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How far were the ideas of the Philosophers responsible for the outbreak of the French Revolution?

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´╗┐Jacob NobleHistory Essay How far were the ideas of the Philosophers responsible for the outbreak of the French Revolution? At the beginning of the 18th century, new ideas began to be spread across the country about new concepts such as science, which completely shook the church and the government as it discredited their ideas majorly. For years, the people of France had believed and accepted in established order and the idea of divine right, that the King had been chosen by God to become the leader of the country and to bring it forward, economically and socially. A strong sense of absolutism was enforced and people accepted their place in society, and worshipped under the strong Catholic Church. However, these were all debated by the new philosophers who believed it was time for social reform and significant changes in the way science was used and accepted at the time. One of the main criticisms made by the philosophers was the narrow mindedness of the Catholic Church and the way the population merely accepted their views and treated them as facts of the reason they existed and the way their lives were set out. ...read more.


Along with this, philosophers such as John Locke believed that all people were born equal with ‘natural rights’ of life, liberty, and property with disagreed with the idea of God giving everyone a set path that they must live, and rather that science affected the population and the way they evolved and led their lives. Diderot also brought forward new ideology in his book called the L’Encylopèdie which not only showed knowledge and insight of the past but also offered new ones of the philosophers. For many years, the ideas of divine right were accepted and strongly enforced, however the concepts of Montesquieu discredited this, and said that absolutism was not the way forward, and that the people should be able to support whom they desired. He also wished that the government was split into three branches, that would offer complete balance of the country and that the country was not to be ruled by one man who was to be completely depended upon just because he was ‘chosen by God’. This theory was to be proven later by the actions of King Louis XVI who failed to run the country and ...read more.


The philosophers strongly disagreed with the idea of class separation and how the third estate were taxed at a ridiculous way, compared to those who were exempt from such, like the Churchmen and the Nobles. They believed people should be made more equal and social reform should occur for the economy to recover and boom again. Overall, I believe that the philosophers played a huge role in the beginning of the French Revolution as their ideas provoked thought and completely disagreed with nearly everything the Church stood for. It brought new ideas which excited the people of France and led them to realise their narrow views and the evident need for social reform for France to move forward as a country. Many people had turned away from the monarchy and believed it was no longer efficient in running the country alone. Criticisms of the poverty of the third estate and the status of the Bourgeoisie led the young population to accept and indulge themselves in the new ideas that the philosophers began to uncover. ...read more.

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