Soboul and Furet– Thesis, Research Questions, and Conclusions
The French Revolution in the History of the Contemporary world by Albert Soboul is an article about how revolutions around the world and the way that society had been set up historically in France caused the French revolution. Soboul’s thesis seems to be that the French Revolution is an event that cannot be isolated from the history of Europe as a a whole as well as the American Revolution.
Some questions that Soboul poses are how other revolutions caused the French revolution? How was the social structure, more specifically the hierarchy in France set up at the time and why was there some air of instability or unrest? How did the rebirth of commerce effect the country before the revolution? Soboul’s conclusion is that even though the French Revolution was obviously doomed to fail even in the second year of it’s occurrence, the reason it was still being fought for are reasons that still stir the hearts of men today. This revolution was just a classic equality revolution this time set in France. Freedom and equality, the overcoming of the bourgeoisie by the peasant masses, action with thought and reason– all things that people still hope for today and look back at in history with nostalgia.
The French Revolution Revisited by Francois Furet is an article about how different eras view the importance of different historical events and whether the French Revolution is in itself significant. Furet’s thesis is to find whether or not the French Revolution was in itself unique or whether it just prolonged the cyclical violence and conflict that had been going on for centuries just to restart that cycle. His research questions seem to be asking what other cycles France went through historically that got them to the French Revolution? What political parties were involved in the revolution and what was there significance? How does the French Revolution relate to the Russian Revolution? Furet’s conclusion is that the French revolution was not in itself unique but the first of it’s kind– the birth of a democratic state in Europe for the other states to follow suit.