by the kangaroo courts and are tried and killed. Later the kangaroo courts find Jacobins are guilty as well. They are sentenced to the guillotine. First they tried them then executed them. These were like today’s military tribunals. The actuality of it all, was that if the three people didn’t like you - you became doomed. It is at this time that Robespierre finds members in his own group and he trials them and they go off to the guillotine. It was the people who are running the show ( The common radicals on the street) who are killing the people who were in the National Convention and Legislative Association.


The cycle of revolution is in its period of Radicalizing.

Reign of Terror

This is the same Period that Stalin took over Russia and others. This is the period where there is a complete chaos in the society. People still need to remember that Louis XV who said "apres moi, le deluge" (After me the Deluge) implying that he does not want to pay down the national debt of France and wants to party day-and-night: Louis XIV who built Versailles and partied as well. These kings set the seeds of revolution. It is hard to blame the radicals at this point when the nobles and the kings (The last Three) were not doing their jobs correctly. They wanted total reform.

The reforms start mildly and then turns radical. This results in the term known as Reign of Terror. The population was literally in terror for their lives. No one knew if a neighbor would lie and get the kangaroo court after you. Personal disagreements of policy in the Jacobins club results in high of the killing during the reign of terror. July, 20 1793 fate strikes Robespierre and he is charged as an enemy of the revolution and is guillotined. This was the point of "thermidorian reaction." This is because radicalism can only go so far then it has to level off and decline. So the guillotine executions start to drop off at this point. People are saying “What are we doing?"

It was to a point that if a person said " He cool it guys, your over doing it." Then off with their heads would be the next phrase they would hear. This time was high anxiety. The radicals discredited themselves, so the Jacobins lost out and their group diminished to little if none influence. The term Thermidor was the revolutionary name for the month of July, because it was hot. Now people are saying "let’s stop please." Stopping the witch huts was going to happen eventually. There were other ways of executing ' enemies of the revolution.' For example, people were placed on a ship towed out to sea and the ship was suck. Others died from firing squads. It was as simple as open your mouth and say the wrong thing and you were gone.

After it was all over there was a sign of relief. Deep breaths of air were the physical signs of the time. All this period of the Reign of Terror eclipsed the National Constitution ( Convention) who were supposed to be making a new constitution for France. After the ROT, the people got busy and created it. 1794 the constitution was completed. It was called the Directorate. France is to be a Republic. a elected body by qualified landowners, called the Parliament, was made up of 500 legislators. This number was picket to mirror Athens democratic government body. It was the Heritage of Greece. There would be five directors as heads of state.. The people of France were timid about leaders and still very uneasy that this was written into the constitution. Each director could veto a bill (According to the constitution) and having five meant that there is more of a chance that one will disagree with the other on this policy are that policy. This made things difficult. The directors were disliked by the people and there were no spectacular characters. Also, the old fuddy-duddies took bribes. This five directorate thing was unpopular from the start; on their first official meeting that day a mob gathered to stop the meeting.

Public to block the directors so the directors are in a difficult spot. So they get ready to march. Directors scared of dying they cal a garrison who employ cannons and troops to the streets. “Stop or I will order troops to fire." The troops load grape shot (Steel balls the size of small stones) and aim directly at the mob. These cannons are like shot-gun ammunition (pellets) and can kill allot of people. The French troops didn’t want to fire on their own citizens (remember the guillotine and enemies of the revolution) so a man that was not French by birth fire directly into the crowed and the people scatter. The directors now can go to their meeting. What this showed was that the directors owed there lives to this man. The commander who ordered to fire was not a Frenchman. He was an Italian. No Frenchman would shot another Frenchman. This man was Napoleon Bonaparte.

