Skip to comments.Bastille Day and the Catholic Book that Caused the French Revolution
Posted on 07/14/2014 8:34:10 PM PDT by matthewrobertolson
In recognition of Bastille Day, I, in this special Monday episode, discuss "the book that caused the French Revolution": Les Liaisons Dangereuses (The Dangerous Liaisons), written by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. The book -- perhaps somewhat unintentionally -- set off pious sentiment against the Ancien Regime, and its influence carries on today.
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I start off the show with a brief primer on Bastille Day and immediately begin a summary of the characters and events in this novel, breaking down its story of lust and love. I then cite some of its distinctively Catholic elements. Next, I just barely touch on the Ancien Regime and the Revolution and I mention the piety of the peasant class in France at the time. Finally, I look at the author's motives and the book's importance today.
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So basically there were five causes:
1.Political problems After Louis XVI became king,under his poor rule,problems in France became even more serious.People were discontented.
2.Economic problems Court expenditure and foreign wars spend a lot of money,also tax officers were corrupt and reduced income of government.When France was hit by natural disaters,peasants had no income to pay for taxes.
3.Social problems France was divided into three estates,the first(clergy) and second(nobles) estates didn't need to pay taxes and enjoyed many privileges.
4.Influence of Englightenment thinkings there were many famous Englightenment thinkers in France such as Voltaire, Rosseau, Montesquieu,etc.They encourged equality in society and the right to rebel.
5.Impact of success of American revolution After the success of American revolution,Englightenment thinkings were more supportive by the people,the middle class were determined to fight against for equality and freedom.
Yeah because the French Revolution was such a great time with murder, beheadings and betrayals (and rank atheism) are you sure you want to tie your church to this?...
Of course, I absolutely despise the French Revolution, and so, I think, did the author. He just tried to get the nobility to be moral.
For a brief time it was.
Also, many people in America falsely associate kings with dictators and totalitarians, because of their power grabs in the early modern era. But the despot model of kingship was an innovation from around the time of the Renaissance... and a couple hundred years later, people were still bitter.
I have to laugh at anyone who claims that a man who prohibited the celebration of mass stood for religious liberty. Calvin’s religion was “do it my way or die.”
dangus: I have to laugh at anyone who claims that a man who prohibited the celebration of mass stood for religious liberty. Calvins religion was do it my way or die.
mro: Did you listen? I explained how the Catholic author, probably unintentionally, sparked pious outrage toward the nobility. Try to see the best in people.
Good point, JSDude1! Quite the double standard we're seeing on display here.
LOL, Alex. Not exactly the same thing.
The author of Dangerous Liaisons was a Catholic who highlighted the outrageous evil culture of French nobility. The countryside was shocked at the un-Christian behavior, and destabilized the French empire. Once destabilized, tyrants swept in to slaughter CATHOLICS by the millions. So, yes, it’s quite easy to give the benefit of the doubt that the author of Dangerous Liaisons did not foresee or desire the anti-Catholic hysteria that swept France.
Contrarily, Calvin’s Switzerland was truly that of Zwingli. Zwingli ordered the slaughter of anyone who re-baptises anyone, or who allows themselves to be rebaptised. He also thusly prohibited all Catholic masses, and invaded neighboring cantons which permitted rebaptism.
Calvin’s admirers separate him from Zwingli, but that isn’t possible. Calvin was more moderate only through military stalemate, not less radical beliefs. Politics meant fewer death sentences, but no less radicalism. He jailed Ami Perrin, his sponsor who brought him to Zwingli’s Switzerland for the horrible crime of dancing with his own wife. When Calvin’s followers lost control of the secular magistrates (cyndics), his church tortured and executed a man for writing a letter in opposition to Calvin.
Calvin’s murder of Severetus is well known, but few realize that Calvin issued fatwahs calling for the murder of Galileo (ironic, huh?) And when Calvin imported enough followers to overwhelm the “libertine” syndics, prompting a riot, Calvin had all the rioters slaughtered.
Switzerland did eventually become a model of religious tolerance, in spite of Calvin, not because of it. Calvin’s church became a splinter of a splinter, retaining influence through violence and importing voters. Among Protestants, Sebastian Castellio deserves for opposing Calvin’s violence and extremism with his “Treaty on Heretics (1555).” Switzerland would eventually fabulously wealthy, which Calvin attributed to divine blessing upon those he considered just, but really, it was simply because Switzerland was the first country to rid itself of obedience to the biblical prohibition of usury.