French Revolution

Write a mini-essay (400-500 words; add it through the comments link at the end of this post) on one or more of the three documents scheduled for February 16: the Levée en Masse, Make Terror the Order of the Day, and the Law of Suspects. In your essay, summarize the content of the document(s). What does the document(s) suggest were the revolutionaries’ motivations in pursuing their actions? Post your comment by Wednesday, 5pm.

Also, take a moment to listen to and read the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, which became popular during the Revolution: text and music


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Religion and Revolution: The English Civil War

In this section of the course, we examine the English Civil War of the 17th century and one of its central questions: the relationship between church and state. Our two primary source readings on these topics are Thomas Hobbes’s Behemoth (1668) and John Locke’s A Letter Concerning Toleration (1685). Each political thinker presents a very different analysis of this question and how it contributed to the civil war, as well as very different views on its solution.

We’ll begin our discussion with Hobbes, especially since he actually provides us with an analysis of events during the civil war. Please post your comments on one or the other, or both…

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Welcome to HIST 122

This course examines the history of Western Civilization from the 17th century to the present through the lens of revolution and radical change. We will focus on the most important revolutions of the modern era, their origins and outcomes, and how they fit together in larger narratives of Western Civilization. The course will trace the history of these revolutions in a chronological fashion, beginning with the English Civil War of the 17th century, focusing on the French Revolution of the late 18th century, examining the highpoint of revolutionary trends in the Russian Revolution of 1917, and completing the course with the Revolutions of 1989/1991 and the collapse of socialism in Europe. Continue reading

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