History Questions and Answers on France Essay

History Questions and Answers on France Essay.

1.How far did Napoleon Bonaparte maintain the ideals of the French Revolution during the period 1799–1815?

The key issue is the relationship between Napoleon Bonaparte and the French Revolution. ‘How far’ invites candidates to consider the extent and limits of the claim that he maintained revolutionary ideals. These ideals can be summarised quickly as ‘liberty, equality and fraternity’. The Revolution had sought greater equalisation between classes, the rule of law and the end of secular and religious privilege. The focus should be on the period from 1799 to 1915 and there is no need for long narratives of the period from 1789 as long as answers can put Napoleon into context.

Napoleon maintained that he was the son of the Revolution and his Code incorporated some measures that ensured the rule of law.

He encouraged promotion by merit rather than by birth. He confirmed the changes to property ownership that had taken place. On the other hand, the Code benefited the middle classes more than the peasantry and the emphasis on authority in the family returned to pre-1789 values.

His rule was authoritarian and the establishment of the Empire was a contradiction of republican principles. Opponents were prosecuted by an active police system, headed by Fouché. Government institutions were not independent and Napoleon was able to nominate those to high offices. Lesser officials, although elected, could be removed.

There is no need for long narratives of foreign policy but it will be relevant to explain how far it was driven by personal, rather than revolutionary, motives. Answers worth 22-25 will consider both sides of his rule and come to clear conclusions. 19-21 answers will be mostly secure but will miss some possible lines of discussion. 11-13 answers will show a basic knowledge of his rule but will be very narrative or descriptive, but sometimes incomplete. 14-15 can be awarded to fuller descriptions. 16-18 answers will make some salient points of comment in otherwise largely descriptive accounts.

2 How far did Napoleon Bonaparte achieve his aims in domestic policy?

The key issue is Napoleon’s success in achieving his aims in domestic policy. The question is deliberately worded to exclude discussion of foreign policy and this will be irrelevant unless referred to briefly in an introduction or conclusion. For example, a good point would be that Napoleon achieved power largely by conquest and was then was brought down by failure abroad, not by internal opposition. But this does not mean that victory and defeat abroad must be described in detail. Answers can be awarded 11-13 marks when they contain relevant but basic descriptions of domestic policy. These answers will give little consideration to Napoleon’s aims and will probably be very uncritical.

Fuller descriptions but with a similar approach can be awarded 14-15 marks. The 16-18 band will require some specific study of aims although these might be treated broadly; the description will be quite full. The discriminating factor for the 19-21 band will be the concentration on aims and their achievement although the essays will contain some gaps. For example, they might be very one-sided. More complete assessments that consider alternatives can be awarded 22-25 marks.

Napoleon aimed at personal power and he secured this from 1799, with the Consulate, and then 1804, with the Empire, until 1814. But candidates should note his abdication before his unsuccessful return. Credit will be given when candidates consider how far he wished to continue the reforms of the Revolution. He sought to maximise his support and offered promotion by merit. However, political opponents were treated harshly by the police system under Fouché. His attempts to stabilise the economy can be examined as can his relations with the Roman Catholic Church, which he stabilised. Candidates should consider the importance of the Code Napoleon.

3.The aims and methods of Cavour were completely different from those of Mazzini.’ How far do you agree with this judgement?

The key issue is the comparison of Cavour and Mazzini. Answers should be reasonably balanced in their treatment of the two men. 60:40 either way can deserve any mark band; 70:30 will normally lead to the award of one band lower than would otherwise be given. The 11-13 band will require a basic knowledge and understanding of one man. Answers in the 22-25 band will be fully comparative. They will differentiate between aims and methods and support the argument by sound knowledge. Most candidates, even in this band, can be expected to agree with the claim in the question but credit should be given to candidates who are aware of some common ground, e.g. both wished to make Italy an independent state and saw Austria as the major stumbling block. 19-21 answers will show good qualities but will be less impressive, perhaps by lacking a distinction between aims and methods or by pursuing a more uneven comparison.

There will be some comparison in the 16-18 answers but the approach will be mostly descriptive or narrative. The emphasis on narrative will probably be characteristic of answers in the 11-13 and 14-15 mark bands. In their aims, Mazzini always sought the unification of all of the Italian peninsula. Cavour began by seeking to make Piedmont a more important and extended state in northern Italy and was initially reluctant to embrace the southern states. Mazzini was a democratic republican. Cavour was a monarchist whose ideas of democracy were more limited. Mazzini wished Italians to gain independence by themselves; Cavour aimed to win European support for his designs.

In methods, Mazzini embraced revolutionary methods, for example in the 1830s and in 1848. He tried to build an alliance of all classes although he failed to do so. Cavour began by strengthening Piedmont. He opposed revolutions but manipulated plebiscites to give the appearance of popular support for his policies. Diplomacy, especially with Napoleon III of France, was a vital means of isolating Austria and supplementing the weak Piedmontese army. To the dismay of Mazzini and Garibaldi, Cavour was willing to surrender some Italian territories to gain his wider ends (Nice and Savoy to France). Although not an ally of the Roman Catholic Church, Cavour saw the importance of not alienating the papacy, unlike Mazzini.

4.How far was Napoleon Bonaparte an oppressive ruler in his domestic policies from 1799 to 1815? The key issue is the assessment of Napoleon’s domestic policies. Foreign policy will be irrelevant unless mentioned briefly in an introduction or conclusion. For the highest marks, 21 – 25, Examiners will expect answers to consider the case for and against the claim that he was oppressive, coming to a clear conclusion. For 11-13 marks, answers should be expected to demonstrate a basic knowledge and understanding of the main elements of domestic policies. Some policies might be seen by some as oppressive and by others as liberating. 1799 marks the appointment of Napoleon as First Consul after the fall of the Directory. Especially during the Consulate, he implemented many reforms such as the Code Napoleon and the Concordat (1801).

The former helped to restore administrative order to France and guaranteed certain rights but it also strengthened Napoleon’s authority. The latter was a reconciliation between France and the Papacy/Roman Catholic Church. This pleased many French people who retained their religious views but it afforded Napoleon a considerable measure of control over the Church. The Empire (1804) saw Napoleon achieve even more power and he was dominant over every aspect of French life. Candidates can explain administrative measures that cemented the authority or oppression of the Emperor. Officials were nominated rather than freely elected. The most successful candidates should be able to note and assess the reasons for the continuing opposition to Napoleon within France which was controlled to some extent by a harsh police system.

