From the Editorial Introduction:
Dr. Allison Belzer, Assistant Professor of History, began to utilize the “Rousseau, Burke, and Revolution in France, 1791” text in her Civilization classes and Modern France course. The students accepted the challenge and put forward remarkable work, far more insightful than seen in traditional lecture formats. The students were all assigned roles within the factions Jacobin, Noble, Clergy, Moderates, the crowd, and individual characters like King Louis XVI, Marquis de Lafayette, lawyer, doctor, journalist, and rural delegate. Every group was given delegates and power just as they were historically distributed. The students got a chance to make their mark on the historical debates such as the constitution, slavery, and equal rights. The roles were dynamic and ever changing as back room deals were encouraged. Also crowd riots could shift the number of delegates and therefore the balance of power with moment’s notice. The student experience was unique amongst classroom atmospheres, with feelings of pressure, competition, and excitement all playing a role in their assigned work. Basically, no one wanted to lose their head or be killed in a crowd riot, and their best defense were the writings they published in weekly newspapers hoping to gain approval of the factions and crowd. Every week each group produced newspapers comprised of their individual essays. The newspapers stated the stance and political leanings of the factions and covered details of the fighting and protests. The following pieces are written in first person as though they were published by historical characters in 18th-century France at the height of the debate over the role of the clergy, monarchy, and what equal rights for all really meant to the men and women of France. (Editor, Francis Tannie Arnsdorff)

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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