He was from the Island of Corsica. It was a dry island inhabited by goat herders. Corsicans regarded by the French people as wild men. Although, Bonaparte came from aristocracy, he and his family were relatively poor compared to other families. The French recently took over the island and made it part of French territory. That made it possible for Bonaparte to go to a French School and serve in various leadership positions. He was sent by his parents to a French military school and was goofed on because he was not a real Frenchman ( Because Italians were goofed on at the time). He showed smarts in strategically maneuverings and became a general. In introduces new ideas to warfare. He likes the ideas of cutting of trade when their is no other options ( Always signs of good generals thinking about supplies). In Northern France, he displays a good battle presence and uses grape shot. He could win on the earth. The only problem was he could not do nothing on water. The English dominated the French in the oceans, as a whole. With his success the directorates take notice of his popularity.

One the directorate meet they say, “It’s fortunate this guy was here and he saved our necks, we are in his debt. Yet, he also has the power now to over through us." Bonaparte knew it but he decided to wait and let the public know him better. He planned on taking over the world because he had selfish aspirations and "Look at me I'm the big-boss man mentality." His plan was to let the unpopularity of the directors fester then appear to save France from them. The directors give him the rank of general for the gratitude of saving their lives. They also give him the Northern French Army. " In need to be away from Paris, and directory so the public can hate them more." " Maybe if I win a name for myself with my new position I can overtake them," Bonaparte said.

The director hope that by sending Bonaparte to Austria to fight in a war would hopefully get him killed. Bonaparte was reckless and many times rode out ahead of his soldiers with bullets flying by his head. This was a big break for him. He turned a bad lethargic army into a fierce fighting machine. He kicked the hell out of the Austrians back into their neck of the woods and beyond. He nearly got the Austrian Army to surrender. He calls for the diplomat to be sent to him and to bring the treaty papers and he signs it and sends it back to the directors. The significance of this is that he was already acting like the head of state. For only kings or presidents or the directory could sign treaties ( Or at least their OKs). “Oh my I thought Austria could kill him...Oh No!" says the directors. Now Napoleon is the darling of the public and the director’s fates are all but finished. Bonaparte said to himself. “I will not over through them now, I will wait." The directors said comeback to Paris and no more commanding. Meanwhile French ships are in a English blockade and cannot leave their harbors and go out onto the ocean. " We cannot attack England- not enough ships," the troops said. Bonaparte realizes that the French need to cut off their trade routs and hurt their economy. So the French set off to cut off the trade routs and the first stop was Egypt.

In reality Bonaparte does not want to go to India, he just wanted a name for himself. This was reminiscent of the middle east crusades which wanted to cut off the Arab and other peoples trade dominance. The crusades were and always will be a French thing. Bonaparte has no problem defeating the Egyptian rulers.

Today’s scholars believe that Napoleon had an Alexander the Great fetish. Napoleon committed 38,000 fighting men simply to follow in the footsteps of this ancient. England cut off Bonaparte by sinking his big ships. Although, smaller boats could get around England’s bigger boats and make it to France for communications and such.

"In July 1798, after a rough six-week trip, nearly 400 transport ships landed some 34,000 troops near Alexandria. Along with the soldiers came nearly 1,000 civilians, who were to have a more lasting effect on history. These consisted mainly of administrators, but also included artists and poets, botanists and zoologists, surveyors and economists. It was they who were to return to France triumphant, with enough information to swell the 22-volume Descriptions de L'Egypte, the authoritative tome on Egyptology for generations."

Napoleons troops found the Rosetta stone in the Egyptian village of Rosette. His bring the very scientists began modern day archeology (First in the rediscovery of Egypt).

Napoleon gets reports that the directorate is getting too unpopular. He figures this is the time to make his move. "It's my move."

"If Napoleon was here he would know what to do," many of the citizens said. All the members of the directorate are arrested and sent home and the legislature is dismissed.

On August 23, 1799, Napoleon abandoned his army in Egypt, and slipped off with a small crew on a swift vessel to France. Upon arrival, he took advantage of political turmoil to stage a coup d'etat, ultimately crowning himself Emperor. (Napoleon in Egypt, Discovery Channel) The directorate lasted five years. Now France has a Military Dictator.

