French Revolution Debate

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French Revolution Debate

By | March 2007
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DBQ Assignment

Agree or disagree with the following statement:
Despite the violence and terror, the French Revolution was based on the ideas of the Enlightenment.

I agree with the statement that the violent and terror filled French revolution was in fact based on the ideas of the Enlightenment. John Locke is one of the most well known philosophers during the Enlightenment. John Locke states that "…if a long train of abuses, prevarications, and artifices, all tending the same way, make the design visible to the people…" Basically, John Locke is saying that under major circumstances a community has to unite to start a revolution that would better the nation. Another influential Enlightenment Philosopher, whose ideas during the Enlightenment influenced the bloody French Revolution, was Rousseau. His Social Contract that he made in 1762 has urged the French people to want to dethrone the French anarchy in order to have the rights to live as a free nation under written rules that do not give anybody the right to change something on his or her own. Rousseau states in the social contract, " The clauses of this contract are so determined by the nature of the act that the slightest modification would make them vein and ineffective, although they have never formally been set forth they are everywhere and the same everywhere admitted and recognized…" Since all the French people wanted to have a universal law that kept everybody in line and wanted to break apart the French anarchy they took advice from both Rousseau and John Locke and decided they had to stage a revolution in order to get these special rights and freedom. The last document that states ideas from the Enlightenment, influencing the French Revolution, was the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens. All eleven parts of the Declaration all have ideas taken from the Enlightenment. My opinion is that number 11. The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the...
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