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TOP TWELVE ESSAYS

Statue of Liberty US Democracy
George Washington the democrat
Rosa Parks beacon of Democracy
Ancient Greece First Democracy
The American Revolution
French Revolution
It's the Education stupid.
Supreme Court,elections 2000
The Five Rules
Are the USA a military
regime

Under God & Democracy
The Dungeon or the death
of the 6th Amendment

DEMOCRACY'S HEROES

George Washington
Rosa Parks
Martin Luther King
Abraham Lincoln
Madame Lafayette
to the rescue




Democracy is a government
of the People by the People.
It comes from greek words:
DEMOS meaning PEOPLE
and KRATEIN meaning
GOVERN
.

Essays

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LINKS ON DEMOCRACY VALUES
GOVERNMENT, REFERENCES,
EDUCATION, POLITIC.

All events, Philosophies, Personalities are studied from the point of view of: how much they strengthen Democracy or how much they harm Democracy. All essays and articles have been written by Eric Lafayette.

HISTORY OF DEMOCRACY

Definition of Democracy
Ancient Greece First Democracy
Ancient Rome
Magna Carta
Renaissance age,
Enlightenment age

The English Bill of Rights.
The American Revolution.
The French Revolution.


FUNDAMENTALS OF DEMOCRACY

Under God & Democracy
The Dungeon or the death
of the 6th Amendment

Democracy&Terrorism
Essence of War
The Supreme Court &
the 2000 elections

Second amendment

THE USA CITIZEN & DEMOCRACY

The Five Rules.
What is a Poll.
The Statue of Liberty.
Decline of the American middle class.
Is the President an Ordinary citizen?
The impoverished Republican Party.

DEMOCRACY CHALLENGED

Nazi & Communist empires.
Senator Mac Carty Era.
President Nixon resignation.
Fundamentalist Muslims.

CLINTON GRAND JURY INQUIRIES

Whitewater, Filegate,Travelgate,
Paula Jones, Monica Lewinski,
Web Hubble, Keneth Star
IMPEACHMENT


BUSH NON IMPEACHMENT

The new American Revolution,
going through Impeachment.

Impeachment has become a necessity.
The USA a corrupt dictatorship.
Nancy Pelosi; the ultimate traitor.
The rules of Impeachment.
Articles for Impeaching President Bush.

RESTORING US DEMOCRACY
President Obama's Chronicles

The severe loss of the Democrats
in 2014 was ten years in the making
Eric Lafayette November 5th 2014

President Obama 2012's Victory
Eric Lafayette November 7th 2012
The USA I love:
Space, Sports and Smarts
Eric Lafayette August 6th 2012
Ten Extraordinary Steps on which
the USA was Built
Eric Lafayette July 4th 2012

Republican Ideology and Dogmas
by Eric Lafayette June 25th 2012

Wall street occupiers
by Eric Lafayette November/17/2011
Shooting for the Moon
by Eric Lafayette September/10/2011
The Smart Little Factory
by Eric Lafayette,
August/22/2011

Book review"Big ThinkStrategy"
Future of America
9/ 7/ 2010 Eric Lafayette

Republican leaders okay
with human sacrifices .
August 24th 2010
The danger will come from Iraq
not from Afghanistan

Dismissal of General
McChristal
About Haiti, be proud
of your country the USA
Your number is up Mr. President
Republican motto: More Hate

Obama's Chronicles
Stimulus package
Republican rebuke.

Election 2008
Our Choice between
Benjamin Franklin
and Joe sixpack.

Palin is a Bush Clone.
Hilary Vice President.
Our Dream Team,
More Democratic stars
Obama, Biden, Kennedy:
The magic three

US failing government
USA blatant impotence in the
Georgia Russia conflict

A necessary clean up will help
restore Democracy
.
Is the Iraqi war a danger for
US Democracy? plus Iraq History

Where are the great diplomats?
Overwhelming Force
The US Constitution, Impeachment
and the Immune System

Democrats almost right on Iraq
Democrats wrong on Iraq
The great Commanders in chief
Solution for the war in Iraq
and the future of the USA
The Party of Honorable Americans

Bush's abhorrent aberrations
are Debasing the USA

Are the USA a military regime ?
Hornet nest & the Dominos
Glory of the Republican Party.
Have no fear now Mr President.
It's the Education stupid.
Kosovo:Why USA went to war.
Kosovo: Where is Patriotism ?

