Skip to comments.History Channel: The French Revolution
Posted on 01/18/2005 9:44:13 AM PST by Borges
Did anyone catch this the other night? The common attempt to link the American revolution and the French was certainly not present here. The differences couldn't be more blunt. Robespierre, Marat and the rest of their gang were nothing less then brutal totalitarian mass murderers.
I watched all but the last 15 minutes. Did it have a happy ending?
I believe the American Revolutions stopped at the correct point while French ultimately went to the wrong direction with Robespierre, the Reign of Terror and extreme anti-clericalism. This doesn't, however, change the fact that the ideological origins of both initial revolutions have a lot in common.
Don't worry -- History Channel always repeats their original programing. This one will get a re-airing, no doubt. Check out their website for dates and times.
I'm just glad we never adopted the metric alphabet.
I would call Tom Paine the closest thing we had at the time to a leftist French-style revolutionary here in America, especially in regards to his fierce opposition to all religion. Fortunately for us, Ben Franklin and the overwhelming majority of the Founders were never quite willing to go this far.
Saw it advertised but didn't watch. Disgusted with the line: "Even you got to love the French for two hours."
Marie Antoinette was a real hottie tho...
The King's elite guards are overun by pissed off peasant (but strong) fish ladies. Are beheaded and paraded around Paris. Suppose not much has changed in 210 years regarding France' elite military.
Not to mention the more existential connection of the French Revolution to Stalin, Pol Pot, and the other modern wholesalers of socialism and genocide.
The American and French Revolutions are competitors historically and intellectually, not allies.
Great thread and I agree with most of what has already been said on this thread. Looks like there will be chances to view or Tivo this program as I think it's going to be repeated this Saturday from 8 to 10 PM, Sunday AM from 12-2 AM and next Saturday from 9 to 11PM. http://www.historychannel.com/global/listings/listings_search.jsp
One of the historians wrote a book called "In Defense of Marx".
I saw that too. The show was very interesting and alot different than I learned in my public school history class>
Let me add Karl Popper's 'The Free Society and its Enemies'. Rosseau was a fascinating figure. I want to read his 'Confessions' one day. His ideas about childhood education are still very much with us and in full force.
Too small or too big for what? I don't understand the argument as the metric system is, in my opinion, of the more useful outcomes of the French Revolution. The fact that American scientists generally use the metric system speaks volumes.
I think most Americans would be happy to find common ground with the French people of today, but we are disappointed that the opinion leaders of France seem to think so little of us, and that they seem blind to the threats to Western civilization that we all face.
Despite the history of the Resistance, it does not seem that the French of today believe there is anything worth fighting for. Where are the ideals of the early pre-Marat revolution? The French seem fair weather friends but are missing in action when there is real dirty work to do - as is the case right now. Americans ask "Who WILL face the Islamic enemy, if we do not?" The answer appears to be "Not France". I say this with sadness as a man who loves France, the nation and its history.
What day was this on? We thought it was on Saturday, but wasn't on. Perhaps we messed up dates.
I think there were a few gay people floating around.
America's version of Enlightenment was the Scottish version...a belief in commerce and "getting along" with others despite their imperfections, while French enlightenment wanted the "perfect" being (the intellectual) to rule.
It was all General/President Washington's fault (see, not everything is President Bush's fault) for not reaching out to our European allies ...
"Well, I believe the origins of the left-right division are from the time of the French Revolution when the proponents of the Ancien Régime sat on the right side of the French National Assembly while the revolutionaries of the Third Estate sat on the left."
I'm sure you're right, but The Enlightenment began a century earlier and was more or less ending by that time, partly because the French Revolution would give ammo to Anti-Enlightenment critics. So "Left-right" would be to my mind a "Post-Enlightenment" political assignation. I guess my objection is only that Modern Left-Wing Liberalism and late 18th century Republicanism are two different things and could easily be confused as similar if the same term were to be applied to both.
It's like in the 90's when soviet communists suddenly became "Conservatives", remember?
I couldn't make myself watch anything french. I expected it would be how they 'saved our asses' against the English.
IMHO, Rousseau, like de Sade, was a madman.
