French Revolution: Peasants Becoming Oppressed.

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, Age of Enlightenment, American Revolutionary War Pages: 2 (701 words) Published: April 11, 2005
By the 18th century the third estate became aware of their oppression through various sources. These sources include the Influence of philosophers and the Echoes of the American war of independence. Goodwin states, the aim of the French philosophers, of the eighteenth century, was to liberate mankind from the fitter of ignorance and from subservience of outmoded practices. D. Richard further illustrated that philosophers such as, Rousseau, Voltaire, Monesquieu and the encyclopedias have contributed to the uprising of the third estate, within the revolution. In fact, Voltaire's, influence within the revolution was mainly directed towards the corrupt government, ecclesiastical bigotry, censorship and cruel and arbitrary penal systems at the church. D.Richards further stated "he poured scorn on the pretensions of the church and folly of the government and the credibility of those who are taken by both." His cry for injustice and brave actions, allowed him to receive tremendous gratitude from the third estate. As a matter a fact, Voltaire was the most influential philosopher within the revolution to challenge. Rousseau also influenced the third estate. Rousseau preached the equality of man, he later attacked justice "Men though born free are every where in chains", and even in the government he said. Rousseau according to A. Goodwin claimed that the only legitimate state was one that expressed the "General will" (the will of the people as a whole) which is inspired by good motives and directed only in the common interest. His contract social (social contract) of 1762 envisaged free men guaranteeing each other natural rights. Historians have concluded that Rousseau, inspired the people emotionally, preparing them to retaliate. Another radical, Montesquieu inspired the third estate within ideas. His aim mainly was to focus on various parts of parlements and it's unfair...
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