Outline of Age of Revolutions and Reactions

Some call this time from 1789-1830 the Napoleonic Era (d. 1821). This post covers history, philosophy and religion, literature, and art and architecture. How did these cultural areas react to the French Revolution and Napoleon?

Please see the corresponding post Timeline of the Age of Revolutions and Reactions for more dates.

If you’re in a hurry, please use the crtl-f search to find your key term.

At the end, this post has a Conclusion section that asks the Western world to remember some things.

Let’s get started.

I. Introduction

A. Time:

1. 1789: French Revolution

2. 1815: Congress of Vienna

3. 1830: July Revolution in France

Genealogical Table


The above table begins a little early for this post, but Louis XV and Louis XVI and Louis XVIII (son of Louis XVI, who would have been Louis XVII, dies in prison as a child) and Charles X make their appearance here.

Philippe Erlanger, Louis XIV, trans. Stephen Cox (New York: Praeger, 1965, 1970)

The French Revolution (1789-99)

I. Background

A. Timeframe:

1. National Assembly (1789)

2. Napoleon’s Consulate (1799)

B. Urban Population

1. London

a. 700k in 1700

b. 1 million in 1800

2. Paris

a. 500k 1780s

3. Berlin

a. Tripled in 1700s

b. 170k in 1800

4. Smaller cities (20-50k) grow considerably

5. Urban-Rural Ratio

a. Somewhat less than 20% lived in cities

6. Causes

a. Beginnings of Industrial Revolution, esp. in Britain, leading to urbanization

b. Improved agricultural production

C. Class Structure

1. Louis XV: 1715-74 (great-grandson of Louis XIV)

a. Orphaned at an early age

b. Handsome, spoiled and self-indulgent

c. Married Marie Leczinska (1703-68)

(1) Protectress of artists and philosophers (2) Bore ten children in as many years (3) Discarded for his mistresses

d. He was reported to have said, “Après moi, le déluge”

2. Louis XVI: 1774-93

a. Weak but well-meaning

b. Lacked the decisiveness or energy to make up his own mind, let alone to impose any authority

c. Marries Marie-Antoinette of Austria

1) Many in court opposed her

2) Neither respects or loves husband

3) Both would pay with their lives for being cast in roles too great for them

3. Nobility and/or aristocracy

a. Population

1)  Less than one to five percent in any given country

b. Income

1)  Major source of income was land

2)  Also engage in commerce

3)  Some foster commercial innovations, thus securing more money for themselves

c. Power and privilege

1)  Source:  Birth and legal privilege

2)  Widest degree of social, political and economic power and privilege; France:

d.  Exemption from the taille or land tax, major source of income for Ancien Régime

e.  De facto exemption from the vingtième, which resembles the income tax

1)  Watch this!

f.  Control over politics and economy of town

g.  Constituted self-appointed, self-electing oligarchy

h. French nobility

i. 400k

j. Nobles of sword and robe

1)  Sword through military service

2)  Robe through service in bureaucracy or buys them

k. Court nobility and non-court nobility

1)  Court nobility reaps immense benefits from holding high office

2)  Appointments to church, army and bureaucracy and other profitable positions go to nobility

4. Middle Class or Bourgeoisie

a. Population unknown

b. Income

1) Fairly wealthy and not-so wealthy merchants, tradesmen, bankers, and professionals, small factory owners

2) Income has little or nothing to do with land

3) Benefits greatly from surge in commerce and trade

4) Chief consumers of vast array of new consumer goods

c. Power and privilege

1) Social mobility thru wealth

2) They may not have titles and privileges of nobility, but they could enjoy material comfort and prosperity

3) Complicated relationship with nobility

a)  Political power and economic freedom often blocked by privileges of nobility

b)  Both groups seek new dimensions to their own existing power and prestige

5. Shopkeepers, Artisans and Wage-earners

a. Population is vast majority of city

1)  Most shops no more than half dozen or so

b. Income

1)  Grocers, butchers, fish-sellers, carpenters, smiths, printers, handloom weavers, tailors, and laborers

2)  Economic position vulnerable; if food prices rise due to bad harvest, then they and businesses suffer

3)  Consumption increases for some, and they copy domestic consumption of middle class

c. Power

1)  Guilds

a)  Conservative force– why?

b)  Preserve who could enter and protect existing jobs by controlling numbers who could enter guild

c)  Innovations discouraged if threatened jobs

d)  Provide advancement from apprentice, to journeyman to master

2)  Riots

a)  They hold a delicate sense of balance based on tradition

b)  Sensitive area was bread prices, staple food of poor

c)  If too high, artisans and laborers might confiscate bread or grain, sell it for a “just price” and give money to baker or merchant

d)  Riots not irrational acts of screaming, hungry riff-raff, but highly small “ritualized” social phenomena of shopkeepers, artisans, laborers against Old Regime and economics of scarcity

e)  Other riots erupt if legislators are too liberal

f)  During last half of 1700s riots become more political, not just economic

g)  During last half of 1700s, instigators come more from upper classes

D. Crisis of French Monarchy

1. Seeks New Taxes

2. Seven Years War (1756-63)

a.  In Aug. 1776 Frederick II opens hostilities by invading Saxony

b.  Pre-emptive strike against conspiracy by Saxony, Austria, and France to destroy Prussia

c.  France joins alliance with those and Russia and Sweden

d.  Prussia defends itself bec. Russian Empress Eliz dies (1762) and Czar Peter III admires Prussia and makes peace (1763)

3. Supports American Revolution

a.  If help were removed then French budget was in surplus, so says Jacques Necker (1732-1804), a Swiss banker, and Finance Minister appointed by Louis XVI

4. Problem

a.  Therefore debt was somewhat high by 1781

b.  Inability of gov’t to tap resources

5. Policy

a.  René Maupeou (1714-92)

1)  Determined to break parlement

2)  Determined to raise new taxes

3)  Louis XV dies in 1774 and program is thwarted

b.  Charles Alexandre de Calonne (1734-1802)

