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 the french revolution 

How many of you think that the french revolution has been necessary for a changement of the society ( not only french) and for the introduction of the democracy?
Yes, it has been necessary and inevitable. 22%  22%  [ 9 ]
No, it hasn't been necessary. It could happened in different ways.. 73%  73%  [ 30 ]
I don't know sincererly! 5%  5%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 41

 the french revolution 
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Quelle grandeur!

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Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:04 am
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I voted for not necessary simply because there was SO much bloodshed and suffering. Sometimes society does need to change and move on but I can't believe that something that caused so many people to lose their lives can be a Good Thing. Dickens knew this, when he concluded that the revolution would not burn itself out until it had swallowed those who instigated it.


Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:35 pm
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I feel that a change in the political system of France was necessary but the means employed in 1789 and during the "Terror"were similar to those used in Nazi Germany in 1939. I feel likewise that a constitutional monarchy would have worked, and that Louis XVI who was quite clearly a reasonable man with a love of his people would have accepted the changes, whilst remaining the figurehead in France that the French society needed. You simply need to look at the events just a few years after the Revolution, when Napoleon ruled as Emperor, in many repects in a similar fashion to that of a "King", and was promptly replaced a decade later by a new monarchy during the Restoration, in order to see that France as a country looked to its leadership from a single head of State. What has really changed with the current 5th Republic which elects a President, who is above the law (officially according to the Constitution) and lives in the Elysée Palace! As far as the French revolution is concerned, and despite the somewhat extravagant penchant of our beloved MA, the great irony is that it was chiefly Louis XVI and the parliament's decision to support Revolution in America that ruined France's finances and largely contributed to bringing on far more bloody revolution in France!

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Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:11 pm
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baron de batz writes:
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the great irony is that it was chiefly Louis XVI and the parliament's decision to support Revolution in America that ruined France's finances and largely contributed to bringing on far more bloody revolution in France!


Yes, contributions to America did not help the French deficit, but there are many other important factors, as well.


Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:31 pm
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As I've said: the Revolution didn't killed Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The Revolution killed the King and Queen of France, rulers of a country ruled by tradition.

I think that the Revolution was inevitable, but the Terror was a slaughter. But it is normal at a certain point. WHen there's a revolution, there's always (or most of the times) conflicts and people reached unjustly...You may not forget that the American Revolution involved a war. In Russia, a minority tried to finish with the regime that was similar to the Bourbon's one in the XVIII century, but in the end, that minority was "silenced " and it walked to a dictatorship..

I don't know if you read A Tale of Two Cities, but I guess that until 1789 most of nobles were like the cruel Marquis St. Evrémonde! People tried to change things, but they couldn't because the Napoleonic Empire and because the Émigrés that wanted the Restoration..
:wink:

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Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:10 am
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I think a distinction should be made between revolutionary violence involving warfare and the sort of violence produced by the French Revolution. It's a slippery slope to say that the violence can't be helped, because the more sadistic ones will use that as justification for satisfying their morbid perversions. The heads start rolling, the terror sets in, and then it's the sadists who are in control. Government by serial killer!


Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:22 am
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You're rigth, there's a diference between a war and between the violence caused by the French Revolution. But, anyway, more people die in a war that in the revolutionary violence, that I'm sure! It can be more cruel, but I takes less lifes.
I'm the first to cry the memories of Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, Madame Elisabeth, Princesse de Lamballe, Princesse de Monaco.........., but we need to separate things: one thing is our devotion to their memories, other thing is our political opinions.
And also we need to think that the majority of the french people was hopping another government, where the "Marquis St. Evrémonde" could not be.

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Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:18 pm
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I think two things should be noted regarding the revolution:
a) something was said about Gandhi earlier in this thread. Gandhi's revolution worked in the sense that it did not, in the end, simply become a copy of what it sought to defeat in the first place, unlike the French revolution. This is because, I think, Gandhi had solely the reasons of his people in mind when he started the revolution in India. Especially in the latter part of the French revolution, the leaders definitely had some of their own interests in mind. Gandhi worked on behalf of the people, for the people alone. The Revolution perhaps sprang from honorable ideas but became an all-out power struggle and bloodbath, which should never be condoned no matter what benefits it is supposed to bring.
b) I think that education also has much to do with it. Violence very much appealed to an uneducated mob, because many of them were downtrodden and starving, no matter how hard Louis and MA tried to make sure that they were fed. Bread constituted over 50% of the French peasant's diet, and so if they had no bread they basically had nothing. Also, violence was a way of exacting a change, of giving them power, that they were capable of. They were willing to rally around a leader like Robespierre who advocated something that empowered them.
Here I end my digression. I hope I haven't been too long winded... :shock:

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Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:29 am
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As Diderot said, the violence you resort to can be legitimated by the violence used against you. The nobility in the 18th century was conservative and refused all the necessary evolutions France's economic developpement demanded (the "réaction nobiliaire"). Compared to it, Louis XIV's nobility was far more open ! Before bewailing all the heads cut during the Revolution, think about what it must be like to be refused an appointement, a position you deseve only because of your birth. Only the system of casts in India is comparable to this. The Revolution was inevitable, as the great Tocqueville put it, because of the progression of the ideal of equality before the law.

