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Democracy: American and French Revolutions Theme: The effect of Enlightenment ideas on government and society. Lesson 10. Enlightenment (Where we left off on Lesson 4). Abbé Delille recites a poem in the salon of Madame Geoffrin, site of many gatherings of the Enlightenment philosophes.
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Democracy: American and French RevolutionsTheme: The effect of Enlightenment ideas on government and society Lesson 10
Enlightenment (Where we left off on Lesson 4) Abbé Delille recites a poem in the salon of Madame Geoffrin, site of many gatherings of the Enlightenment philosophes
Impact of the Scientific Revolution • Suggested that rational analysis of behavior and institutions could have meaning in the human as well as the natural world • Increasingly, thinkers challenged recognized authorities such as Aristotelian philosophy and Christian religion and sought to explain the world in purely rational terms • The result was a movement known as the “Enlightenment”
John Locke (1632-1704) • Studied the relationship between the individual and the state • Wrote An Essay Concerning Human Understanding in 1689 • Largely anti-authoritarian • Opposition is both on the level of the individual person and on the level of institutions such as government and church
John Locke • Individuals should use reason to search after truth rather than simply accepting the opinion of authorities or being subject to superstition • Proportion assent to propositions to the evidence for them • There must be a distinction between the legitimate and illegitimate functions of institutions • Based on those distinctions, there is a corresponding distinction for the uses of force by those institutions. • By using reason to try to grasp the truth and by determining the legitimate functions of institutions, the individual and society will flourish materially and spiritually
John Locke • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) had described a social contract in which people in a state of nature ceded their individual rights to a strong sovereign in return for his protection • Locke offered a new social contract theory in which people contracted with one another for a particular kind of government, and that they could modify or even abolish the government • Great influence on Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence
Voltaire • Wrote Candide in 1759 in which he analyzes the problem of evil in the world and depicts the woes heaped upon the world in the name of religion • His battle cry against the Roman Catholic Church was ecrasez l’infame (“crush the damned thing”)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) • Many Enlightenment thinkers condemned the legal and social privileges enjoyed by aristocrats and called for a society in which all individuals were equal before the law • In 1762, Rousseau wrote The Social Contract arguing that members of a society were collectively the sovereign • All individuals would participate directly in the formulation of policy and the creation of laws
American Revolution: New Legislation • In the mid-18th Century, British colonists in North America seemed content with British rule, but in the mid-1760s things started to change • Trying to recover financial losses from the French and Indian War (1754-1763) and the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), the British passed a series of new taxes on the colonies • Sugar Act (1764) • Stamp Act (1765) • Townsend Act (1767) • Tea Act (1773) • Other offensive legislation included the Quartering Act of 1765
American Revolution: Colonial Response • The colonists responded with demands of “no taxation without representation,” boycotted British products, attacked British officials, and staged the Boston Tea Party (1773) • Consistent with Rousseau • In 1774, they organized the Continental Congress which coordinated the colonies’ resistance to British policies
American Revolution: Declaration of Independence • On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted “The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America” (The Declaration of Independence)
American Revolution: Declaration of Independence • “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” • Governments derive their power and authority from “the consent of the governed” • When any government infringes upon individual’s rights, “it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government” • Declared the colonies to be “Free and Independent States”
Declaring yourself to be “Free and Independent States” and making it so were two different things On April 18, 1775, British troops and colonial militia skirmished at Lexington and the American Revolutionary War had begun By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood, And fired the shot heard round the world. --Ralph Waldo Emerson Revolutionary War
28,000 soldiers Average soldier was 20 years old with less than a year of service Muskets, bayonets, light field guns Two or three ranks of infantry supported by light field guns Used simplified British tactics (experience from Seven Years’ War) No Navy Great disparity in quality between militia and Continental Army Many generals were imposed upon General George Washington by Congress or state governments Colonial Troops: Aug 1776
24,000 soldiers Average soldier was 30 years old with 10 years service Muskets, bayonets, light field guns Two or three ranks of infantry supported by light field guns Powerful Navy (30 warships, 400 transports) More experienced, better led, more thoroughly disciplined and trained General William Howe knew generals from their Seven Years’ War record British Troops: Aug 1776
The Difference • What gave the colonists hope was the opportunity to be gained by courage, cause, the home court advantage, and patriotism • Unlike earlier European dynastic squabbles, the American Revolution was an ideological war that affected the population • “Remember, officers and soldiers, that you are freemen, fighting for the blessings of liberty; that slavery will be your portion and that of your posterity if you do not acquit yourselves like men.” • George Washington
Trenton • The British defeated the colonists at Long Island in Aug 1776 and followed up their success with a series of landings on Manhattan Island • Compelled Washington to retreat, escaping finally over the Delaware River into Pennsylvania with about 3,000 men. • Howe then went into winter quarters.