Perhaps that explains his continuing popularity amongst mush-headed pietistic(towards socialism) soi-disant 'liberals'.
It was an excellent program. I have always been facinated with the French Revolution and the comparison to ours. It is still very shocking how many people were slaughtered in France at that time. I have a great book on the French Revolution and as good as the tv program was, it did not even come close to the madness.
80% of what is concluded from Hayek's whole chapter there to read in one sentence. Well done.
"America's version of Enlightenment was the Scottish version...a belief in commerce and "getting along" with others despite their imperfections, while French enlightenment wanted the "perfect" being (the intellectual) to rule."
The french enlightenment philosophers did contribute a lot of very immportant concepts used by American Founding Fathers. Look up Montesquieu:
"Montesquieu advocated constitutionalism, the preservation of civil liberties, the abolition of slavery, gradualism, moderation, peace, internationalism, social and economic justice with due respect to national and local tradition. He believed in justice and the rule of law; detested all forms of extremism and fanaticism; put his faith in the balance of power and the division of authority as a weapon against despotic rule by individuals or groups or majorities; and approved of social equality, but not the point which it threatened individual liberty; and out of liberty, but not to the point where it threatened to disrupt orderly government."
He is credited as the intellectual co-founder of the American Constitution, along with Englishman John Locke
But we know that a later French-speaking female elitist said: "Let them go naked."
The basic size of metric units was arbitrarily determined is what he means. It's not that multiples of 10 is a bad idea, it's that the basic sizes just don't "feel" right.
Just finished a nice little book - The Guillotine And The Cross - it seemed like a pretty well documented short history of the Reign of Terror, from a Catholic perspective, quoting the revolutionaries themselves from original sources. The active suppression of the Catholic Church to start with and all Christians as it played out was very interesting.
All I need to know is that Lenin mentioned the French Revolution several times as inspirational to the Russian Revolution.
It was an American made program about an epochal historical event. There was virtually no mention of the American revolution.
I'm pretty conflicted about the History Channel. I watch it a lot, but I shudder to think of the thousands whose ONLY education in History is that Channel.
For example, their War of 1812 documentary managed to COMPLETELY LEAVE OUT by far the central and most active theater of the war, the Canadian Border. And their ads for the special made it sound like the War of 1812 was the US sitting around minding its own business and the British suddenly invading, which is laughable.
Hey, the bad guys are always conservatives. Just ask a journalist.
Some of the speakers on the show made collegiate type of comments such as (paraphrase) "In revolutions you need to kill the king" or "Revolutions need blood". Although America's revolution did spill blood, we did not feel we had to kill King George III. History shows that the less bloddy the revolution, the easier the transition.
Although I wonder what would have happened if the King was in proximity to us? If the British had won the Founding Fathers would have been hanged for sure.
The results of the Fench Revolution? A pile of headless corpses and a tyrant!
The French revolution is the LAST war the french won.
Hey, Count De Money!
I am not so sure. By all accounts, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis should have been hanged after the Civil War, and nothing happened to them. Americans are pretty forgiving people.
May I suggest three other books which I think you would find most interesting? "Marie Antoinette" and "Danton,A Study" both by Hillaire Belloc. Another book is "French Revolution" by Nester H. Webster. Regards,
It IS too bad that lots of people get all and their only information from the tube. The information on the tube has undergone so much 'handling' before air time that I always say getting information from TV is like eating food someone ELSE masticated. I would as soon get my ideas and reach conclusions from TV as I would let someone else chew my food for me. Unfortunately, public education being what it is and people more or less out of the habit of reading, the TV has taken the place of academic rigor. And even worse, most people are totally gullible and believe, 'well it was on TV, must be true!'
I remember the attempt to adopt the Metric System back in the 70's but NFL wouldn't hear of it.
Yeah, part of the problem is that your average public school is doing an even worse job than the History Channel....
I'd bet dollars to doghnuts that your average 18 year old High school graduate doesn't have a clue who Marat or Robspierre were.
when does it come on again?
Which they promptly used to create a new monarchy worse than the old.
Thank you. The books I have read by Belloc have all been very enjoyable, I will look for these.
How did this slip through?
I was going to watch this last night, but I fell asleep. Doh! When's part deux?