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09:56 PM on 07/13/12 
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11:11
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Oh god yes.
Can I just breed with you all and make more history nerds?



So any suggestions for where to start first?
10:21 PM on 07/13/12 
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saofan_315
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We should do something where we start picking a period in history, researching cool/interesting stuff about it, then discussing it here. Would anyone be down for that?
I am so very much down for this.
03:49 AM on 07/14/12 
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Keri
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Discussions, let's do it
04:29 AM on 07/14/12 
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lockedheart
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So any suggestions for where to start first?

Suggestions guys! Go go go
06:36 AM on 07/14/12 
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lockedheart
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Happy Bastille day everyone!!!! Viva la revolution. Liberte, Fraternite, egalite!
10:48 AM on 07/14/12 
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richter915
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Happy Bastille day everyone!!!! Viva la revolution. Liberte, Fraternite, egalite!
I remember being taught a lot about the commonalities between the french and american revolutions (product of enlightenment thinking, lower classes against a more dominant monarchy rule). Can anyone outline for me some of the major differences between the two revolutions? The French revolution always seemed more carnal and violent to me but that may be due to the physical proximity between the royal classes and the revolting classes. Would there have been beheadings if King George lived in the colonies?
11:01 AM on 07/14/12 
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lockedheart
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I remember being taught a lot about the commonalities between the french and american revolutions (product of enlightenment thinking, lower classes against a more dominant monarchy rule). Can anyone outline for me some of the major differences between the two revolutions? The French revolution always seemed more carnal and violent to me but that may be due to the physical proximity between the royal classes and the revolting classes. Would there have been beheadings if King George lived in the colonies?

Basically, several of the dynamics were the same. It's important to realize that 1776 came before 1789, so without a doubt, the American Revolution partly inspired the French Revolution. However, the American Rev was more for independence, while the French Rev was because peasants were literally toiling and starving at the expense of an ignorant pair of monarchs. Both revolutions were violent, but in different ways. The American Revolution was more battle-oriented, so thousands fought and killed one another. The deaths from the French Revolution were due to conflicts among factions- mostly the Reign of Terror, under people like Robespierre. But then again, the French Revolution was far more incoherent than the American Revolution- even Robespierre lost his head. Everyone lost their heads figuratively, whereas in the American Revolution, greats like *groan* Washington remained level-headed and capable of executing plans and progress rather than just executing people. With that said, the American Revolution was possibly more successful, if one discounts the relapse in 1812. France floundered about and then gave way to Napoleon, another autocrat. However, I don't believe that the FR was entirely a flop, because it will always be remembered as a primary installation of liberalism- the great thinkers of the Enlightenment certainly contributed to it, so it shows an example of how philosophy can influence history.
Do I think there would have been beheadings if King George lived in the colonies? No. The American rev had its own ways of humiliating people- google being tarred and feathered. Realize that most of the beheadings were on behalf of the French people (whoever was in power at any given time) rather than a tyrant.
01:34 PM on 07/14/12 
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11:11
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Maybe the French Revolution is a good place to start? Haha.
01:58 PM on 07/14/12 
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lockedheart
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Maybe the French Revolution is a good place to start? Haha.

