Laws of Planetary Motion
Johannes Kepler's (#15) main contribution to physics, these three laws describe the orbits of planets. They provided a kinematic foundation for Newton (#10), years later, to interpret with physics and calculus.
an astronomer and geographer (90 - 168) who not only provided a map of the world as the Romans knew it but also a compilation of all of the Hellenistic astronomical thought, which amounted to: the Earth is the center of the universe. All planets, moons, and stars orbit around the Earth in some way, or are embedded in the "firmament" at the edge of the Universe. To "fix" their orbits to look nice, they move in little tiny circles called epicycles. This was called the geocentric theory (#4).
Italian early physicist, astronomer, and scientist (1564 - 1642) who came up with numerous concepts, including acceleration and developing Copernicus' (#8) heliocentric theory (#11), for which he was punished by the Inquisition. He was one of the first early great experimenters of the early/pre-Enlightenment (#50).
the idea that the Earth is at the center of the Universe (and more specifically, me on the Earth) and everything else orbits around it. Propagated by Hellenes and Ptolemy. Debunked by Copernicus (#8) and Galileo (#3) in the late 1500s and early 1600s, it was generally accepted as false by the end of the 17th century.
An early synthesis of religious, metallurgical, and chemical understanding, it is often portrayed as an attempt to turn lead into gold.
Dialogues on the Two Chief World Systems
Dialogo in shorthand, it was another of Galileo's (#3) works, which compared the Ptolemaic, geocentric universal view of the RCC with the heliocentric Copernican system. He published Dialogo in 1632 with permission from the Inquisition; utilizing its weapon of surprise, the Inquisition withdrew its license the next year and placed the book on the Index of Forbidden Books, along with anything Galileo had or would ever write.
A Polish monk, astronomer, and polymath (Renaissance man) (1473 - 1543) who provided the first modern formulation of a heliocentric universal theory. This marked the starting point of modern astronomy.
On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
In Latin, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, it was the codification of the Copernican heliocentric doctrine (#s. 8 and 11 respectively) and Copernicus' magnum opus, published slightly before his death (1543) The Inquisition placed it on the Index of Forbidden Books.
Sir Isaac Newton
One of the greatest mathematicians of all time (1643 - 1727), he wrote Principia Mathematica (#12; contains his Laws of Motion (#14) and his ideas on gravity), Opticks, and developed calculus at the same time as the German Leibniz.
Copernicus' (#8) theory that the Earth and all of the other planets go around the Sun.
Newton's major book (his magnum opus), it described his Laws of Motion (#14) and the theory of universal gravitation.
Danish astronomer (1546-1601) who came up with the fusion of geocentric and heliocentric views in his Tychonian System, wherein the Sun orbits the Earth, but everything else orbits the Sun. Important for more accurate charting of the night scky. His pupil was Kepler (#15)
Laws of Motion
Formulated by Newton (#10), these state relationships between a body and the forces acting thereon. In quickie terms, from first to last: inertia, F = ma, and action-reaction.
German astronomer and mystic, and protégé of Brahe (#13), Kepler developed the Laws of Planetary Motion (#1). Discovered that planets orbit the sun in ellipses.
Law of Gravitation
Also formulated by Newton (#10) and published in Principia Mathematica (#12), it states that every single point mass in the universe attracts every other point mass along a line drawn between the two, the force of which is proportional to the two masses.
Also known as Cartesius (1596 - 1650), he developed the Cartesian (or x-y) coordinate plane concept, wrote Discourse on Method (#20), and was the original rationalist thinker (regarded as the Father of Modern Philosophy by many). He helped merge algebra and geometry in the pre-Newtonian days, and also believed that there was no divine guiding will, leading the universe to an end. Quotable Quote: Cogito, ergo sum. (#22; French: Je pense, donc je suis; English: I think, therefore I am.)
Also called simply induction, it is the process by which the premises of an argument are believed to support the conclusion but do not ensure it. It was the real foundation of the Scientific Revolution. Examples: formulation of scientific laws; statement "All observed crows are black, therefore all crows are black.
Discourse on Method - A treatise published by Descartes (#18) in 1637, it lays out his ideas on reasoning, including the idea of doubting everything until proven true
laying the foundation for modern science. Also remembered as the source for cogito, ergo sum! (#22) Full title: Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason in the Search for Truth in the Sciences.
Benedict de Spinoza
A Jewish-Dutch philosopher (1632 - 77), he was another of the great rationalists, and wrote Ethics (#23) as his magnum opus. He normally crafted lenses, but had great mathematical ability and helped lay the foundation for the later Enlightenment (#50). However, most of his work was not appreciated until after his death.
Cogito, ergo sum!
Quotable Quote of René Descartes (#18), it simply means "I think, therefore I am." Laid out in his book Discourse on Method.
Often combined with a posteriori, it is what can be deduced without experience. A posteriori, in opposition, would be anything that requires experience or knowledge to state.
Statement that "everything is God" or that "God is everything".
Descartes' (#18) idea that the mind was not a physical substance, and can exist apart from the body. This leads to the problem of "how does the mind affect the body?", which was explained variously by his disciples as either "through the intervention of God" or "through the soul" - the latter having to work through the pineal gland.
A French Jansenist (#34) scientist (1623 - 62), who clarified the concepts of vacuums and pressure by expanding on Torricelli's work, and also made Pascal's wager (as you will remember from Zero last year) in favor of the existence of God. He was one of the greatest mathematicians of his time (which was full of excellent math people) and developed probability theory and projective geometry with Fermat.