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
Self improvement & Democracy

Our Blog: Our lives


DIARY OF A DEMOCRAT
Restoring Democracy in the USA through
the teachings of the Founding fathers


Quote by Eric Lafayette June 14th 2012:
"On this day in his speech in Ohio President
Obama has begun to see the light and found
the courage to say that it is President Bush
the younger and the Republicans who with
their Voodoo economics destroyed the US
economy"



GIFTS, QUOTATIONS AND
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
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named : USA TOMORROW
is a short Newsletter that
analyze important News
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A great way to start your day
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ericlafayette@fordemocracy.com

 


Benjamin Franklin

DEFINITION OF DEMOCRACY

Many People have asked me along the years:
What is the difference between a Democracy and a Republic.?
It is a false question.
It would be the same as asking : What is the difference between a vegetable and a carrot?
It is also a false question.
Instead let us now enter into the core of the problem
What is a Democracy?
A Democracy is the government of the People by the People.

To understand this concept in its entirety we will go from the smallest Democracy to the biggest Democracy.

In ancient Greece in the small city states, politicians and Leaders addressed the crowd made of almost all the citizens who were not slaves or women in a place called the Agora, which was a public place where the citizens or the crowd got together to listen, participate and sometime vote. This gathering of People was called the Assembly.
We have today kept the Greek root Agora to create the word Agoraphobic which means unable to be among a crowd and kept the word Assembly to characterize in the government a gathering of elected People generally reunited in a Chamber.
You can see now that the future heads of the relatively small city States including for example Athens spoke directly to their constituents and that the constituents were very eager to directly ask questions to their politicians. It would be very similar to today's Town Hall's meetings.
However Athens was a big city and the Assembly could sometime number 5000 people or more. It is believed that these numbers are the highest number possible for direct Democracy
To be part of the Assembly and vote the Laws, you did not need to be elected. Any male over 20 years old and of Athenian blood had the privilege and the duty to attend, participate and vote the Laws.
That is the perfect example of direct Democracy.

Now we can study the Roman Democracy
Ancient Romans due to their ever increasing numbers created a few assemblies, two of which were the most influential, the Plebeian assembly and the Senate. The major difference with Greek Democracy was that the Romans elected Representatives to represent them and take care of the government for them or put in Roman words take care of the: Res Publica or Public matters or the Business of the Public. It is with very little changes that today we use the word Republic to characterize a representative Democracy.
A Republic is a Democracy, if well organized it is the individual people who elect or in another word hire with his ballot a representative who is supposed to serve this individual wishes which are mostly the same wishes that of the other constituents who elected the same representative.
The USA is a Democracy who has been using the convenient Democratic form of a Republic to organize its government. It is due to the fact that from its birth the USA counted its citizens by the millions not by the thousands.

Modern Democracy
Jumping now roughly 1000 years we can see that during the enlightenment years around 1700, although the entire world was under the rule of Kings and emperors Ideas about Democracy began to literally spread and take roots first among the educated People then all People.
The philosophers such as Diderot, Locke, Voltaire, Montesquieu developed the Concept of Modern democracy, among them it was The French Philosopher Montesquieu from whom the American founding fathers borrowed the most and in particular the system of checks and balances.
The USA in 1776 and France in 1789 declared themselves Democracies where the People govern the People in the form of Representative Democracy or Republic.
In these times every letter or law took at least 2 to 6 weeks to reach in France or in the USA remote parts of the country.
A announcement from President Washington could take 6 weeks at least in winter to reach the remote citizens of the USA and another 6 week to return an approval
It was thus a material and technical necessity to use Representatives who could conduct negotiations or make decisions in less than 12 weeks.

Constitutional Monarchy.
Today we have Monarchies such as England that are Democracies. It could seem contradictory but in fact the monarchs are for pride and decorum only.
They do not have one once of power in the government.
There is a Constitution that gives all the power to the head of the government who is not the king but generally a prime minister.