Answers worth 11-13 marks should display basically acceptable knowledge but there will be little considered assessment. 14-15 marks can be awarded to answers that are relevant and more detailed but still more dependent on narrative and description than assessment and comparison. 16-17 marks might be awarded to answers that contain more analysis and assessment but where the assessment might be largely implicit. 18- 20 marks will be appropriate for answers that focus on the key issue but in which there is evident imbalance and unevenness. The discriminating factor in the 21-25 mark answers might well be their success in providing convincing assessments.

5.‘From 1789 to 1799, who posed the more dangerous threats to the French Revolution: its internal or its external enemies? The key issue is the threats or dangers to the French Revolution. Candidates should note that the question ends in 1799 with the coup d’état of Brumaire, the end of the Directory, and Napoleon’s accession to the Consulate. No particular ceilings are suggested for incomplete answers but answers that end in 1794-95 with the fall of the Jacobins might be worth at least one band lower than would otherwise be awarded. Candidates should consider both internal and external threats. Answers that discuss only one aspect and completely ignore the other cannot expect more than a mark in a middle band.

However, examiners will not look for an even balance in even the best essays; a reasonable balance but one that is weighted to one side can score very highly. The quality of the argument will be of prior importance. Internal enemies included the King and court to Louis’ execution in 1793. His recognition of the Revolution, and the concessions that he agreed, were half-hearted. Royalists within France and those who left the country (émigrés) continued to agitate. The influential Church was hostile. Conservative regions of France, especially the more rural areas, were hostile to the changes, such as the Vendée. From 1795, the Directory tried to draw back from the alleged excesses of previous years but was unsuccessful in controlling disorder until the advent of Napoleon.

France had to face foreign enemies from the inception of the Revolution and open war broke out in 1792 against Austria and Prussia. The danger of overwhelming defeat and the fall of the Revolution seemed very real. Foreign enemies later included Britain, Holland and Spain. Although unsuccessful at home, the Directory had more success abroad, especially through the victories of Napoleon in Italy. Weak answers will probably be vague about the threats and might be confined to very general accounts of the Revolution. Answers in the middle bands might focus on threats but deal with them in a highly descriptive manner, lacking assessment and comparison. The most successful answers can be expected to be analytical, focused on assessment and supported by appropriate factual knowledge

Why did Louis XVI’s policies from 1789 fail to prevent his execution in 1793? 
The key issue is the assessment of Louis XVI’s policies as a reason for his execution. The question asks ‘Why…?’ and examiners will award the highest marks to answers that are analytical, providing a series of reasons for the execution of Louis XVI. However, excellent answers can be organised chronologically because the period from 1789 to 1793 saw many changes that can be examined sequentially. Candidates might examine his reluctance to accept the comparatively moderate changes that were demanded by the Third Estate in 1789. He sided with the First and Second Estates until he was forced to concede.

He was forced to accept the Declaration of Rights and the Civil Constitution of the clergy. Suspicions that he wanted to overturn the concessions, probably with foreign assistance, were reinforced when he fled to Varennes. Answers in Band I should also consider the impact of other factors that led to the King’s execution. These included a worsening economic situation and the rise of political radicalism, leading eventually to the (brief) triumph of Robespierre and the Jacobins, who were directly responsible for Louis XVI’s execution. War and counter-revolution in the provinces threatened the gains of the Revolution and had an impact on the King’s situation. The Grand Peur, the Terror and the influence of Paris and the sans-culottes might be seen as evidence of the burgeoning influence of the urban lower classes. Some candidates might consider the reputation of the Queen, Marie Antoinette, and the royalist supporters.

7. ‘The divisions among the revolutionaries were the most important reason why Austria was able to suppress the revolutions in Italy and Germany in 1848–49.’ How far do you agree with this claim? 
 The key issue is the reason for the failure of the revolutions of 1848–49 in Italy and Germany. Examiners will expect a reasonable balance in the discussion of the two regions for marks in Bands 1 and 2 (18–20; 21–25). 60:40 either way will be acceptable. An understanding of the revolutions in one region will be required for Band 5 (11–13). Candidates can argue that other factors were more important than divisions among the revolutionaries, for example Austrian military power, but the stated factor should normally be given some attention for Band 5. In Italy, the revolutionaries had different aims.

For some, local grievances were most important. For example, Sicily resented rule by Naples. Mazzini and Garibaldi aimed at wider issues when they established the Roman Republic. Piedmont’s leaders had a different agenda. In Germany, Liberals demanded constitutional reform but disagreements appeared, for example over the role of Prussia. There was no coordination between the movements. Religious divisions between Catholics and Protestants were important. Candidates might explain the failure of the Frankfurt Parliament. On the other hand, Austria’s army was stronger than any force that the revolutionaries could muster. Their generals were more capable; answers might mention Radetsky in Italy.

8. How far did Napoleon Bonaparte ensure liberty and equality in his domestic government of France? 
The key issue is the nature of Napoleon’s government of France. The question clearly refers to domestic issues; discussions of foreign policy or the impact of Napoleon’s rule on other countries will not be relevant unless they are a brief part of introductions or conclusions. One would expect answers in Bands 1 (21–25) and 2 (18–20) to consider arguments for and against Napoleon’s support for liberty and equality. However, examiners should not require an equal balance. The balance will reflect the argument. For example, it might reject ’liberal’ measures as of minor importance.

Answers in other Bands might plump for an argument that accepts or rejects ’liberty and equality;’ without considering the alternative at all. It will be relevant to discuss the Code Napoleon (1804), an attempt to unify the diverse laws of France. Its confirmation of equality before the law and the end of privilege, and religious toleration would point towards Napoleon’s liberalism. Careers were open to talent. However, associations of workers were banned and women were given fewer rights than men. Napoleon kept a tight hold on power through his autocratic rule. Officials were nominated and the Empire ensured Napoleon’s personal rule. Opposition was suppressed and reference might be made to the work of Fouché as Minister of Police. Equality was limited by the restriction of promotion to Napoleon’s supporters.

