The American and French RevolutionsWhat do the American and French Revolutions have in common?How do they differ?• The Road to Revolt in America: War and Taxation — Afterthe Seven Years’ War, Britain taxed the colonies to an intolerabledegree resulting in the Boston Tea Party which, in turn, led to theIntolerable Acts. The First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia.Shots fired at Lexington and Concord led to the Second ContinentalCongress created the Continental Army. Thomas Paine publishedCommon Sense and the Declaration of Independence was ratified.• The Declaration of Independence — Thomas Jefferson was thechief drafter of the document and he was influenced by Locke’s TwoTreatises on Government, Rousseau’s Social Contract, and hiscolleagues. The Articles of Confederation were adopted a year afterthe Declaration of Independence.
• The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen — The nationaldebt had tripled by 1774 and King Louis XVI levied a uniform tax on alllanded property. The Estates General was composed of the clergy, thenobility, and the rest of the population who demanded greater clout.The National Assembly passed the Declaration of the Rights of ManCitizen that same year. The Jacobins supported the elimination of themonarchy; the Constitutional Convention declared France a republic.Enemies of the republic were executed by the Revolutionary Tribunal.Reforms were instituted. Jean-Paul Marat was assassinated. TheReign of Terror ended in 1794 and a constitution was passed in 1795
The Rights of WomanHow did women respond to the promise of revolution?• Olympe de Gouges: The Call of Universal Rights — She waspart of a group that called for more liberal divorce laws and a revision ofinheritance laws. Her essays Declaration of the Rights of Woman andthe Female Citizen and Social Contract were modeled on pamphletswritten by men. She was guillotined as a counterrevolutionary.• Mary Wollstonecraft: An Englishwoman’s Response to theFrench Revolution — She published A Vindication of the Rights ofWoman and History and Moral View of the origin and Progress of theFrench Revolution where she defended de Gouges. Wollstonecraftfashioned the main points of what would later become the liberalfeminist movement.• Discussion Question: Why do you think that women’s rights have to bedeclared separately from those of men? What specifically are thoserights?
The Neoclassical SpiritWhat is Neoclassicism?• Neoclassicism in Britain and America — America modeled theirrepublic on classical precedents. The Federalist argued for ratificationof the new constitution. Architecture embraced the simplicity andgrandeur of the Neoclassical style creating the Federal style andsculpture was commissioned from Canova and Houdon.• The British Influence: Robert Adam and Josiah Wedgwood— Adam interpreted classical architectural styles and decorative motifsin innovative new ways. Adam decorated interiors with the ceramics ofWedgwood, jasperware.
• Jacques-Louis David and the Neoclassical Style in France— Both the Oath of the Horatii and The Lictors Returning to Brutus theBodies of his Sons epitomize the Neoclassical style in France exhibitinghighlighted detail an emotional complexity in a balanced and orderedway. Angelica Kauffman depicted Neoclassical motherhood in CorneliaPointing to Her Children as Her Treasures.
Napoleon and Neoclassical ParisWhat values shaped Napoleonic France?• The Consulate and the Napoleonic Empire: 1799-1814 —Napoleon was declared First Consul of the French Republic for life andthen declared himself emperor. Napoleon attempted to establishstability across Europe by force and attempted to invade England,though he never defeated the British navy.• Art as Propaganda: Painting, Architecture, Sculpture —Napoleon celebrated major events by commissioning paintings,sculpture, and architecture. David was the chronicler of Napoleon’scareer, Ingres glorified the emperor, and Vignon’s Neoclassicalarchitectural designs were extraordinary. Canova modeled larger-than-life-size statues.
• Discussion Question: What do you think makes a work of art“propaganda,” as opposed to a depiction of a public event or aprominent leader? Does the propaganda function lessen thevalue or interest of a work?
The Issue of SlaveryHow did the issue of slavery undermine the idealism of the era?• Autobiographical and Fictional Accounts of Slavery —Accounts include those by Equiano, Stedman, and Philis Wheatley whowas the first black American to publish a book. One of the earliestaccounts of slavery is Oroonoko by Aphra Behn.• The Economic Argument for Slavery and Revolution: FreeTrade — Slavery pitted abolitionist sentiments against freethinkingeconomic theory.• The Abolitionist Movement in Britain and America —Abolitionist opposition to slavery in both England and the Americancolonies gained strength in 1771 after an escaped American slave wasset fr4ee in England. Copley’s Watson and the Shark commissioned bya merchant deeply opposed to slavery.
• The African Diaspora — About 14 million Africans survived theAtlantic crossing, the largest forced scattering of a people inhistory. Music was the cultural form that most thoroughlysurvived the diaspora.• Discussion Question: Explain how Copley’s Watson and theShark (Fig. 26.28) indirectly expresses abolitionist sentiments.