Today with Television and the Internet and Email only seconds are needed, not hours, not days
With this complete revolution in technology it could be a good time to come back to more Direct Democracy and maybe do away with electors, representatives and Senators or at least modify their role and increase the role of direct Democracy. The techniques to allow direct Democracy are now already present but the political will is nowhere to be felt yet.
Interesting development on July 2008 France added modification to the Constitution to allow citizen to directly redact and vote on law with the only but in my opinion unpleasant caveat that one third of the deputies had to endorse this initiative by the people. In addition parliamentarians opposition had some rights added or possibilities reinforced. A small improvement but an improvement on the path of a Democracy with more direct power to the People.

The extreme danger that threaten all Democracies is from within:
Would be dictators will always try to: Little by little modify A Democratic Constitution to make the tyrannical exercise of power easier.
Only a good knowledge of Democracy and a constant vigilance of the citizen can allow a Democracy to endure.

The extraordinary huge achievements of Democracy are that due to fact that every individual is not authoritatively barred from developing his or her ideas or skills, on the contrary Democracy unleash the Giant that is in each of us and then incite us to pull our country to better and higher grounds and then cement us as a nation that is based on the principle of Law and take care of the citizen that are not among the healthy or fortunate.
Today Wealth and Health are the Hallmarks of Democracy, Poverty and Diseases are the consequences of Dictatorship.

A misuse of Democracy by the citizen is when they have thanks to this system became giants but instead of giving back generously to their Democratic Country, they divert 100% of the benefit in power and wealth to more individual power and wealth for them, their sponsors or their party members.

Eric Lafayette
For Democracy
www.fordemocracy.com

L A 09/22/2006

L A 06/29/98

ANCIENT GREECE

After the Bronze Age, Greece was populated by the Mycenaean people. They had an advanced, complex and elaborate culture ruled by Kings that lasted from about 3,000 BC to 1,000 BC.
This was called the age of heroes and the famous Trojan War, set off by the capture of Helen of Troy and fought by Ulysses, Achilles and other God-like warriors occurred during this period.
The collapse of Mycenaean culture followed an invasion from the north by the Dorian people who were much more primitive.
A Dark Age of about 300 years spread throughout Greece reducing their previous cultural advances to almost nothing. Their writing skills were lost, and they abandoned all commerce. Surviving then meant living in small valleys trying to achieve self-sufficiency in sheltered environments. Eventually a system of larger central towns surrounded by smaller towns developed.
Around 800 BC written language reappeared using the Phoenician alphabet with added vowels. Religion was revived with Zeus the main God. These central towns and their surrounding smaller towns became independent countries or City-States.

Now we enter into the heart of the subject. In the beginning these city-states were ruled by kings, but as prosperity and culture advanced, a class of rich influential people, an Oligarchy, began to supplant monarchies in most city-states except Sparta.
Athens was one of the leaders of the city-states, being open to changes in culture and free exchange of ideas
. The leadership in Athens listened to the complaints that caused unhappiness for the peasant class, the poor and other victims of abundant injustice.
The shared belief that every one of your fellow citizens could and should be listened to is the corner stone of the philosophy of Democracy.

The Greek city-states, specifically Athens, were the first societies to promote the fact that individualism is good and that each person is an equally precious individual who deserves the respect and attention of their culture and religion. The individual was considered important and the correlation was that individuals had the right to shape their own lives and destinies. In effect, if you think that an individual is precious and that his needs and ideas should be respected, then this leads to the conclusion that he has a right to contribute to the government.
The idea that an individual’s needs and ideas were important was totally unrecognized by kings and dictators at this time.
It is an enormous tribute to the ancient Greek city-states that their unprecedented ideas regarding the importance of the individual in society and respect for individual rights led to Democracy eventually including the Bill of Rights and modern Democracy.

In the beginning, opposition to totally revolutionary ideas for the time from members of Athens’ rich and powerful governing leadership was constant. They used their power to change original laws that could encourage new ideas.
However one of Athens’ leaders, Draco, wrote a definite set of laws
, although they were very harsh, it was a major improvement on the Collection of local Laws and Laws derived from oral tradition. These laws were so harsh that the adjective draconian still means extreme and harsh. Draco’s laws were totally remodeled by Solon, another Greek politician.
Solon created a set of much more equable laws along with his major achievement the Greek Assembly, the first time a group of ordinary citizens were able to make laws and help choose their own rulers. That was around 594 BC.
This is the beginning, the first time we could pronounce the word Democracy
and use it to describe a form of government, "The government of the People by the People," from the Greek roots, Demos = People and Kratas = rule or government.