9. Why was Napoleon Bonaparte able to become Emperor of France? 
The key issue is the creation of the Empire by Napoleon Bonaparte. The Question asks ‘Why’ and examiners will be looking for analysis when awarding the two highest Bands. It will be relevant to explain the background to Napoleon’s rise to show his appeal after the instability of the previous decade. However, surveys need to be linked to the Empire to get a high reward. Napoleon offered military success in the revolutionary wars especially against Austria; the failure of the Egyptian campaign was offset by propaganda. He also gained support because of his ability to put down insurrection and disorder within France.

He managed to out manoeuvre colleagues in the Consulate and caught the imagination of France by establishing the Empire, promising to safeguard the ideals of the Revolution and maintain order. He had pursued populist policies, for example in the Codes and through the Concordat. War was not a heavy expense for the French people but made Napoleon‘s reputation. Even the Egyptian expedition did not reflect badly on him. It will not be necessary, and probably irrelevant, to narrate the developments of foreign relations and campaigns but candidates can point out the resulting popularity within France. Although the Empire contradicted the republicanism that was at the heart of the French Revolution from 1792, it promised to maintain the ideals of the Revolution whilst, at the same time, ensuring order and efficiency. Some, such as extreme royalists and Jacobins, were not reconciled but Napoleon’s autocracy and the establishment of the Empire were not seriously threatened by other people or alternative ideas.

10 How far was France a police state under Napoleon Bonaparte from 1799 to 1814? 
The key issue is in the phrase ‘police state’. The question asks ‘How far..?’ and candidates should examine both the extent and limits of the claim. However, examiners will not expect balanced answers. The French were completely free under Napoleon but many candidates might judge that France was indeed a police state and therefore devote most of their time to this argument. An uncritical acceptance of this view might be worth up to Band 2 (and Band 1 might be achieved by excellent discussions) but normally answers in the highest band might be expected to consider both sides. Napoleon seized power in 1799, reduced the other Consuls to impotence and then declared himself Emperor in 1804.

Although these changes were approved by plebiscites, and were genuinely supported by most French people, they represented authoritarian rule and the results of the plebiscites were rigged to produce even larger majorities in favour. Fouché headed the Ministry of Police. Letters of arrest very similar to the Bourbons’ lettres de cachet were used. Opponents were detained. The press was heavily censored and the state itself engaged in widespread propaganda.

Napoleon’s governments under the Consulate and Empire gave him considerable power over central and local administration. The Codes might have guaranteed some freedoms but they were also a device to bring order and obedience to France. The Concordat with the Papacy (1801) recognised the need to conciliate the Roman Catholic Church and it also allowed some toleration to Protestants but its justification to Napoleon was political rather than moral. On the other hand, it can be argued that police action was not indiscriminate. Many French people found conditions improving. There is no need to compare Napoleon’s rule with other revolutionary regimes (or other police states) but brief comparisons can be given credit.

11Why was Louis XVI executed in 1793? 
The key issue is the reasons for Louis XVI’s execution. The question asks ‘Why?’ and candidates should provide a series of reasons. Most candidates can be expected to begin in 1789. It will be difficult to make material before 1789 relevant. Some might take a narrower approach with the rise of the Jacobins. As always, the main criterion in assessment will be the quality of the argument. The question can be tackled chronologically. It is easy to underestimate the support for Louis XVI in 1789. The decision to convene the Estates General was popular. The number of republicans was negligible.

Nevertheless, his popularity continued to decline until his execution at a time when few monarchists in France dared to protest. Louis’ personality can be examined. He was well-meaning but lacked political skills. He had a strong sense of duty and monarchical obligation. He believed in divine right. Together, these made him reluctant to accept the (comparatively moderate) reforms that were demanded, such as the issue of voting in the Estates General, the August Decrees and Declaration of Rights, until he was forced into concessions, which consequently made him less, not more, popular. His defence of privileged classes was an important factor. He held out against the Civil Constitution.

There were suspicions, not wholly unfounded, that he was angling for foreign intervention to regain power. The King was seen as sympathetic to the émigrés. Whatever the truth about Marie Antoinette’s attitudes and actions, she was widely hated. The ill-fated flight to Varennes can be examined. It will be very relevant to show how extremists hijacked the Revolution. The dangers from war, internal unrest as in the Vendée, and economic pressures led to the victory of extremists such as Robespierre and the defeat of moderate revolutionary forces. Louis’ execution was important in its own right but it was also a reflection of rivalries between different groups of radicals.

12 Who of Cavour, Garibaldi and Mazzini contributed most to the unification of Italy by 1871? 
The key issue is the comparative contributions of three leaders of Italian unification. Band 5 (11–13) will need a basic understanding of the work of one man. However, even the best answers do not need to show an even balance between the three. Candidates can spend most time on their preferred choice but answers in the two highest bands will need a sound knowledge and understanding of all three. There is a comparative element in the question (‘contributed…most’) and answers in Band 1 (21–25) will be clear when offering their reasons. Answers in lower bands might be relevant, well informed and clearly argued but they will probably not justify their choice.

A problem might be when candidates interpret the question as an invitation to write about only one leader – the most important. These answers might show the candidates to be capable of writing well but they will be incomplete. Such answers might be limited to a ceiling in Band 3 (16–17) although, as always, the overriding factor will be the quality of the argument. Cavour laid a firm foundation for unification by re-organising Piedmont. He was a successful politician who managed Piedmont with a combination of skill and bribery. He was a realist and ensured that he obtained foreign assistance, especially from Napoleon III’s France, before confronting Austria.

He preferred to extend Piedmont’s influence by plebiscites, apparently democratic but actually carefully managed. It might be argued that unification went further than he intended but his acceptance of Garibaldi’s gains in the south confirmed his pragmatism and he was careful not to confront the Papacy. By the time of his death (1861), Italy was unified with the exceptions of Venetia and Rome. Garibaldi made his name in Italy and outside by his contribution to the failed revolutions of 1848–49. He did as much as anybody to popularise the cause of Italian unification.

The 1860 invasion of the south was successful militarily and had knock-on effects by forcing Cavour to recognise the momentum of pressure for a larger Italy. Although his later career was less successful, his particular claims were to push for the unification of the peninsula as a whole and to win the support of the lower orders. Mazzini led the cause in the 1830s and 1840s, for example through the Carbonari and the 1848–49 revolutions. It might be claimed that his ideas were unrealistic: a secular democracy achieved by Italians alone. However, although he was to be less successful in practical terms than either Cavour or Garibaldi, his claim to have been the most important contributor depends largely on the way in which he began the struggle. Except for the monarchy, the final shape of Italy closely resembled his programme.