1)  Encourages internal trade

2)  Lower some taxes, e.g. gabelle tax on salt

3)  Transform peasants’ service from labor to money

4)  New land tax requiring payments regardless of owners’ status

5) Gov’t would have less need to go to parlement

6) Establish new local assemblies to approve land tax

7)  Voting power depends on size of land, not on social status

6. Aristocracy and clergy resist

a. Assembly of Notables

1)  Not Estates General

2)  Assembly of aristocrats

b. Estates General

1)  Notables claim that EG is only power seat where new taxes could be levied

2)  Estates General was traditionally the place where nobility and Church could poss. dominate monarchy

3)  It had not met since 1614

c. Louis XVI responds

1)  Backs off

2)  Dismisses Calonne

3)  Appoints archbishop of Toulouse, Etienne Charles Loménie de   Brienne (1727-1794)

d. Assembly of Clergy

1)  Brienne appeals to approve large subsidy of debt

2)  They refuse bec. this Assembly dominated by aristocrats

e. Result

1)  Aristocrats want power back before Louis XIV crushes them

2)  Louis XVI agrees to summon Estates General

II. Estates General

A. Three Groups

1. Clergy

a.  Dominated by aristocrats

2. Nobility

3. “Commoners”

a. Theoretically, at least

b. But members drawn from wealthy members of commercial and professional middle class

B. Debate over Voting

1. Aristocrats (2nd and 3rd estates)

a. Equal number of reps for each estate

b. September 1788 Parlement of Paris votes that final vote counted by estate, not by head count

2. Third Estate

a. Denounce arrogance of 1st and 2nd, using language of Enlightenment

b. Sometimes, however, 3rd estate and aristocracy share same goals

c. They had intermarried

3. Royal Council

a. In Dec. 1788 council announces 3rd estate could elect twice as many representatives as either clergy or nobles

b. In May 1789 King believes that his purpose can be served bec. liberal clergy and nobles would support 3rd estate, confirming that these groups share common interest

c. King does not decide whether each bloc would have a vote or each member, by head count, would have a vote

C. List of Grievances (Cahiers de Doléances)

1. Criticisms of gov’t waste

a. 70,000 men to administer it, with a million assistants

2. Indirect taxes

3. Church taxes and corruption

4. Hunting rights of aristocracy

5. Wish list

a. Periodic meetings

b. Equitable taxes

c. More local control over administration

d. Unified weights and measurements

III. National Assembly (June 17, 1789)

A. Stalemate

1. King

a. He would not decide on votes

2. New legislative body

a. 3rd estate forms new legislative body on June 1, 1789

b. Invites clergy and nobles

c. A few lower-level clergy join

d. New body called National Assembly on June 17

B. Tennis Court Oath (June 20)

B.  Tennis Court

1. Three days later they found themselves accidentally locked out of usual meeting place, or king locked them out

2. They meet in nearby indoor tennis court

3. Oath

a. Join hands and swear allegiance to equality

C. Royal capitulation

1. King’s orders

a. 1st and 2nd estates should meet with 3rd

b. Vote by head, not estate

2. Transformation

a. Had nothing further ever occurred, the gov’t of France would still have been transformed

D. Constitutional Monarchy

1. National Assembly

a. Nat. Assembly try often to get constitutional monarchy

b. Renames itself National Constituent Assembly

2. King’s policy

a. Throws in lot with most conservative notables, wife (Marie Antoinette of Austria, 1755-93), and brothers

b. Dismisses Jacques Necker, whom Estates Gen. wanted as minister of finance

c. Amasses troops outside Paris and scares little people

IV. Little People

A. Citizen Militia

1. Citizens

a. They continue to meet after electing members to National Assembly

b. Regard dismissal of Necker as royal offensive against National Constituent Assembly

c. In June, organizing militia and collecting arms

2. Fall of Bastille (July 14, 1789)

a. Looking for arms, 800 citizens show up at Bastille, fortress of ten foot thick walls

b. Most are shopkeepers, artisans, tradespeople and wage-earners, not rabble

c. Governor of fortress makes troops fire into crowds and kills ninety-eight and wounds many others

d.  Storm Bastille on July 14, 1789, but find no arms, except seven prisoners not there for political reasons and who are released

3. Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834)

a. On July 15, citizen militia offers its command to Lafayette

b. Hero of American revolution

c. Gives guard a new insignia:  red and blue stripes of Paris, separated by white stripe of king

d. This becomes revolutionary flag of France

4.  Royal capitulation

a. A few days later king shows up in Paris wearing revolutionary colors on a badge

b. Recognizes organized electors as legitimate government of city

c.  Citizens satisfied for a time

B.  Great Fear

1. Agriculture

a. Terrible winter in 1783-84

b. Worst floods in the century in 1784

c. Poor crops in 1784 and 1785

d. Agriculture affected industry

1)  Cloth production alone fell by half between 1787 and 1789

e. Lyons had 30,000 unemployed in agriculture

f. Rotten harvest in 1788, the worst in 80 years;

g. Winter of 1789 was the worst since 1709, freezing the sparrows in the trees and vines and olive trees in Provence

h. Unemployment in industry:

2. Industry

a. From 1730-70 it was prosperous

1) Coal production increased 700 to 800 percent

2)  Cast iron 72 percent

b. Inflation

3. Unemployment

a. Depression in 1770s and 1780s

b. 46,000 in Amiens

c. 25,000 in Lyons

d. 30,000 around Carcassonne

e. 10,000 in Rouen

f. 80,000 in Paris

4. Bread prices in 1789

a. Doubled in Paris

b. Tripled in some provinces

c. Riots broke out and pillaging of grain stores and bakers’ shops

5. Rumors

a. Spread that King sending troops out to provinces

6. Peasants revolt

a. Burn chateaux

b. Destroy documents, such as deeds to properties and debts (considered land rightfully theirs)

c. Take control of grain supplies

7. Aristocrats respond

a. Aug. 4, 1789 by prearrangement several liberal noblemen and churchmen rise in Assembly and renounce feudal rights, dues, and tithes

b. In great scene of emotions they renounce hunting and fishing rights, judicial authority, and special exemptions

c. They give up what they had lost and would receive compensation later

d. However, without this renunciation, policies in Assembly would have been more difficult to pass