The first thing Napoleon does is not banish the Republican moniker of the country. He draws up a new constitution. It was called the Consulate.

There is a new Parliament that is made up of 500 Tribunes appointed by one of the three counsels. There are 500 Legislators that are elected by the tribune. The three Consoles or joint heads of state all control the appointments of the tribunes. Although the first two consulates are chosen by Bonaparte and he hires a them from the now debunk National Convention, Napoleon bribe them so in reality the government was a veiled dictatorship. Napoleon appointed all the new Tribune, all men loyal to him (Through money). The truth of the government was hidden behind a curtain. Only the legislator was elected by the public. But Bonaparte made sure (by force) That whatever bill he wanted pass - got passed.

Napoleon wanted an elaborate court to underline his imperial power. His hand picked men is what made him a very hated man in the future. This meant that the cycle of revolution was out of control This was not in realty what the French wanted. What they got was a person who Call on France to become a legitimate Empire (Empire's look to take over other countries with force). The official job of the legislator branch of the government was to rubber stamp the bill Bonaparte sent to them. Bonaparte believes that the best constitution for him and his country is one that he can change at anytime to fit his whims and desires.

On the bright side, his best years of his life were in the consulate years. He really wanted to make France a better place and keep introducing things of the enlightenment ( Except government) and keep the peoples best interests on economy at heart. He was still very popular and now very powerful too. He will continue to work on reforms. His with was born to a Haitian sugar planting family. At the time of the marriage he was at his height in popularity. Another thing going for him was being a clever financer he keep France economically going through the rough times. This will keep is popularity up in the eyes of the public. He introduces paper money, some thing that was started in the Orient in the middle ages. He makes a two year truce with England and things were in peace.

Bonaparte declares that he will pay face value on the war bonds and other bonds ( A procedure that he knew worked from American – a methods of accountability with their paying off their war debts to their public). This gave confidence to the people and they returned by giving confidence back to France in economic issues. For a short time Bonaparte put France on the Gold Standard. He replaced the traditional names to the months of the year and put back the normal yearly date to coincide with the rest of Europe.

He see a need to have the Pope in his pocket, so he signs a slew of concordances with him (Concordances is a treaty with the Pontiff of Rome). He said of the Pope at one time, Always treat the Pope as if he has 200 divisions with him). This meaning that the Pope has tremendous power and still one must give some respect to him. Still up to his tricks, Napoleon, when the Pope signed the treaties (Concordances) he said, "now I will add one more thing." The clergy must swear an oath to the state. This meant that the French clergy was to listen to Bonaparte first on all matters and the Pope could not do anything.

He restored the Jews (Middle Classes who were always good for the middle class stability of economies) and allows all religions to practice in France. Remember that the Robespierre religion, Cult of reason, was written to be the official religion of France. This was a really silly thing. Bonaparte gets a committee together and creates a great legal system. This system was termed by his enemies as “a work of genius" Even today in Louisiana, United States of America, the law code, of his, is still used today. This code became known as the Napoleon code.

In two years he will be up for reelection. This time he changes a phrase in the constitution that says if you elect me this time you elect me forever. In Bonaparte changing of a key phrase in the constitution, he was striking while the iron was hot, so to say. This called for the election for life.

After two years war resumes with England and France in a standoff. France dominates the lands (Sharp shooting) and England the Water (Sea superiority). Bonaparte now plans a superior navy and a planned dominance of the seas. But he only recognizes dominance in the Caribbean, because the English ships were far superior. He needed money for his empire plans of reforming Europe so he decides to sell the Louisiana Purchase( France Owned - not really, but nevertheless). United States purchased Louisiana for $11,250,000 and assumed claims of its own citizens against France up to $3,750,000, for a total purchase price of $15 million.