2 Was Robespierre more a success or a failure than a revolutionary leader?

Robespierre soon gained a reputation in the Estates General of 1789 as a lawyer who defended the interests of the poor. He became a leader of the Jacobins and was one of the first to demand the establishment of a republic and the execution of King Louis XVI after the Flight to Varennes (1791). He opposed the war in 1792 because he feared that it would result in the rise of a dictator. Robespierre and the Jacobins (or Montagnards/Mountain Men) defeated the Girondins and dominated the new Committee of Public Safety (1793-95). While in a dominant position, he did not merely seek power for himself and was believed not to be corrupted by power or wealth. He was the ‘Incorruptible’. He believed the problems facing the republic (including external war, internal counter-revolutionary groups and inflation) could only be solved through the use of terror.

The terror acted against real and suspected enemies of the revolution and extended into every corner of France. Victims were mostly the aristocracy, bourgeoisie and members of the clergy but also included members of other classes. In all, perhaps 40,000 people were executed. Robespierre advocated a Republic of Virtue. He took the anti-clerical policies of the revolution further by inaugurating the cult of the Supreme Being, based on Reason. He also took severe steps to solve the dual problems of inflation and food shortages.

Assignats and price fixing were introduced but both were unsuccessful. Robespierre took on board Carnot’s proposals for mass conscription to fight the war against counter-revolutionary kingdoms. By 1794, the opposition was able to gather sufficient support to bring him down and he was executed. Answers in the higher bands will consider both successes and failures although answers need not be evenly balanced because arguments can stress either. Was he more a success than a failure? Successes might be seen in the defeat of counter-revolution from within and outside France. The establishment of the republic was a short-term success. Robespierre’s leadership of war was decisive. Failures might include the brief period of his rule. Enemies were paralysed briefly. His socio-religious and economic policies did not work.

14 ‘Italian unification was more a victory for Piedmont’s power than for nationalism.’ How far do you agree with this claim? After 1815, Piedmont emerged as the major Italian state to oppose Austria’s power in Italy. However, its leadership was not accepted universally and was unpopular in some quarters. Other places with their leaders had claims, e.g. Rome and Venice. Charles Albert of Piedmont played a controversial role in 1848, seeming to lead the resistance to Austria but in the narrower interests of Piedmont and being willing to exploit the problems of risings elsewhere. After 1848 and under Victor Emmanuel, Piedmont became the more obvious candidate for leadership of Italy.

It was independent of Austrian influence, with a constitution including the Statuto, was the wealthiest state in Italy and possessed an army which, although not equal to that of Austria, was stronger than that of other Italian states. Responses might build on this to examine the particular role of Cavour. He aimed to modernise Piedmont and then win allies to help to weaken Austria. By his death in 1861 his policies were successful in expanding Piedmont’s role in the north and in the Duchies. Garibaldi’s success in the south led him to go further than he probably wanted. But by 1861 Venetia and Rome were still outside the new kingdom of Italy in which Piedmont was the most powerful state.

Italian nationalism was diverse in its aims. Mazzini aimed at the unification of the entire peninsula but he was foiled in the 1830s and in 1848-49. Other leaders such as Manin in Venice and, briefly, the Pope in 1848-49 had very limited success. None of these gained universal support from inside or outside Italy and crucially lacked military power. However, the role of nationalists, especially Garibaldi, should not be underestimated. Garibaldi played a crucial role in Cavour’s later years and he continued to aim at the incorporation of Rome. Candidates might point out that the final stages of unification (Venetia in 1866 and Rome in 1870) owed little to either Piedmont or to other Italian nationalists. To achieve the highest bands answers need not be evenly balanced between Piedmont and nationalism but should be sound on each.

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History Questions and Answers on France Essay

The French Revolution and Napoleon Essay

The French Revolution and Napoleon Essay.

Matching Match each term with the correct statement below.

a. abdicate d. sans-culottes b. deficit spending e. suffrage c. plebiscite ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Spending more money than is taken in Working-class revolutionaries The right to vote Ballot in which voters say yes or no to an issue To give up power Match each person with the correct statement below. a. Napoleon d. Olympe de Gouges b. Jacques Louis David e. Clemens von Metternich c. Maximilien Robespierre ____ 6. ____ 7. ____ 8. ____ 9. ____ 10. Jacobin revolutionary who led the Reign of Terror French journalist who demanded equal rights for women Leading painter during the French Revolution French emperor who dominated Europe in the early 1800s Austrian prince who wanted to restore the status quo of 1792 at the Congress of Vienna Match each term with the correct statement below. a. blockade d. nationalism b. bourgeoisie e. sans-culottes c. émigré ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

11. 12. 13. 14. 15. The wealthiest members of the Third Estate A person who fled revolutionary France to live in another country Radical working-class men and women A feeling of pride in, and intense devotion to, one’s country A military tactic through which ports are shut off to keep people or supplies from moving in or out Match each person with the correct statement below. a. Louis XVI d. Olympe de Gouges b. Clemens von Metternich e. Robespierre c. Napoleon ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. “Let all three estates list their grievances to me.” “Lives must be sacrificed for liberty.” “Woman’s rights are the same as those of man.” “I love power as a musician loves his violin.” “Monarchy is the only way to save Europe from the ravages of nationalism.”

Identify the letter of the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question. ____ 21. The bourgeoisie belonged to which of the following groups? a. the First Estate c. the Third Estate b. the Second Estate d. the aristocracy ____ 22. The Constitution of 1791 a. abolished the monarchy. b. established a new Legislative Assembly. c. gave the vote to all citizens. d. reestablished the old provinces. ____ 23. During the Reign of Terror, Robespierre tried to a. execute all French nobles. b. restore the Catholic Church. c. crush all opposition to the revolution. d. reinstate the monarchy. ____ 24. Which of the following areas did Napoleon annex to France? a. the Netherlands c. Poland b. Russia d. Britain ____

25. Which of the following statements about France’s social structure is true? a. The Third Estate was made up entirely of peasants. b. The Second Estate was content with the social structure. c. There was inequality among the three estates. d. Most people belonged to the First Estate. ____ 26. France’s economy was mainly supported by a. the First Estate. c. the king. b. the Third Estate. d. the nobles. ____ 27. French nobles resisted Necker’s financial reforms because a. they supported free trade. b. they were already taxed too heavily. c. they wanted to pay no taxes. d. they thought the answer was to create more jobs for the Third Estate. ____ 28. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen stated that a. all men were born free and equal in rights. b. all male citizens had the right to vote. c. male and female citizens were equal before the law. d. all citizens had to pay equal taxes. ____

