Therefore those who wish to examine the French Revolution by the light of analogy must compare it with religious revolutions.
Besides these rights as seigniors, the French clergy, like the clergy elsewhere, levied tithes. Aristocracies, which possess not merely privileges, but actual power, which govern and administer public affairs, may exercise private rights of great magnitude without attracting much attention.
The Second Estate in French life was mainly comprised of the Nobility. The other system was widely different.
Tocqueville is quick to point out that the French Revolution was not in fact an attack on religion itself, but, in fact, a necessary to demolish every aspect of the old order. Let him do what he like, he can not but meet at every step of his life these same neighbors, who interfere with his enjoyments, impede his work, consume his produce; and when he has done with these, others, dressed in black, make their appearance, and sweep off the clearest part of his harvest.
I could furnish many more if this book induced any one to take the trouble of asking for them. It works noiselessly, discreetly, far less pretentious than powerful.
Barred by law and custom from possessing any kind of political power, these people were also burdened with taxes. The idea that this little corner of the vast universe belongs to him alone fills him with pride and independence. That fell to the lot of the comptroller-general, who gradually monopolized the management of all money affairs—in other words, the whole public administration.
Debilitating passions are its natural allies; they serve to divert attention from public affairs, and render the very name of revolution terrible. Picture to yourself, I beg, the French peasant of the eighteenth century, or, rather, the peasant you see today, for he is still the same; his condition has changed, but not his character.
That these services were onerous can not be questioned. If the nobility possessed inconvenient privileges and exacted onerous duties, it secured public order, administered justice, executed the laws, succored the weak, managed public affairs.
They were, indeed, so much opposed to it that the old Roman law was the instrument afterward used to transform and abolish them. The French Revolution had no country; one of its leading effects appeared to be to efface national boundaries from the map.
But it occurs in certain religious revolutions. The records of the old Middle-Age institutions contain the history of their decline. Forget old names, pass over old forms, and you will find the feudal system substantially abolished there as early as the seventeenth century: Neither Christianity nor even Catholicism involves any contradiction to the democratic principle; both are, in some respects, decidedly favorable to it.
They were the representatives, often by hereditary descent, of feudal royalty. A first glance at the old government of the kingdom leaves an impression of a host of diversified rules, and authorities, and concurrent powers. At first glance, any observer could see that this room signified wealth with its rich furniture and atmosphere.
What was the real meaning, what the true character of this strange and terrible revolution? The main point, however, to which I wish to draw attention just now, is the fact that analogous feudal rights were in force all over Europe at that time, and that in France they were far less burdensome than in other parts of the Continent.
But, as society was every where prepared for this Revolution, why did it break out in France rather than abroad? And the third is, that despotisms can never be so injurious as in societies of this nature; for despotism is the form of government which is best adapted to facilitate the development of the vices to which these societies are prone, and naturally encourages the very propensities that are indigenous in their disposition.
All business originates with it, or reaches it at last; yet it has no fixed, well-defined jurisdiction. The courts are invested with some legislative authority.
Nations entertained indistinct hopes of changes and reforms, but no one suspected what they were to be. This centralization went hand in hand with the rise in prestige, power, and influence of Paris.
The French made, inthe greatest effort that has ever been made by any people to sever their history into two parts, so to speak, and to tear open a gulf between their past and their future. This is a mere essay on the Revolution.France prior to had been ruled by the highest order of nobility.
The king and queen commanded the country from afar while the middle and lower classes agonized in pain at their excessive life of luxury. France Section - - Crisis in the Old Regime Essay The causes of tensions and conflicts generated in the old regime that contributed to the outbreak of revolution The composition of society was a major contributing factor to the tensions and conflicts generated under the old regime.
L'Ancien Régime et la Révolution () is a work by the French historian Alexis de Tocqueville translated in English as either The Old Regime and the Revolution or The Old Regime and the French Revolution. Causes Bankruptcy Convergence of Revolts Destruction of Old Regime from HISTORY at Syracuse University.
Find Study Resources. Main Menu the Clergy State decides members of the Clergy MUST swear loyalty to republic when sworn in to Clergy Revolution vs. the Old Regime History Essay - Robespierre. View more. Under the old regime, as in our own day, neither city, nor borough, nor village, nor hamlet, however small, nor hospital, nor church, nor convent,x nor college, could exercise a free will in its private affairs, or administer its property as it thought best.
Then, as now, the administration was the guardian of the whole French people; insolence had not yet invented the name, but the thing was already in existence. The Destruction of the Old Regime France prior to had been ruled by the highest order of nobility.
The king and queen commanded the country from afar while the middle and lower classes agonized in pain at their excessive life of luxury.Download