Thoughts on the French Revolution

As part of my course work for A.P. European History, I’ve recently examined several primary documents detailing the thought processes of several prominent participants in the French Revolution.  This was, understandably, a time of radical social and political change; many French customs were preserved, but a number of reforms were also implemented.

I recently read through the Cahiers de doléances, and particularly through the Cahier of the Third Estate.  I presently have some questions.  I fear that they are rather trivial, given that I haven’t ever thoroughly perused European history, but I remain just curious enough to post them.

1.  In the second article of the Cahier of the Third Estate, it is noted that “representatives [are] freely chosen from all classes of citizens”; in the fourth, however, we’ve “Succession in the male line and primogeniture are usages as ancient as the monarchy, and ought to be maintained and consecrated by solemn and irrevocable enactment.”  Given that the revolutionaries claimed to rest entirely in favour of rationality and self-examination, it’s conceptually interesting that they didn’t revise gender roles alongside classist ideas.

2.  Now, consider Art. 8.  “Power shall be conferred upon delegates for one year only; but they may be continued or confirmed by a single re-election.”  So, where monarchs are concerned, we’ve “solemn and irrevocable enactment” (Art. 4), but elected officials must be constantly reviewed?

Intriguing, no?

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