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History Channel: The French Revolution
History Channel

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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: frenchrevolution; history
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To: Borges

I watched all but the last 15 minutes. Did it have a happy ending?


51 posted on 01/18/2005 10:28:30 AM PST by Loyal Buckeye ((Kerry is a flake))
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To: KC_Conspirator
"I failed to read about the American version of mass executions by beheading in Boston public square."

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.

52 posted on 01/18/2005 10:30:17 AM PST by Truthsayer20
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To: Mears
It was a "straight" documentary, more or less. They used actors in costume to portray Robespierre, Marat, Danton, Marie Antoinette and Louis, but they had no "speaking parts" -- they just acted out events described in the narration.

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.

53 posted on 01/18/2005 10:30:49 AM PST by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Republicam)
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To: captain_dave

I'm just glad we never adopted the metric alphabet.

54 posted on 01/18/2005 10:31:04 AM PST by dfwgator (It's sad that the news media treats Michael Jackson better than our military.)
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To: Truthsayer20
The American and French revolutions have a lot more in common than many American conservatives are willing to admit. They were both products of the Enlightenment and, from a contemporary point-of-view, left-wing in their outlook. Of course, royalist and anti-Enlightenment conservatism has never really existed in America.

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.

55 posted on 01/18/2005 10:31:37 AM PST by jpl ("Liberals love America like O.J. loved Nicole." - Ann Coulter)
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To: Borges

Saw it advertised but didn't watch. Disgusted with the line: "Even you got to love the French for two hours."


56 posted on 01/18/2005 10:33:08 AM PST by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: Borges

Marie Antoinette was a real hottie tho...


57 posted on 01/18/2005 10:33:21 AM PST by Logic n' Reason (Don't piss down my back and tell me it's rainin')
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To: the gillman@blacklagoon.com

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.


58 posted on 01/18/2005 10:33:43 AM PST by Swanks
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To: Borges; All
Jacob Talmon's 'The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy' elegantly connects the dots between Rousseau and his brother French philosophes and their German Idealist successors, Hegel and Marx.

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.

59 posted on 01/18/2005 10:34:03 AM PST by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: Borges

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


60 posted on 01/18/2005 10:34:30 AM PST by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: CzarNicky

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>


61 posted on 01/18/2005 10:35:03 AM PST by Holicheese (The Red Hat makes great mudslides)
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To: headsonpikes

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.


62 posted on 01/18/2005 10:36:28 AM PST by Borges
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To: captain_dave
"The Metric System is crap and bull. Sure, everything is a multiple of 10, but the basic units are either too small or too big."

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.

63 posted on 01/18/2005 10:36:58 AM PST by Truthsayer20
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To: Atlantic Friend
Welcome, friend from France. I visited France for three weeks in 2003 and my family and I were treated wonderfully. We loved the country and were moved by the warmth of the people in places like Normandy and Chateau Thierry (I have a US Marine great uncle buried there - he was 21 when he was killed at Belleau Wood).

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.

64 posted on 01/18/2005 10:37:27 AM PST by Defend the Second ("Hans, Hans, you're breaking my barrs...")
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To: Borges

What day was this on? We thought it was on Saturday, but wasn't on. Perhaps we messed up dates.


65 posted on 01/18/2005 10:37:55 AM PST by HungarianGypsy
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To: Mears
Was is a straight documentary or were there actors playing some roles?

I think there were a few gay people floating around.

66 posted on 01/18/2005 10:39:19 AM PST by Focault's Pendulum (I'm cooking Shish Ka Blob....That's Gloat on a stick.)
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To: Mongeaux

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.


67 posted on 01/18/2005 10:39:23 AM PST by kaktuskid
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To: Borges
Robespierre, Marat and the rest of their gang were nothing less then brutal totalitarian mass murderers.

It was all General/President Washington's fault (see, not everything is President Bush's fault) for not reaching out to our European allies ...

68 posted on 01/18/2005 10:42:30 AM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: Truthsayer20

"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?


69 posted on 01/18/2005 10:42:41 AM PST by Mongeaux
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To: Sans-Culotte

ping


70 posted on 01/18/2005 10:43:11 AM PST by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: TXBSAFH

I couldn't make myself watch anything french. I expected it would be how they 'saved our asses' against the English.


71 posted on 01/18/2005 10:43:38 AM PST by processing please hold (Islam and Christianity do not mix ----9-11 taught us that)
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To: Borges

IMHO, Rousseau, like de Sade, was a madman.

Perhaps that explains his continuing popularity amongst mush-headed pietistic(towards socialism) soi-disant 'liberals'.


72 posted on 01/18/2005 10:45:01 AM PST by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: Borges

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.


73 posted on 01/18/2005 10:46:58 AM PST by Beeline40@aol.com (What is an Esthetician...?)
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To: Sam Cree
believe it safe to say that the rationalism which came out of the French Revolution was an important part of the birth of socialism.

80% of what is concluded from Hayek's whole chapter there to read in one sentence. Well done.

74 posted on 01/18/2005 10:48:47 AM PST by KC Burke (Men of intemperate minds can never be free....)
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To: kaktuskid

"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


75 posted on 01/18/2005 10:48:54 AM PST by Mongeaux
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To: Borges
The program states that Marie Antoinette probably never said: "Let them eat cake."

But we know that a later French-speaking female elitist said: "Let them go naked."

76 posted on 01/18/2005 10:49:18 AM PST by mass55th ("If I were two faced, would I be wearing this one?"----Abe Lincoln (1809-1865))
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To: Truthsayer20
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.