02:18 PM on 07/14/12 
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saofan_315
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Where I often find to be the biggest differences between the two revolutions- whether it be why they began or to what extent did they succeed- is in each country's respective political and social climates at the time. Oh, and for simplicity's sake, I'll just refer to the colonies as America. With the Seven Years War, both England and France were left in tattered economical states. This, of course, left France in quite a poor economic state, resulting in the poor and the peasants getting screwed even harder. Higher taxes, worsening living conditions, starvation- these were all things heavily and imminently affecting the people of France during the 1770's and 1780's. Due to these things and more, a rejection of not just the absolute monarchy but again the entire French establishment occurred. The King, the nobility, and all of the "old" France became fierce enemies of lower and middle classes in France. It is this staunch, staunch distane that eventually led France into its revolution, and it is also what led to such severe bloodshed and carnage to occur throughout the revolution. Independence was not the only goal- revenge and blood were both equally strong motivating factors. When we shift our attention over to how America was affected by the war, we don't see nearly the same hardships. The worst Americans suffered through after the war's end was an increase in taxes on some food items (tea being the most famous) and some trade restrictions placed against American merchants. However, the effect these actions had on Americans (or at least a large enough number to start a revolution) were similar to those felt by the French. Revolution became the cry, made popular among the American people by the headline cry "no taxation without representation." The American desire was not the loathing of the monarchy and aristocracy, and neither was it the same strong rejection against the establishment. The American desire was freedom to establish its own economic rules. When the war was over and America (eventually) was able to accomplish this goal and achieve prosperity, it would easily follow that no further revolution would occur (... until the Confederacy tired it during the mid 1800's). However, for the French, I believe that somewhere along the line the rejection of the old guard, combined with the absolute desire to seek revenge on the upper French monarchy/aristocracy, took the focus away from the strong revolutionary goals. This is why when Napoleon came around, because he represented this "new" French guard, the people of France were so easily and so strongly drawn to him. They sacrificed their once revolutionary ideas for what seemed like the better choice: the man who promised them something new.
02:29 PM on 07/14/12 
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lockedheart
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Brussels, BE
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Where I often find to be the biggest differences between the two revolutions- whether it be why they began or to what extent did they succeed- is in each country's respective political and social climates at the time. Oh, and for simplicity's sake, I'll just refer to the colonies as America. With the Seven Years War, both England and France were left in tattered economical states. This, of course, left France in quite a poor economic state, resulting in the poor and the peasants getting screwed even harder. Higher taxes, worsening living conditions, starvation- these were all things heavily and imminently affecting the people of France during the 1770's and 1780's. Due to these things and more, a rejection of not just the absolute monarchy but again the entire French establishment occurred. The King, the nobility, and all of the "old" France became fierce enemies of lower and middle classes in France. It is this staunch, staunch distane that eventually led France into its revolution, and it is also what led to such severe bloodshed and carnage to occur throughout the revolution. Independence was not the only goal- revenge and blood were both equally strong motivating factors. When we shift our attention over to how America was affected by the war, we don't see nearly the same hardships. The worst Americans suffered through after the war's end was an increase in taxes on some food items (tea being the most famous) and some trade restrictions placed against American merchants. However, the effect these actions had on Americans (or at least a large enough number to start a revolution) were similar to those felt by the French. Revolution became the cry, made popular among the American people by the headline cry "no taxation without representation." The American desire was not the loathing of the monarchy and aristocracy, and neither was it the same strong rejection against the establishment. The American desire was freedom to establish its own economic rules. When the war was over and America (eventually) was able to accomplish this goal and achieve prosperity, it would easily follow that no further revolution would occur (... until the Confederacy tired it during the mid 1800's). However, for the French, I believe that somewhere along the line the rejection of the old guard, combined with the absolute desire to seek revenge on the upper French monarchy/aristocracy, took the focus away from the strong revolutionary goals. This is why when Napoleon came around, because he represented this "new" French guard, the people of France were so easily and so strongly drawn to him. They sacrificed their once revolutionary ideas for what seemed like the better choice: the man who promised them something new.



It's also important to note that Napoleon wasn't born of royalty, he established himself through meritocracy, a notion which carried itself into the way in which he ruled and conquered. (that and Nepotism)
03:37 PM on 07/14/12 
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saofan_315
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It's also important to note that Napoleon wasn't born of royalty, he established himself through meritocracy, a notion which carried itself into the way in which he ruled and conquered. (that and Nepotism)
In all honesty, I originally read "meritocracy" as "mediocrity" and thought for about five minutes "how the heck could someone come to rule a country through being mediocre?" until I finally reread it and realize what the word actually was. Now, I completely agree with you.

And, to throw in my favorite history joke, perhaps it was all of that nepotism which surrounded him that was ultimately his downfall. Maybe someone with a little foresight could have told him the most important military rule of all time: never ever invade Russia.
04:00 PM on 07/14/12 
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lockedheart
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In all honesty, I originally read "meritocracy" as "mediocrity" and thought for about five minutes "how the heck could someone come to rule a country through being mediocre?" until I finally reread it and realize what the word actually was. Now, I completely agree with you.

And, to throw in my favorite history joke, perhaps it was all of that nepotism which surrounded him that was ultimately his downfall. Maybe someone with a little foresight could have told him the most important military rule of all time: never ever invade Russia.

Haha. Do not invade Russia! Hitler could have learned that lesson too.
04:12 PM on 07/14/12 
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saofan_315
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Haha. Do not invade Russia! Hitler could have learned that lesson too.
Yeah, he could have. Good thing he didn't, but he could have used it.

Back on topic though, I really wish I had actually taken a French history class in college. My advisor even told me straight to my face "take a French history class before you graduate." Now, whenever I have to teach it to one of my students, I find myself sort of ad-libbing my way through it, trying to piece together the fragments I actually do remember from various history classes.
04:20 PM on 07/14/12 
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lockedheart
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Yeah, he could have. Good thing he didn't, but he could have used it.

Back on topic though, I really wish I had actually taken a French history class in college. My advisor even told me straight to my face "take a French history class before you graduate." Now, whenever I have to teach it to one of my students, I find myself sort of ad-libbing my way through it, trying to piece together the fragments I actually do remember from various history classes.

Aww, you teach? And I've never taken a formal class on just French history, but a lot of euro history classes. I also took a class on France's politics which really delved into the fr.



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