V.  Reconstruction of France (1789-91)

A. Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen (Aug. 27, 1789)

1. Source

a. Draws upon language of radical forms of enlightenment

b. Draws upon Declaration of Rights adopted by Virginia in June 1776

2. Tenets

a. Freedom of opinion

b. Freedom of the press

c. Freedom of property

d. Equality of opportunity

e. Sovereignty of the nation, not of the king and the Parlements

3. Women

a. They are cut out of the deal

B. Government

1. Constitutional monarchy

2. Active and passive citizens

a. Only those paying annual taxes equal to three days of local labor could vote

b. This prevents direct power of masses

3. King

a. Forced to leave Versailles and return to Paris under house arrest

b. Oct. 5, 7k women armed with pikes, guns, swords, and knives march into Versailles

c. Intimidated, king appears on balcony

d. He follows behind them in coach back to Paris

C. Administration

1. Rationalism

a. As rationalism dominated the Enlightenment, so it dominates policy

2. Departments

a. They replace provinces

3. Courts

a. Seigneurial (lord) courts abolished

b. Elected judges and prosecutors elected

c. Procedures simplified

d. Unusual punishments abolished

4. Parlements (parliaments)

a. Abolished

D. Economic Policy

1. Outlaws guilds

a. Urban workers cannot protect themselves against prices

2. Feudal dues

a. Leaves peasants to throw off feudal dues

3. Confiscates Church property

a. Royal debts not paid off from before

b. Members of 3rd estates were bankers and merchants

c. Some transferred to Assembly

d. Not enough officials to collect taxes

E. Church policy

1. Civil Constitution of Clergy (July 1790)

a. Bishoprics from 135 to 83

b. Borders of dioceses conform to departments

c. Priest and bishops salaried members of state

d. Did not consult clergy or pope

e. Could be major blunder bec. of intense opposition

2. Response of Church

a. Pope Pius VI (r.1775-99) condemns this measure and Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen

b. Priests who oppose removed from office and called refractory

c. Ordinary people must choose between their own faith and reforms

d. King supports refractory clergy

F. Close of National Constituent Assembly

1. September 1791

a. They believe their task is completed

2. Legislative Assembly

a. Last act of NCA was to pass law that no former member could join new Assembly

VI. Second Revolution

A. Legislative Assembly (1791-92)

1. Jacobins

a. Met in Dominican monastery in Paris

b. Pressed for republic, not monarchy

c. Girondists, from department of Gironde in SW France on Atlantic

B. War in Europe

1. Monarchs

a. Oppose revolutions is France

b. Aristocrats who fled (émigrés) stir up monarchies in other nations

2. Austria

a. Francis II (r. 1792-1835)

b. Girondists lead by Legis. Assemb. to declare war

3. Other nations: Feb. 1793 Austria declares war with other nations

C. Radical Reforms

1. War

a. Galvanizes French feeling that revolution in danger and mistrust of monarchy

b. Francis II proclaims that if monarch and family harmed, then Paris will be destroyed

2.  End of Monarchy

a. Large crowd of working class people storms Palace of Tuileries and imprison king in comfortable quarters

b. He cannot legislate despite constitutional monarchy

c. On January 21, 1793 radicals execute king for conspiracy, voted on and won by narrow majority

D. The Convention

1. Source of Name

a. Named after American Counterpart of 1787

b. Met on Sept. 21, 1792

2. Sans-Culottes

a. More radical than Jacobins

b. Trousers-wearing workers, shopkeepers, artisans

c. Goal is relief from food shortages

d. Feel betrayed by National Constituent Assembly

3. Republic

a. Forces Legislative Assembly to make France a Republic

b. Representative gov’t without king

4. September Massacres

a. 1,200 people in jails summarily executed

b. Some aristocrats and priests

c. Majority common criminals

d. Crowd assumed they were counter-revolutionaries

E. Reign of Terror

1. Committee of Public Safety (April 1793)

a. Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) on committee

2. Republic of Virtue

a. A new vision for world

b. Republican clothes, absence of powdered wigs

c. Renaming of streets

d. Crackdown on crime, such as prostitution, supposedly a vice of aristocrats

3. Dechristianization

a. New calendar

b. Notre Dame declared Temple of Reason

c. Trusted deputies sent to close churches, persecute clergy and believers in provinces

4. Louis XIV is beheaded on 21 Jan. 1793

5. Marie Antoinette beheaded on 26 Oct. 1793

6. Progress of Terror

a. At first limited to Marie Antoinette and aristocrats

b. Early months of 1794 terror moves into provinces

c. 25k people eventually killed

7. Terror turned inward

a. Leaders killed, such as Robespierre in May 1794

F. End of Terror

1. Wealthy middle class and professional people assume leadership

2. General political amnesty granted

VII. Thermidorian Reaction (July 1794)

(Named after new month in calendar)

A. Reorganization of Convention

1. Council of Elders

a. Forty years or older, husbands or widowers

2. Council of Five Hundred

a. Single or married, at least thirty

3. Directory

a. Five members

b. Chosen by Elders from list submitted by Council

B. Sans-culottes

1. Removed from power

C. Economics

1. Repeal of ceiling on prices

2. Winter 1794-95

a. Worst food shortages of same period

3. Crackdown on food riots

D. Religion

1. Restoration

a. Worship of Supreme Being

b. Church services permitted

E. Royalists

1. Revolt

a. On Oct. 5, 1795 royalist rise against Convention

2. General Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

a. He turns artillery on royalists

F. Radical Democrats

1. Revolt

a. New government did not go far enough

2. Military rule

a. Convention cracks down on democrats by military Reaction

Genealogical Table


The above genealogical table is included for the Imperial family. (At least it should be clear from the top table that the royal lines in France survive into the twentieth century, and some of their descendants claim the throne or restoration.)

