Source Analysis of Documents Written by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin Bache

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The two documents “Thomas Jefferson on the French Revolution,” and “A Positive American View,” are both written by American public figures, who are both in support of the revolutionary cause in France. In these documents they both express their views on the progress and steps taken by the people of France in general during this time. They raise interest in the reign of terror and what the monarch’s role should be in the future France. Thomas Jefferson first saw the French Revolutionaries, the Jacobins, and a likened them to the Republican Patriots of the American Revolution. Because of their beginnings with establishing a free constitution, and the sheer desire to become independent, it is only expectable that these connections would be made within the American’s minds. Despite originally seeing the two groups a part of the same sect, the violence that erupted from the French Revolution, leading up to and during the Reign of Terror caused Jefferson to change his views towards the Jacobins. The Document begins expressing a sense of uneasiness, Jefferson is attempting to express his uncomfortableness with the amount of violence that has been going on in France. He does not discount that in the beginning the violence was beneficial for creating a sense of power and respect among the people. Jefferson also expresses that although their deaths were beneficial to the cause, he would forever grieve for the deaths of the innocent that had occurred. Jefferson also makes sure to emphasis his belief that the citizens of North America are supporters of French Revolution, the few that are not are in positions of high office, or wealthy. He rationalizes that it would make sense that these people would stand on the side of the nobles and monarchs of France. Jefferson finishes off the document explaining that although he disagrees with much of the activity that is occurring, he believes that the French republicanism is “pure,” and is the correct path for the country.

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