Document Analysis Of Government And Justice During French Revolution

695 words - 3 pages

Document A
During the “Second French Revolution”, by implementing a new criminal justice system, radicals violated Cesare Beccaria’s Enlightenment principle that judicial law should ensure a trial while abiding by the natural rights of the accused. In Beccaria’s work On Crimes and Punishments, Beccaria articulated that it was the government’s duty to make laws and punishments that would aim to hamper crime. Beccaria opposed torture and capital punishment as penalties, since he felt that these practices violated natural rights. The Jacobins of the “Reign of Terror” acted in an antithetical manner from Enlightenment thinking by providing, “No liberty for the enemies of liberty” (Document A, ...view middle of the document...

However, during the election of the deputies of the National Convention, radicals had despotic control over voting and therefore those who supported, “a limited monarchy were deprived of the vote” (Document B, Hibbert). By barring moderates and conservatives from voting, a wide margin of the population was unaccounted for and unrepresented in France’s new government. This did not make France the democratic nation that Rousseau idealized. Rather, it made France similar to an oligarchy with autocratic power. According to Hibbert in Document B, since the legislative government of the National Convention was completely, “placed under radical control”, only revolutionary opinions were employed. Therefore, only those who supported the revolution and its radical notions were able to take part in government, which certainly did not involve the opinions of all citizens. By limiting the right to vote to only those with radical outlooks, the general will of all people was not considered, hence creating a government that separated many people from participating in society.

Document C
During the “Reign of Terror”, the Committee of Public Safety, accompanied by its near dictatorial power,...

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