Here you have a pretty nice writting about the situation previous to the French Revolution. Students were fighting to produce some sort of nice writting about this lesson, here you have, in my point of view, the best one of all... Thank you so much Daniela...
In this exam, I’m talking about the Old Regime, the situation before the French Revolution and the Enlightenment, a great stream of new ideas. The Old Regime and the Enlightenment were very important period of time in 18th century because we can see the characteristic and the situation previous French Revolution and how it change.
The Old Regime was social, economic and political system. It was found in Europe up to 18th century. It was divided in three parts:
The first part was the society. It was divided into three estates: the nobility, the clergy and the commoners.
Privilege. It was the nobility and the clergy, they had a lot advantages and didn´t pay takes.
-The clergy was divided in:
oThe high clergy who members where from nobel families.
oThe low clergy who members where from commoner families.
-The nobility was divided in:
oThe high nobility was important because occupied high positions.
oThe low nobility has less money than the other nobility.
Lack of nobility. It was the person’s state who determinate at birth.Commoners. It was the largest group of population. It was divided in:
-The bourgeoisie. It didn´t belonged to privilege group but they had social prestige. Also the bourgeoisie had economic power through the trade of the time. This is a new class social in the Old Regime.
-The peasantry, theydidn´t had social influence and privileges. They was the largest group and they worked the land o nobels or the church. It was the poorest age group
The second part was the economy. It was divided in three parts: the agrarian sector, the trade and mercantilism.
-The agrarian sector: was based in activities of crop agriculture and livestock farming. This activities was practised for peasantrys with basic tools. This sector depended on the climate. In time of flooding and drought the food became scarce and there was widespread famine.
Most of land belonged to the clergy and the nobility. A nobel´s land be inherited by the oldest son and clergy´sland had a lot of security protect. As a result, a lot of land wasn´t joined productively.
-The trade was lad by bourgeoisie. There was two large trade I the Old Regime:
oForeign trade was exchange with America and Asia products like tea and cotton. The huge profits, were stared with the company owners and the crown.
oTriangular trade was between America, Africa and Europe. European took the slaves to America and sold them in Africa. With the profits, they bought products to Europe.
-Mercantilism was economic policies that was used by absolute monarch. With this theory, the world had a fixed amount of the trade and the country had a health based on amount of gold and silver. The monarch encourage the grown of national industries.
The third part was the political system. In this part I talk about the absolutism and the English parliamentarism.
-Absolutism: was a system of government that were founded in many parts of Europe in 18th century. This system was before the French Revolution. Absolutism was centred on the centralization of the power in the King, who was authority of government in Old Regime.
All of these monarchs had ejective, legislative and judicial powers. They named judges and governed, introduced and ratified all the laws. In the divine rights of the King, Bod was above the low and the monarch´s power was he. Bod became the source of all Kings. With their powers, monarchs had numerous officials and powerful armies for their. Kings needed a lot security to protect.
Some questions, such us new tones, had to be approved by assemblies like the Estates General in France or Las Cortes in Spain. The representatives of the three estates were these parliaments. Although, monarch rarely called them because usually didn´t need their help.
Few European state didn´t use absolutism as a way for excersing power. They were opposed by parliament which was controlled by bourgeoisie. A series of conflicts between the king and parliament culminated in the English civil war (1642-1651). Under the new system of parliamentary monarchy, the king wasn´t above the law.
Now, I´ll start talking about the second part of the exam, the Enlightenment. In the Enlightenment, I´ll talk about what it is, how is spread and their thinkers.
-The Enlightenment was a highly influential intellectual movement that spread across Europe and America in 18th century which dominated the wold of new ideas. The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centred on reason. The Enlightenment criticized religion because religion had nothing to do with reason. The Enlightenment had mainly these ideas:
oThe reason: should be applied to all areas of life. Enlightenment thinkers were against religious activities were practised. They criticized some characteristics of the Old Regime as some aspect of absolutism, the strict rules of guides and the privileges to the privilege group.
oNatural rights: such as individual liberty, belonged to all human beings. The state couldn´t arbitrarily supress these rights. Natural rights had the goals of rational humanity, it was considered to be freedom and happiness.
oKnowledge: was the key to happiness and liberty, and the people loved achieve knowledge through the use of reason and not believe in religious practises. The Enlightenment was based on education and experimental sciences which were vital for connoting human progress.
oTolerance: was the bass of coexistence. The tolerance was very important for human progress, the people had to respect ideas, currencies and differents practises, thought they weren´t equal.
-Enlightenment wasn´t a revolutionary movement polically but many of his ideas challenged the foundations of the Old Regime to change.
The second question of the Enlightenment was how it spread around the world so quickly: using salons, academies and encyclopaedia.
-The encyclopaedia: was a huge compilation of human knowledge, published in 28 volumes between 1751 and 1772, it was a simply translation of an English book, but by Diderot and D´Alembert it grew into a more ambitions project. In accordance with Enlightenment ideas, the encyclopaedia classified knowledge on the basis of reason scientific progress. It challenged the authenticity of some parts of the Bible, for example.
-Academies: Enlightenment ideas were spread through the specialised academies of arts or sciences for the people stop believing in the religion.
-Salons: It was an elite social gatherings where people met to exchange different ideas.
The las part was Enlightenment thinkers:
The ideas of the English philosopher Locke had a great influence on the Enlightenment. Locke argued that the state was the result of social contract between the government and the people. This contract be broken when the government was unjust.
Main Enlightenment thinker:
-Montesquieu: he defended the separation of power: legislative by a representative Parliament, executive by the king and judicial power by judges. Mayor works: The spirit of laws.
-Voltaire: he believed in freedom of expression and rejected fanaticism and intolerance. Mayor works: Candide.
-Rousseau: he defended freedom and equality. He believed society corrupts human begins, who are naturally good. Mayor work: Émile.
lAURA DANIELA GÓMEZ (Alumna de 4º A del IES Ramón y Cajal de Murcia)
Juan Pablo Sevilla González