Source: John Fabb, European Royalty of the Victorian and Edwardian Eras (Batsford, 1986)


I. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

A. Early life

1. Born to a poor family of lesser nobles at Ajaccio, Corsica

a. France annexed Corsica in 1768, so he goes to French schools, pursues a military career

b. In 1785 he achieves a commission as a Fr. artillery officer

c. He favors revolution and was a fiery Jacobin

2. Brigadier General

a. In 1793 he plays leading role in recovering the Toulon port from British and is awarded with brigadier general

3. Marriages

a. Wife was Josephine de Beauharnais (1763-1814), who bore him no children

b. Divorces her in 1809, for she bears no children and is forty-six

c. Marries Austrian princess, Marie-Louise (1791-1847, dau. of Emperor, when she was nineteen (1809)

B. Consulate (1799-1804)

1. Victory over Foreign Enemies

a. Russia had quarreled with allies and left Second Coalition

b. Defeats Austria at Marengo in 1800

c. Treaty of Luneville in 1801 takes Austria out of war and confirms earlier settlement of Treaty of Campo Formio

d. Treaty of Amiens in 1802 concludes peace with Britain

2. Suppression of Domestic Opposition

a. By flattery and bribes he wins some

b. Establishes central admin in which prefects manage all departments

c. Employs secret police

d. Reinterprets plots, such as one on his life for which he blames Jacobins but was plot by royalists (1804)

e. Violates sovereignty of German state of Baden to seize Bourbon duke of Enghien (1772-1804) accused of treason and executed, even though NB knows Duke is innocent

1)  Please Jacobins, the antiroyalists

2)  Ends royalists plots

3)  International blunder bec. it provokes foreign opposition

C. Concordat with Church

1. Pope Pius VII (r. 1800-23)

2. Refractory clergy and supporters of Revolution resign

3. Pope gives investiture to replacements

4. State names bishops, pays their salaries and that of one priest per parish

5. Church gives up claim on confiscated property

6. State supreme over Church (Organic Articles of 1802)

D. Empire (1804-14)

1. Bomb attack (on his life)

a. He seizes this opportunity to create new Constitution

b. He declares himself Emperor

1)  Claims that this would make new regime secure

c. Constitution overwhelmingly ratified

2. Army

a. Could amass as many as 700k at one time and risk 100k in a single battle

b. He could endure heavy losses and return next day

c. Conscription successful because of loyalty and admiration

d. Even coalitions could not match this

3. Britain

a. Lord Nelson defeats French and Spanish fleets at Battle of Trafalgar on Oct. 21, 1805

b. Brit naval superiority

c. No hope of invading England

4. Some Conquests

a. Treaty of Pressburg on Dec. 2, 1805

1) After defeat of Austro-Russian forces at Austerlitz, giving control of Italy N. of Rome

b. July 1806:  He reorganizes Rhineland

c. Oct 14, 1806: He defeats Prussian armies at battles of Jena and Auerstaedt

d. Nov 21, 1806: He issues Berlin Decrees forbidding allies to import British goods

e. June 13, 1807: He defeats Russians at Friedland and occupies Koenigsburg, capital of E. Prussia

f. July 7, 1807: Russian Czar Alexander I (r. 1801-25) makes peace at Treaty of Tilsit and Czar confirms France’s gains

E. Continental System

1. No free trade in Empire

2. Tariffs fill Fr. coffers

3. Britain

a. Nations forbidden to trade with Britain

b. Britain survives

4. Growing markets in N. And S. America and eastern Mediterranean

5. Napoleon’s family established as sovereigns of conquered nations

6. Hereditary social distinctions abolished

7. Feudal privileges abolished

8. Peasants freed from serfdom

9. Guilds abolished

10. Church subordinated to State

F. Napoleon’s Defeat

1. Battle

a. Russia drives westward

b. Prussia and then Austria join them

c. NB suppresses domestic enemies and raises army of 350k

d. NB wins battle at Dresden in Central Europe

2. Battle of Nations

a. In Oct. 1813 NB suffers final defeat from combined army at Leipzig in “Battle of Nations”

b. At end of Mar. 1814, allies march into Paris

c. A few days later NB abdicates and is exiled on island of Elba off coast of N. Italy

3. Brief return

a. He returns March 1, 1815 because French army still loyal to him

b. Wellington and Field Marshal von Bluecher defeat him in Belgium at Waterloo on June 18, 1815

c. NB abdicates, exiled on Saint Helena, tiny Atlantic island off African coast, where he dies in 1821

1) Over 80k citizens attend his burial

G. Congress of Vienna (September to November 1815)

1. France

a. Restoration of Bourbon monarchy

b. Non-vindictive boundary settlement at first; then after return (Mar. 1, 1815) and defeat, harsher terms

c. To keep France in check

d. War indemnity

e. Army occupation

f. Accepts terms without undue resentment

2. Netherlands, including Belgium

a. Established in North

3. Prussia

a. Receives Rhineland to East

b. No restoration of Holy Roman Empire, which dissolved in 1806

4. Austria

a. Receives full control over Italy

5. Governments

a. Legitimate monarchies

b. Rejection of republican and democratic politics

c. Balance of Power

Reactions: Restoration, Nationalism, Liberalism, and Romanticism

Please see the corresponding post Timeline of the Age of Revolutions and Reactions for more dates.

