The Justifications for the French Revolution
The age of enlightenment introduced a numerous amount of new ideas to France including ideas pertaining to science, medicine, government, and religion. But many of these ideas were only ideas and not actually used systems or philosophies. Right after the Enlightenment, a huge event happened called the French Revolution, in which the people of France decided to incorporate many of the new enlightened ideas into reality. The French Revolution was indeed a large uprising to implement the new ideas of the French Enlightenment.
One of the biggest and most striking new ideas from the Enlightenment was the de-Christianization of France. A famous philosopher named Maximilien Robespierre agreed with this new idea of de-Christianization and decided to separate church, or religion, from the state (Elton, 2011). In 1790, the National Constituent Assembly created a document called the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, which stated that the Pope was no longer the leader of the Catholic Church, and the French government had the right to confiscate all the church’s land (Elton, 2011). (At this point in time the church owned very large amounts of land in France.) These regulations, which were put into effect after the king of France was forced to Paris in 1789, (Sookram, 1999) greatly lowered the amount of power that the church had over the government and society.
Another new idea from the Enlightenment that was fought for in the Revolution was the abolishment of the 3 Estates. Before the revolution, 3 estates separated the classes of France. The first estate included the Clergy or Church, the second included the nobles, and the third had everyone else including peasants, low class merchants and the Bourgeoisie. They were very unbalanced in population with the third estate having 98% of all of France’s population (et al. 1996). On June 20th, 1789 the third estate called a meeting in Versailles, open to all estates, to discuss...
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