French Revolution Essay

1202 words - 5 pages

Throughout time there have been a countless amount of brilliant minds that have been able to change the way we perceive certain knowledge. Philosophers who had come up with new mind-boggling ideas that get people thinking, what or whom they should believe in. One certain individual, who was able to change the minds of many, was John Locke. He had gone on to become one the greatest philosophers of all time, and is considered one the most influential minds of the Enlightenment era. His innovative thoughts portrayed how he was far ahead of his time. In this paper, I will discuss how even after his death, John Locke’s ideas continued to stand the test of time and inspire the people ...view middle of the document...

John Locke had believed that government was created by the people to help ensure their rights. He believed that everyone was born with the natural rights of life, liberty, and property, however, in France the citizens could have only dreamed of these rights. “The equal right which every man hath, to his natural freedom, without being subjected to the will or authority of any other man” (Locke, First Treatise), Locke’s theories go against everything the French government once stood for. Locke believes that no one can force another human being to do something they don’t want. As humans, one has the right to make their own decisions and cannot be obligated to go against their own freewill. However, during this time in France, the lower class had no freewill what so ever. If they had refused to comply with the direct orders that were given to them, they wouldn’t be seen again. In addition, religious freedom was a major concern for the people of France as “Protestant minorities hated the Catholic control and influence on institutions of all kinds” (Prest The French Revolution, Locke and Rousseau). The people were forcefully being told what religion they had to follow if they wished to live. Citizens weren’t even allowed to practice the religion of their choice, let alone make any other decisions. At the time if one wasn’t a Catholic, they would be in no position to speak on any situation. Thus, society began wanting what John Locke had envisioned; a government that would help the people not hurt them.
This oppression finally made the citizens realize that they deserved to be treated better and sparked one of the many matches that contributed to their rise against the government. John Locke’s most significant theories consisted on the relation between the people and their government. He believed that the government was created to help protect and serve the people, “The end of law is not to abolish or restrain freedom, but to preserve and enlarge freedom” (Locke, Second Treatise). When more individuals began finding out about John Locke’s theories the more enraged they became with their own government. The people in France were getting furious at the aristocracy because they wouldn’t allow for the other classes to further prosper, “The populace, especially the bourgeoisie, had resentment of royal absolutism, which they saw as limiting their chance of success in their lives” (Prest, The French Revolution, Locke and Rousseau). If one was to be born poor at that time, there was nothing...

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