Soboul & Furet: Feuds Over Feudalism

Someone once said, ” A real revolution begins in the mind!”  With the possibility of a few exceptions (i.e. our American Version), This idea is best exemplified in our considerations of The French Revolution (1789-1799).  This period was marked by tremendous political and social upheaval; largely due to a change in the hearts and mindset of the people.  This change led to the a complete reexamination and application of government, society, and religion.  From the storming of the Bastille to the abolition of feudalism.  From the overthrow of the monarchy and the National Constituent Assembly.  Everything changed!  As with any major development in the history of mankind, there is no shortage of opinions, commentary, or analysis relative to this drama and it’s wider long-ranging consequences.  Two scholars who have contributed to this discourse are Albert Soboul and Francois Furet.

 In “The French Revolution in the History of the Contemporary World,” Albert Soboul viewing this through the lens of a capitalist perspective, postulates the theory that The French Revolution was not only a struggle between classes for freedom; but also a vital necessity for the advent of modern capitalism in french society.

In “The French Revolution Revisited,” Francois Furet argues things a little differently.  His contention is that the bloodshed of The Revolution was all for not.  Even in the years following The Revolution, the same patterns continued even under individuals like Napoleon. 

It’s all a matter of perspective!

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