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C O U R S E 
The French Revolution
Peter McPhee, The University of Melbourne
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Unresolved Issues of the Revolution
Notes taken on February 29, 2016 by Edward Tanguay
one of the great hopes of the Revolution of 1789 was a new era of
where members of the privileged orders would join with members of the Third Estate in creating a new and regenerated France
everyone could take advantage of their abilities in a new world of liberty and equality
the National Assembly engaged in the task of regenerating and remaking France
sources of tension
abandoning feudalism
small village: Camps-sur-l'Agly
in one of the poorest parts of France
door with carving above it
someone in that village had decided to recognize what the revolution had achieved
a rough carving of the Bastille above the doorway
yet it already indicates one of the tensions yet to be resolved
the poor believed one of the most important achievements of the revolution was the abolition of feudalism
the Lords believed that the harvest dues needed to be compensated before they could disappear completely
was an ongoing issue
religious freedom
across the southern part of the country
many Protestants
Rights of Man and Citizen made clear that in the future people could not be troubled because of their beliefs
but in the south there are tensions
Mountauban and Nîmes
anxiety and suspicions by the Catholic population who often work in textile houses owned by Protestants
1790 resulted in violence
active vs. passive citizens / universal suffrage
a distinction made by the National Assembly
Georges Danton
argued that the people who made the revolution should not be precluded from voting
in 1791, the Legislative Assembly was chosen by a process of indirect election
the Electors of the Assembly were themselves elected by active citizens: male citizens whose annual taxes equaled the local wages paid for three days of labor
this disfranchised about half of the male citizens of France
even higher economic requirements for the Electors and the members of the Assembly left only about 50,000 eligible men in a country of some 25 million people
founds the Cordeliers Club
still standing in Paris as part of the National Institute of Medicine
in an old convent that is sold off in 1790
where radical actives to push harder for the rights of passive citizens to be respected
menu peuple
starting to demand their rights
are given a different title, "sans-culottes"
people who don't wear the fancy knee breeches and stockings
they simply where trousers
a term of condescension from the well-to-do but the lower classes increasingly take it as a term of pride
the Declaration of the Rights of Men had said that all people were born equal
half a million slaves in the French Caribbean countries
1791 a powerful, divisive debate with speeches by e.g. Brissot said that if there is hesitation on giving blacks freedom than the values of the revolution could not be said to be logical
or to be in tune with what is desired in 1789
slavery is incompatible with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen
others argue that it would be terrible for the French economy to have slavery in those colonies abolished
others say that slavery is wrong but it will take time to abolish completely
May 1791, slaves who have become free or born or those born from freed slaves, will be recognized as citizens
so for the poor and slaves, the revolution is not yet over
there are unresolved questions
for many other people, on the other hand, the revolution had already gone too far
it's already been too radical in the changes that it's introduced