French revolution and enlightenment essay

In its Jacobin phase, the revolution is best understood as an effort to establish citizenship as the dominant identity of every Frenchman-against the alternative identities of religion, estate, family and region. Citizenship was to replace religious faith and familial loyalty as the central motive of virtuous conduct. Indeed, citizenship, virtue, and public spirit were closely connected ideas, suggesting a rigorous commitment to political activity on behalf of the community-patria, not yet nation. In Jacobin ideology, citizenship was a universal office; everyone was to serve the community”. [2]

The Directory’s four years in power were riddled with financial crises, popular discontent, inefficiency and, above all, political corruption. By the late 1790s, the directors relied almost entirely on the military to maintain their authority and had ceded much of their power to the generals in the field. On November 9, 1799, as frustration with their leadership reached a fever pitch, Bonaparte staged a coup d’état, abolishing the Directory and appointing himself France’s “first consul.” The event marked the end of the French Revolution and the beginning of the Napoleonic era, in which France would come to dominate much of continental Europe.

French revolution and enlightenment essay

french revolution and enlightenment essay

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