Detocqueville Outline Essay

Topics: Age of Enlightenment, French Revolution, Liberalism Pages: 2 (542 words) Published: May 8, 2013
Analyze and critique the role that counter-intuitive insights play in de Tocqueville's argument concerning the roots and nature of the French Revolution. Author: Alexis DeTocqueville

Title: The Old Regime and the French Revolution (1856)

Thesis statement: The counter-intuitive insights in Alexis DeTocqueville's The Old Regime and the French Revolution (1856) intriguingly reveal the movement's poor planning. The abruptness, instability, and ignorance unveil a clumsy design. This explains the long term effects of the French Revolution.

Argument I:
Topic sentence: Right out of the gate, DeTocqueville states the Revolution as “inevitable yet so completely unforeseen.” No one was aware of the incoming Revolution, even it's leaders. The acts leading up to it were not deliberate to contribute to the cause. In fact, most of the time they were against. The Bourbon monarchy tried to take away power from the Aristocracy and instead fed to the resistance. DeTocqueville says these acts that were the roots of the Revolution went as deep as six generations. But even still the Revolution was completely unforseen. Supporting quotation(s): “Inevitable yet so completely unforseen” (p.1)

Relation to thesis: Since even Revolutionary leaders were clueless, then they must have been thinking on their feet during the Revolution. This means they had no means of procedure before, during, and after the Revolution.

Paragraph 2: The lack of procedure easily can be seen through the central aim of the Revolution. In effect, the Revolution was too take away power from the aristocracy. The Church owned much land, therefore revolutionaries directed attack towards them. The Revolution then took on a very anti-religious air, which to Tocqueville was “merely incidental to the French Revolution.”

Argument II:
Topic sentence: The French peasants possessed the most rights and freedom of all the peasants in Europe. Maybe this was because the other European nations had other...
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