An emphasis on reason as the way to truth, with major parts including a priori (#24) and proponents including Descartes (#18), Spinoza (#21), and Leibniz. It was more popular on the European Continent; in Britain, empiricism (#33) reigned.
In essence, it is the use of inference as proof; in deduction, the conclusion is reached by previously known facts, and is often called a syllogism
(1561 - 1626) was an English proponent of induction (#19) and empiricism (#33), and was one of the first of the Scientific Revolution to popularize experimentation, observation, and testing of hypotheses. He died of pneumonia after staying out in the snow too long, trying to refrigerate chickens by stuffing them with snow.
English Royal Society
Official title: Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge. Founded in 1660, it relied on experimentation rather than authority for proof and decision, with emphasis on replication of experiments.
The opposite (almost, anyway) of rationalism (#28), empiricism's proponents were mainly found in England during the Scientific Revolution. It emphasized experimentation as opposed to reason as the basis for Truth.
A version of Catholicism in parts of France from the 1500s to the 1700s, Jansenism placed its emphasis on original sin and the necessity of God's forgiveness. Jansenists also believed in predestination, as did Luther and Calvin. Pascal (#27) was probably one of the most famous Jansenists.
An English anatomist (1578 - 1657) who was the first to accurately describe the human circulatory system in detail and have his ideas widely circulated (pun definitely intended). In his magnum opus On the Motion of the Heart and Blood (#36), he said that blood was pumped around the body by the heart and then went back to the heart in a closed circulatory system.
On the Motion of the Heart and Blood
Full title: Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (English: An Anatomical Exercise of the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals). Written by Harvey (#35) in 1628, it stated that the heart pumped blood, which then went through the body before returning to the heart again, which pumped it to the lungs, then back to the heart, then out to the body again.
An early German astronomer (1670 - 1720), she discovered the comet of 1702. Her application to get into the Berlin Observatory was rejected on the basis that she hadn't gone to university (and she was a woman, so how could she help that?).
philosophical/scientific doctrine, with heavy basis in Cartesian thought (#18), which questions the reliability of claims by subjecting them to rigorous testing and investigation. In philosophy, it is the idea never to make a truth claim (including the claim that truth is impossible which is itself a truth claim!). Ambrose Bierce and Voltaire (#43) were notable skeptics.
Voltaire -Voltaire, named François-Marie Arouet (1694
1778), was a famous French skeptic (#42), satirist, and political thinker, and author of Candide (#44). He was known for his friendship with Frederick the Great, support of civil liberties, sharp wit, and many attacks on Church dogma.
The best-known work of Voltaire (#43), subtitled Optimism, it followed the trials and travels of Candide, a naïve optimist, who swings towards pessimism and finally to a more middle ground by the end of the book. It is one of the first satirical novels, and showcases (under pseudonyms, naturally) many of the injustices and horrors of the 18th century, including the Seven Years' War, the Inquisition, the Lisbon earthquakes, piracy, trouble in the New World, etc.
An English chemist and philosopher (1733 - 1804), he co-discovered oxygen (with Antoine Lavoisier, #46) and made investigations into the nature of carbon dioxide.
A French nobleman chemist (1743 - 94), he was the other co-discoverer of oxygen, stated the law of conservation of mass, named hydrogen, and helped introduce the metric system. He served as a tax collector to fund his experiments; it was in this capacity that he was guillotined by the Revolutionaries.
skeptic (#42), Bayle wrote the Historical and Critical Dictionary. He was an outstanding critic, and began modern literary criticism.
Edict of Tolerance
Issued in 1782 by Josef II (#49), it repealed anti-Jewish legislation in the Holy Roman Empire and was supposed to "make the Jewish nation useful and serviceable to the State".
Joseph II [Austria]
Maria Theresa's son and successor on the Austrian and Imperial throne, Josef (1741 - 90, r. 1780 - 90) was one of the so-called "enlightened monarchs" (more pejoratively: enlightened despots). He traveled all over Europe, and initiated the partitions of Poland in a private meeting with Frederick. He issued the Edict of Tolerance (#48) and tried to initiate other reforms, but was foiled by Kaunitz and other Austrian nobles.
Age of Enlightenment
Covering all of the 18th century in European philosophy, the Age of Enlightenment was marked by the application of Reason to all things, emboldened by Newton's (#10) new physics. The leaders of the Enlightenment considered themselves an intellectual elite, which would bring light to the world. It was a major factor in the American and French Revolutions, and ended with the accession of Napoleon as First Consul.
An English pamphleteer and radical political thinker, Paine (1737 - 1809) helped foment the American Revolution through incendiary writing such as Common Sense, and outlined his egalitarian ideals in Rights of Man (in response to Burke's (#116) writings on the French Revolution). He was also a deist (#52), and supported those ideas in The Age of Reason.
A religious philosophy prominent in England, France, and the U.S. in the 18th and 19th centuries, deism is the belief that supernatural events, revelations, and holy books are all false, and that God is revealed through reason and observation of the natural world. After creating the world God is a passive observer.
A group of French philosophers in the 18th century, they supported deism, toleration, and the abolition of slavery. Often, they criticized the government through satire and other indirect ways.
One of the most famous historians of all time, Gibbon (1737 - 94) is famous mainly for writing The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, an anti-Christian historical work that was one of the first to cite primary sources.
