Essay On Video Game Violence

1469 words - 6 pages

French Revolution and Napoleon9. How did the French Revolution (1789 -1799) impact and/or reflect the goals of each of the following groups? What about the Napoleonic Era? Answer for both eras. To what extent can each group be said to have benefited or suffered in these eras?A. Aristocracy and clergyThe Clergy From the outset, the clergy was established as a privileged Estate. The French Catholic Church maintained a wide scope of powers - it literally constituted a state within a state and it had sustained this position for more than 800 years. The clergy was divided into the lower and upper clergy. Members of the lower clergy were usually humble, poorly-paid and overworked village priests. As a group, they resented the wealth and arrogance of the upper clergy. The bishops and abbots filled the ranks of the upper clergy, men who regarded their office as a way of securing a larger income and the landed property that went with it. Most of the upper clergy sold their offices to subordinates, kept the revenue, and lived in Paris or at the seat of royal government at Versailles. Well, what did the clergy do? Or, I suppose, a better way of framing the question is this: what were they supposed to be doing? Their responsibilities included: the registration of births, marriages and deaths; they collected the tithe (usually 10%); they censored books; served as moral police; operated schools and hospitals; and distributed relief to the poor. They also owned 10-15% of all the land in France. This land, of course, was all held tax-free.B. BourgeoisieThe Nobility Like the clergy, the nobility represented another privileged Estate. The nobility held the highest positions in the Church, the army and the government. As an order, they were virtually exempt from paying taxes of any kind. They collected rent from the peasant population who lived on their lands. They also collected an extraordinary amount of customary dues from the peasantry. There were labor dues (the corvee), as well as dues on salt, cloth, bread, wine and the use mills, granaries, presses and ovens. Collectively, the nobility owned about 30% of the land. By the 18th century, they were also becoming involved in banking , finance, shipping, insurance and manufacturing. They were also the leading patrons of the arts. It is interesting that the nobility would offer their homes and their salons to the likes of Voltaire, Gibbon, Diderot and Rousseau (see Lecture 9). After all, these were the men who would end up criticizing the Second Estate. Of course, it must also be that the philosophes could not have existed without their aristocratic patrons. the Third Estate was composed of the bourgeoisie, the peasantry and the urban artisans. As a class, the bourgeoisie - merchants, manufacturers, bankers, doctors, lawyers, intellectuals - had wealth. In some cases, enormous wealth. But, wealth in the ancien regime did not mean status or privilege and it should be clear by now that "success" in 18th century France meant status and privilege. Wealth was nothing without status. The bourgeoisie were influenced by the nobility and tried to imitate them whenever possible. So, they tried to improve their status by becoming land owners themselves. By 1789, the bourgeoisie controlled 20% of all the land. They were upwardly mobile, but they felt frustrated and blocked by the aristocracy, an aristocracy whose only interest was that everyone maintain their place in society.By 1789, the bourgeoisie had numerous grievances they wished addressed. They wanted all Church, army and government positions open to men of talent and merit. They sought a Parliament that would make all the laws for the nation. They desired a constitution that would limit the king's powers. They also desired fair trials, religious toleration and vast administrative reforms. These are all liberal ideas that would certainly emerge after the summer of 1789.D. PeasantryThe peasantry consisted of at least twenty-one million individuals during the 18th century. Their standard of living was perhaps better than the European peasantry in general. However, the French peasant continued to live in utmost poverty. Collectively, the peasantry owned 30-40% of the available land but mostly in small, semi-feudal plots. Most peasants did not own their land but rented it from those peasants who were wealthier or from the nobility. They tried to supplement their income by hiring themselves out as day laborers, textile workers or manual laborers. Peasants were victimized by heavy taxation - taxes were necessary to pay for the costs of war, something that had already consumed the French government for an entire century. So, the peasants paid taxes to the king, taxes to the church, taxes and dues to the lord of the manor, as well as numerous indirect taxes on wine, salt, and bread. Furthermore, the peasants also owed their lord a labor obligation. And throughout the 18th century, the price of rent was always increasing, as did the duties levied on goods sold in markets and fairs.10. How does the Congress of Vienna contrast and compare to the Peace of Westphalia?The 1648 Peace of Westphalia was the result of negotiations between the major European powers to end the Thirty Years War. However, not all of them were of the same mind when negotiations opened, and the process dragged on for some time - 1643 to 1648,and for complicated reasons met at a number of different locations. Minor powers also had a significant input (again, for complicated political reasons).Further, the Peace of Westphalia didn't end all hostilities, war between France and Spain continuing for another 11 years. Another major factor about the process that led to the Peace of Westphalia was that France bossed most of what went on. In contrast, The Congress of Vienna met not to discuss any peace treaties, but to settle all outstanding political and territorial questions to the satisfaction of the Great Powers following the defeat of Napoleon, all of which were of the same mind, and all of which were prepared to reach an amicable agreement with each other. The original plan had been to exclude (or least sideline) the minor powers, but the extremely able Talleyrand turned up, uninvited, to represent France, and skillfully inserted himself into the whole decision making process by building a coalition with representatives of the minor powers who were present, ostensibly claiming to be there to give a voice to their views in the main council chamber. Vienna took much less time than Westphalia (a mere 9 months compared to 5 years), despite being discombobulated by Napoleon's escape from Elba and the subsequent 'Hundred Days' and Waterloo campaign, and there were no ongoing wars or conflicts left unresolved by the Congress. Another big difference was that after Vienna, there was no major general European war for nearly a century until WW1 broke out in 1914. After the Peace of Westphalia, Europe was at it again with the war of the League of Augsburg by 1688,which saw opposing coalitions of major and minor European powers ranged against each other, and several other such general European wars within less than a century. The Congress of Vienna is often seen as, and criticized for, being a conservative European reaction, but there was a real willingness and attempt by all the major European powers to establish a settlement that would prevent the widespread wars between coalitions of powers that had plagued Europe for over 3 centuries, and in this were very successful - unlike the Peace of Westphalia.


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