Unit 8: Absolutism, Enlightenment, French Revolution


Unit Three Essential/Guiding Questions             

Essential Questions:

How did Absolutism develop?

How did Enlightenment ideas challenge Absolutism?

How do Enlightenment ideas affect us today?

Why did Enlightenment ideas develop?

How did the French Revolution influence the rest of the world?

Guiding Questions:

What is Absolutism?

How did Absolute monarchs rule?

What was the Enlightenment?

What new ideas about government developed as a result of the Enlightenment?

What caused the French Revolution?

What were the results of the French Revolution?


Guillotine Headquaters 

The Guillotine was not invented by Dr Guillotin. He did propose that mechanical decapitation be used to replace older more cruder forms of execution and his name got stuck with the machine.

Take a jump back in time to see the History of the guillotine, or learn more about the Construction. You can also see more pictures of the guillotine in the Gallery.  Learn more about the gory guillotine here...


Political Philosophy 101: Hobbes v. Locke

Though both philosophers believed in social contract, people coming together to agree on a government, their understanding of good government was fundamentally different. Hobbes believed life was "short, nasty, and brutish." -  that people were naturally evil. To create order, people must come together and give up their decision making rights to one person - a dictator/king/tyrant. Locke, disagreeing, argued that humans were social and needed to get along in order to survive. Locke posited that government was created by the people only in order to protect their natural rights (sound familiar?). Whose government would you want to live under? Check out the chart at the following website for more details...

Visiting Versailles... 

The court of Versailles was the center of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of France.

Take a virtual tour of the palace of Versailles and learn more about the royal life. Begin your tour here...


Famous Faces of the French Revolution

Having trouble putting names with faces? Take a look at this virtual who's who of the revolution. 


Rumors & Revolution

Do Queens Just Wanna Have Fun? Does the Queen Have a Swede on the Side? King's brother caught with Queen!

Headlines ripped from today's tabloids, tattling on lusty celebrities and rambunctious royals? Or is this gossip a few centuries old?  Read more about royal gossip here... 


Mad Max

Maximilien Robespierre was one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. He largely dominated the Committee of Public Safety and was instrumental in the period of the Revolution commonly known as the Reign of Terror, which ended with his arrest and execution in 1794. Learn more about Mad Max and why is time in power is known as the Reign of Terror...