The last great Enlightenment (#50) philosopher, Kant (1724 - 1804) defined the Enlightenment as an era with the slogan Sapere aude (English: Dare to Know). He wrote Critique of Pure Reason, in which he bridged the gap between empiricism (#33) and rationalism (#28) and tried to counter David Hume's (#57) radical empiricist philosophy. In Critique of Pure Reason Kant tried to answer the questions "What do we know?" and "How come?", and came up with a synthesis of the two leading philosophical doctrines.
Hume (1711 - 76) was an important historian of Britain (he wrote a History of Great Britain that stayed the standard text until that of Macaulay later on); also a radical empiricist (#33) who was generally in philosophical opposition to Germany's Kant (#56). His philosophy, typified in his many, many essays, generally tended toward the skeptic (#42) and naturalist sides.
Baron de Montesquieu
A French political thinker and social commentator, Montesquieu (1689 - 1755) articulated the theory of separation of powers in his works The Spirit of the Laws (#59) and Persian Letters. He is also famous for popularizing the term "Byzantine Empire" for the Eastern Roman Empire, and also for calling feudalism such.
The Spirit of the Laws
Published in 1748 and written by Montesquieu (#58), De l'esprit des lois is famous for its suggestion that a government be separated into three branches: executive, legislative, and judiciary. This had a profound effect on Catherine II (#73) and the framers of the American Constitution.
Mainly used to refer to the subset of truth relativism, relativism is the idea that no truths are absolute. The RCC especially and many religions in general oppose this idea.
checks & balances
Also called the separation of powers, this is the political concept of division of a government into branches, each of which have some degree of control over the actions of the other ones, in order to prevent any one branch from becoming overwhelmingly powerful. This was first posited in Spirit of the Laws (#59) by Montesquieu (#58).
A group of 18th century economists who believed that the entire wealth of nations was derived from agriculture, it was the first really well-developed economic school of thought, and came directly before classical economics, the school of Adam Smith (who published his Wealth of Nations in 1776).
Probably the most prominent physiocrat (#62), Quesnay (1694 - 1774) published the Tableau économique (English: Economic Table) in 1758. It was the physiocrat bible, and was probably the first work to attempt to (and largely succeed to) describe economics at all.
Diderot (1713 - 84) was a prominent Enlightenment (#50) figure who edited the Encyclopédie (#65) and wrote several other minor philosophical tracts. Other works include Jacques the Fatalist and his Master and Regrets on Parting with my Old Dressing Gown.
Edited by Diderot (#64), the Encyclopédie was a massive work originally containing 33 volumes and a 2 volume index of 71,818 articles, to which the greatest minds of the French Enlightenment (#50) contributed, including Rousseau (#68), Voltaire (#43), and Montesquieu (#58). Although a fair amount of bias was in the work, it largely succeeded in the authors' intent of writing a work of sheer knowledge as opposed to opinion.
Marie-Jean de Condorcet
Developer of a ranked election system (the Condorcet Method), the Marquis of Condorcet (1743 - 94) was a political thinker far ahead of his time (even if that time was the Enlightenment (#50)), who advocated a political system including equal rights for women and all races, a liberal economic system, free and equal public education, and a constitution. Known for his unyielding faith in the progress of society.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
A Genevan Enlightenment (#50) philosopher, Rousseau (1712 - 78) was a political theorist who influenced virtually every important cultural and social development of his time: the French Revolution, the development of nationalism and romanticism. He came up with the idea of a general will of the people, the underlying social current to which one must submit to be free, which he postulated in The Social Contract (#70).
A book on education written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (#68), Emile concerns the ideal system of educating a child, stating that children start out pure, but are corrupted by the company that they keep and the things they are taught. Argued that a child's education should follow their natural curiosity. It is still a widely read and taught tract by many educational authorities worldwide.
The Social Contract
Written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (#68), The Social Contract's central idea was that of a general will of the people, which makes itself known to the Sovereign-led government (Rousseau was very against the idea of a representative government, saying instead that the people should make the laws directly).
The idea, popularized in the 18th century, that the people who are not products of the so-called "civilized" world are in fact more perfect than their "civilized" counterparts. Rousseau wrote about it in Emile.
Also called "enlightened despotism", this political philosophy differed from normal absolutism only in the degree to which the individual sovereigns adopted various ideas of the Enlightenment (#50). Examples: Josef II (#49), who embraced the idea of the social contract (#70) and Enlightenment music; Ekaterina II (#73), who was a patron of music and the arts and who adopted some of Montesquieu's ideas; and (among many others) Friedrich II, who although permitting serfdom viewed himself as not the State but its First Servant.
Catherine the Great
One of the few ruling Tsarinas of Russia, Ekaterina (1729 - 96, r. 1762 - 96) succeeded her husband, Peter III, after deciding he was too weak and having him confined to his estate. She was one of the most enlightened monarchs (#72) and participated in several Russo-Turkish wars and the partitions of Poland.
Charter of Nobility
Issued by Catherine II (#73) in 1785, it reaffirmed the various powers of the Russian nobility, including the ability to petition needs to authorities including the Senate and even the Tsarina herself.
A Cossack insurrection led by Yemelyan Pugachev, a pretender to the Russian throne, it was the largest peasant rebellion in Russian history and was directed primarily against the rule of Ekaterina II (#73). It was started in 1773 and enjoyed some success (including the capture of Kazan in '73) before being crushed and its leader executed in 1774 and '75.
