Jan31 - The French Revolution 1789-1794 How have historians...

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The French Revolution, 1789-1794 How have historians explained the origins and causes of the French Revolution? How did the Revolution evolve from a "liberal" revolution to a "radical" Revolution? Was that inevitable? Key Terms · The Social Interpretation · The Revisionist Critique · Tocqueville’s Thesis · The Estates General · What is the Third Estate? · Tennis Court Oath · The Great Fear · Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen · Montagnards and Girondins · Les Sans Culottes · Committee of Public Safety I. The Elusive Explanation for the French Revolution The Social Interpretation: Marxist History and the Bourgeois Revolution o Marxist theory – classes that become aware of their own standing and then clash with each other Political systems exist to support the dominant social class o The state could not sustain itself as it expanded o The third estate became aware of their own oppression following the Enlightenment – rising dicontents o 1788 – bad food harvest The Revisionists: What Bourgeois Revolution? What Bourgeoisie? Tocqueville and the Post-Revisionists: Centralization and Revolutionary Ideology o Tocqueville theory – a continuation of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in France

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