Referring to Baron de Batz's post :

As for the comparison between the Terror and the Third Reich, I know it has been a very popular thesis since Sternhell. To me, it can drive one on to deny the specificity of the Hitlerian regime. In the Terror as well as in the sovietic regime in its darkest periods, violence was not a goal in itself. As Primo Levi puts it, talking about the goulags, "death was accepted with a brutal indifference but not explicitely wished". The Terror was a transitory period of violence in a certain political context, within a system whose principles were equality and liberty. It was not a regime which advocated violence as an end in itself and whose major principle was inequality between individuals : "let's recall our doctrine : blood, selection, austerity" as Himmler summed in up... As for the means, they are, I think always the same for any type of regimes : just consider the Western Regimes that used the Nazi technologies, particularly as regards to torture, after WWII especially France in Algeria).
I would agree however that we can draw a more relevant parallel between USSR in its beginning and the Terror, as Lenin explicitely said it -and it goes without saying that the regimes which followed were not utterly devoid of positive aspects.


Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:00 am
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Post Re: the french revolution
Revolution was based on a good ideas but it ended as a true horror. I don’t think that ordinary people sow in that time real purpose of revolution but a chance of revenge. Philosophers had idea of new democratic society, bursoasia wanted to have more power, aristocrats wanted do have their old privileges like they always had and poor people most wanted revenge on the reach people they hated the most. I can understand poverty, bad life and injustice that made low classes rebel but I can’t understand that joy watching aristocrats tortured and despite talking about free speech in the end killing everyone that you doubt is against revolution. I don’t think French revolution did more than change power and rulers in France. Many countries had rather peaceful transition to modern society and that happened because society improvement, more knowledge and understanding of the world and purpose of politic that not resulted with that violence. I am not sure about his name; one English philosopher went to France being sure in revolution, its ideas and value. He ended disappointed seeing that horror and even doubted in his own vision of better world, he returned to England because danger to stay in France. The saddest part in revolution, in my opinion, is disability to make peaceful transition that I think could happen if only noble society wanted to cooperate more in beginning, when reforms were offered as really necessary. Royal couple did strongly believe in monarchy they knew and, I must admit, they made some real bad mistakes. That disability to find solution, in beginning strongly refusing of financial reforms by upper classes and constant rage of people ended in a way it ended. That is sad because people who really wanted compromise and calm solution. So I see French revolution as only change of power, which, like that usually is, ended by bloodshed and new regime acting same like old one.

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Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:13 pm
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Post Re: the french revolution
I think the 'revolution', like Communism, has the idea of equality for everyone but it never occures that way because of the power alotment it gives to the same people who are wanting to abolish this priveldge over others. And in the 18th century everyone who bitched about those with priveldges (i.e revoltionaries against Antoinette) themselves became power hungry ***stds, and was murdered in the 'Terror' themselves after aquiring the one thing they were against.

Ghandi is the only peaceful exception!

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Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:09 pm
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Post Re: the french revolution
Jasmine d'Adelaide wrote:
I think the 'revolution', like Communism, has the idea of equality for everyone but it never occures that way because of the power alotment it gives to the same people who are wanting to abolish this priveldge over others. And in the 18th century everyone who bitched about those with priveldges (i.e revoltionaries against Antoinette) themselves became power hungry ***stds, and was murdered in the 'Terror' themselves after aquiring the one thing they were against.

Ghandi is the only peaceful exception!


I don't think you should put all the revolutionaries in the same brackets, and compare them with communists. On the contrary, they didn't have an idea of equality for everyone, at least, most of them with few exceptions. The Human Rights states "equality before the law" and adds that all distinctions should be justified by the common utility (thus, it justifies the inequality as regards to positions and wealth). What is more, being personnally ambitious, not to say greedy and living in a regime that legally stets inequalities between people are two different things.

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Thu May 01, 2008 2:21 pm
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Post Re: the french revolution
What more we can say about the French Revolution except to feel remorse because human lowest instinct can sometimes overrule their sense. Read this text and let me know what you think about it.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl= ... n%26sa%3DN

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Thu May 01, 2008 2:33 pm
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Post Re: the french revolution
I didin't know about De Sade being involved in the Revolution...

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Fri May 02, 2008 8:46 pm
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Post Re: the french revolution
His ideas unfortunately were involved.

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Sat May 03, 2008 1:57 am
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