But an effective Democracy was slow to come into effect due to the resistance of wealthy land owners. One member of the landed class sided with the poor landless class and took power as a tyrant in 560 BC. Although he was a dictator he drew up new laws that redistributed land. His name was Pisistratus.

In 508 BC there was another great statesman in the Democracy of Athens, Cleisthenes.
Cleisthenes worked on laws that enabled every citizen, even those who did not own land, to be a part of the Assembly. He also set up a council of 500 citizens over the age of 30 who proposed laws to the Assembly for approval. Members of the Council were chosen by lot.
The Democracy in Athens reached its peak from 461 BC to 429 BC under the leadership of Pericles. He opened public offices to all citizens and made adjustments that made Athenian Democracy more efficient.
During this period and after, art, literature, drama and music flourished to the extent that they are still copied today.
Athenian Democracy as a system of government was emulated by the other Greek city-states and became the Universal blueprint for Democracy in our modern era .

Moreover Greek Democracy was copied by many countries through the ages, the most famous example being the United States of America.
Without Greek DEMOCRACY there would not be the United States of America as we know it.

Although Greek Democracy was a tremendously successful government that set free the enormous creative potential of all its citizens, it did not give political rights to women and slaves were not citizens.

One element of Greek Democracy which was very important in its success was the education that young Athenians received. Young men received strong scholarly instruction, with emphasis on freedom of ideas and speech, the arts, philosophy, writing and oratory. After a solid education young men took a solemn oath to defend their city and its Gods and then did two years of military training.

Athens’ influence spread over the world including conquest and political and military alliances (The Delian League). Athens’ influence diminished greatly after disputes between Greek city-states and ended with the defeat of Athens by Sparta (one of the rare city-kingdoms) in the Peloponnesian War.

The ultimate threat to Greek Democracy was to be King Phillip II of Macedonia who divided and disrupted the alliances of the city-states through bribery and political maneuvering and finally defeated them in 338 BC. This date, 338 BC, identifies the beginning of the end of Greek Democracy.
King Phillip II of Macedonia’s son was to become The Emperor Alexander the Great.

Eric Lafayette
For Democracy
www.fordemocracy.com

 

06/16/98

ANCIENT ROME

Rome, the ancient city , Rome, and its conquering army, Rome, and its illustrious Emperor, such as Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero and Hadrian, is the most studied and admired civilization of the ancient history. Was this exceptional civilization that lasted over one thousand years a democracy? That’s what we are going to study in the following lines.

THE FIRST PEOPLE

When Rome did not exist as a city but only as a congregation of huts, its neighbors were the Greek colony to the south and Etruscan cities to the north. Progressively, the Etruscan, around 800 BC moved into the area of Rome and melted with the local people and Governed them.

Although, Romulus and Remus are considered the founders of Rome in 753 BC, they are more of a legend than a historical fact. Under the Etruscans domination Romans began to build better houses, better buildings and roads. At the same time under Etruscan kings or Etruscan domination, the different parts of Rome, which were different tribes living on some of the hills that make modern Rome today, began to be reunited by roads and common interest.
Today Historians tend to favor a melting of Etruscan and Roman more than a conquest by any of the two People. No Historian can tell with certainty if The Roman Kings starting with Romulus are From Etruscan Blood line or Roman Indigenous Blood lines

A TIMID DEMOCRACY
Probably already being inspired by the Greek civilization, they set up their first assembly named Comitia Curiata, this assembly represented the tribes and made decisions of peace or war, electing the magistrate. It was a first step. As Rome was expanding and becoming populous they reorganized their assembly and it was named Comitia Centuriata. This assembly was larger and included representatives from the Army, which were at this time citizen-soldiers.

Although this assemblies had limited powers under the King rule and these assemblies were restrictive only male, relatively wealthy and soldiers were elected, it was the timid beginning of Democracy. These events took place around 600 BC. In fact a larger percentage of the population was able to influence the decision which will decide of their fate.

