6. The French Revolution

Essential Questions:
  1. How have the ideals of freedom, liberty, equality, justice and citizenship changed over time?
  2. How do events shape our ideals of freedom, liberty, equality, justice, and citizenship?
  3. How do beliefs and values shape/alter a culture?
  4. Is conflict inevitable? desirable? avoidable?

Learning Targets:

  1. Define liberty and apply its meaning to revolutions being studied.
  2. Evaluate how effectively each of the four Atlantic revolutions lived up to the ideals of liberty and equality.
  3. Explain the connections between nationalism, colonialism, industrialization, and racism.
Activity #1:
  1. Students will complete a video viewing guide for the French Revolution.
Activity #2:
  1. Students will take notes on a presentation on the French Revolution.

Activity #3:
  1. Students will write a research paper on one of the following topics of their choice.
  • To what extent was the French nobility responsible for the crisis that destroyed the ancient regime?
  • What role did women play in the French Revolution? Were they simply a reactionary force - as when bread shortages prompted a march on Versailles - or an active part of the revolutionary public?
  • Make an argument as to which governmental arrangement - monarchial rule, the National Assembly's constitutional monarchy, the National Convention's republic, or the Directory - was best suited to revolutionary France.
  • What problems in France and beyond contributed to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte?
  • In what ways did the demands and interests of the nobility, middle class, and monarch conflict on the eve of the revolution?
  • What were the major causes of the French Revolution? Were short-term or long-term factors more significant for producing the revolution?
  • To what extent were Enlightenment ideas responsible for and apparent in the reforms of the French Revolution?
  • How did the French Revolution affect the rest of Europe? Why were some governments threatened by it?
  • Explain why Napoleon Bonaparte ultimately failed - what major weaknesses brought his attempt to create a European-wide empire to an end?
  • Although a French king was restored to the throne in 1815, in what ways had the revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte permanently changed French society and state?
  • Did Napoleon Bonaparte betray the French revolution or further its ideals?
The essay paper will be assessed using the following criteria:

1.  Content - Did the essay address all parts of the prompt? Did the essay provide sufficient evidence and details to address the prompt? (Up to 70 points available)
2.  Accuracy - Is the information in the essay historically accurate? (Up to 5 points available)
3.  Mechanics - Did the author use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation? (Up to 5 points available)
4.  Works Cited - Did the author use proper MLA format to cite sources? (Up to 10 points available)
5.  Presentation - Did the author use an appropriate tone and voice level? Did the author make eye contact and use appropriate body language? (Up to 10 points available)
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