29. How did the French respond to threats to the revolution? a. by using mediation to settle differences b. by becoming more radical c. by welcoming their opponents into the decision-making process d. by ensuring that all citizens were free to speak ____ 30. How did the Napoleonic Code reflect Enlightenment principles? a. It guaranteed the equality of all citizens before the law. b. It guaranteed women equal rights. c. It valued individual rights above all else. d. It valued the security of the state over individual liberty. ____ 31. Which of the following was the chief goal of the Congress of Vienna? a. to punish France c. to create a lasting peace b. to create a united Europe d. to strengthen Germany

____ 32. Why did the Congress of Vienna redraw the boundaries of some European countries? a. to encircle France with strong countries b. to create more countries c. to distribute land more fairly d. to prevent the growth of nationalism

Figure 19-1 ____ 33. In Figure 19-1, why are the scepter, or staff, and the globe shown falling from Napoleon’s hands? a. to show Napoleon playing with his power b. to show Napoleon losing his power c. to show Napoleon passing on control of his empire d. to show Napoleon’s juggling abilities ____ 34. At which of the following times was Figure 19-1 most likely drawn? a. after Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Nations b. as he claimed victory after victory in Europe c. at the beginning of his military career d. when he was crowned emperor of the French ____ 35. In Figure 19-1 featuring Napoleon, what do the scepter, or staff, and the globe with the cross on it represent? a. defeat c. toys b. power d. freedom ____ 36. What is the cartoonist trying to show by including Russian buildings on the lower right in Figure 19-1? a. Russia has a unique architectural style. b. Russia is a world power. c. Russia is an important element in Napoleon’s fall from power. d. Russia is a religious country.

Short Answer 37. Describe the three divisions of France’s social structure before the French Revolution. 38. Identify three causes of the financial crisis France faced in the late 1780s. 39. Give two examples of how popular uprisings moved the French Revolution forward. 40. Identify the four stages of the revolution. 41. List five ways the revolution changed life in France. 42. List the main events in the rise and fall of Napoleon. 43. Describe the chief goal of the Congress of Vienna. Read the following excerpt from the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen adopted by the National Assembly in 1789. Then answer the questions that follow. “The representatives of the French people, organized as a national assembly, believing that the ignorance, neglect, or contempt of the rights of man are the sole causes of public misfortunes and the corruption of governments, have determined to set forth in a solemn declaration, the natural, inalienable and sacred rights of man. . . .

The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural . . . rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression. Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else. . . . Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally, or through his representative, in its formation. No person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except in the cases and according to the forms prescribed by law.” 44. What does the declaration say are the natural rights of man? 45. Based on this excerpt, how do you think the monarchy viewed the French people before the revolution?

46. How does this excerpt redefine the relationship between the French people and their government? Essay 47. Comparing In what ways was the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen similar to the Declaration of Independence? 48. Drawing Conclusions Do you think Napoleon did more to help or hurt the causes of the French Revolution? Use examples of his actions to support your answer. 49. Synthesizing Information How did the Reign of Terror contradict the ideals of the French Revolution as formulated in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen? 50. Identifying Main Ideas Why is it possible to say that the “new order” established in Europe by the Congress of Vienna after Napoleon’s defeat was actually an “old order”? 51. Predicting Consequences What do you think would be a likely consequence of the Congress of Vienna’s decision to redraw Europe’s boundaries without any concern for national cultures?

Chapter 19 Test: The French Revolution and Napoleon Answer Section

SHORT ANSWER 37. ANS: The First Estate was made up of the clergy. The Second Estate was made up of the nobility. The Third Estate was made up of the bourgeoisie (or middle class) as well as peasants and city workers. 38. ANS: Answers should include three of the following: deficit spending, overspending, a declining economy, poor harvests, the failure of economic reform. 39. ANS: Answers may include two of the following: the storming of the Bastille—set the revolution in motion and pushed the National Assembly to take action; women’s march on Versailles—forced the return of the king to Paris and pushed the National Assembly to turn France into a constitutional monarchy; uprisings by the sans-culottes and “September massacres”—pushed the revolution into a more radical stage. 40. ANS: the moderate phase; the radical phase; the Directory; the Age of Napoleon 41. ANS: Answers may include five of the following: the revolution abolished the old social order and made all French men equal citizens; it instituted a new government; it brought the Church under state control; it changed fashion; it introduced nationalism; it made public education available; it encouraged religious toleration; and it promoted France as a secular nation instead of a religious one.

42. ANS: Main events in the rise of Napoleon: He won several victories against the Austrians and captured most of northern Italy; he helped overthrow the Directory and set himself up as First Consul; he declared himself emperor of the French; he defeated all the major powers, except for Britain. Main events in the fall of Napoleon: He lost his campaign against Russia, which led to his defeat by Russia, Britain, and Prussia; he abdicated. 43. ANS: to create a lasting European peace by establishing strong nations surrounding France and a balance of power and by protecting the system of monarchy 44. ANS: liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression

45. ANS: Answers should point to the idea that the monarchy most likely viewed the French people as resources to be used as the monarchy saw fit and worth little consideration as entities by themselves. 46. ANS: The government exists for the benefit of the people, rather than the people existing for the benefit of those governing them. ESSAY 47. ANS: It was similar in that it stated that all men are born equal; that they are born with certain natural rights, including liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression; and that the government exists to protect these natural rights.

48. ANS: Students who think that Napoleon hurt the revolution may point to the facts that he took away many of the liberties the French people gained during the revolution, including women’s rights, and that his defeat restored the monarchy. Students who believe Napoleon helped the French Revolution may point to the facts that he codified many of the changes brought about by the revolution into law (the Napoleonic Code); and that more people had the right to vote, own property, and be educated than under the old regime. 49. ANS: It denied people their rights to liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression. 50. ANS: Part of the aim of the “new order” was to restore political conditions to what they had been in 1792. To do this, the monarchy was reinstated in France and in the other European countries that Napoleon had conquered. 51. ANS: Most students will probably say that this would inflame feelings of nationalism and eventually lead to war.