I. Introduction

A. Timeframe:

1. 1815: Congress of Vienna

2. 1830: July Revolution in France

II. Restorations and Reactions

A. Liberalism

1. Definition

a. Constitutionality

1)  Political and civil rights

2)  Free speech

3)  Religious tolerance

4)  Voting rights for propertied classes

b. Economy

1)  Ending serfdom

c. Social mobility based on merit

B. Nationalism

1. Definition

a. Cooperation and unity of a people who share

1)  Heritage

2)  Language

3)  Culture

4)  Customs

5)  Ethnicity

b. Rejection of foreign rule

C. Conservatism

1. Definition

a. Legitimate monarchies

b. Landed aristocracies

c. Established churches

III. Great Britain

A. Corn (Grain) Law (1815)

1. Parliament passes it to maintain high prices for home-grown grain through import duties on foreign grain

B. Income tax (1816)

1. Abolish it for wealthy

2. Replace it with taxes on consumer goods paid for by both the rich and poor

C. Combination Act (1799)

1. Outlaws workers’ unions

D. Abolish public relief?

1. Some were pushing for this

E. People vs. Parliament

1. In Dec. 1816 unruly mass meeting at Spa fields near London

2. Coercion Act 1817, suspending writ of Habeas Corpus and extended laws against seditious gatherings

3. Improved harvests and acts calms people

4. By 1819 people restless

5. Meeting at St. Peter’s field on Aug. 16, 1819

a. Royal troops and local militia there to ensure peace

b. As speeches begin, military moves into crowds, and crowd panics

c. At least 11 people killed and scores injured

e. Peterloo Massacre

6.  Six Acts (Dec. 1819)

a. Forbids large, unauthorized meetings

b. Raises fines for seditious libel

c. Speeds up trial of local agitators

d. Increases taxes on newspapers

e. Prohibits training of armed groups

f. Allows local officials to search homes in certain disturbed counties

F.  Great Reform Bill of 1832

1. Cooperation btwn conservatives and reformists

2. Industrial class larger than anywhere else in Europe

3. Whig aristocrats, protectors of constitutional liberty, represented long tradition of reforms

4. Catholic Emancipation Act, designed to keep order in Ireland

5. Reform

a. Replace “rotten” boroughs (districts), which had very few voters, with more representative districts

b. Increases voters by 50% by reducing land qualifications; House of Lords rejects bill, but mass meeting held, and riots break out in several cities; House of Lords yields

c. Voters increase to 200k, so not a true democracy

IV. France

A. Louis XVIII (r. 1814-24)

1. bro to Louis XVI

2. Son of executed monarch died in prison

3. So Louis takes XVIII

B. Charter

1. Monarch appoints Upper house

2. Lower House (Chamber of Deputies) elected by those with high property qualifications

3. Guarantees Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen

4. Religious tolerance, but Rom. Cath. is official religion

5. No challenge to current property owners who occupy confiscated land during revolution

6. Ultraroyalists oppress revolutionaries and those who had supported the Emperor

7. King sees this as dangerous and dissolves Chamber

8. Duke of Berri, son of Artois and heir to throne after his father, is killed by lone assassin

9. Ultraroyalists persuade king that this is a plot and king cracks down with press censorship and arrest and wealthy electors given two votes

10. Louis XVIII dies in 1824

C. Charles X (r. 1824-30)

1. In 1824 and 1825 Chamber of Deputies indemnify aristocrats who lost land during revolution by lowering interest rates on gov’t bonds to create fund to pay an annual sum to survivors of émigres

2. Primogeniture, whereby only oldest son inherits land

3. Enacts law against sacrilege with imprisonment or death in support of Rom. Cath. Church

4. In 1827 liberals gain enough seats to compel conciliation with Charles X

5. Restrictions are eased

6. Liberals are still unhappy, and king decides accommodations have failed

7. In 1830 liberals win in a landslide election

8. Minister de Polignac wins battle in Algeria, and king uses euphoria to his advantage

9. King decides for royalist coup d’état in Four Ordinances on July 25, 1830

a. Restricts freedom of press

b. Dissolves Chamber of Deputies

c. Restricts franchise to wealthiest

d. New elections under royalist franchise

10. Working people take to streets, and more than 1,800 die by troops

11. On Aug. 2, 1830 Charles X abdicates and leaves for exile in England

V. Latin America (1804-1824)

A. Wars of Independence

1. Leaders

a. Creoles were elites of Spanish descent

b. Merchants, landowners, and professionals

c. Independence should not upset social order

d. Compare southern colonies which wanted independence from Britain but to keep slaves

2. Causes

a. Resentment against preferential treatment of peninsulares, whites born in Spain

b. Leaders read Enlightenment philosophes and regarded the reforms as beneficial

c. They knew about N. American revolution

d. When Napoleon conquered Spain, Creole leaders claim right to rule in name of deposed monarch Ferdinand VII (insincere)

3. Spain revolts in 1820

a. Ferdinand VII (r. 1814-33) is placed on throne following Napoleon’s downfall in 1814

b. He promises to govern acc. to constitution but breaks promises

1) Dissolved parliament (Cortes)

c. Army officers rebel in 1820 and Ferdinand acquiesces

d. France (with Austria, Prussia and Russia) finally suppress reforms w/i months in bloodiest crackdown ever in entire century in 1823

B. Countries

1. Haiti (1804)

a. Achieves independence in 1804 following slave revolts begun in 1794 and led by Toussaint L’Ouverture (1746-1803) and Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1758-1806)

b. Popular uprising of oppressed group proves exception

c. Other drives for independence are, as noted, the bourgeoisie and landowners

2. San Martin in Rio de la Plata (Argentina) (1810)

a. Center of revolt was Buenos Aires

b. Napoleon conquers Spain and Portugal, and revolutionaries see their chance

c. They throw off Spanish rule in 1810

3. Peru (1821)

a. Jose de San Martin (1778-1850), leader of revolt in modern Argentina, leads revolt in Peru

b. In 1820 he oversees construction and organization of navy and takes Lima

4. Venezuela (1823)

a. Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) is leader

b. On Dec. 9, 1823, Spanish royalists suffer defeat

5. New Spain (1821)

a. Includes Mexico, Texas, California and SW US

b. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753-1811) calls oppressed Indians to rebellion and has 80k loosely organized followers

c. In July 1811, after capturing Mexico City, royalists fight back, commit many atrocities, and execute Hildalgo

d. Leader is now Maria Morelos y Pavon (1765-1815) who was executed in 1815

e. Conservatives were adamant about not losing power and property until in 1820 liberal reformers takeover Spain thru revolution

f. Therefore, conservatives rally around former royalist general Augustin de Iturbide (1783-1824) and in 1821 declare Mexico independent of Spain

6. Brazil (1822)

a. In 1807 with conquest of Portugal by Napoleon, royal family with several thousand gov’t officials take refuge in Brazil

b. Rio de Janeiro is transformed into a court city

c. In 1815 prince regent Joao makes Brazil a kingdom, which means it is no longer a colony of Portugal, which was far larger and more prosperous than Portugal itself

d. Revolutionaries demand Joao should leave Brazil and return to Portugal

e. He returns and leaves son Dom Pedro in charge

f. Dom Pedro embraces liberal reforms and declares himself emperor of newly independent Brazil in Sept. 1822


Please see the corresponding post Timeline of the Age of Revolutions and Reactions for more dates and information.

