Enlightenment During The French Revolution

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Throughout the French Revolution, there were countless documents drafted that adapted political ideas from the Enlightenment to create a government that was fair for all of its citizens. The Enlightenment was a time where several new ways of thinking and exploring the world were being used. People began to think objectively and use reasoning, rationalism, and empiricism to explore new ideas. New political thought processes from the Enlightenment had a great influence on many of the documents written during the French Revolution. There were four stages of terror during the French Revolution: the National Assembly moderate phase, the National Assembly radical phase, the Directory, and the Age of Napoleon. Throughout the four phases of terror,…show more content…
This phase of terror was characterized by intense violence. Radicals took control over the Legislative Assembly and set up the National Convention, which then declared France a republic. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed and 40,000 people were executed during the Reign of Terror. Documents that were written during this phase showed a massive amount of influence of the ideas of the Enlightenment on the actions and documents of France. The Decree establishing the Levee en Masse was written in 1793. This document was in response to the increasing number of external countries attempting to enter France with plans to restore the monarchy. To ensure that the French were adequately protected, the Levee en Masse made it law that “all single men between the ages of 18 and 25 were required to join the Army.” While the young single men fought, the other citizens were taking different measures to prepare for war; the married men were in charge of the weapons and transport provisions, the women made clothes and worked in hospitals, the children turned old linen into lint, and the elderly showed moral support and spoke out against the idea of a king. The French were taking influence from Rousseau’s idea that “each of us puts his person and his whole power in common under the supreme direction of the general will, and in return we receive every member as an indivisible part of the whole” (366). By having each person do something the French were uniting themselves and were becoming more able to be successful in their fight. There was also an article published called “An Answer to an Impertinent Question: ‘What is a sans-culotte?’.” This article has described the people of the third estate, the men that were going to be the war heroes of the French Revolution. A Sans-Culotte is described as “a being who… has no millions… no castle… no valets… and who lives simply” this description would
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