Trenton • In December 1776, Washington determined to make a surprise attack on the British garrison in Trenton, a 1,400-man Hessian force • Took advantage of British being in winter quarters and in poorly defended, dispersed locations • Bad weather and limited visibility • Christmas had reduced British security • Hoped that a striking victory would lift the badly flagging American morale. • Reinforcements had raised Washington’s army to about 7,000 Continental Soldier by Don Troiani
Trenton • On Christmas night (December 25-26) Washington ferried about 2,400 men of across the ice-choked Delaware River at McConkey’s Ferry above Trenton and then proceeded by two columns on different routes, converging at opposite ends of the main street in Trenton
Trenton • At 8:00 a.m. the colonists converged on Trenton in two columns, achieving complete surprise. After only an hour and a half of fighting, the Hessians surrendered. • Some 400 of the garrison escaped southward to Bordentown, N. J., when two other American columns failed to get across the Delaware in time to intercept them. • About 30 were killed and 918 captured. American losses were only 4 dead and about the same number wounded.
Cowpens • Nathanael Greene was commander in the Carolinas and Georgia • Only a little over 1,000 Continentals and bands of ill-disciplined militia against Cornwallis’ 10,000 men • Had to create circumstances to achieve success
Cowpens • Greene divided his army into two divisions which he posted to the northwest and northeast of Cornwallis’ camp at Winnsboro • Allowed him to better feed his own men, sustain the militia, and harass the British • Tempted Cornwallis to divide his main body, making it more vulnerable • Cornwallis did this in Jan 1781, sending 1,100 men (commanded by Tarleton) to attack Greene’s western division (commanded by Daniel Morgan)
Cowpens • Americans suffered 6.2% losses (12 killed and 60 wounded) • British suffered 90% losses • Cornwallis became obsessed with Morgan and turned to pursue him • Morgan retreated into Virginia • In a month Cornwallis had marched 225 miles without achieving decisive battle Daniel Morgan
Yorktown • From Aug 21 to Sept 26, 1781 Washington and Rochambeau (French) marched their armies from New York to Virginia • Simultaneously, De Grasse (French) sealed off the Chesapeake with the Navy • Objective was to trap and defeat Cornwallis’ army on the York Peninsula
Yorktown • Battle would begin with two parallel siege lines followed by an assault • Allies had an overwhelming advantage in numbers (16,000 to fewer than 8,000) • On Oct 19, the British surrendered and in Sept 1783 they formally recognized American independence
The United States • In 1787, Americans drafted the Constitution of the United States which created a federal government based on popular sovereignty • The Bill of Rights in particular stressed individual liberties such as freedom of speech, the press, and religion • However, not everyone was granted full political and legal equality, only white men of property • Equality for all Americans would be an on-going struggle for many years, but still the early understanding of freedom, equality, and popular sovereignty in America would have broad implications throughout the world • Remember Emerson’s “shot heard round the world”
French Revolution: Ancien Regime • The Americans sought independence from British imperial rule, but they kept British law and much of the British social and cultural heritage • On the other hand, French revolutionaries sought to replace the ancien regime (“the old order”) with new political, social, and cultural structures
French Revolution: Estates General • In May 1789, in an effort to raise taxes, King Louis XVI convened the Estates General, an assembly representing the entire French population through three groups known as estates King Louis XVI
French Revolution: Estates General • The first estate was about 100,000 Roman Catholic clergy • The second estate was about 400,000 nobles • The third estate was about 24 million others (serfs, free peasants, laborers) • In spite of these numerical discrepancies, each estate had one vote ancien regime
French Revolution: Estates General • The third estate demanded sweeping political and social reform, but the other two estates resisted • On June 20, 1789, the third estate seceded from the Estates General and declared itself the National Assembly Marie Antoinette
French Revolution: National Assembly • The National Assembly vowed not to disband until France had a written constitution • This assertion of popular sovereignty spread to Paris and on July 14 a crowd stormed the Bastille to seize weapons and ammunition • The garrison surrendered in the wake of great bloodshed • The attackers severed the commander’s head and paraded it through the streets on a pike • Insurrections spread throughout France Storming of the Bastille
French Revolution: Declaration • In Aug 1789, the National Assembly issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen • Obviously influenced by the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence • Proclaimed the equality of all men, declared that sovereignty resided in the people, and asserted individual rights to liberty, prosperity, and security
Reforms of the National Assembly • Reconfigured French society • Ended the fees and labor services the peasants owed their landlords • Seized church lands • Abolished the first estate and defined clergy as civilians • Required clergy to take an oath of loyalty to the state • Made the king the chief executive but deprived him of legislative authority (a constitutional monarchy) • Men of property could vote for legislators The motto of the National Assembly was “Liberty, equality, fraternity”
The Convention • Alarmed by the disintegration of monarchial authority, the rulers of Austria and Prussia invaded France to support the king and restore the ancien regime • The revolutionaries responded by establishing the Convention, a new legislative body elected by universal male suffrage • The Convention abolished the monarchy and proclaimed France a republic
The Convention • Drafted people and resources for use in the war through the levee en masse (universal conscription) • A move toward total war • Used the guillotine to execute enemies to include King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette in 1793 for treason
Maximilian Robespierre (1758-1794) • Led the radical Jacobin party which believed France needed complete restructuring and used a campaign of terror to promote their agenda • Dominated the Convention from 1793-1794
Robespierre and the Jacobins • Sought to eliminate the influence of Christianity • Closed churches • Forced priests to take wives • Promoted a new “cult of reason” as a secular alternative • Devised a new calendar which recognized no day of religious observance • Between the summers of 1793 and 1794, the Jacobins executed 40,000 people and imprisoned 300,000 "It is dreadful but necessary" ("Cest affreux mais nécessaire"), from the Journal d'Autre Monde, 1794.