I. Introduction

A.  Review

1.  Reason / Rationalism

a.  It is primary basis for knowledge or how we can know

b.  René Descartes

See the Outline of Descartes’s Meditations I and II.

2.  Empiricism

a. Experience is how we know and is basis for knowledge

b.  John Locke say we are born tabula rasa

3.  Epistemology

a.  Theories of how we know things

See the Outline of John Locke’s Theory of Knowledge

See the Outline of Hume’s Theory of Knowledge

B.  Bridge

1.  Rationalism and Empiricism

a.  Immanuel Kant wishes to bridge or connect the two

2.  Kant is bridge between Age of Reason, and Revolution and Reaction, and Romanticism

II.  German Idealism

A.  Definition

1.  Plato

See Plato the Soul Man

See the Outline of Plato’s View of Justice and the Soul

2. Kant


a.  Phenomenal world

1)  World of sense experience

2)  “Reality”

3)  Combination of mind and empirical thing in itself

b.  Noumenal world

1)  Thing in itself

c.  Transcendental Ego or I

1)  Structures reality or phenomenal world in the human mind

2)  Mind is like contact lenses that shapes or forms knowledge

3)  Knower has as much control as world itself and “sets up” and constitute world

4)  Pure reason can bring us to boundary of thing in itself or noumenal world, but reason cannot know thing in itself

d. Intuition: “taking in” (not a deep felling)

1)  We cannot understand thing-in-itself through this alone

e.  “Intellectual intuition”

1)  We can understand the thing-in-itself only with an “intellectual intuition”

2)  But this is impossible or inconceivable for humans, for this is knowing world as God knows it

4.  Influence

a.  Romantics borrow from Kant

1)  They say that imagination, fancy, intuition, grasping of Beauty can bring us to knowledge of Noumenal world or thing in itself

C.  Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814)

1.  Life

a.  Son of a Lusatian ribbon-maker and eldest in large family

b.  Baron von Mkiltitz discovers him and adopts him and sent to University of Jena (1780) and thence to Wittenberg and Leipzig

c.  In 1788 he goes to Koenigsberg to visit master (Kant), but is only received four years later after publishing Critique of All Revelation

d.  Friends with Goethe and Schiller

e.  Appointed Professor of Philosophy in Jena at age of 32

f.  A Republican and radical, he loses his chair in 1799 when his attacks led to charges of atheism

h.  He returned to academic life at Berlin, thanks to friends like Goethe

i.  He took an active part in the struggle against Napoleonic rule in 1812-13

j.  Dies of Typhus while a volunteer medical officer

2.  Work

a.  Foundations of the Science of Knowledge (1794)

1)  Based on lectures and it extremely difficult

b.  Critique of all Revelation (1792)

c.  Address to the German Nation (1808)

1) Reproaches Germans for the disunity which had caused them to submit so meekly to Napoleon.


a.  Two sorts of philosophy

1)  Idealism:  Since Kant says we cannot know the thing-in-itself, we must look for knowledge in the self

2)  Dogmatism:  we can know the thing-in-itself

b.  Dialectic

1)  Thesis: Self posits (setzen) itself as an object of self

a)  I can only know myself if I posit myself: the law of identity:  A = A

b)  The self intuits itself by positing itself

2)  Antithesis: reaching outward is an alienation of the self or the not-self

a)  Not-self is passive and can be brought under such concepts as space, time, and causality or in the natural order

b)  The self is therefore free, since the natural world only applies to what the self posits

3)  Synthesis:  after long toil of self-sundering, we reach an “intellectual intuition”

4.  Influence

a.  Romantics:  Since Fichte develops a philosophy of self-knowledge and intellectual intuition, Romantics borrow from him

b.  Through self-knowledge, there is an intellectual intuition of Whole world, contained as in a crystal ball

III. Background to Immanuel Kant

A.  Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

1.  Life

a. Nationality:  German / Prussian

b. Pietist

1)  Off-shoot of Lutheranism, but a renewal of mere theology

c. Academic

1)  One of the first academic philosophers, about the only one among the philosophes

2)  University of Koenigsburg

3)  Ladies of town could set watch by the timing of his strolls

2.  Works (some)

a. Critique of Pure Reason (1781)

b. Critique of Practical Reason (1788)

IV. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)

A. Life

1. An academic, but worked as an editor, journalist, schoolmaster and headmaster of a Gymnasium

2. Philosophy Chair at University of Heidelberg in 1816

3. In 1818 he moves to Berlin

4. He dies of cholera

B. Works

1.  Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)

C. World-Spirit

1. Close to Pantheism

D. Providence Guides History

1. Napoleon

2. America

E. Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis?

Please see the corresponding post Timeline of the Age of Revolutions and Reactions for more dates and information.

V. American Transcendentalism

A. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

1.  Transcendentalism in America

a.  Revolt against

1) Rationalism

2) Skepticism

3) Orthodoxy of New England Calvinism

b.  Unity of God and world, monism

c.  Immanence of God in world

d.  Soul is part of world and latently contains all that the world contains

e.  This influences Romanticism


Please see the corresponding post Timeline of the Age of Revolutions and Reactions for more dates and information.