The French Revolution and Napoleon Essay

Interpretations of American History Essay

Interpretations of American History Essay.

The world is full of rich culture, diversity and experiences unique to each individual. When determining the validity of historic accounts we must factor in that particular historian’s point of view, which should be characterized by ethnicity, idealogy, theoretical or methodological preference. With these factors views of the past often vary from person to person. In this essay I will be discussing the four different stages that shaped the writing of American history over the last 400 years. According to Couvares, the writing of American history has passed through four stages: the providential, the rationalist, the nationalist, and the professional.

The providential stage took place during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The puritans were among those who lived during the providential stage. They were strong practitioners of religion, and believed that their ancestry was that of a divine nature. They also believed that their misfortune was God reprimanding them, and that their successes were his rewards.

During the European enlightenment of the eighteenth century, educated men of the aristocracy began to shun the traditional Puritan mindset.

Instead they chose to reform society and advance knowledge through scientific discovery and natural laws of the physical universe instead of the spiritual universe. Among these educated men was Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson had a rationalist mindset. He believed that men could control their own destiny, and natural law shaped society, as opposed to the spiritual view of the puritans. This view did not bode well with evangelical Protestants. In 1790 the federal party led by Washington and Adams openly opposed his views, stating that Jefferson was an “infidel, an apologist for slavery, and a lover of French revolutionary excess.” (Couvares 76-3) and in fact history had already become politicized. In the nineteenth century historians began to develop a new nationalist mindset.

They believed Anglo-Saxon’s to be the superior race, and every other race as inferior. George Bancroft was the most distinguished historian during the nineteenth century. Bancroft believed that Anglo-Saxons were racially destined to lead and spread freedom across the globe. With the establishment of John Hopkins University, college education became more common among middle-class Americans, however only wealthy white men still only had access to that kind of education. This new wave of historians insisted that knowledge of history and physics were of equal importance.

The final stage of American history and progression according to Couvares, was the professional stage. Professional scholars rose to prominence from 1910-1945. These historians believed that modernity, industrialization, urbanization, and class conflict had fundamentally changed society. Charles Beard argued that “the constitution was not the product of wise men intent on balancing liberty and order, but a clique of wealthy merchants and landowners who wanted a central government strong enough to defend their privileges against the unruly masses.” (Couvares 77-2). Beard also thought that many of the major conflicts in society were between economic interest groups.

Many critics found flaws in his idealogy, but at the same time it inspired them to find answers to questions that plagued the people. Over the past 400 years, these historians all had different stances on how they thought to improve society. With the mix of cultural backgrounds, and ethnicities no two viewpoints will ever be exactly the same. Couvares summed it up perfectly by stating that historians constantly criticize, correct, and supplement each other’s views, but only by arguing their different viewpoints would they be able to get closer to the truth. The quote still applies in today’s society.

Works Cited

Couvares, Francis G. “Interpretations of American History” (76-3) Couvares, Francis G. “Interpretations of American History” (77-2)

Interpretations of American History Essay

Enlightenment and the French Revolution Essay

Enlightenment and the French Revolution Essay.

Ignorance has often been blamed for problems that the society finds itself in. Strategies aimed at fighting social problems base their strengths in enlightening the society on strategies that can be employed to better lives. This has been going on for quite sometime and many are of the view that enlightenment was a key driver in the French revolution. Enlightened which involves propagation of ideologies is central to terrorism and modern day warfare where people are increasingly fighting for beliefs. Is it possible that enlightenment was central to the French revolution?

This paper analyses the role played by enlightenment in the French revolution to determine the extent of its effect on the revolution.

Role Played By Enlightenment Most revolutions in the 18th century were ideological and based on what most revolutionists described as reason. Reason was pushed for and took the role of determining the legitimacy of authority. France was central to the development of a reason oriented approach to leadership which spread across Europe and many are of the view that the Declaration of independence was chiefly motivated by enlightenment ideologies.

This phase has increasingly been used in relating causes of revolutions in the 18th century which is also referred to as the age of reason. Most people describe the French revolution as a phase in the history of France that was characterized by social upheavals and radical changes. Changes included development of a new form of governmental whose basis was enlightenment principles . One of the reason as to why the French revolution is notable is the levels of success that it attained in changing the mode of governance and the French as a people.

A look at its effects brings about the possibility that it was motivated by enlightenment principles. To fully comprehend the possibility of enlightenment being central to the French revolution one must understand the causes of the revolution. The French revolution like many other revolutions was chiefly motivated by factors that impacted on the society. Widespread famine and malnutrition, intentional starvation and an increase in mortality were social issues that the French were faced with before the revolution.

Though the famine was widespread and affected most parts of Europe, poor transportation systems complicated the problem in France. Louis XV was engaged in so many wars that the French economy was placed in a precarious condition . The financial system implemented was antiquated and failed in managing national debts which was also propagated by an inequitable taxation system. Other social factors that were central to the revolution include resentment for absolutism, dominance of some classes who has seigneurial privileges, anticlericalism and public anger towards the king’s dismissal of advisor who were popular among the people.

Analysis Enlightenment age is descriptive of a phase characterized by increase in levels of awareness and questioning of social institutions. From a modern viewpoint, the French system of government had all qualities of bad governance. The society was segregated into classes where some people were more equal than others and decisions made by the government were not representative of the will of the majority though they bound the entire society. Governance in the period just before the French revolution was characterized by irrationality and emotionalis .

The role of religious leaders in propagating a system that was inequitable led to an increase in public resentment of clericalism. Resource were in the hands of a few members of the society and classes were developed in a manner that forced an individual to be in the class that his family in. Such a system obviously limits the levels of development that individuals can achieve. Fight for freedom and a system of governance that was democratic and respectful of the rights of all people was central to the French revolution.

Social upheaval and violence between classes is definitive of a society where some members are oppressed . The mere existences of social classes that have predefined privileges and a system of governance where the leaders must be from a particular family are a depiction of a system of governance that is undemocratic and limiting. This can also be seen in the taxation system implemented and the manner in which the King ran the government. Reason was non existent and Louis XV engaged in wars some of whose cause he did not even understand .

Lack of reason in the system of governance has in the recent past led to erosion of some developed economy and France was not an exception. The presence of these factors is enough to start a revolution however the impact that these factors had on the society especially famine and poor physical and social systems played a large part in igniting public wrath which led to the revolution. Most revolutions develop systems that are representative of what the society was lacking before the revolution.