The Etruscan dynasty was over-thrown shortly after 509 BC, what we called the Roman Republic has begun. A pair of consul were elected, they were given supreme power but for a limited period of time, one year only. They could also veto each others decisions.
The Senate was created in its final form, it was the legislative body in charge of approving laws and electing magistrates. It was composed with the Heads of the most influential families numbering 100 hundred.

The other body was the assembly of Roman citizens who had the task of electing the consuls. Unfortunately for democracy the members of the assembly were proposed by the senate thus enforcing the power of the senate, and for a while there was no real system of check and balances between the three different bodies; Consul, Senate and Assembly. The senate put forward the name of the assemblymen that were to be elected, after their election they themselves elected the consuls. So we can see that the real power resided in the hands of the senate.

Another quasi institution was diminishing the democracy system in Rome. It was called The Clientele. It worked a little bit like the Mafia. There were rich and powerful families members of the senate who had faithful followers called clients that they protected and helped in exchange for absolute loyalty, including voting. This system of very powerful senators families and their faithful clients distorted the democratic system in Rome.

So we can say that the Roman Republic began as a democracy but due to the exaggerated power of some wealthy families called the Patrician and the system of clientele, the democracy became more and more a system where the majority of the citizens did not have a saying in their government.

The Republic went on expanding its boundaries with a powerful army throughout Italy and beyond, with terrible hardship on its second category citizen (the Plebeians) who tried to revolt from time to time.

The final blow to the Republic was given by Julius Caesar, when after being victorious in Gaul, against the senates orders he crossed with his troops, marching towards Rome, a little river (The Rubicon) in 49 BC saying the famous sentence, "Alea Jacta est" = "the dice are cast" meaning there is no turning back. In fact he was named Dictator then Emperor. So we can consider 49 BC the date of the end of democracy in he Roman world.

 

October 21, 1998

RENAISSANCE AND ENLIGHTENMENT AGE

We have decided to put into one single text two eras: Renaissance and Enlightenment. Renaissance came into being in Europe at the end of the Middle Ages, starting around 1500 AC, and it began in Italy. It began with the learning of Ancient Greece & Rome, Educated people started by reading ancient text, rediscovering knowledge that had been lost or forgotten during the Middle Ages. They started to believe that knowledge should be wide in all subjects.

They came upon old manuscripts, and we can thank them for bringing into the world again, all the lost knowledge that is going to set the foundation for the development of ideas.
This will entice the people of the Enlightenment Age to write about philosophy, original ideas and forms of government.

We can consider that the Age of Enlightenment runs from around 1600 to 1776. The new source of knowledge made available by the writers and scholars of the Middle Age began to plant seeds into ideas of many men of the Enlightenment Age in philosophy, as well as in science. During this period the idea that the earth was round and revolving around the sun began to spread. It was an age of constant discoveries in science.

At the same time, philosophy and discussions about forms of government and welfare of the individual became a burgeoning stream of ideas.

People that became to be known as philosophers, such as Hobbes, John Locke in England, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Rousseau in France had the same drive to use reason, not religion , new ideas, not tradition, to improve the welfare of mankind, and above all, to find new forms of government, although all these philosophers were living in Monarchies.

At the same time printing presses were able to spread the works of these philosophers. One of the most important works was the publishing of the Diderot Encyclopedia, to which almost all philosophers contributed. It became a popular work read by educated people all over Europe.

We can see that all the intellectual seeds had been planted to blossom into major changes in the society.

Eric Lafayette
For Democracy
www.fordemocracy.com

 

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

It all began with the concern of applying one of the concepts of democracy fairly to the American colonies.

The British Kingdom had developed colonies on American soil, starting with Virginia.. As they expanded, the English government decided to impose taxes. The Colonist argued (through a democratic point of view) that Parliament could not to tax them because they did not have representatives in the Parliament.

Other crisis over taxes and authority developed into riots (Boston Tea Party). During these years Benjamin Franklin (a self taught man of extraordinary knowledge and intelligence, a genius of his time) was sent to England to try to defend with no avail the American colonist’s point of view.

In April, 1775, British troops at Lexington exchanged fire with armed colonists and the American Revolution had begun.