I.  Description of Romantic Literature

A.  Patronage

1.  Freedom

a.  What is begun in Age of Reason is carried forward

B.  Classical literature

1.  Non-conformist

a.  Romantics may at times imitate classical   forms, but will not be bound by them

b.  They admired Greek and Roman lit., but wish to reach beyond it

C.  Question Authority

1.  Non-conformist

a.  Wordsworth got back to nature, takes walking tour, and settles in country

b.  Coleridge does the same and collaborated with Wordsworth

c.  Lord Byron has affair with half-sister

d.  Shelley elopes with Harriet Westbrook (1811); then elopes with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, elder Mary’s daughter (1814)

2.  French Revolution

a.  At first, most will support it; then some will get disillusioned with it and Napoleon

3. Divorces

4.  Philosophy

a.  Coleridge and Wordsworth travel to Germany and absorb Kant’s philosophy

E.  Renaissance Tradition

1. Reason

a. Reason is no longer at front

b. Romantics react against dominance of reason

2. New forms of literature

a. Folk stories and ballads are valued, not just classical models

II. Background

A. French Revolution

1. Freedom

a. From old politics of the past

2. Society

a. Radical assault on social institutions

b. Attacks social hierarchy

3. Politics

a. Radical assault on ruling class

b. Nations around France, monarchies, were very nervous

4. Individualism

a. Revolutionaries see themselves as originators and innovators

b. What is begun back in Age of Reason is carried forward

c. Pope said, “The proper study of mankind is Man” (Essay 2.1) . . .

d. But Romantics will say, reach beyond human limitations

III. More Background to Romantic Literature

A. Patronage

1. Freedom

B. Nature

1. Supra-rational

a. Nature has a connection with supernatural

b. It is not limited to Newtonian laws and rational system

c. Transcends rational

2. Emotional connection

a. Man can have this

b. Not physical details only, but totality envelops human

C. Man

1. Passion vs. Reason

a. Intense feelings, psychic experience OK

b. Romantics react against rationalism

2. Imagination

a. Through it, one can discover or investigate ultimate truths, such as Beauty

3. Genius

a. In Age of Reason, a human may have genius, but he is not usu. seen as being a genius

b. Artist is an originator

IV.  Romantic Literature in Germany

A. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

1. Life

a. B. in Frankfurt; father a wealthy lawyer; mother the burgermeister’s dau.

b. Enters Leipzig U (1765); completes legal studies in Strasbourg (1770-71)

c. Sturm und Drang period (1771-75) and publ. The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), which creates a sensation throughout Europe

d. Invited to Weimar by Duke Karl August (1775), where he stays for rest of life, eventually holding important admin. posts

e. Visit to Italy (1786-88) fires his enthusiasm for classics

f. Returns to establish household with Christiane Vulpius, who bears him five children, only one of whom survives, August (m. 1806)

g. Dies in Weimar (1832)

2. Works

a.  Faust Part I (1790)

Please see the corresponding post Timeline of the Age of Revolutions and Reactions for more dates and information.

V. Romantic Literature in England

A. William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

1. Life

a. B. in Cockersmouth; mother dies (1778); attended school at Hawkshead             Grammar School (1779-87) and St. John’s College, Cambridge (1787-91)

b. Summer walking tour through France and Switzerland (July-Oct 1790)

c. Gets his B.A. and returns to France and sees revolutionary Paris (1791) and is aroused by revolutionary spirit

d. Falls in love with Annette Vallon, and dau. b. in 1792, Caroline

e. 1793 visits Tintern Abbey on way to Wales

f. 1795 meets Coleridge and settles with his sister in Alfoxden House to be near Coleridge

g. Wye Valley walking tour in July 1798; publ. of Lyrical Ballads, containing Coleridge’s Rime and W’s “Lines Composed A Few Miles. . .”

h. 2nd ed. contains credo of Romantic movement (1800)

i. Returns to Lake District at Grasmere (1799); comes into father’s inheritance and marries Mary Hutchinson (1802); but had returned to France to see Annette and Caroline (daughter)

j. Quarrels with Coleridge (1810) but partially reconciled (1812); death of children Catherine and Thomas (1812)

k. Settles at Rydal Mount; appointed Distributor of Stamps (1813); thereafter travels and writes more

l. 1850 Death at Rydal Mount

2. Works

a. “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” (in Lyrical Ballads 1798, 1800, 1802, 1805)

Please see the corresponding post Timeline of the Age of Revolutions and Reactions for more dates and information.

B. Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

1. Life

a. B. in Sussex, son of landed aristocrat; educ. at Eton then Oxford, until his pamphlet, TheNecessity of Atheism caused his sudden expulsion (1811)

b. Elopes with Harriet Westbrook to Edinburgh (1811) and later have two children (Ianthe, 1813; Charles, 1814)

c. 1812-13 moves a lot: Ireland; Wales; Devon; N. Wales; London, where he meets Wm Godwin; Wales; Ireland; London

d. Elopes with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, touring Continent, and Switzerland; Charles now born (1814) to Harriet; Mary’s first child b., dies two weeks later

e. Father dies, so he receives annual income of 1,000 pounds, 200 of which goes to Harriet (1815)

f. Wm Shelley b.; Harriet drowns herself (1816), so then he marries Mary

g. (1818) they leave for Italy for good

f. Sails to Leghorn off Italian coast and drowns on return voyage (1822)

2. Works

a. “Ozymandias” (1817)

b. “England in 1819” (1819)

c. “Ode to the West Wind” (1820)

Please see the corresponding post Timeline of the Age of Revolutions and Reactions for more dates and information.

B. John Keats (1795-1820)

1. Life

a. B. in London, oldest son of livery stable keeper; At school in Enfield (1803-10)

b. Orphaned (1810) and affairs turned over to guardians; father died in 1804 in riding accident; mother in 1810

c. Apprenticed to a surgeon, Th. Hammond

d. Registered as medical student at Guy’s Hospital, London (1815), where he is qualified licentiate of Soc. of Apothecaries (1816)

e. Walking tour of Scotland, Ireland (1818)

f. Engaged to Fanny Brawn (1819)

g. Seriously ill with tuberculosis, he travels to Italy with painter Joseph Severn (1820) to avoid English winter

h. Travels to Rome, dies (1820), buried there

2. Works

a. “Ode on a Grecian Urn” (1820)

b. “To Autumn” (1820)

Please see the corresponding post Timeline of the Age of Revolutions and Reactions for more dates and information.

