Literary Comparisons of Revolutionary France Essay

Literary Comparisons of Revolutionary France Essay

Length: 1312 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Literary Comparisons of Revolutionary France

The period of time in France prior to the French Revolution was know as the ancien regime, which translates to, “the old way.” This was a time where if you were fortunate enough to be born into an upper class family, you lived very well, but if you were not so lucky, you lived quite miserably. Chances were, however, that you did not belong to this upper class society. Only about three percent of the population made up this class and consisted of nobles and the clergy. The remaining 97% was referred to as the third estate and included middle class merchants and professionals, collectively known as the bourgeoisie, as well as the farmers and peasants.
The third estate essentially was France’s economy at that time. “This complicated tax system was both inefficient and unfair,” (Hanson 34). The upper class enjoyed many privileges such as tax exemptions that the third estate did not have. Therefore, the third estate basically funded the wealth and luxury of the upper class. When the economy slumped, the already struggling peasants were asked to contribute more. It is estimated that peasants “paid direct taxes equal to 50 to 60 percent of his gross harvest. Given that a fifth to a quarter of the harvest had to be saved for seed for the following year, this left very little grain for the family to consume,” (Hanson 34).
Needless to say, with this state of economic instability and unhappiness among the masses, a drastic change (i.e. the Revolution) was inevitable. The works of many writers influenced these changes. Three such authors were Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, and Emanuel-Joseph Sieyes and are known for their respective works, Discourse on the ...

... middle of paper ...

...ousseau was also very influential, especially during the times after 1789. The first statement in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, reads “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights,” (reader 235). This definitely has Rousseau’s influence.
Sieyes, however, has a bit stronger influence. It is by far the most direct and the most radical of the three works. What is the Third Estate? comes out at the right time and has a very direct impact. It sets the wheels in motion for what is going to occur in 1789 and in the following years. The pamphlet ultimately leads the transition from the estates general to the national assembly, which forms a constitution, which in turn levels the social structure between the aristocracy and the third estate.


Rousseau - Discourse on the origins of inequality
Beaumarchais - Marraige of Figaro

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Revolutionary Writers : The Revolutionary War Essay

- Revolutionary Writers Re-write During the time period in which the American Revolution occurred, situations were dire, and the general public was in need of persuasion and motivation regarding the war. Those reluctant to see the blatant necessity to go to war needed further persuasion, and those losing hope during the seemingly bleak war needed the drive to continue. With these emotions at hand, authors of the revolutionary period, realizing the urgent need for action, wrote to inspire. Writing to inspire requires a vast variety of strategies, some of which appeal to certain audiences of the time....   [tags: American Revolution, American Revolutionary War]

Good Essays
1444 words (4.1 pages)

France: All Things Charming Essay

- As Cole Porter once sang “Only in Paris one discovers the urge to merge with the splurge of the spring” (LyricsFreak), the French have always had a “je ne sais quoi” about them, an unforgettable charm and an unrepentant tendency for overindulgence that makes their footprint in the fields of architecture, cuisine, art, fashion and even war, ever so lasting. From Coco Chanel’s simple designs to Victor Hugo’s enchanting prose to Claude Monet’s detailed paintings, it is clear that the French have an unmeasured value for artists, innovators and people who appreciate the intrinsic value of beauty....   [tags: France]

Good Essays
1186 words (3.4 pages)

How Revolutionary Was The Revolutionary War? Essay

- How revolutionary was the revolutionary war. The revolution brought major changes in the system but if seeing from a larger view everything remained the same. The questions that the American Revolution went deeply through were the slavery question, the women emancipation and the system of politics. But at the end radical changes were very little and the lives lost were not worth the advantages for the country. The first issue the revolutionary war had to face was slavery. Social changes never touched the lives of white men since they already had rights and benefits but instead they touched slaves and women even though the scene remained unchanged after the end of the war....   [tags: American Revolutionary War, American Revolution]

Good Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

The Revolutionary War Essay

- The Revolutionary War began in 1775, where the colonists fought to break away from the English king and be known as a free nation. There were many tensions between the colonists and England such as the Stamp Act, Tea Act and the Townshend Tariffs. This taxing revenue the British imposed met with great opposition for it was taxation without representation in Parliament and the colonies demanded they be treated as any of the British subjects. Having no voice the colonist had been subjected to taxes due to the great debt the British incurred during the 7 year war with France....   [tags: American Revolutionary War, American Revolution]

Good Essays
1016 words (2.9 pages)

American History : The Revolutionary War Essay

- As an American observes the life around him, noting the many advancements made in merely the last century, he must wonder how America climbed to such a level. The 21st century technology, the military and political power, education and ethics, all came from such meager beginnings, solidified by the Revolutionary War. The Revolutionary War proved to be a significant turning point in the history of our country, but what caused America to win. What were some of the most significant factors in the victory of these American patriots....   [tags: American Revolutionary War, American Revolution]

Good Essays
1037 words (3 pages)

Essay on Revolution: the Cost of France's Liberty

- Indifferent rulers and overindulgent spending left France in severe debt. Civilians were starved of both food and hope, yet nobles enjoyed a pleasant lifestyle within the comfort of Versailles. Revolted by this injustice, the common people of France rebelled and fought for equality, giving birth to the French Revolution of 1789. This period is often characterized as needlessly violent, as gruesome events such as the Reign of Terror took place, in addition to many executions and riots. Despite the excessive bloodshed that dominated the era, the French Revolution’s violence was not in vain, for the legacy of the revolution has ignited scores of independence movements in its wake and inspired...   [tags: French Revolution, World History, France]

Good Essays
876 words (2.5 pages)

Revolutionary Changes Essay

- Overview In what ways were the revolutions, expanded literacy, and political ideas linked. (The Earth and Its Peoples, 581) The revolutions of the late 18th and early 19th centuries were directly influenced by political ideas of Enlightenment intellectuals and their students. New ideas were developed by, and extrapolated from, individuals such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, and Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet). A growing literacy amongst the people of Europe and the greater western world led to increased questioning of government, the communication and discussion of ideas in public venues, and ultimately said revolution....   [tags: Enlightenment, Literacy, Inventions]

Good Essays
1208 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Cultural Aspects In France

- Demographics, Population & Ethnicities: France is the 19th most populous country in the world. The total French population is estimated to be 63,718,187 with around 60, 876,135 living in metropolitan France. The largest cities in France are Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Toulouse, Nice, and Nantes The French society has a wide diversity of people and ethnicities. Ethnic groups include Celtic, Latin, Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, in addition to the Basque minorities in the south....   [tags: France Culture]

Free Essays
1865 words (5.3 pages)

Essay about France

- France Country Profile An Overview France, formally called the French Republic, has played a major role in Western Europe history. It has been a consistent power for centuries. It was one of the original countries of the European Union, and has been a dominant factor in global trade. France has also been a driving force in the Common Market (CM), the European Economic Community (EEC), now called the European Union (EU), and is a permanent member of the United Nations. Historical Background France was established under a feudal system, first recorded in 843 with the crowning of Charles the Bald; France’s first King....   [tags: French History, Global Market Place]

Good Essays
807 words (2.3 pages)

France Essay

- NAPOLEON BONAPARTE- The ideals of the French Revolution were "Equality, Liberty, and Fraternity," yet the methods that were used to accomplish these goals were extreme. For example, about 40,000 people were guillotined during the Reign of Terror. When Napoleon Bonaparte, a French army hero, seized control of the government in France in 1799 by a coup de'tat, he was looking to achieve peace in France by ending the Revolution. To do this, he had to be in complete control: he ruled like a dictator....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
701 words (2 pages)