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Britain's French Revolution 1789-1820.docx

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HIST 383
Brian Cowan

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11/19/2012 5:52:00 AM The great crisis of the British monarchy in the 18 th century A revolution breaks out in France  Abolition of the French monarchy What impact does the French revolution have on Britain?  Unlike any other previously – self consciously seen as a universal revolution  Not just for the people of France – the people of the world o Struggle to be free of trrants of all kinds o o This message was heard by people are the world – Britain as well  Therefore crisis for the monarchy  Internal reform movements – is revolution good or bad?  Major theme in the 1790s – impact remains today  Left right spectrum is a metaphor that arises out of the French revolution  Conservatives: born out the revolution itself o Change is bad, tradition is good  Ironic because it was a product of the revolution  Radicals: use language of tradition  Late 1780s and 90s – conservative action is born because of the French revolution Not always bad  Troubles of my enemy is a good thing  France wouldn’t be meddling in European politics  1788-89 – French revolutionary changes were akin to the glorious revolution of 1688 o Many people in Britain though that French were becoming more like them  Society of the commemoration of the glorious revolution o Richard Price  A discourse on the love of our country  The glorious revolution had been an affirmation fo the natural rights of man  Shoed that all men had the right, proved that ‘all people have the right to choose their own governance’ if government become tyrannous  We did it, Americans recently did it, the French are doing it today  His debate set up ruptures in British politics  Whigs and Torries overshadowed by where you stood on revolution  Were French surpassing Britain? o Fox  The revolution is a movement in the right direction  Can be tamed  New rationalised government can be formed  Formation of the left wing party  Component of drastic reform  Whigs side with French revolution  Some were horrified by what happened  Edmund Burke  Transformed by the French revolution  1790 published a letter – reflections on the revolutions of France  Denies the idea that Rulers can be cashiered by misconduct  Restating the old Whig ideas that they stood for  1789 – how could anyone treat the royal family with such disrespect?  They are the glue that keeps the civilised society together  ‘to live to see such disasters to fall upon earth’ ‘the age of chivalry is gone’  Warning that if you replace a society based on honour, what you have left is a society that is impersonal, that cares nothing for humanity  Could see that it was changing the world forever
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