Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
Hundreds of free, self-paced university courses available:
my recommendations here
Peruse my collection of 275
influential people of the past.
View My Class Notes via:
Receive My Class Notes via E-Mail:


Contact Me via E-Mail:
edward [at] tanguay.info
Notes on video lecture:
The Contribution of the Philosophes to the French Revolution
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
exploration, inequality, sinful, nobles, Enlightenment, 47%, formed, Calas, flowering, reform, caused, meek, perfectibility, conspirators, Montmorency, Latin, Grand, happier, older, government, revolutionary, privilege, frustrated, regional, party, Frederick, cause, Cooke, Encyclopédie, Emile, state, Enlightenment, read, clergy, angry
17th century France had many characteristics of an            France
hundreds of years of            building had allowed many regional exceptions and exemptions and particularities to develop in terms of administration
characterized by local authorities and                  ties
this continually                      royal government to run an efficient kingdom
but these conditions can't be said to have              the French Revolution
what were the causes of the French Revolution
some say it was the                           
some people such as Barruel blamed it on "                         and people with sinister motives", he was referring to the intellectual movement of The Enlightenment
they articulated a notion of self-                    , a critique of absolute monarchy and the church, of rights such as civil and economic freedoms
these ideas were profoundly at odds with how the system worked
if Louis XVI was King of France by the grace of God, then any criticism of religion would undermine absolute monarchy itself
Voltaire rehabilitates the name of            after he was unjustly tortured and killed by through
Jean Le Rond d'Alembert, Diderot, Voltaire, Rousseau
the Enlightenment was not confined to France but certainly had its great                    there
none of these philosophes claimed to be                            per se
most were well-to-do, even             
they were certainly not a revolutionary            calling for revolutionary change
however, the philosophes did call for             
people are born as tabula rasas that need to be             
criticized the church for preaching an            God and that humans had an inherently              state
central is the assumption of                             
if we make the world a better place, make it more prosperous, respect people's freedoms, then is no limit to what may be achieved in terms of a more civilized society
economic reforms also seen as important
Francois Quesnay
Laissez faire economy
why should the          have to wait in order to enter the kingdom of heaven to be happy
prioritizes reason, invention, progress to improve the lot of the people in the here and now
egalitarian, social critic, much more radical than the other writers and thinkers of the Enlightenment
conflict comes from the                      that humans produce in society
lived in                        in a simple environment
argued for a new form of citizenship, a new form of government based on the will of the people
1762 book:           , or on Education
fascinated by what the voyages of                        were saying about the rest of the world
tales from James            were profoundly interesting to the philosophes
tales of people who were apparently "primitive" but who appeared to be                than many people were in Europe
Rousseau used these reports to write devastating essays of 18th century France, a society of mass poverty and elite                   
however, it is difficult to see the philosophes as a direct            of the French Revolution
even Rousseau would not have called himself a revolutionary
they looked more to enlightened rulers such as Catherine,                    and even Louis the XVI to introduce enlightened reforms
you also have to consider what people were even able to          the works of these men
education was still mostly in the hands of the             , and these were the last people who would want to teach people to read the philosophy of the philosophes
one volume of the                                        cost as much as a peasant family could earn in a year
only        of men and 27% of women were capable of even signing their name
even secondary schools such as the Lycée Louis le           
curriculum was dominated by a study of the classics taught in            or Greek
certainly they were not taught the works of the                           


coxcomb, n. a vain and conceited man, a dandy  "The somewhat notorious lover of Julie de Lespinasse, Guibert, a cold-hearted coxcomb of some talent, certainly paid her addresses."


######################### (1717-1783)
Mathematician and until 1759 he was co-editor with Denis Diderot of the Encyclopédie
  • studied the problem of a vibrating string such as that of a musical instrument (d'Alembert's formula)
  • 1746, elected to the Berlin Academy
  • in his most famous work, Traité de dynamique, he developed his own laws of motion
  • as a known unbeliever in the religion of the time, D'Alembert was buried in a common unmarked grave
######################### (1698-1762)
Merchant in Toulouse, France, famous for having been the victim of a biased trial due to his being a Protestant
  • in France, he is a symbol of religious intolerance
  • Voltaire began a campaign to get Calas' sentence overturned
  • Voltaire's efforts were successful: king Louis XV received the family, and had the sentence annulled in 1764.
######################### (1766-1817)
A French woman of letters who organized salons for the philosophes of the Enlightenment
  • one of Napoleon's principal opponents
  • celebrated for her conversational eloquence
######################### (1743-1794)
French philosophe who advocated a liberal economy, free education, and equal rights for women and other races
  • died a mysterious death in prison after a period of flight from French Revolutionary authorities

Spelling Corrections:

An Introduction to the French Revolution
The Essentials of 18th Century France
18th Century French Clergy and Nobility
The Importance of Regionalism and Locality in 18th Century France
The Contribution of the Philosophes to the French Revolution
What were People of 18th Century France Reading?
The Atlantic Democratic Revolution and the Republic of Letters
1780s France Financial Crisis and its Repercussions
The Third Estate in Revolt
The Peasantry in Revolt
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
The October Days
1789-91: Making the New Nation
Unresolved Issues of the Revolution
The Turning Point in Church Reform