A month later in May, 1775, the second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and wrote the Declaration of Independence. Drafted largely by Thomas Jefferson (a scholar, a man who had read the philosophy of the Enlightenment Age, and a brilliant mind). He stated, a ruler has power only if given by the people he governs. The Congress declared the independence of the American colonies on July 4th, 1776.

The war lasted from 1775 to 1783. Most of the military leadership during the was assumed by General Washington. Though controversial in his military capabilities, he had the indispensable quality that will allow an American victory. He was a man of untamable resilience. He was a man of iron will, when it was the quality that was the most important. Starting in 1777, France began secretly to arm the American colony, then brought her Navy and Army to help defeat the English at Yorktown in October 17, 1781. At this point the American had won the war.
In 1783 the Treaty of Paris with England is ratified and American Independence becomes a reality.

France sent money, troops, arms, and a fleet to help defeat the English army. French contributions was so important that it doubled the French national debt, already huge, and was one of the key factors in the over throw of a few years later the French King Louis XVI. An heroic figure fighting all along with Washington was a French aristocrat, the Marquis De Lafayette, who was a professional soldier but also one of the great thinkers and diplomats of his time. He became a Hero to all Americans.

The newly independent nation had to create, almost from scratch, a government, and a Constitution. There were 13 colonies and they needed to be bound in a nation, while preserving their individuality. The men who tackled the task to write the Constitution and later the Bill of rights, were men who had read the philosophy of the Enlightenment Age, Locke and Montesquieu, who themselves were inspired by the first Greek and Roman democracies.

Their main objective was to balance the three main powers: the Executive power: The President, the Judiciary power: the System of National Courts, the Legislative power: the Congress made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate.The constitution was ratified by 9 states in 1788 thus making it a legal and official document. To this constitution was added a Bill of Rights in December 1791 of extreme importance because it protected such rights as freedom of speech, freedom of press and freedom of religion outlined the rights of persons accused of crimes and giving protection against unreasonable searches of peoples homes.

What is important is to understand the way this constitution is helping the country to be governed.

First and most important:

The congress, which members have the task to make law, (a law is a rule to be obeyed by its citizens) but even most importantly, they are elected to represent the citizen, which in this case is synonym of serving the citizen. A true democracy is a country where the laws and rules are the ones that the citizen wants. their congressmen working to serve the citizens and their goals.

To ensure that these law will be obeyed the country needs an executive power, which is the president, who the founding fathers gave strong power, but not enough to become a Tyrant.

The legislative power comes in to arbitrate differences in the reading of the law between; two people; a citizen and the government; the executive and the congress.

Because of the exceptional qualities of the men who wrote the CONSTITUTION AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS, it is the thread almost unaltered that binds the United States of America together to this very day and was used as models by other people of the world.

It is an extraordinary legacy that allows its citizens to enjoy Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Reunion, the possibility by ones vote to govern his own country, and that should not be taken for granted.

Democratic regime over the 3000 year that men are known to have been able to write, has been on the surface of the earth for only a very limited time, and for a very small number of nations. Democracy is not only a form of government but it is also a philosophy, which enable a person to walk with his head up, make his or her ideas known without being imprisoned the next day. Democracy needs constant attention. Keeping the citizen educated, preventing the leaders from straying from the constitution.

 

October 27, 1998

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

Prior to the French Revolution, France was an absolute monarchy. The people of France were divided by law into three estates; the first estate was the Clergy, the second was the Nobility, and the third was the vast majority of the French people; commoners, middle-class, peasants, and city workers. The clergy and Nobility represented less than 7% of the population, but owned a very important share of France’s wealth and were exempt of most taxes.

Another important factor was that at this time, the ideas of the philosophers of the Enlightenment Age were spreading among the middle-class.

Before Louis the XVI’s reign, France was a wealthy country and the majority of its inhabitants were not suffering from excessive economic hardships.

Unfortunately, during the reign of Louis XVI, economic recession, and poor harvest began to drastically impoverish mostly the French commoners.
A very important element is that the King and his government were not able to raises enough taxes among the nobility and the clergy to balance the budget. There was a huge deficit and a huge debt. Many talented finance ministers such as :Turgot, Calonne,Brienne, Necker tried to raise taxes among the Aristocracy, They met absolute opposition from the Aristocracy and the Clergy and ultimately were dismissed by the King.