A system of government wherein the main power rests with a small political, economic, or social elite. Famous ones include the USSR, the Roman Republic, the pre-1990 Republic of South Africa, and Sparta.
Third of the British Hanoverian monarchs, George (1738 - 1820, r. 1760 - 1820), George brought first Great Britain and later the United Kingdom through the Seven Years' (and French and Indian) War, American Revolution, and the Revolutionary/Napoleonic Wars. He suffered from porphyria and probably couldn't care less about the American colonies, having them or no, taxing them or no.
John Wilkes -journalist, MP, and all-around radical, Wilkes (1727
97) was often at odds with the rest of Parliament, mainly for attacking the King and supporting Pitt the Elder; his enemies had him arrested several times. Think of him as the 18th century British version of Jon Stewart, but elected Senator and adulterous.
The French governmental system under the Valois and Bourbon Kings, it was swept away by the Revolution in 1789. Key tenets include the Three Estates, parlements, and the Divine Right of Kings.
"republic of letters"
A term referring to the huge amount of correspondence between the various Enlightenment (#50) writers. Now, it is often applied to the Internet.
Often referring to the purely French concept, salons were Enlightenment-era (and earlier and later as well, but mainly in reference to the Enlightenment (#50)) gatherings of "socially stimulating" people at the abode of a host or hostess. Generally, there would be much conversation in an effort to increase knowledge or amuse each other. Political and social issues of the day were discussed here; the opinions of the upper classes could be gauged by visiting a few salons and listening to the discussions.
Julie de Lespinasse
A French female author (1732 - 76), de Lespinasse was one of the more prominent figures, either hosting or visiting many salons.
Possibly the most famous English satirist and author of Gulliver's Travels and A Modest Proposal, Swift (1667 - 1745) was a clergyman and Irishman, which often made hilarious impact in his writings (such as A Tale of a Tub and the aforementioned Modest Proposal).
A style of art emerging in France in the early 18th century (as a continuation of Baroque), rococo was typified by a carefree, graceful, opulent, easy lightness in architecture that swung away from the dark baroque style of previous and the neoclassical (#88) iconic heroism to mainly just be the rich kids having fun.
An art form rising from the end of rococo (#87) dominance in the mid-18th century, neoclassicism was a return to the art canon; instead of pushing new boundaries, artists demonstrated complete mastery of the old forms. Often, Roman or Greek figures were depicted, and virtual copies of these figures (a little bit like the Renaissance...but only a little) was common, probably due to the re-emergence of the Roman idea of the res publica and the Socratic republic.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The far-famed child prodigy Austrian composer (1756 - 91) composed bloody good symphonic, operatic, choral, chamber, and piano music. The typical child prodigy (with the also-typical stage father), he died during the completion of his Requiem Mass at age 35.
My personal favorite painter and bridge between neoclassicist (#88) and romantic schools, David (1748 - 1824) was first the artistic chronicler of the Revolution (with paintings such as Death of Marat and Marie Antoinette on her Way to the Guillotine), then a neoclassicist icon (Leonidas at Thermopylae, Belisarius, Oath of the Horatii, The Intervention of the Sabine Women), and finally the Romantic court painter for Napoleon (Napoleon Crossing the Alps, Coronation of Napoleon, Napoleon in his Study). His paintings are probably the easiest to recognize among the whole pantheon of art in the post-Renaissance era.
A English pioneer in sequential art (what would later be comics) (w00t), Hogarth (1697 - 74) was one of the first and best editorial cartoonists, doing what Swift (#86) and Fielding (#85) did with only words with pictures and words combined. He also painted the famous six painting sequence Marriage à-la-Mode.
Literally "the culture of the people", pop culture is whatever cultural elements are most popular among the population, mainly using the most popular media (honestly, do you think that modern popular culture could consist of Linear B woodcuts?) and an established lingua franca (these days, English is probably closest).
Often a Roman Catholic (or Orthodox to a lesser extent) celebration, carnivals generally happen in the weeks before Lent, combining elements of a circus and a parade. Examples are the Latin American Carnival, the French Mardi Gras, English Shrove Tuesday, and German Fasching.
An Italian nobleman and political thinker, the Marquis of Beccaria (1738 - 94) wrote On Crimes and Punishment (#97), an important work in criminology that condemned the death penalty.
On Crimes and Punishment
Written by the Marquis de Beccaria (#96), On Crimes and Punishment (1764) argued against the death penalty and advocated an overhaul of criminal law. It was the first major criminological work.
Utilitarianism was originally proposed by Jeremy Bentham (who had his head mummified separately from the rest of his body) and supported by John Stuart Mill. It states that good can be quantified, and that actions should be taken to ensure the maximum good for the maximum people.
The second-to-last Bourbon King, Louis (1754 - 93, r. 1774 - 91) was married to Marie Antoinette of Austria (#100) and forced intervention in the war of American Revolution. To pay his bills, he tried to call the Estates General (#107) to give him cash; just like Charles I, they said no and deprived him of all real power; two years later, he was executed via the guillotine.
Wife of Louis XVI (#99) and daughter of Maria Theresa, she was queen of France (1755 - 93; r. 1774 - 91) and had a very extravagant lifestyle (which was slightly exaggerated in the press), leading the People to hate her so much that she got executed via guillotine as well as her husband in the same year. Quotable Quote: "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche." (English: Let them eat cake; probably not actually uttered by Marie Antoinette, since her writings actually show an amount of sympathy towards the poor.)