Now Bonaparte heads off with his empire plans and attacks Holland and Germany and Italy, bit-by-bit. He takes the many German counties and reduces them in number to 39 sections. Many Germans saw him as a liberator. He contributed to germen unity significantly. This also brings with it modernization, but his wars were destructive. For example, at first Beethoven wrote Sympathy number three for Bonaparte and later after he saw he was a scoundrel and filthy man rededicated to someone else.

The exact year that Napoleon declared France a Empire was coinciding with the hight of his popularity. Why did he have to spoil a good thing, was because in the beginning he was out to make a name for himself, and this was the last logical step and part of the process of the cycles of revolutions.

Personal Glory

At the Church of Notre Dame, his wife and guests, from all over the world come and celebrate the crowning of the a new King of France: The glorious Napoleon Bonaparte. “I Change the republic into an Empire." Of coerce, he was the new Caesar of his time. He litte4rally took the Popes hands and smashed the crown onto his head and his queen’s noggin as well. This showed that he was a self-made man and not born into kingship. It was said , " Power to crown ones head also has the power to take it off."

Bonaparte mistakes:

He starts to form a new set of nobles ( Class society will make a brief comeback) The new titles are different from the old one in that heritage is not the criteria, but how extinguished one gets in his chosen field. For example, a revered doctor that makes a name from himself can become a noble. So you have all these people trying to be the best in their field to received the dubious honor. Literature, Machines, Inventors all make up the distigused nobility. This, in fact, encouraged people to work harder.

Now the other countries said we must defeat this tyrant before he defeats us and we all will be speaking French. England said, "we will support the little guys (countries). At this point Bonaparte is too powerful for his own welfare. This will involve him in many more wars.

The revolution has not yet ended.




Notes:

Stats: 300,000 imprisoned. over 30,000 guillotined in 1 year. Forced marriages of priests.

May 5, 1789 The opening of the Estates General in Versailles
June 17, 1789 The Third Estates decides to call itself the National Assembly
July 14, 1789 The Fall of the Bastille
August 4, 1789 The Abolition of "Feudalism" (same laws for everyone in future)
August 26, 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
June 1791 The Flight to Varennes of the royal family
July 1790 Civil Constitution of the Clergy divides Catholic population
August 1791 beginning of slave revolt in Saint Domingue
September 1791 all Jews get same rights as other French (men vs. women)

2. The Radical Revolution, 1792-94 (individual rights vs national security)
April 1792 Declaration of war on Austria
August 10, 1792 attack on the Tuileries Palace, suspension of the king
September 1792 Establishment of the First French Republic
January 1793 Execution of Louis XVI
March 1793 Beginning of insurrection in the Vendée region (civil war, 20-250,000 dead rebels)
July 1793 Robespierre elected to the Commitee of Public Safety (Jacobin Club ascendancy)
The Year II: September 1793 - July 1794 The Terror (300,000 suspects? 40,000 executed)
October, 1793 Women’s clubs suppressed
February 1794 Slavery abolished in the colonies
April 1794 Arrest, trial, and execution of Danton and his friends
July 27, 1794 - 9 Thermidor Year II - fall of Robespierre - known as Thermidor

3. The Failure of the Liberal Republic, 1795-99, and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte

II. The issues
1. A democratic revolution? Jacobins and sans-culottes - universal manhood suffrage (1792), end of nobility as legal status, equality of civil and political rights for men
2. Marxist interpretation: a class struggle between bourgeoisie and aristocracy in which popular classes support the bourgeoisie, first step toward communism
3. The origins of totalitarianism: precursor to 1917 and 1949; one party state (Jacobins, Robespierre); utopian experiment - attempt to create the new man; related to democracy? does totalitarianism follow from certain kinds of democracy? does appearance of “the people” make possible the one-party state?
4. The revolution of modernization (Bonaparte)
5. In short, is the meaning of the Revolution to be found in 1789, 1793-4, or 1799? In democracy and rights or violence and terror? ( Survey UCLA)


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