French Revolution

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Mind Map by brononeill96, updated more than 1 year ago
brononeill96
Created by brononeill96 almost 7 years ago
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Mind Map on French Revolution, created by brononeill96 on 05/05/2014.

Resource summary

French Revolution
  1. Events Predating the FR
    1. Impact of the teachings of Enlightenment figures such as Francis Hutcheson and that of American independence
      1. The dissemination of associated ideas through pamphlets and newsletters
        1. 1782-3 burgh reform movement launched by Thomas McGrugar
          1. Freeholders agitating for county franchise representing most counties in Scotland met in Edinburgh, though ambitions were limited to modest reforms extending the franchise to the propertied classes.
            1. Increased interest in political affairs indicated by increase in the number of newspapers, from 8 in 1782 to 27 by 1790 and their increasingly politicised content
              1. Thus it is possible to argue the years immediately preceding the French Revolution were characterised by political apathy and indifference due to rampant corruption – only 9 county and burgh elections contested in 1790
              2. Impact was significant
                1. February 1791 publication of volume 1 of Tom Paine’s Rights of Man generated significant interest in the ideas associated with the French Revolution ‘well beyond the political classes’
                  1. Paine’s writings went beyond reform and were genuinely revolutionary including universal suffrage
                    1. 1792 as the key year, the watershed being the failure of constitutional monarchy in France which was replaced by more radical republican government
                      1. This triggered a wave of politicised activity in Scotland much of which was specifically targeted at Henry Dundas, Home Secretary, whom many Scots identified as the personification of the establishment
                      2. Volume 2 of Paine’s Rights of Man was also published. By the end of 1793 over 200 000 copies had been sold across Britain.
                        1. Agitation represented new popular opposition
                          1. Devine
                            1. the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789 changed everything and set the scene for an unprecedented challenge to the existing regime…the ideas of the revolution had a catalytic effect and gave fresh impetus to political discussion.
                          2. Key Events
                            1. July
                              1. Establishment of the Scottish Association of the Friends of the People
                                1. Rapid expansion and assembly of the British National Convention of the Friends of the People in November
                                  1. Revolutionary objectives were rejected in favour of ‘moderate firm and constitutional proceedings’
                                  2. August
                                    1. King’s birthday riots across Scotland including Dundee, Perth and Aberdeen
                                      1. In Edinburgh riots culminated in an attack on the residence of Henry Dundas. Riots continued sporadically through 1792 across Scotland
                                      2. Numerous instances of public disorder across Scotland indicate a popular anger against ‘Old Corruption’ including the erection of liberty poles, planting of trees of liberty, wearing of the redcaps, torching of Dundas effigies and further rioting
                                        1. Establishment of localised ‘Societies of the Friends of General Reform’
                                      3. Severity of government response
                                        1. Supported by Robert Dundas, the Lord Advocate, the Court of Justiciary led by Lord Braxfield issued harsh sentences to protestors including Thomas Muir who was deported to Australia and Robert Watt who was executed
                                          1. 1793 ownership of Tom Paine’s Rights of Man declared an act of treason
                                            1. Devine notes this simply increased its popularity.
                                            2. Norman MacLeod, MP for Inverness observed the government action acted like an electric shock: it set people of all ranks a reading.
                                              1. 1793, following France’s declaration of war, lawyers, teachers, tradesmen and shopkeepers of allegedly ‘Jacobin’ sympathies were dismissed or boycotted.
                                                1. Ministers of the Kirk declared parliamentary reform a threat to Christianity.
                                                2. French Revolution was Limited
                                                  1. In addition to political discontent, economic and social factors contributed significantly to the unrest of the 1790s.
                                                    1. In 1792 corn prices reached a 10 year high while agricultural improvement caused large scale population displacement.
                                                      1. Gross exaggeration to state that the majority of the Scottish population became politicised. Even at its height, unrest was localised and sporadic.
                                                        1. Whatley
                                                          1. argues that the initial stimulus for much of the political activity was a lack of burgh reform and the corruption of political patronage rather than a direct stimulus from the French Revolution.
                                                          2. Murdoch
                                                            1. notes that, although many of the ideas associated with the French Revolution are universal constitutional issues, the Scottish reaction was uniquely focused on Henry Dundas as the established representation of the status quo.
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