Three main factors contributed to this huge debt;
The debt left by the previous King Louis the XV.
The money, arms, naval and military support provided to the American revolution.
The resistance of the nobility to pay taxes

In August 1788 the government of the King was bankrupt.

Now we have all the elements for a major upheaval: Huge inequalities between two segments of the society; new ideas about justice and government and bankruptcy of the government.

The first period of the French revolution from 1789 to 1792 can be described as the relatively non violent period.
The deaths, mostly assassinated aristocrats were counted only in dozens of people not in the ten of thousands as we will see in later periods

In the following years the commoners, known as the third estate, tried to push more and more reforms towards democracy. They gathered themselves into an assembly where they were joined by some of the Nobility and some of the clergy to form a Parliament, trying to draft a Constitution, in which the King would see his powers significantly diminished.

Little happened, and in reaction, on July 14, 1789, a Paris crowd stormed the Bastille (a fortified prison). Riots soon spread into the countryside.

On the night of August 4, 1789, the Assembly had abolished most of the monarchy and nobility privileges in all domains, including taxes, . Before the end of August, the now, National Assembly, adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

In 1791, the Assembly went further, adding more reforms towards Democracy, working on an extensive body of work. France was given its first Constitution: a limited monarchy.

Few people were satisfied with this new constitutional Monarchy. The crowds were still angry. The King, Louis XVI and his family fled towards the border, but he was arrested and brought back to the Capitol.

Many surrounding European nations, which were monarchies, threatened war on France. France took the first step and declared war on Austria, who was allied to Prussia. All over France people rallied to defend the revolution and chanted the slogan, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." On the morning of August 10, 1792, radical revolutionaries, taking into account the disenchantment of the angry Parisians, set up a new administration, - "The Commune."

We are entering now the bloodiest years of the French revolution 1792-1795

This administration was very radical, they arrested the King and his family, a new national convention was elected, the war was raging not far from Paris. This National Convention, in September, 1792, voted to abolish the monarchy and made France a Republic.

A coalition of European nations, all of them monarchies
( the coalition will be composed at the time of Prussia, Austria,) attacked France successfully but were defeated in the end by the French army, at the same time troubles and riots were threatening the stability of France

Damaging evidence of letters, written by Louis XVI, asking for help from the foreign monarchies at war with France, sealed the King’s fate, the National convention tried and convicted Louis XVI of treason and sentenced him to death. He was executed on January 21, 1793.

News of Louis XVI’s execution sent shock waves through the kingdoms of Europe. In March, 1793, Great Britain, the Dutch Netherlands, Prussia, Spain and Austria were at war against France. In France, the economy was in shambles. The future of a democratic French Republic was very gloomy. To overcome these problems, the National Convention took drastic action. It set aside the constitution that had been approved in 1793 and created a tyranny with the Committee of Public Safety.

The reign of terror had begun, it was during this time that between 20,000 and 40,000 men, women, and children were condemned to the guillotine. The terror struck at all levels of society but fell heavily onto the Aristocracy.

The Committee set a national draft and brought large French forces against France’s enemies, who were defeated. The reign of terror ended July, 1794. In 1795, the National convention wrote another, more conservative constitution, in reaction of the excess of terror.

The third Period from 1795 to 1799 was a transitional period.

Tired of the excess and violence of the previous years, the center called the
" Marais" established a less drastic government. The French armies were constantly fighting and winning all over Europe and propelled to the top of the Army a young General Napoleon Bonaparte.

What can we learn from the French Revolution that could be of some interest for us today?

First of all, that abusive power is never an issue to be neglected.

Not listening to a majority of the people in a country leads sooner or later to a Revolution.

King Louis the XVI and his nobility abused power, in the sense that they held too much power and never listened to at least two third of the French people. That lead to a bloody revolution and their own deaths.

During the Revolution, the real dictatorship of the committee of Public Safety and its abusive power during the reign of terror led to an unprecedented bloodshed between French people.

That is why nowadays, there are many ways to listen to the unhappiness of the citizen.
Citizens have in the United States of America many ways to express their disapproval, such as voting, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, all the attributes of Democracy

 


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