During the French Revolution a government cemented in the ideas of the Enlightenment was attempted to be created, especially from the year 1789 through the Reign of Terror. Enlightenment philosophies became prominent in many aspects of society, including polices dealing with the Church, the structure of the government, and political principles to base all future forms of government off of. As Enlightenment philosophies were rooted so deeply in the ideas of the French Revolution it was inevitable that the government created would be based upon these ideas in almost every single aspect of its legislation.
One of the first declarations of political principles held by the leaders of the French Revolution was the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, which was published by the National Constituent Assembly in 1789. It was a document that would be consulted throughout the Revolution as a rule of moral principles and theologies that were to always be at the heart of the Revolution, and it was based heavily of the philosophies of Enlightenment thinkers, particularly Locke. The declaration claimed that all men born free and equal to each other in every way, with four natural rights; liberty, property, security and the resistance to oppression. It continued on to say the purpose of government is to protect these rights. These points are almost exactly the same as those outlined by John Locke in his Second Treatise on Government, with only a few slight variations. For example, Locke described the natural rights of man in three points instead of four; life, liberty and property, however the same general concept of natural rights is still very much the same. Maximilien de Robespierre came to power as head of the Convention, after the death of Luis XVI in the spring of 1793. By this time the idea of a constitutional monarchy had been abolished, and was instead replaced with a republic, which was called a “republic of virtue” by its founders. This system held...
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