Originally French for a legal demarcation of person, usually denoting a member of the middle class; in the 19th century, it was corrupted to mean the ruling class in a capitalist society. They supported the French and American revolutions.
An economist and statesman from France, Turgot (1727 - 81) was an intendant who wrote on the idea of free trade, saying that it was entirely beneficial to the state and the economy in general.
A direct tax on the non-nobles in ancien regime France (#80), the taille was based on the amount of land a household held and was widely hated by the reign of Louis XVI (#99)
Essentially a feudal style tax paid by labor, it was abolished in ancien regime France (#80) in 1789 not long after the Revolution began.
lettres de cachet
The French version of an Executive Order in the ancien regime, it was a letter signed and sealed (the French Seal was called the cachet) by the King to one of his nobles or servants, ordering that servant to perform some service or other action that could not be appealed. Through this method, the King could order a parlement to pass a law over its own objection, or break up an assembly.
Finance minister to Louis XVI (#99), Necker is known for his daughter (the famous Madame de Staël) and for his economic reforms in France, which involved dividing up the taille (#103, which had much popularity since everyone hated the taille) and assumption of some debt. The King tried to use him to calm the rebels, but he treated the assembly poorly, only requesting loans instead of enacting reforms, and was dismissed.
A French ancien regime (#80) assembly consisting of the three Estates (nobility, clergy, and commoners), it was mainly used to rubber-stamp the King's wishes until 1789. When Louis XVI (#99) asked for more money, the Third Estate was given the same weight of vote as the others, and walked out in protest (#111).
A great French political theorist and statesman, Abbé Sieyès (1748 - 1836) wrote What is the Third Estate? in 1789, which really fired up the soon-to-be Revolutionaries. He also helped instigate the Coup of 18 Brumaire (#168).
cahiers de doléances
Basically a petition of grievances, each representative to the Estates General (#107) brought this from his constituency as what he wanted out of the session. Each of the Estates would develop their own cahier based on the will of the members, and then the whole Estates General would come up with a cahier general for presentation to the King.
Governing body of France during the summer of 1789, it was initially comprised of those members of the Estates General (#107) that took the Tennis Court Oath (#111). They later reformed as the Constituent Assembly (#120).
Tennis Court Oath
Taken on 20 June 1789 by the National Assembly, it was in response to the King's Guards' blocking of the Third Estate from the Estates General (#107). They pledged to not separate until the security of the French government was guaranteed.
A prison for political prisoners in Paris, it was stormed by a crowd of bread rioters on 14 July 1789, signifying that the power of Louis XVI was irrelevant compared to the power of the sans culottes (#147).
August 4 Decree
Part of a series of "August Decrees" issued by the Constituent Assembly (#120), the members ended feudalism and the rights and privileges derived therefrom. It was issued in response to the Great Fear (#114).
During July and early August of 1789, much of the French countryside revolted, with peasants storming noble chateaux in order to burn the feudal documents therein. It was in response to perceived noble armies massing to destroy the peasant harvest.
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
Issued by the Constituent Assembly (#120) on 26 August 1789, it set forth the basic human rights and principles of government, according to the Assemblists, that is.
An Anglo-Irish statesman and MP, he was a conservative Whig, opposing (in addition to his usual enemy John Wilkes (#79)) the King on the American Revolution in supporting the colonies, but also a staunch enemy of the French Revolution. He is often regarded as the father of conservatism.
Reflections on the Revolution in France
Written by Edmund Burke in 1790, it was one of the most famous intellectual attacks on the Revolution.
One of the first feminists, Wollstonecraft (1759-97) wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women (#119) in response to Olympe de Gouges' (#122) Declaration of the Rights of Woman (#123). She was Mary Shelley's mother.
Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Written by Wollstonecraft (#118) in response to Emile (#69) and Declaration of the Rights of Woman (#123), it advocated equality between men and woman and equal education for boys and girls. Many feminists of the time distanced themselves from this work due to the author's personal controversy.
The French government between 1789 and 1791, it issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man (#115) and the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (#127), and developed the Constitution of 1791 (#121), upon which it dissolved and was replaced by the Legislative Assembly (#130).
Olympe de Gouges
A French playwright and feminist during the late 18th century, de Gouges (1748-93) wrote Declaration of the Rights of Woman (#123) in response to the Declaration of the Rights of Man (#115), challenging the notion of male-female inequality. She was guillotined (#140) due to her anti-Committee (#151) activities.
Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Female Citizen
Written by Olympe de Gouges it was basically a rewriting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man to include women.
Originally a group of Breton delegates to the Estates General of 1789 it soon developed into a group of radical left-wing politicians, led by Robespierre and even spread to other professions; it grew so large that there were several different factions of it, including the Montagnards (#145) and Girondins (#141). After the end of the Committee's Reign of Terror it was closed.
Formerly a Haitian black slave, L'Ouverture (1743 - 1803) was the leader of an anti-French revolt that gained Haiti its independence, but ended up a captive of General Leclerc during Napoleon's (#170) invasion of that island in 1802-3. He is considered one of the fathers of Haitian independence.
French Revolutionary currency issued by the Constituent Assembly (#120) after 1790, they were needed because the government was bankrupt. They persisted until 1803, when Napoleon (#170) introduced the franc as the new French currency.