VI. Neo-classical Literature in England

A. It did not die out from the 1700s

B. Jane Austen (1775-1817)

1.  Life

a. B. Steventon, Hampshire, youngest of seven children of Rev. George Austen

b. Lived all her life with her family, who late moved to Bath when he retired (1801)

c. Death ended a romance with Henry Eldridge, of sudden illness (1801); and she breaks off betrothal to old friend, Harris Bigg-Wither (1802)

d. She dies of weakness and a medical condition, in the arms of her sister, under medical care

2.  Works

a. Pride and Prejudice (1797 as First Impressions; then as P and P in 1813)

Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet

1. Jane (22-23) m. Mr. Bingley

2. Elizabeth m. Fitzwilliam Darcy

3. Mary

4. Catherine (18)

5. Lydia (16) elopes & m. George Wickham

Mr. Bingley, Caroline Bingley, Mrs. Louisa Hurst (sister of 1st two), Charles Hurst, and Fitzwilliam Darcy (friend of Bingley).

1. Bingley purchases a nearby estate (Netherfield’s) and shows up there with the above company, and Mrs. Bennet schemes to marry of one or two of her daughters to them, since their estate (Longbourn’s) is nearby.

2. Mr. Bingley is interested in Jane, but Darcy and Bingley’s sister turn him aside because Jane doesn’t appear interested, so they don’t want Bingley to get hurt. So Jane and Bingely don’t get together at first. Elizabeth knows this by overhearing a conversation and from the group’s sudden, abrupt departure.

3. Darcy is aloof, and others interpret that appearance as reflecting his inner character. George Wickham, a ward of sorts of Darcy now-deceased father, shows up in a Militia regiment and appears to confirm that Darcy cheated him out of some promised inheritance. (Darcy’s father showed an interest in him as a boy.) So no one on the Bennet side likes Darcy.

4. However, even with this appearance of character, Darcy shows up to propose to Elizabeth, but she turns him down coldly because of Darcy’s scheme to turn Bingley away from Jane and because of Wickham’s revelations.

5. Darcy is angry and writes a long letter to Eliz., explaining his actions:

a. Jane didn’t appear interested (see #2).

b. Wickham is a wild one.

Darcy’s father died and Fitzwilliam Darcy is executor of will; the father had said if W would join the ministry, he would give W a lot of money; W tried, but couldn’t make it—too many vices; nevertheless, Darcy gave him some money anyway, because W tried out for law, but couldn’t make it, so Darcy went above the call of duty. In short, W is full of vices. Of course Eliz. feels terrible after reading the letter. She reproaches herself. She’s supposed to be so discerning, but she let her pride and prejudice—first impressions—get in the way (II.XIII)

6. Meanwhile Lydia elopes and then marries Wickham (he’s forced to), and it is obvious Lydia loves him more than he loves her. Darcy bails Wickham and her out of his gambling debts; this makes Eliz. Feel even more terrible because Darcy is now a great guy.

7. Anyway, with time, all is forgiven and forgotten, and Jane and Bingley, and Elizabeth and Darcy end up together, and Eliz. Is super-rich.

8. Other characters:

William Collins, cousin of Mr. B whose house is “entailed” to Collins, the nearest male heir.

Edward Gardiner and M(ary) Gardiner, he’s Mrs B’s brother.

Mrs. Phil(l)ips is Mrs. B’s sister.

Sir William Lucas and Mrs. Lucas, friends of Bs

1. Charlotte, who marries Wm Collins

2. Maria

(Sir Lewis de Bourgh and) Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who opposes match of Darcy with Elizabeth Bingley (class thing)

1. daughter Anne Darcy, sister of Catherine de Bourgh

1. Fitzwilliam Darcy

2. Georgianna Darcy

Art and Architecture

I. Neoclassicism

A. It did not die out from the 1700s: It keeps going strong into our time!

B. Painting

1. Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825)

a. Death of Meurat (suppression of details that do not fit in with tragedy; Meurat looks like class. sculpture)

b. The Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine (Neoclassicism’s political power of propaganda)

2. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)

a. Madame Jacques-Louis Leblanc (almost stark and cold-blooded, poised; bourgeois nobility under Napoleon)

C. Architecture

1. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

a. Monticello (Palladio’s Villa Rotonda [fig. 12.22])

b. Virginia’s State Capitol Building

II. Romantic Painting

A. Introduction

1. Pastoral

2. Sublime

3. Erotic

4. Violent

5. Political

B. England

1. John Constable (1776-1837)

a. The Hay Wain (cottage of low class, nature)

b.  Dedham Vale (mystical communion with nature)

2. Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)

a. Snowstorm:  Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps (more about the storminess of nature than about Hannibal

b. The Bay of Baiae, with Apollo and the Sybil (Near Naples, still landscape dominates Greek gods)

c. The Slave Ship (Nature dominates; politics in favor of the little people; human cruelty and violence)

C. Germany

1. Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840)

a.  Monk by the Sea (Nature dominates, and its restless; limitless space)

D. Spain

1. Francisco Goya (1746-1828)

a.  Family of Charles IV (Goya was court painter: corrupt and stupid)

b. The Sleep of Reason (monsters, explore the fantastic, which threaten the rational)

c. The Execution of the Third of May, 1808 (Light shines on peasant who is poised like a crucifixion; soldiers with backs turned to us dehumanizes them into monsters; church sits quietly in background)

E. France

1. Théodore Géricault (1791-1824)

a. The Raft of the Medusa (nature takes man over; violent; horrors committed to survive)

2. Eugène de la Croix (1798-1823)

a. Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi (erotic, but also violent; democratic)

b. Liberty Leading People (July Rev. of 1830; violent and democratic)

c. The Death of Sardanapalus (doomed tyrant kills his harem; violent and erotic)


Get up, Western world! Remember your good roots, like your true Christian biblical faith, and forget the bad. You fought hard for your liberties.

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