In 1789, King Louis XVI of France was forced to call the Estates General to pay off some of his debts. The Estates General was an assembly which consisted of representatives of three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and common people. The voting was by estate, with each estate having one vote. The Estates General … Continue reading The French Revolution & Napoleon’s treatment of the church
Michel de Montaigne was a French writer who lived in the 16th century. He was the originator of a new literary form: the essay. The essay is a short exercise on a certain topic and is designed to get across one or two points to the reader. A reader will be more likely to finish … Continue reading Would I read any more of Montaigne’s essays?
John Foxe wrote a huge work named Actes and Monuments; popularly known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. He wrote it in a reaction to the persecution of Protestant Christians under Mary I of England. He also wrote it to support her successor Elizabeth I, who was the head of both the state and the church in … Continue reading Is the language of Foxe still compelling today?
The American Revolution was the result of a longstanding dispute between the American colonists and the British over the British constitutional tradition. The colonists claimed that they had the same rights as those in England, and that they did not lose them by coming over to America. The colonists had several local assemblies to discuss … Continue reading What Caused the American Revolution?
The 18th century saw the rise of Enlightened absolutism. Enlightened absolutists were rulers who ruled in an absolute manner and embraced certain Enlightenment principles. Some of them even corresponded with Enlightenment thinkers. One example of an enlightened absolutist ruler was Frederick the Great of Prussia. Frederick was friends with Voltaire, one of the most prominent … Continue reading Enlightened Absolutism
Louis XV After the absolutist monarch Louis XIV died, his 5 year old great-grandson Louis XV became king. Louis suppressed, but was not able to completely subdue, the parlements. Seeing their opportunity with a young king, their power began increasing again. The cause of absolute monarchy, which had reached it’s height under Louis XIV, began … Continue reading Louis XV
French materialists The French materialists believed that there is only matter, and believed that there is no spiritual element in the universe. They also concluded that man was like a machine, and that man is thus not morally responsible for their actions. They also concluded that man should aim to maximize pleasure. Adam Smith In … Continue reading The French Materialists & Adam Smith