Civil Constitution of the Clergy
Issued by the Constituent Assembly (#120) in 1790, it completed the destruction of the monastic orders in France, and confiscated the Church lands in France.
non-juring [refractory] clergy
Term used for the bishops and clergy who didn't accept the Civil Constitution (#127), they were mostly in western France and helped incite the uprisings in the Vendee (#148) against the various Revolutionary governments.
Refers to a French aristocrat that fled France during the Revolution from 1789 onward, who viewed the Revolution as a temporary inconvenience and expected to return to France upon its end. They often led armies in the Vendee or to assist the Coalition armies elsewhere.
The French government between October 1791 and September of the following year, it was largely ineffectual due to the King's (#99) vetoing of much of their legislation and was soon forced to give way to the Paris Commune (#137).
The first concerted effort by European powers to bring down the Revolution in France, it was formed in 1793 by Austria, Prussia, the UK, Sardinia, Naples, Spain, and Portugal. The participants would continue to fight until 1797, when Bonaparte (#170) signed the Treaty of Campo Formio (#163).
Published by the Duke of Brunswick, commander of the Prussian and allied forces, in July 1792 in Coblenz, it stated the official aims of the First Coalition, including its goal of reinstating the absolute monarchy. It was intended to threaten the French public into submission; like most of those kinds of things, it had the opposite effect, and kicked off the War of the First Coalition (#131).
The French government following the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly (#130) in September 1792, it achieved immense success before its replacement by the Directory (#161) in 1795 following the Thermidorian Reaction (#160). With the Committee of Public Safety (#151), it not only achieved military success against the First Coalition (#131) but also founded the modern French system of public education.
Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!
Rallying cry of the French Revolutionaries; literally translated "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" into English.
Written in 1792 following the "Battle" of Valmy, La Marseillaise is and was the national anthem of France. Napoleon (#170) banned it during the First Empire.
The government of Paris from 1789 to 1795, it was established not long after the storming of the Bastille (#112). In 1792 it turned insurrectionary against the Legislative Assembly (#130) and attacked the Tuileries (#132), where the Royal Family was staying, and forced them to flee to the Assembly.
A journalist and scientist, as well as an associate Jacobin (#124), Marat (1743-93) helped launch the Reign of Terror (#154) and complied death lists, being an advocate of violent measures. He was stabbed to death in his bath by Charlotte Corday, immortalized in the David (#91) painting The Death of Marat.
A court instituted in Paris by the Convention (#134) between October 1793 and the Thermidorian Reaction (#160), the Tribunal was one of the main instruments of the Reign of Terror (#154) and had many people guillotined (#140).
A weapon used to execute by decapitation, it was the main instrument of the Reign of Terror (#154) and stayed the main instrument of execution in France until the 1970s.
A faction of the Jacobins (#124) during the Legislative Assembly (#130) and the Convention (#134), they were supporters of a constitutional monarchy with a good deal of power for the republic. They lost much support after the flight of Louis XVI (#99) and the Royals from the Tuileries (#132), and were finally eradicated during the Terror (#154).
A leading Jacobin (#124) in the early stages of the Revolution, Danton (1759-94) was regarded as the leader of the August 10 uprising (#132) and became a principal figure in the Committee (#151) until his execution by guillotine (#140) by more radical members of the Revolution.
Another word for referendum, a plebiscite is an example of direct democracy: an issue on which everyone votes.
The leading Jacobin (#124) and head of the CPS (#151), Robespierre (1758-94) initiated the Reign of Terror (#154), but after Danton's (#142) execution, he was in turn guillotined (#140) during the Thermidorian Reaction (#160).
Literally mountain in French, the montagnards were the most radically liberal of the Jacobin (#124) factions, and were generally supported by the sans culottes (#147). They eventually hijacked the Convention (#134) and were a major force behind the Reign of Terror (#154).
The moderates of the Jacobin Club (#124).
The poorest members of the Third Estate (#107), so called because they didn't wear knee breeches like the aristocracy, instead wearing full-length pantaloons. They supported the most radical left-wing French politicians during the Revolutionary governments, and had significant muscle inside Paris itself.
A region in western France south of Brittany, it was the site of several anti-Revolutionary uprisings from 1793-6 that claimed as many as a million lives.
Legion of Honor
A French medal, originally issued by Napoleon (#170), it was the first modern military order of merit and was meant to help replace knighthood and feudal institutions.
The Law of Suspects
Enacted in fall 1793 by the Convention (#134), it allowed for the creation of Revolutionary Tribunals (#139) throughout France to eliminate Enemies of the Revolution. It initiated the Reign of Terror (#154).
Committee of Public Safety
Essentially the ruling body of the Convention (#134), the Committee (established April 1793) was headed first by Danton (#142) and later Robespierre (#144). It continued war with the First Coalition (#131) successfully and initiated the Reign of Terror (#154) until its replacement by the Directory (#161).
Republic of Virtue
Name of a speech given by Robespierre (#144) in early 1794, it laid out his idea that terror must be used in defense of democracy.
One of the most radically left-leaning of the Jacobins (#124), he proposed the Cult of Reason (#157) in opposition to Robespierre's (#144) Cult of the Supreme Being, and for his troubles was guillotined (#140) during the climax of the Terror (#154).
