Why do some reject the French Revolution?

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
If they had only executed the nobility and clergymen who fought. You’d have a point. But they didn’t.
They slaughtered EVERYONE and everything. Mostly out of spite and vindictiveness. Noble women and children no threat. But fact is peasants and middle classes were butchered at a far higher rate... what was the end that was justified by this bloodshed?

The removal of monarchy... how long did that last before an Emperor held court again, bestowing titles and lands to aristocrats?
The revolution gained little, but led to catastrophic loss of life ....

Vendeean resistance cost 200 000 (minimum)
Guiloteening Folk 30 000.
Wars of Revolution 100 000 (military)
Napoleonic Wars 600 000 deaths (military.

And that doesn’t include the dead from other countries. So what did the revolution achieve that cost France alone at LEAST a million lives?
I don’t know about the total number of deaths - what are your sources? - but if true the butcher bill was very high. Most Americans look at the “French Revolution and can’t imagine or believe the numbers who were killed only to end up in the same place with a new usurper - er, I mean emperor who then proceeded to attack all of his neighbors. There are folks in this forum who think the French Revolution was a great thing, but these random deaths were a disgrace of the first magnitude.
 
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royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
French revolution has little in common with the US revolution.
The goal was not simply to end the monarchy, it was to set up a new type of society based upon an universal humanism, which leads to progresism, marxism, mass atheism, universal human rights, etc...

The bourbons may have returned, but the seeds of this new ideology were planted deep.

US revolution lead to nearly nothing outside the US borders. French revolution had impacts from Russia to South America.
The US owes the success of its revolution to the French monarchy and the crucial support the French provided. Most Americans are probably blissfully unaware of the vital support received from the French. Of course, the French were acting in their own interests in opposing the British, but any port in the storm was good enough for the Americans. The Dutch and a few others provided vital assistance as well.

The US Revolution - the first of its kind in “modern” times - resulted in fighting on a continental scale, but one thing it did not do was result in the rivers of random blood and chopped off heads during the so-called French Revolution. That level of brutality never happened here.

I’ve never Understood how the French Revolution can be held up as an example of a “democratic revolution”. The French monarchy definitely needed to go, but the manner in which this was carried out did not bring credit to the French and, in fact, ended up with another “monarch” who then proceeded to attack all of his neighbors. Really?
 
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royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
French revolution has little in common with the US revolution.
The goal was not simply to end the monarchy, it was to set up a new type of society based upon an universal humanism, which leads to progresism, marxism, mass atheism, universal human rights, etc...

The bourbons may have returned, but the seeds of this new ideology were planted deep.

US revolution lead to nearly nothing outside the US borders. French revolution had impacts from Russia to South America.
Oh please...
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
Liberté, égalité, fraternité - Vive le Emperor.

They came close, but ultimately ended up with the Bourbons 2.0. After many acts of state brutality, over a few different revolutions.

Or perhaps Napoleon was more like the Hapsburgs given the expansionist *Empire* and, more importantly, putting his family on the thrones of Europe – how any thinks Napoleon is anything other than yet another absolute monarch is beyond me!
I agree. After agony of deposing the French king, they wound up crowning another...how is that “revolution”?
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
American revolution was not a true revolution like the French was. French revolution just about destroyed the old system which was not the case of the American revolution.

French revolution gave women and ethnic and religious minorities many rights.To me the French revolution was the true revolution.
LOL. Pardon me if I find this humorous in a rather horrible way. The French “revolution” failed almost immediately, to be supplanted by yet another tiresome dictator who ended up attacking the ancient states of Europe and putting his relatives on various thrones. This is SO ludicrous as to strain credulity. As for the American Revolution not being a revolution, I guess the definition of revolution that you endorse is the one that is punctuated by rivers of blood and chopped off heads which is so self-contradictory as to call for hoots of derision. Incidentally, that particular American Revolution is the only one on this planet that is still functioning, even if the “current occupant” leaves rather a great deal to be desired.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
Absolutely, the first phase was in many ways more liberal and progressive than anything else at the time, several of its more civilised luminaries (like Condorcet) suffered in the terror.


One cannot deny that the Revolution went horribly wrong, partly under the stress of war and possible invasion, partly due to the ambitions pf people like Robespierre and Marat.


However it seems to me that its significance is not so much in what was actually achieved at the time, or even in what seemed likely to be achieved in the first hopeful few years, but in its later symbolic significance for opposition to privilege and repression.
In other words, the reality of the French Revolution has little to nothing to do with the gauzy notional nonsense story that was created later. The whole thing was a huge botch. I do believe a French Revolution was probably inevitable but the shocking manner in which it unfolded and went off the rails did not represent a credit to the French nation.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
The French Revolution established a modern liberal individualistic society. That it succeeded with to such an extent that contemporary Europeans clearly identified that world BEFORE the revolutions and the world AFTER it were radically different places. Establishing a, stable, modern democracy was about the only thing it didn't. (But then quite a lot of Americans today will also argue that the US is NOT a democracy, but a Republic, and that it's much better like that; revolutionary France even without democracy was ALSO a republic.)

Comparisons with the US misses the point entirely of what kind of society dominated in Europe prior to the French Rev. Even pre-revolutionary American colonial society worked pretty much as our modern society does. France, most of continental Europe, did not. Exactly HOW different that society was tends to get lost in these discussions. It tends to not even be understood. (Rank, privilege and corporatism, extremely alien to American colonial society, unless you were a black slave of course.) At worst this is ahistorical US self-congratulation with zero knowledge of history.
Utter balderdash.
 

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