French Revolution Vs. English Civil War

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French Revolution vs. English Civil War

French Revolution vs. English Civil War


The purpose of writing this paper is to give the readers an idea about the role and importance of patriotism and cult of 'virtue' during the French Revolution, in comparison with the Protestant religion among the revolutionary movement by the Puritans during the English Civil War. Therefore, the idea is simple to provide evidence to the readers, so that they can easily distinguish the importance and difference among the two movements. The author is of the view that the topic need to be covered in detail so that the readers could get the most of the idea that what actually the paper tells them.


French Revolution

Religion played a considerable role in the course of the French Revolution, and the revolution was a major milestone in the evolution of religious life in France. But that milestone had two very different sides to it.

The liberal side constituted the adoption of pluralism in France by means of Article X of the Declaration of Rights of 1789, which proclaimed religious freedom; the Constitution of 1791, which virtually established freedom of worship; and specific laws that guaranteed civil equality for Protestants in December 1789 and for Jews of the entire realm in September 1791. Such pluralism was completely exceptional: The longer term effects of French-style “emancipation” of the Jews have raised a lot of comments and controversies, but the immediate and complete civil equality that was offered to them was at that time completely unprecedented in Europe.

The other side was conflictual and violent. The revolution was, at the outset, in no way antireligious or anti-Catholic—in fact, quite the contrary. But the Constituent Assembly had recourse to the assets of the Church (only those not necessary for services) to resolve the public financial crisis, and it thought it could adapt the laws of the Church to the reform of the realm without touching strictly spiritual matters. This “Civil Constitution of the Clergy” would nonetheless be more difficult to apply than the deputies imagined.

Considered “recalcitrant,” this resistance was perceived as a form of political opposition, which was true in some but not all cases, inextricably intertwining politics and religion and thus provoking what historians have called the French “split,” a split not only between the political and religious leaders but also within the entire social body. Religion—all historical religions that henceforth appeared as a danger to the republic produced by the revolution—was rejected during a short but brutal period that would result in the first attempt to separate church and state in France in 1795.

It is true that Catholics and even priests numbered among those who called for the harshest measures against the recalcitrants. For the revolution inherited so many ancient conflicts from within the French Church that we may speak of the “religious origins of the French Revolution.” Thus, the heritage of the revolution was twofold. We are most familiar with the “war between the two Frances” that resulted in ...
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