The Directory • Many of the victims of the reign of terror were fellow radicals who had fallen out of favor with Robespierre and the Jacobins • In July 1794, the Convention arrested Robespierre and his allies, convicted them of treason, and executed them • A group of conservative men of property seized power and ruled from 1795 to 1799 under a new institution called the Directory • The Directory sought a middle way between the ancien regime and radical revolution but had little success • In Nov 1799,Napoleon Bonaparte staged a coup d’etat and seized power
Napoleon (1769-1821) • Was an officer under King Louis XVI and had become a general at age 24 • In a campaign of 1796-1797, he drove the Austrians from northern Italy and established French rule there
Napoleon (1769-1821) • In 1799, he returned to France and joined the Directory, but when Austria, Russia, and Britain formed a coalition to attack France and end the Revolution, Napoleon staged a coup • He overthrew the Directory, imposed a new constitution, and named himself first consul • In 1802, he became consul for life and in 1804 crowned himself emperor
Napoleon: The Concordat • Brought stability to France • Made peace with the Catholic Church • Concluded the Concordat with the pope in 1801 • France would retain the church lands seized during the Revolution, but France agreed to pay priests’ salaries, recognize Roman Catholic Christianity as the preferred faith of France, and extend freedom of religion to Protestants and Jews • Was a popular measure with people who supported the political and social goals of the revolution but didn’t want to replace Christianity with the cult of reason
Napoleon: Civil Code • In 1804,Napoleon established the Civil Code which further stabilized France • Affirmed the political and legal equality of all adult men • Established a merit-based society in which individuals qualified for education and employment because of talent rather than birth or social standing • Protected private property, even allowing aristocratic opponents of the Revolution to return to France and reclaim their property • Confirmed many of the moderate revolutionary policies of the National Assembly but removed many measures passed by the more radical Convention
Napoleon as Authoritarian • Limited free speech, routinely censoring newspapers • Established a secret police force and detained thousands of political opponents • Manipulated public opinion through systematic propaganda • Ignored elective bodies • Surrounded himself with loyal military officers • Set his family above and apart from the French people Joseph Fouche, head of Napoleon’s secret police
End of Napoleon’s Empire • In 1812, Napoleon decided to invade Russia, believing that the Russians were conspiring with the British • Napoleon and his “Grand Army” of 600,000 soldiers captured Moscow, but the Russians refused to surrender • Instead, Russian patriots burned the city, leaving Napoleon without supplies or shelter
End of Napoleon’s Empire • Napoleon was forced to retreat • Defeated by “General Winter” • Only 30,000 soldiers made it back to France • The defeat in Russia emboldened a coalition of British, Austrian, Prussian, and Russian armies to converge on France • Forced Napoleon to abdicate his throne in April 1814 An episode from the retreat from Russia, by Nicolas-Toussaint Charlet
End of Napoleon’s Empire • The coalition restored the French monarchy and exiled Napoleon to the island of Elba, near Corsica • In March 1815, Napoleon escaped, returned to France, and reconstituted his army • This time the British defeated him at Waterloo and banished Napoleon to the remote island of St. Helena in the south Atlantic • He died in 1821
Other Impacts • The Enlightenment ideals and the American and French Revolutions also influenced: • The Saint Domingue slave revolt (Lesson 5) • Simon Bolivar in South America (Lesson 5) • The abolition movement (Lesson 5) • The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen • Elizabeth Cady Stanton and women’s rights movements
Next • Part 1: Russian Revolution and Communism • Part 2: Fascism and National Socialism Street demonstration in Petrograd, July 4, 1917