The French revolution led to development of democratic systems of governance, abolition of some social system that were inequitable and the development of a French nation that was liberal, democratic and representative of the people . The revolution which was centered on the society and involved interclass conflicts and social upheavals was a depiction of a society that was at war with itself. The system developed thereafter is based on enlightenment principles of freedom, democracy and reason.

Conclusion A critical analysis of the French society before the revolution, the nature of the revolution and the systems developed after the revolution clearly shows that the society was fed up with its systems. Social inequities and undemocratic approaches to governance which impacted negatively on people were central to the revolution. It is worth noting that the system had been in place for a considerable period of time and there must have been some kind of awareness that led to social upheavals.

Irrationality and emotionalism were at peak in the 18th century and an increase in the levels of interaction between different societies in Europe led to an increase in the levels of awareness and it is this awareness or enlightenment on issues that the society was faced with that led to the revolution. Moreover, it is a known social principle that there is a natural balance between nature of governance and the state that the society is in. Poor governance is associated with increase in levels of dissatisfaction and instability which have an effect of increasing levels of injustice in a bid to oppress the people .

This relationship only exists up to a certain critical limit where the relationship breaks down resulting in upheavals and completes failure of the social systems. This may have been the point that the French society was in before the revolution and an upheaval was on card. In summary, the French revolution was more about enlightenment and this is why it affected so many facets of the French society thus enlightenment was central to the French revolution.

Bibliography

Brewer, Daniel. The Enlightenment Past: Reconstructing Eighteenth-Century French Thought.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Israel, Jonathan. Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man, 1670-1752. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Jacob, Margaret. The Enlightenment: A Brief History with Documents. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001. Martin, Xavier and Corcoran, Patrick. Human Nature and the French Revolution: From the Enlightenment to the Napoleonic Code. Plymouth: Berghahn Books, 2000. Levack, Brian. The Witch-hunt in Early Modern Europe. London: Pearson Longman, 2006.

Enlightenment and the French Revolution Essay

The Destruction of the Old Regime Essay

The Destruction of the Old Regime Essay.

France prior to 1789 had been ruled by the highest order of nobility. The king and queen commanded the country from afar while the middle and lower classes agonized in pain at their excessive life of luxury. The constant strain that this was putting on the lower classes created much resentment towards the monarchy; continually ushered in alongside huge financial disparities from the lavish impulses of the nobility and common squandering of money lead to the collapse of the French’s Old Regime in 1789.

The country’s economic problems had many different factors, but in one way or another from the French monarchy bankrupting itself. King Louie XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, along with the other elite members of Versailles ate, dresses, and all around lived a life of greed. They ate six coursed meals, dresses in the most expensive and newest clothes / jewels, and lived in the biggest, vastest castle in all of France: The Castle of Versailles, as Rick Brainard of history1700s.

com states it “The reckless court, led by the sprightly, frivolous, extravagant queen, Marie Antoinette, would not listen to the word “economy” ” (Brainard).

Then following King Louie’s mismanagement of funds in the American Revolutionary War of 1775-1783, in which he supported American troops with money, food, and artillery towards their victory and independence from Great Britain the total debt was at its lowest point in known history. Lastly, King Louie XVI was a king unfit to rule sparking the deaths of many at the bloody hands of the French Revolution. Economic problems and hardships from the elitist rule and alongside the uncaring spending of money resulted in the demolition of the Old Regime.

Works Cited

Brainard, Rick. “The French Revolution: Pre-Revolutionary France”.
www.History1700s.com Copyright 2012

The Destruction of the Old Regime Essay

Olympe de Gouges and the French Revolution Essay

Olympe de Gouges and the French Revolution Essay.

Advocating feminism nearly 200 years before it emerged as a mainstream movement in the West, Olympe de Gouge may appear to us way ahead of her times. Yet by no means was she so. Her idea of equality of men and women could be seen as very much a product of Enlightenment in so far as they conform to the norms dictated by reason. However, the age-old prejudice against women was so deeply entrenched in the minds of her contemporaries that even the progressive forces of Renaissance and Enlightenment could do nothing to dispel it.

The people of France sought revolution, but could not see that all social and political revolutions were bound to fail as long as a half of humanity is crippled, subdued and subjugated under the yoke of prejudice and discrimination. By abandoning the cause of women’s liberation, even while clamoring under the banner of liberty and equality, the French Revolution did not simply betray Olympe de Gouge and other women activists of the time, but it betrayed itself.

The chief aim of the French Revolution was to bring back the democratic form of polity, which was originally developed by the people of Athens and was fully functional around 5th century B. C. Based on the principle of equality of all people, democracy was a totally revolutionary concept at that point of human history. It shifted the basis of government from privilege to reason, and marked a decisive step ahead in human evolution. Yet the Athenian approach to life was benighted by two fundamental atrocities which corrupted and undermined its democratic system: extensive degradation of women and practice of slavery.

As difficult as it may be for us to believe, the supposedly enlightened Athenian society, which has been considered as the role model of Western civilization down the centuries, had many bizarre aspects to it. The most critical of such defects in the framework of Athenian society was the deliberate and systematic suppression of women. The French revolution, as imperfect and skewed as it was, heralded the beginning of the modern era of human history, in many ways. Yet, once again there were no significant efforts to ameliorate the condition of women and to treat them as equal to men.

A few women, among whom Olympe de Gouges features very prominent, raised their voices, championing the rights of women — but they were effectively suppressed. The French revolution failed in many ways, but its inability to recognize the equality of women with men was one of its most crucial failures. It was so difficult to demolish the barriers that restrained women in every aspect of their lives because these barriers were founded not just on psychological reasons but also on philosophical thinking. In Ancient Greece, Aristotle gave a systematic philosophical expression for prejudice against women.

He equated women with ‘matter’ devoid of ‘form’, that is to say, devoid of spirit. In the medieval times, Aristotle became the ultimate philosophical authority, and many of his notions were assimilated into the world-view of the people and the Church’s official doctrine. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that “Now it is evident that in the opinion of philosophers, the active principle of generation is from the father, while the mother provides the matter” (Aquinas). However, Renaissance happened, and a new breed of thinking men started rebelling against the dogma of the Church and the ignorance of the Dark Ages.

