On Friday, we will begin our examination of Napoleon. To prepare for this momentous day, we need to understand what France was like in the early 1790s.
- First, you need to understand how the rest of Europe viewed the Revolution. Please read The Revolutionary Wars section on pages 186-187 in your text.
- Next, you need to understand what Paris was like after the death of Robespierre. Please read After Thermidor section on pages 194-195 in your text. I encourage those of you who took Ancient History to pay careful attention to the reference to the Gracchus brothers.
In a page-long response, I’d like you to examine France’s plight through the lens of the historical school of your choice. You may include anything from Louis XIV to Thermidor, but make sure you include a few points from today’s readings.
It may be helpful to approach this problem by asking a question; this approach will give you something to prove. Here are some examples (you may use one of these if you like):
- How would Hegel view the early years of the Revolution?
- If the French Revolution is an example of class struggles, which class “won”?
- Was the life of Louis XVI proof that while a great leader has tremendous influence, it is actually poor leaders who, sadly, have more impact?
- Is our understanding of Louis XVI and Robespierre shaped by those who brought about their downfall?