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Assignment #1: Political Revolutions Unit Intro. Brainstorm/Discuss: What are some reasons people might want a totally new system of government?. When we last left off our story, our French philosophes were busy thinking about government and people’s rights. Voltaire thinking about free speech.

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assignment 1 political revolutions unit intro
Assignment #1: Political Revolutions Unit Intro

Brainstorm/Discuss:

What are some reasons people might want a totally new system of government?

slide2

When we last left off our story, our French philosophes were busy thinking about government and people’s rights.

Voltaire thinking about free speech

Montesquieu thinking about branches of government

Rousseau thinking about the general will

but what was the political reality they were living in
But what was the political reality they were living in?

All three of these philosophes were French and France at the time was ruled by the Bourbon Family who were monarchs (kings) with absolute power!

Regardless of what the philosophes thought about people’s rights or what the best type of government was, they lived under a system where the people had no rights called an “Absolute Monarchy”

slide4

Absolute monarch definition:

Kings and Queens who held all the power within their state boundary and controlled all aspects of society.

They believed they were representatives of God on Earth. (DIVINE RIGHT)

monarchs
Monarchs
  • Head of army
  • Head of church
  • Made laws
  • Controlled economy
  • Controlled social life
some people were fine with this
Some people were fine with this

People need a RULER who is as STRONG AS A SEA MONSTER to keep order.

Otherwise people would be at war with each other all the time.

Life would be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

Are there benefits to this kind of government?

Thomas Hobbes, English political philosopher

others strongly disagreed
Others strongly disagreed

People have natural rights (Life, Liberty, Property). The government must protect those rights

If the government doesn’t protect our rights, it is the right of the people to have a revolution and set up a new government that will protect their natural rights.

What pros/cons to the willingness for revolution?

John Locke, political philosopher

write in your notes
Write in your notes:
  • What is Absolutism?
  • Why did Enlightenment thinkers pose a threat to Absolute Monarchs?
every monarch had their own style or brand of absolutism
Every monarch had their own style or “brand” of absolutism

For example: Peter the Great of Russia had a “ruthless” style. When he wanted the nobility to modernize and cut their facial hair, he ripped people’s beards off himself.

france
France….

…..had a fancy expensive style

  • Fancy palace
  • Lots of wars
france our main case study this unit
France…our main case study this unit

How does this portrait of

King Louis XIV of France

reflect the idea that he is

an “Absolute Monarch”?

Louis XIV:

“L’état, c’est moi”

I am the State

slide12

(0 - 3:30)

The Most Absolute of Absolute Monarchs

Louis XIV (aka the “Sun King”) ruled France from 1643 until 1715 mainly from the extravagant Palace of Versailles he had built. The cost of the palace along with many expensive wars abroad left huge debts for his heirs and contributed to the end of absolute monarchy in France

french absolutism 6 minute tour of versailles palace
French Absolutism: 6 ½ minute Tour of Versailles Palace

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=852eroBwDrA

As you watch video tour, think about…

  • How the Palace of Versailles symbolizes the ideas, power and extravagance of absolute monarchy.
  • Why did the French people choose to restore the palace even after they eliminated the monarchy and why do so many tourists still visit the palace today?
slide14

By the late 1700’s, there were two places that had gotten rid of their absolute monarchs and instituted governments based on the ideals of the Enlightenment: England & America. These revolutions inspired many in France and later the rest of the world

Assignment #2: Read handout on the English and American revolutions and answer the questions.

slide15

Suddenly the French philosophes stopped just thinking and turned to action – why did Americans get to copy their ideas while they were stuck in France with an oppressive absolute monarch….

While we are here with no rights, the Americans are busy using our ideas!

Why can’t we be

More like England?

It’s time for action!

slide16

“The Revolution had been accomplished in the minds of men long before it was translated into a fact.”into fact.” – Albert Mathiez, French historian