Reflections on the revolutions in france

Discuss the below:

1. The French revolutionaries claimed that they were inspired by the Enlightenment philosophes. Would the philosophes we studied back in Week 2 have approved of how the Revolution started? What about how it developed through the 1790s?

2. In his Reflections on the Revolutions in France, British member of Parliament Edmund Burke predicted the Terror. Was this a lucky guess on his part or were the seeds of of the Terror part of the Revolution from the beginning? Why?

3. The French Revolution had a profound impact on the world, not just within the borders of France. Why were some nations willing to accept its gains-at least, partially-while others resisted them? Which country do you think was the most unwilling to accept the new ideas of liberte, egalite, and fraternite? Other than France, which was most willing to embrace the Revolutionary ideals? Why?

4. Although no historian doubts the importance of the reign of Napoleon in European (and even world) history, they do argue over the interpretation of these events. For example, they are torn on the role Napoleon played in the Revolution. Some argue that he continued the spirit of the Revolution, despite creating an Empire. Others believe he murdered it. Some include Napoleon's reign as a stage of the actual Revolution, while others consider it its own separate event. What do you think? Do you think Napoleon continued and spread the Revolution? Or do you think he destroyed its ideals when creating his empire? Do you think his reign should qualify as a separate historical event from the Revolution? Or was it simply another stage in a long process?

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