Thursday, November 11, 2010

John Green Of The Vlogbrothers Explains The French Revolution

If you have ever wondered what impact the French Revolution has had and why there is a need to learn about history from such a bygone era as France in the late 1700s, you should watch these videos by John Green of the Vlogbrothers. Personally, I love history both ancient and of a more recent date and has been avidly interested in the Napoleonic era for as long as I can remember. Author John Green provides just about all you need to know about the Revolution in three quick videos and in a humorous way. This is actually a four part series and the 4th and final video will be linked to when it is uploaded.

Part One: Pre-Revolutionary France

This video gives us a view of what life was like for various sectors of the French population and the causes that led up to the Revolution. the main points covered are:

- the convocation of the estates general
- the rise of the third estate
- the formation of the National Assembly
- the tennis court oath at Versaille
- the storming of the Bastille
- the women's march on the palace
- the removal of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to Paris

Part Two: France Transforms But Remains Stagnant

Change is afoot in France, and the Royals are nervous (as they should be). Events are moving faster than expected and in a bloody direction.

- Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's flight to Varennes
- the constituent assembly's attempts to write a constitution of France
- France's brief experiment with constitutional monarch
- war with Austria and Prussia, followed by
- war with the rest of Europe
- the rise of the French Republic
- the introduction of the guillotine in Revolutionary France.

Part Three: The Reign Of Terror And Emergence Of Napolean

France was seen by those outside it's borders as being highly revolutionary because of the beheading of their king, but the underlying causes (massive famine among them) had not been fixed. The government was seen as not moving quickly enough so even more strident revolutionaries came to the fore.

And in the wings, Napolean Bonaparte, an enormously successful general was soon going to assume the ultimate power in the country.

- the rise of the Committee of Public Safety
- Maxmillien Robespierre (rise and fall)
- the reign of terror
-the death of Marie Antoinette
- initial success militarily because of the draft
- the Directory and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte

I have to give John Green credit - many would not have been able to take events in history that occured on such a massive scale and boil them down in to short, funny videos, but he has done it. I want to see what else he can come up with. Maybe a short series about the American Revolution?

There's supposed to be a 4th video in the series and I will link this post with that one when John posts it to Youtube.

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