POLI 212 Lecture Notes - Civil Religion, Franco-Prussian War

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Jan 11th
Long 19th century (1789-1945)
French Revolution to the military defeat of fascism
A period marked by messy, unstable politics, where democracy is seen as an option rather than
a necessary regime
1815- 1st attempt at interstate solidarity
1848- Series of failed social revolutions in West and Central Europe, revolutions which seek to
instill a political regime based on republicanism
1870- Franco Prussian war and the transition to French politics
1917- Beginning of the end of the Russian revolution
1933- Transition to national socialist regime in Germany, occurs peacefully
Period is marked by divisions in Europe about what sort of political regime should be put into
place
French Revolution
- Challenge to principles used to legitimize old regimes
- Challenge to French legacy of absolutism
- Revolution not just political, but attempts to be social and religious
Radicalism of FR lies in its commitment to democratic republicanism- 2 elements:
1) Rejection of principle of monarchical rule
- Abolition of monarchy- very radical aim, don’t want reform
- Revolution did not start out so radicalized, but the reformers lost control of the process
- Challenge to monarchical rule in all places, not just France
- Local in organization but cosmopolitan in implications
2) Challenged role of Church in legitimizing regime (Catholicism)
- Challenge to Church in general
- Civil religion of republicanism as a replacement- venerates principles of republican self-
government
Effect of FR
Howard:
- Pits party of order against party of movement
- FR was an incomplete revolution
- Was powerful enough to overthrow the old regime but not powerful enough to prevent
it from returning
- Was a political stalemate between republicans (party of movement) and those who
sought to restore monarchy without absolutism (party of order)
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Document Summary

French revolution to the military defeat of fascism. A period marked by messy, unstable politics, where democracy is seen as an option rather than a necessary regime. 1848- series of failed social revolutions in west and central europe, revolutions which seek to instill a political regime based on republicanism. 1870- franco prussian war and the transition to french politics. 1917- beginning of the end of the russian revolution. 1933- transition to national socialist regime in germany, occurs peacefully. Period is marked by divisions in europe about what sort of political regime should be put into place. Challenge to principles used to legitimize old regimes. Revolution not just political, but attempts to be social and religious. Radicalism of fr lies in its commitment to democratic republicanism- 2 elements: rejection of principle of monarchical rule. Abolition of monarchy- very radical aim, don"t want reform. Revolution did not start out so radicalized, but the reformers lost control of the process.

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