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Lecture 84

EURO ST 10 Lecture Notes - Lecture 84: Tennis Court Oath, Guidant, July Revolution

European Studies
Course Code
John Smith

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Professor Smith
Europe Studies 10
Course Code: 24000
4 units
2018 Fall Quarter
French Revolution as model
Another reason we’re looking at the French Revolution: it serves as a model for
all modern revolutions (and there are many)
Especially the question of whether its intended (radical) aim to transform
society inevitably led to its destructive turn
That is, whether all revolutions end up falling into the dialectic of
Furthermore, a sign of the importance of the French Revolution is the way it
documented itself so thoroughly in images
The revolutionaries sought to represent themselves in a certain light
Tennis Court Oath” of the National Assembly, June 17, 1789
Liberty Leading the People (La Liberte guidant le peuple) - Eugene Delacroix
commemorating the July Revolution, 1830
Death of (Jean-Paul) Marat, by Jacques-Louis David (1793)
The assassinations of one of the revolutionaries
David - Oath of Horatii” (1784)
Legend of three Roman brothers who swear an oath to challenge three brothers
from another warring city
Values of self-sacrifice for larger political entity
France as one of the major victors of the Thirty Years War
It had weakened the Holy Roman Empire by the Treaty of Westphalia
Which gave individual principalities and duchies greater autonomy
(And France had even entered into an alliance with the Ottoman
Prussia on the rise, but not (yet) as strong as France
Louis XIV (1638-1715)
Consolidation of power in Paris (Versailles)
Centralized state
Absolutism (a model for others in the 18th century, Catherine the Great of
Russia, Maria Theresa and Joseph the second of Austria, and Frederick the Great
of Prussia)
Some causes
Yet that form of government (absolutism) had its own inner contradictions that
created problems
French involvement with American Revolution against the British
Wars are expensive and also raised thoughts of revolution
Extravagant spending by King Louis XVI (and his wife Marie Antoinette) in the
latter part of the 18th century
Further Problems
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