Why do some reject the French Revolution?

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,434
San Antonio, Tx
It directly established a liberal society. Democracy would have been nice but has nothing on the fundamental shift in societal model. The Revolution effectively got rid of feudalism.

Again, you simply don't seem to realize how profound these changes were. And by the look of it because no one in the history of the American colonies or the US has even encountered them and so have never had to wrap their heads around the implications.
No, of course we don't see the FRrnch Revolution as a success for the simple reason that it wasn’t. It had to wait a long time to be successful. To claim that Americans don’t understand this is quite disingenuous. We know what asuccessful revolution was because we had gone through one. Saying that we don’t understand the complexities of European civilization is just plain nonsense. Have a revolution, no problem, but then don’t destroy it immediately afterwards and replace it with French Aristocracy 2.0. That’s how you betray a revolution, not make one.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,434
San Antonio, Tx
as far as I know some ten of thousands of American loyalists had to flee to Canada ,
much to their dismay , there was no place for them in the new regime
Yes, we know some/many Loyalists fled to Canada and as far as I know, their descendants are still there. How many were guillotined? How many were just casually killed with no evidence whatsoever? How many later moved back to the US?
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,434
San Antonio, Tx
Why a revolution should be bloodless and heads shouldn't roll?
Since when the French Revolution originally - and also its main purpose - was to end with the monarchy?
This are all very shallow arguments and a really bad depiction of what the French revolution really was, and how it impacted the entire world.
Clearly, we are never going to agree on this, but I appreciate your posts.
 
Likes: robto

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,434
San Antonio, Tx
Well I can assure you that the US is a monarchy type society like France , in fact it's a presidential system
the President is not accountable to the elected chambers ,save for gross misbehavior

a monarchy main characteristic is the right of inheritance by a family ,
by this mark , the US are a tiny little bit closer to a monarchy than any other presidential country save North Korea
Not true. But no one disputes your right to say so.
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
This has probably been pointed out already as the thread is 28 pages long at this point, but to be quite blunt (my apologies to various Frenchmen and Frenchwomen on Historum): if the French revolution was a success then France would be much more of a success than it is.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that France isn't a great country - it certainly is. But the notion that this is mainly because of the French revolution, or that these republican values are what made France great is not something I find very convincing. During the 1800s France lost its previously unthreatened preeminence in continental Europe. It's not like France hasn't also done a lot of impressive things since the Napoleonic wars, but France has in many ways been lagging slightly behind Britain and Germany in economic growth, in scientific growth, in every field outside of the arts basically. Maybe part of the reason for this is the fact that France went through what, three other revolutions/ civil wars/ coups d'états during the 1800s? They're on their 5th Republic now for God's sake.

I'm also not so sure the French are that "un-absolutist" today. The French have the highest tax/ percentage of GDP in Europe outside of Scandinavia, they have enormous problems with unemployment and have proceeded to impose their semi-authoritarian, hyper-centralized controlfreak system of laws and administration on the entire European project. Their corporate and political culture is famous (at least here in Scandinavia) for hierarchical posturing and lack of adaptability.

This is not "Franco-phobia": I really do like France, but I think the reason France works anywhere near as well as it does (it has surprisingly high productivity / hour worked for example) is because of a certain something in the French national psychye, call it a kind of "je ne sais quoi", to be cliché. My take on it, (and this is of course absolutely subjective) which has been continually reinforced by every Frenchmen I met is that the French really have a kind of anti-authoritarinism at the very core of their national personality (if one can generalize) that complements their sub-optimal national organization, and also complements a certain national elitism. It's a fascinating country and people really: Extreme hierarchy, rigour and the utmost seriousness in so many things... and yet, so many people seem to have an authority problem, which they also act out. This creates a kind of weird and unique dynamism. How can you not love them? :lol:

Unfortunately for the French though I don't think their political, administrative and judicial model is very good. Without the French revolution and the Napoleonic wars much of the rest of the continent might have looked to the main country which actually managed to integrate realistic, liberal reform with respect for established institutions (the UK) a lot faster than it did.

I would also argue that one of the other unfortunate consequences of the French revolution was the effect it had on the Germany to be. It is easy to forget now, but at least some of the so dreaded "Prussian militarism" was probably reinforced by the tumult that followed the French revolution, in the form of the Napoleonic wars. This experience shaped the mentality of an entire generation of Prussian statesmen, and not in very good ways.

All this is not even considering the 100s of thousands (millions if you count the Napoleonic wars) who died...
 
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Likes: Frog33inUK
Nov 2010
1,270
Bordeaux
But it also killed a lot of innocent bystanders...

I agree in part though, the French royals and aristocrats definitely had something of the kind coming.
Don't forget that, initially, the French Revolution wasn't anto-monarchy.
It started because of successive bad harvests and lack of food, but at the beginning nobody thought about getting rid of the monarchy.
It was later confiscated by the social elite and became something very different.
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
Don't forget that, initially, the French Revolution wasn't anto-monarchy.
It started because of successive bad harvests and lack of food, but at the beginning nobody thought about getting rid of the monarchy.
It was later confiscated by the social elite and became something very different.
I'm not an expert on the French revolution, but I was always taught that there were other "underlying causes" for it taking the turn it did, besides the contingent factors: like the fact that the French government was very much in dept, and "mismanaged" etc. All of these factors limited the freedom of movement of the French government to respond in an adequate way, perhaps? (It's a very vague explanation of course - and such ones are always a bit suspicious...)

When you say that the original revolution was "confiscated by the social elite", you are referring to the more resentful parts among the bourgeois - primarily? Robespierre was a failed country lawyer if I don't misremember...
 
Nov 2010
1,270
Bordeaux
I'm not an expert on the French revolution, but I was always taught that there were other "underlying causes" for it taking the turn it did, besides the contingent factors: like the fact that the French government was very much in dept, and "mismanaged" etc. All of these factors limited the freedom of movement of the French government to respond in an adequate way, perhaps? (It's a very vague explanation of course - and such ones are always a bit suspicious...)

When you say that the original revolution was "confiscated by the social elite", you are referring to the more resentful parts among the bourgeois - primarily? Robespierre was a failed country lawyer if I don't misremember...
Yes, that's correct. But this was a side effect, not the original cause.
The French people remained attached to the king for a long time, and the Revolution became anti-monarchy only after 3 or 4 years, when the insane "Montagnards" took power and started cutting everybody's head off.

In my city of Bordeaux, there is a monument to the memory of the Girondins, the moderate revolutionaries who opposed the blood-thirsty and violent propositions of the Montagnards and who were then all executed.

The Bourgeoisie saw an opportunity to change the system to their advantage, and confiscated the momentum, but in the beginning, people were just asking for bread, there was no desire to revolutionise the political system whatsoever.