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.

77 posted on 01/18/2005 10:49:41 AM PST by Strategerist
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To: Borges

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.


78 posted on 01/18/2005 10:51:52 AM PST by siunevada
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To: pbrown

It was an American made program about an epochal historical event. There was virtually no mention of the American revolution.


79 posted on 01/18/2005 10:52:41 AM PST by Borges
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To: SMARTY
Lately, History Chanel seems to attempt to 'do history' using only the most lurid and sensational facts, and just to attract persons who are looking at these events and people, etc., for the first time in their lives. Sort of, History for people who don't know anything about History. I had to quit watching.

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.

80 posted on 01/18/2005 10:53:24 AM PST by Strategerist
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To: Mongeaux
It's like in the 90's when soviet communists suddenly became "Conservatives", remember?

Hey, the bad guys are always conservatives. Just ask a journalist.

81 posted on 01/18/2005 10:55:07 AM PST by siunevada
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To: Truthsayer20
I agree with you on that point. The challenge of royalty/aristocracy was a very similar. In fact, much of intellectual and aristocratic France was enthralled with the idea of our revolution. Ben Frankling was somewhat of a rock star in Paris a decade earlier.

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.

82 posted on 01/18/2005 10:55:18 AM PST by KC_Conspirator (This space outsourced to India)
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To: KC_Conspirator

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.


83 posted on 01/18/2005 10:56:23 AM PST by Borges
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To: Borges

The results of the Fench Revolution? A pile of headless corpses and a tyrant!


84 posted on 01/18/2005 10:56:28 AM PST by Rummyfan
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To: GeorgiaConservative
He also invented terrorism. I thought Arifat did that!
85 posted on 01/18/2005 10:57:26 AM PST by mountainlyons (alienated vet)
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To: Swanks

The French revolution is the LAST war the french won.


86 posted on 01/18/2005 10:59:18 AM PST by bfree
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To: Vaquero

Hey, Count De Money!


87 posted on 01/18/2005 11:02:23 AM PST by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: Borges

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.


88 posted on 01/18/2005 11:02:46 AM PST by KC_Conspirator (This space outsourced to India)
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To: siunevada

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,


89 posted on 01/18/2005 11:03:08 AM PST by MacArthur
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To: Strategerist

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!'


90 posted on 01/18/2005 11:05:24 AM PST by SMARTY ("Stay together, pay the soldiers and forget everything else." Lucius Septimus Severus to his sons)
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To: Truthsayer20

I remember the attempt to adopt the Metric System back in the 70's but NFL wouldn't hear of it.


91 posted on 01/18/2005 11:05:36 AM PST by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: SMARTY

Yeah, part of the problem is that your average public school is doing an even worse job than the History Channel....


92 posted on 01/18/2005 11:06:11 AM PST by Strategerist
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To: Strategerist

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.


93 posted on 01/18/2005 11:08:02 AM PST by Borges
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
It will be repeated all right. That's the other reason I gave up on History Chanel...too much repetition.
94 posted on 01/18/2005 11:08:28 AM PST by SMARTY ("Stay together, pay the soldiers and forget everything else." Lucius Septimus Severus to his sons)
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To: Mongeaux
Providing the first major nation in Europe with a written constitution and a code of political behavior--this was the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen--the revolutionaries, in the summer of the year 1789, had already converted the king's subject into the nation's citizen." Hummm...but I thought there was some paperwork -- like a constitution, of sorts -- involving the ascension of William of Orange* who, by invitation, replaced James II of the Glorious Revolution of the late 17th century England. *Via his mousie little wife Mary Stewart, daughter of the disposed James II.
95 posted on 01/18/2005 11:08:54 AM PST by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: Atlantic Friend
Re: "Don't you think these people could be extended a little courtesy and respect ?"

Ummm excuse me but the topic is the French Revolution not WWII. I recommend reading "Citizens", an excellent book on the French Revolution. It will remove your illusions about this shameful war. As to the Royals writing to their foreign counterparts, I can not say I blame them, their lives were in danger. The crown tried to reform the country and was opposed by the same frog turds that then participated in the revolution.

For heavens sake you had titled nobility accusing a gardener of being an aristocrat. The fact is he most likely was more noble than his accuser. It is a damnable shame France was not beaten early in the war and freed the King and his family. Bastille Day is a disgrace.
96 posted on 01/18/2005 11:11:39 AM PST by Mark in the Old South (Note to GOP "Deliver or perish" Re: Specter I guess the GOP "chooses" to perish)
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To: Borges

when does it come on again?


97 posted on 01/18/2005 11:13:19 AM PST by stuck_in_new_orleans
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To: SF Republican
..."they kept giving the french so much credit for this first revolution in the world that gave people the power over the monarchy...

Which they promptly used to create a new monarchy worse than the old.

98 posted on 01/18/2005 11:15:34 AM PST by Ditto ( No trees were killed in sending this message, but billions of electrons were inconvenienced.)
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To: MacArthur
May I suggest...

Thank you. The books I have read by Belloc have all been very enjoyable, I will look for these.

99 posted on 01/18/2005 11:15:45 AM PST by siunevada
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To: Borges
The common attempt to link the American revolution and the French was certainly not present here. The differences couldn't be more blunt.

How did this slip through?

I was going to watch this last night, but I fell asleep. Doh! When's part deux?

100 posted on 01/18/2005 11:17:26 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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