Reign of Terror
Period during the Convention (#134) during which the Committee (#151) ruthlessly suppressed risings (real and perceived) against its power by judicious use of the guillotine (#140). It lasted from September 1793 to the Thermidorian Reaction (#160).
The most left-leaning of the Jacobins (#124) during the days of the Convention (#134), they were supported by the sans culottes (#147) and fought against Robespierre (#144), eventually aligning themselves with Hébert (#153).
The term used for the anti-RCC actions the various French Revolutionary governments took between 1789 and the Concordat of 1801 (#173), it was most intense during the days of the Committee (#151).
Cult of Reason
A cult of atheism, advocated by Hébert (#153) and his cronies, it reached its apex under the Terror (#154) and was eventually driven underground during the Thermidorian Reaction (#160) and nearly eradicated by Napoleon's Concordat (#173). It was mostly supported by the sans culottes (#147).
levée en masse
Term used for the general French conscription of the 1790s (officially initiated in August 1793), it provided upwards of 800,000 soldiers for the Revolutionary armies and was a major development in modern warfare, allowing huger and more massive armies to be fielded.
[Society of] Revolutionary Republic Women
Created by sans culotte (#147) women, this group lasted six months before it was shut down.
A revolt against Robespierre (#144) and the Terror (#154), it was a conservative reaction that ended in the end of the Reign of Terror and established a new Convention (#134) government, which was far more right-wing than those previous. It was succeeded by the Directory (#161) in fall 1795.
The Revolutionary government from 1795 to 1799, it had five directors sharing power instead of a legislative body. It was more conservative than those previous due to the Thermidorian Reaction (#160); it was propped up mainly on the bayonets of Napoleon (#170) and the Army.
A Revolutionary agitator and journalist, Babeuf (1760-97) had ideas that can be best described as "socialist" or "communist". He was executed by the Directory (#161) for his role in the Conspiracy of the Equals.
Treaty of Campo Formio
Negotiated by Napoleon (#170) directly with Austria as a result of his victories in Italy of 1796-7 (Rivoli being the most recent), it ended the War of the First Coalition (#131) with only Britain left opposing France. Many Austrian territories were ceded to France or spun off as pro-Revolutionary governments, especially in Italy.
Admiral Horatio Nelson
Royal Navy tactician and leader, Nelson (1758-1805) was the greatest and most innovative naval leader of his time, and is best known for his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar (#178), in which he lost his life. He repeatedly foundered Napoleon's (#170) plans for naval victory in Egypt, the New World, and invasion of England.
The Battle of the Nile
Also known as the Battle of Aboukir Bay and fought on the night of August 1-2, 1798, Nelson (#164) and the British fleet defeated the French fleet in Egypt, preventing Napoleon (#170) from further victory in the Middle East.
Discovered by Napoleon's (#170) troops in Egypt, the Stone had the same text in Greek, Egyptian, and another Egyptian script, allowing Egyptian hieroglyphics to finally be decoded.
Occurring on 18 Brumaire VIII (9 November 1799), it was the overthrow of the Directory (#161) by Napoleon and the establishment of the Consulate (#172). It was heralded by the incident of 30 Prairial (18 June), when Abbe Sieyes (#108) ridded himself of the other four Directors.
Comprised of Russia, the Ottomans, Austria, and Britain, these were parties that fought against first the Directory (#161) and later the Consulate (#172); after initial successes in 1799 under the old Russian general Suvorov, they were defeated in 1800 by Napoleon's (#170) victory at Marengo and that of Moreau at Hohenlinden. They fought from 1798 to 1801, and the war was ended by the Treaty of Luneville.
One of the Great Captains of History and leader of France from 1799 to 1814 (with 100 days in 1815), first as First Consul (#172), then as Emperor, Napoleon (1769-1821) fought the Napoleonic Wars (1800-15). He attempted to bring French rule to all of Europe but was frustrated by the various British-led coalitions against him.
Joséphine de Beauharnais
Napoleon's (#170) first wife, Josephine (1763-1814) was extremely popular, but also had to put up with Napoleon's numerous dalliances. He divorced her in 1810 due to her inability to have children.
The final "Revolutionary" government from 1799 to 1804, it was in reality a dictatorship dominated by Bonaparte (#170); it won the War of the Second Coalition (#169).
Concordat of 1801
Signed by Napoleon (#170), it reaffirmed the RCC as the official church and religion of France, and restored some Church property. However, the Church was still far outbalanced by Bonaparte's power.
French word for the Greek lyceum, it is the final stage of secondary education in France.
The French civil code, established by Emperor Napoleon I (#170) in 1804, it was the first successful codification of law outside of the old Roman Empire. It notably prohibited ex post facto (or retroactive) laws and established the supremacy of the husband as compared to the wife (Note: only legally. Please don't hurt me.).
Emerging in 1805, it was yet another alliance against Napoleon (#170) that consisted of Britain, Austria, Russia, Naples, and Sweden. Britain saw naval victory against France at Trafalgar (#178), but that was counterbalanced by Napoleon's gigantic victory over Austria and Russia at Austerlitz (#179); the Continental war was ended by the Treaty of Pressburg that year.
Treaty of Amiens
Signed in 1802 between France and Britain, it ended the constant war between those two countries that had been going on for the past nine years. Britain, in spite of losing her allies, still gained concessions from France due to Nelson's (#164) victory at Copenhagen not long before.
