American and French Revolutions. Readings: Smith, et al., 771-776 D 18.7: “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen”. Enlightenment Ideas.
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Building a republican government – Articles of Confederation not working
Government weak and in debt for war
Couldn’t make trade agreements with other countries (all states had to go along or did they)
Unable to protect shipping of particular states
During this time, the prospect of a social revolution of women, slaves, and artisans was very real; elites labeled this "excesses of democracy"
Shays's rebellion of 1786 protested negative effects of revolutionary wars on bankrupt farmer veterans from Western Massachusetts
Reform turned to revolution as members of the Third Estate (the common people) called for greater representation
How much would popular violence influence rational political debate?
Is popular sovereignty possible without violence?
How do you incorporate working class Parisians, peasants, and women into the polity without violence—elites want to protect privilege?
“The aim of society is the happiness of all.”
“Public assistance is a sacred debt. Society owes a living to the unfortunate among its citizens, either by finding work for them or by guaranteeing the means of subsistence to those who are not in a fit condition to work.”
“Education is a necessity for all.”
“When the government violates the rights of the people, then insurrection …is the most sacred and necessary of duties.”
“Every citizen is empowered to seize conspirators and counterrevolutionaries, and to bring them before the magistrates. He is required to denounce them as soon as he knows of them.”
The Congress of Vienna could not turn the clock back completely
In many areas, some of Napoleon’s reforms were kept in place, such as the abolition of serfdom among German states
The nationalist sentiments that French troops stirred continued in places such as Germany and Italy