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Education during French Revolution

By irena98 Oct 14, 2014 639 Words
How was the education like during the French Revolution? Even though the French Revolution brought terror and it seems like nothing good came out of it, in the following sections you’ll find out that the educational system was one of the things that did improve and what the education was like before, during and after the revolution. Not only that people realized their need for education, but also important figures, as Napoleon, supported them and came with new ideas. Before the French Revolution, life in French was easy for the rich people (clergy, nobles and bourgeoisie) in all ways, including education. All over the countries there were lots of important and well-paid colleges, universities and elementary schools, all financed by the Catholic Church. There were over 50,000 students from which 3,000 were scholarship students. Rarely, some of the wealthy poor afforded education and they were not discriminated in any way, they studied in the same places as the rich ones. Teachers were very well paid, they were allowed to teach in their ways and they did not have any kind of diploma. During the revolution, the educational system suffered lots of changes. As the Catholic Church lost most of its power, the colleges did not receive that much money so 9 of 10 were sold or closed. The education was not one of the main problems during the revolution so for a small amount of time people did not receive proper education. Most of the teachers and the students (most of them being nobles) went to war, education was no longer important. Professors of law and medicine earned their income by being lawyers or physicians. Teaching was a part-time job. The Jacobins, as many others, had the idea of “unity and uniformity” but they were also the first ones who thought that education was important and that the school should be public and free. There were also private schools but they weren’t as popular as the public ones. After the French revolution, during Napoleon’s empire, the educational system changed into a way that we are still using these days. He gave enough money to all the schools so that the ones that had been closed during the revolution could reopen. A student had to go through Elementary School, Secondary School, College and then University. They studied mathematics, physics and chemistry, natural history, scientific method and psychology, political economy and legislation, the philosophic history of peoples, hygiene, arts and crafts, general grammar, belles lettres, ancient languages, painting and drawing. All the subject are going to be studided in French instead of Latin as a result of the”unity and uniformity”. Napoleon was the first one who agreed with the rights of woman and gave them the right to education. He thought that in order to raise great children, women have to be educated. There were different schools for women, which they learnt fewer things than the boys. Women did not go to University. All the teachers had to be qualified. These are the changes that the educational system had been through along the French Revolution and even though, the revolution seemed useless, this is one of the few good things that happened during it. Figures that brought terror, like Napoleon or The Jacobins, improved things that made a difference after a long amount of time.

Works Cited
Palmer, R. R. "How Five Centuries of Educational Philanthropy Disappeared in the French Revolution." History of Education Quarterly. 2nd 1986 ed. Vol. 26. N.p.: History of Education Society, n.d. 181-97. JSTOR. Web. 26 Oct. 2013. . "The Revolution, Napoleon, and Education." The International Napoleonic Society. J. David Markham, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2013. . Wright, D. G. "The Expansion of Empire- Consulate and Empire." Revolution and Terror in France, 1789-1795. 2nd ed. London; New York: Longman, 1990. 35-36. Print.

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