Much of the new thinking was also directed against Aristotelian philosophical traditions. There was a great Scientific Revolution in the 16th and the 17th centuries, however there was sadly no social revolution to complement it, until the advent of the American and the French revolutions, which were not so great revolutions anyway. For instance, slavery continued to grow and thrive in the United States even in spite of the explicit declaration in the American Constitution that “All men are born equal.

Similarly the French revolution was based on the inspiring premise that “L’homme est ne libre” (Man is born free. ) However, this premise did not imply that woman is also born free, as one would expect, instead it neglected the question of women altogether. The French Revolution could have been used as an excellent platform to launch the long overdue women’s liberation, but no major ‘philosophe’ really bothered. Women’s liberation could have been used to push the French Revolution ahead with tremendous force and in the right direction, but no one realized the immense power that women represented.

There were about a handful of women, such as Charlotte Corday, Madame Roland, Madame Grafigny, and Olympe de Gouge who made great efforts to put women on equal footing to men. But these heroes of the French Revolution were all eventually martyred for their cause. Women activists were spurned, women’s liberation was seen as an abomination. This is the situation Olympe de Gouges bemoans in the sentence quoted at the beginning of this essay. In her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen (1791), she challenged the notions of male-female inequality and customs of male domination.

In 1793, her revolutionary ideas led her to the guillotine. It may seem strange to us now that people who fought for the cause of freedom during the French Revolution, were motivated by base instincts to actively suppress any manifestation of women’s liberation. In her play Prince Philosophe, Olympe de Gouges has one of her characters say that “If one gave women the means to add to their charms both courage and learning that was profound and useful to the State, they could one day seize superiority for themselves, and make men, in their turn, weak and timid” (Proctor 1990).

If women were provided education, political and economic opportunity on an equal basis to men, it must have been feared that matriarchy would be established and the power of men undermined. The deluded men in the late eighteenth century France failed to grasp the simple truth that men and women can cooperate and forge a society where human freedom and happiness can thrive. The thinkers of Enlightenment seem to be only superficially enlightened, after all, harboring many of the vile prejudices of the dark Ages intact. Olympe de Gouge herself was a victim of such oppression directed at women.

She could have been a better spokesperson for the subjugated women of her time had she received better education and was in a position to write better. She aspired to become a successful author, but owing to her poor education, her writings often lacked polish and appeal, hence her voice could not reach many people. But the passion and fire in her drove her champion the rights of women till her last breath, in spite of all. Born into a petit bourgeois family in 1748, Olympe de Gouge was married in 1765, and was widowed soon thereafter.

She was left with a son with whom she moved to Paris. Aspiring to be a writer she authored essays and socially conscious plays. She also wrote on many gender-related issues arguing for more freedom for women. She talked about such things as a woman’s right to divorce and the right to have sexual relations outside marriage. She herself refused to marry again, rejected the marriage proposal of her lover, a high official in a military-related organization, and chose to remain as his mistress till the commencement of the revolution.

Her liaison with Jacques Bietrix de Rozieres provided her with the financial independence needed to engage in writing and other intellectual activities. She was very keen on writing plays, and the play that made her famous was an anti-slavery piece called L’Esclavage des Negres (Negro Slavery), which was originally published as Zamore et Mirza in 1785. Her other related writings such as Reflexions sur les hommes negres (1788) and le Marche des Noirs (1790), made her into a recognized anti-slavery activist.

In 1788, just before the Revolution, she published a few political brochures which became widely discussed. She spoke for the transition of the monarchy of France into a constitutional monarchy. She was a prominent member of the Girondins and La Societe d’Auteuil. Practically in all of her writings, she demanded that women be associated to political and social debates. She was thoroughly convinced that women were capable to take on all the tasks that were traditionally reserved for men. Olympe de Gouge passionately defended the rights of women.

Today, she is most known for her Declaration des Droits de la Femme et de la Citoyenne, (“Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen”) which was written in response to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in the year 1791. She had been staunch supporter of human rights all her life, and involved herself in a variety issues that she believe involved injustice (Wikipedia 2006). During the French Revolution, the theories of equality of all human beings became popular and radical.

Especially through the writings of Montesquieu and Rousseau, the concept of equality had become the top priority in the political agenda. This new understanding of equality took concrete shape in the declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, composed in August 1789 and had become a part of French constitution in September 1791 (Gerhard 2001). But this document is a sham in so far as it blatantly excluded the issue of women. It was to address this terrible deficiency that Olympe de Gouge wrote her manifesto of the rights of women.

Her writings were however scorned and subjected to ridicule. Soon thereafter, she was murdered. Decades after the French Revolution, women still existed completely oppressed at every level of the French society. Everyone knows how the French Revolution came to be led by maniacal evil men a few years after its inception. But through active repression of women’s right, and not just passive neglect, the Revolution ultimately became a miserable travesty of itself, and a mockery of the very concept of human freedom.

Olympe de Gouges and the French Revolution Essay

What Does It Mean to be Free Essay

What Does It Mean to be Free Essay.

“O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!” When Francis Scott Key wrote these closing lyrics to our national anthem in 1814, he clearly understood what it meant to be free. But do we know what freedom really means? Webster’s dictionary defines freedom as a state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses, without being subject to any undue restraints or restrictions. When the founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence, they used this definition to establish three basic rights to all Americans which were the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Each of these principles defines what it means for me to be free.

To me, the right to life allows me to be free and not be under the control of another. It allows me to act or do things as I wish. Being free means that I have the right to speak up about how I feel about a situation.

It allows me to say what is on my mind in a conversation. Our country fought for freedom of speech as well as our freedom and I believe we should stand up and say what we believe. As Americans we have the right to disagree with our government and engage in political debate and discussion. To me, freedom means having freedom of choice. I believe everyone has the right to make a choice on their own, whether it’s easy, hard, good or bad. Everyone, no matter who they are has the right to make their own choices because it’s their life.

The right of liberty protects one’s ability to think and act on their own. To me, this means being treated equally and that everyone is just as good as everybody else. For centuries, African- Americans suffered extreme racism and oppression in this country and did not have the same privileges as others. Today, although racism still exists, freedom helps to create a better society where all can be treated more fairly and equally. All Americans understand that no matter your race or ethnicity, everyone is just as unique as everybody else. The pursuit of happiness protects one’s ability to live for their own sake, rather than for the sake of society.

What Does It Mean to be Free Essay