How Did The French Revolution Reflect The Enlightenment

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The French Revolution mostly reflects the ideas of the Enlightenment because of the implementation of a new system with different branches that checked and balanced each other, the establishment of rights to freely print and express their opinions, and the creation of civil killing methods to abolish torture. To begin with, the French Revolution embodied the Enlightenment idea of separating power between three equal branches that checked and balanced each other by splitting up the power among those branches. According to the idea of separation of power, governments should be divided into three equal branches. Instead of having all the power invested in one authority, it is distributed among these branches. Checks and Balances is the system…show more content…
He states that there should be a legislative, executive, and judicial branch that keep each other from taking full control over the government. This Enlightenment idea can be seen in the French Revolution when the third Estate leaves the Estate General to form the National Assembly in 1789. The third Estate was always outvoted by the privileged first and second Estate. After the king denies their request for fairer voting, they leave. On August 4th, 1789 the National Assembly abolishes the old regime and with that, the privileges for the nobility and the system of unequal taxation. They come up with a new statement of principles called “The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen” that was influenced by several Enlightenment ideas including Montesquieu’s idea of separation of power (Lecture: “French Revolution Begins” 9/13/15) In 1791, the National Assembly created a new constitution as well as a new legislative body called the Legislative Assembly that limited King Louis XVI’s power. The Legislative Assembly had the ability to create the laws but Louis XIV was still able to enforce them (textbook, pg. 223). This proves that the French Revolution mostly reflects Enlightenment ideas because the National Assembly used Montesquieu’s concept of separating powers to come up

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