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.
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
Montesquieu thinking about branches of government
Rousseau thinking about the general will
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”
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)
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
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
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.
…..had a fancy expensive style
How does this portrait of
King Louis XIV of France
reflect the idea that he is
an “Absolute Monarch”?
“L’état, c’est moi”
I am the State
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
As you watch video tour, think about…
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.
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!
“The Revolution had been accomplished in the minds of men long before it was translated into a fact.”into fact.” – Albert Mathiez, French historian