POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - French Revolution, Making Money, Feudalism

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Lecture 2
Constant and the Rise of Liberalism
Benjamin Constant 1767-1830
Swiss born, French intellectual and politician
Fervent Liberal
Constant is conservative
Constant talks about ancient vs. modern society
Context: French revolution and its aftermath
All revolution happened since the French one have been seen through the French
Revolution Lense
Key question of the political - how should free people govern themselves?
What is freedom better characterized as?
A freedom from tyranny (Freedom from) OR Freedom to pursue your things
(Freedom to)
2500 years ago, ancient Greece
Liberty of ancients Rejected Model of Freedom
- Ancient politics was participatory
- Participating in ruling and being ruled, ex legislation, public life.
- People were willing to be a part of the great public, being a citizen meant to
participate
It was direct. Direct involvement
Individual vs. Collective freedom
Constant saw that liberty was not personal and individual.
It was the freedom of the collective.
Community not to be dominated.
Freedom was a collective, not an individual notion.
Freedom of the community self government. Ex. Greek is free if Greece
governs Greeks.
Freedom is collective.
According to the Greek definition Canada is not free. Canada is dominated by US - So
from Constant’s or ancient Greeks’ point of view Canada is not free.
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Document Summary

Constant talks about ancient vs. modern society. All revolution happened since the french one have been seen through the french. A freedom from tyranny (freedom from) or freedom to pursue your things (freedom to) Liberty of ancients rejected model of freedom. Participating in ruling and being ruled, ex legislation, public life. People were willing to be a part of the great public, being a citizen meant to participate. Constant saw that liberty was not personal and individual. Freedom was a collective, not an individual notion. Freedom of the community self government. According to the greek definition canada is not free. Canada is dominated by us - so from constant"s or ancient greeks" point of view canada is not free. Dependent upon a class of people who didn"t engage in commerce or even work. Householding generating resources, making money, taking care of the house slaves in the ancient greece were different. They enjoyed personal freedoms, like owing business and education.

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