that eternal justice, the laws of which are graven, not on marble or stone, but in the hearts of men, even
in the heart of the slave who has forgotten them, and in that of the tyrant who disowns them."
(Robespiere, On the Principles of Political Morality)
"... to put an end to the anarchy in the interior of France, to check the attacks upon the throne
and the altar, to reestablish the legal power, to restore to the king the security and the liberty of which he
is now deprived and to place him in a position to exercise once more the legitimate authority which
belongs to him." ( Duke of Brunswick, Proclamation)
"The poor man is superior to government and the powers of the world; he should address them
as a master." (Saint-Just, Republican Institutes)
The French Revolution was essentially the pivotal culmination of a rising conflict
between two opposing conceptions as to the source by which a governing state derived its
authority. During the late eighteenth century an ideology accentuating reason, freedom,
and the sovereignty of the common man grew in direct opposition to the accepted dogmas
of absolutism and divine right of the monarchy. As illustrated within the three
aforementioned quotes, the divergent depth between these two philosophies of
government created a void, one which would ultimately lead to the French Revolution
and alter the course of Western culture.
Within Robespiere's quote one is able to observe the aspirations of the
Bourgeoisie and peasant revolutionaries; an ideal society of liberty and equality wherein
one is as much a subject of the state as the state is a subject of thee. This converging
movement towards reasoning and justice grew from the theories of such revolutionary
thinkers as Voltaire, Rousseau, and the Encyclopedists, who presented a vision of a
liberal community with equal rights and responsibilities,... [continues]
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"French Revolution." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/French-Revolution-19198.html.