HIS 102
Unit 4:  French Revolution

Arc de Triomphe

Looking down the Champs-Élysées in Paris to the Arc de Triomphe looming in the distance

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe was initially commissioned in 1806 after the French victory in the Battle of Austerlitz. (The Battle of the Three Emperors in which Napoleon defeated the armies of Russia and Austria.)  The Arc was conceived in the style of the old Roman imperial triumphal arch, but it was not completed until the early 1830s.  By then the international fortunes of France had changed significantly, and the "Arc" was then re-interpreted to be a symbol of peace, not a symbol of Napoleon's victories.

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What you must do in this unit What you can do in this unit
  • Listen to some further information about this unit as a mp3 file.  You can also read the information as a txt file.
Some videos that you can watch for this unit Extra Credit Options
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, read the Declaration of the Rights of Man and then submit the French paragraph.
  • For a maximum of up to 50 points, consider writing a 2-3 page paper in which you explore some of the causes of the French Revolution.  When the French National Assembly met, the representatives of the three estates of French society received cahiers (letters or notes) of problems and concerns from their constituents.  Many of these cahiers have survived and are now an excellent source for historians studying the causes of the French Revolution.  Here are some of them that are available on the web--there are many others--that you can use in this extra credit exercise:
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, write a one-page paper (maybe two pages if they are exceptional) that provides a detailed comparison of the US Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, in a long paragraph comment upon Voltaire's criticism of organized religion in his dictionary entry.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, in a long paragraph assess Robespierre's justification of the use of terror (Would Thomas Jefferson have approved?) during the French Revolution (see www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/robespierre-terror.html).
  • For up to 5 points of extra credit, answer the French Declaration of the Rights of Man study sheet questions.
  • For extra credit, please suggest a relevant website for this unit of the course.  Send your instructor the title of the site, the URL and a brief explanation why you find the information interesting and applicable to the material being studied this unit.
Unit Learning Objectives
  • Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to (1) recognize the impact of the French Revolution on the Western world and (2) summarize the main stages in the French revolution era from radical to conservative political structures and agendas.

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