Battle of Trafalgar
Fought on 21 October 1805 as part of the War of the Third Coalition (#176), it saw an outnumbered British fleet under Nelson (#164) attack and defeat a combined Franco-Spanish fleet off the southern coast of Spain. The significance: Napoleon (#170) would never have the chance or the ability to invade England again, and was forced to turn to Continental victories.
Battle of Austerlitz
Fought on 2 December 1805 as part of the War of the Third Coalition (#176), here Napoleon (#170) won a massive tactical and strategic victory against superior Russo-Austrian forces in Bohemia, virtually annihilating the Russian and Austrian armies still remaining. It is considered his greatest tactical masterpiece and is called the "Battle of the Three Emperors" because Alexander I (#195) of Russia and Franz II of Austria were also there.
Confederation of the Rhine
Created by the Treaty of Pressburg that ended the War of the Third Coalition (#176), it was a large grouping of 16 German states under a French puppet ruler. It helped lay the groundwork for greater German unity later on, and also destroyed the last vestiges of the Holy Roman Empire.
Treaty of Tilsit
Signed on a raft in the Niemen River between Alexander I (#195) and Napoleon I (#170), it ended the War of the Fourth Coalition (#189) (1806-7) and featured an agreement by the Russians and French to aid each other in disputes. However, Napoleon emasculated the lands of many German states, including Prussia, here, and basically guaranteed another war as soon as he was weakened.
Issued in November 1806 following Napoleon's (#170) victory at Jena in the War of the Fourth Coalition (#189), it installed Napoleon's Continental System (#184).
Napoleon's (#170) attempt at making economic war on Britain, it was supposed to be, in effect, an embargo of Britain by Europe, as he could not win naval victory outright. Many of his wars following 1807 were fought to enforce the System.
Orders in Council
The British response to the Milan Decree (#183), it was in effect permission for the Royal Navy to blockade French and Continental ports. This would have the indirect effect of helping cause the War of 1812.
A Spanish painter and printmaker, Goya (1746-1828) worked for the Spanish Crown, and was a member of the Romanticist movement. He painted Third of May, 1808 in commemoration of the massacres of the Spanish people during the French occupation of Iberia.
Duke of Wellington
Real name Arthur Wellesley, called the "Iron Duke", Wellington (1769-1852) was a prominent British commander during the Napoleonic Wars. He first fought against Napoleon's (#170) marshals in Spain, and also helped defeat him at the Battle of Waterloo (#199) during the Hundred Days (#198).
Battle of Borodino
The bloodiest single-day battle of the Napoleonic Wars, it was fought on 7 September 1812 between the French and Russians in western Russia. Nearly 100,000 casualties were suffered in total during a French frontal attack against fortified infantry. After this battle, immortalized in War and Peace, Napoleon (#170) had little chance of conquering Russia.
Comprised of Prussia, Russia, Britain, Saxony, and Sweden, they fought against Napoleon (#170) from 1806-7. The war featured several major victories for the French, who conquered almost all of Prussia and Poland; the war ended with the Treaties of Tilsit (#181).
Battle of Leipzig
Also called the "Battle of the Nations", Leipzig (16-9 October 1813) was the most decisive defeat suffered by Napoleon (#170) during the Napoleonic Wars. Fought in Germany south of Berlin, it involved a Prussian, Austrian, Russian, and Swedish conglomerate army defeating a slightly smaller French and German allied Grande Armee.
An island off the northern coast of Italy, close to Corsica. Napoleon (#170) was exiled here in 1814 following defeats at Leipzig (#190) and the fall of Paris, but returned to Europe in the Hundred Days (#198).
Congress of Vienna
Lasting through 1814-5, it was a meeting by the various powers of Europe to decide what to do after the fall of Napoleon (#170). The Congress mainly featured the excellent French diplomat Talleyrand (#196) successfully fending off the Allied attempts to carve up French territory.
Klemens von Metternich
The Austrian representative (1773-1859) at the Congress of Vienna (#192), he was the second important diplomat at the Congress. Later, he became the spirit of Austrian conservatism until the Revolutions of 1848.
The British representative at the Congress of Vienna (#192), he represented the UK at the Congress and helped create the security system for Europe that would last until 1848.
Tsar Alexander I
Tsar of Russia from 1801 to 1825, Aleksandr would successfully defeat Napoleon (#170) in the later parts of the Napoleonic Wars and managed to secure many lands in Eastern Europe for Russia at the Congress of Vienna (#192), at which he was Russia's representative.. The first part of his reign was concerned with liberal reforms; strangely, the second part was involved in abolishing those.
Napoleon's (#170) chief diplomat and later France's representative at the Congress of Vienna (#192), he was one of the greatest foreign ministers in history. He managed to allow France to keep her 1792 borders at the Congress.
King of France and Navarre from 1814 to 1824, he was the restored Bourbon King who initially tried to reverse the effects of the Revolution, and was unseated in the Hundred Days (#198). Later, he would prove a fairly moderate King until the 1820s, during which he would turn ultraconservative.
Time of Napoleon's (#170) return to France from Elba (#191) in summer 1815, it culminated in the Battle of Waterloo (#199), at which he would finally be defeated by the Seventh Coalition.
Fought on June 18, 1815 between Napoleon (#170) and the Duke of Wellington (#187), it ended in a decisive Allied defensive victory and the end of the Hundred Days (#198).
The final location of Napoleon's (#170) exile following the Hundred Days (#198), it was where he finally died in 1821.