Friday, September 28, 2007

Robespierre and The Reign of Terror

The Reign of Terror happened during a period of time from 1793-1794. At this time people were being executed by the guilotine just because there were struggles and rivalries between people. Several key leaders of the Reign of Terror were themselves executed. The Reign of Terror took the lives of between 18,500 to 40,000 people.

A legislative Assembly was set up to work with and share power with the King. King Louis XVI didn't like the fact that he lost so much power and didn't trust the new government. He tried to leave the country, however King Louis was caught at the border and he and the royal family were returned to France. There was no one to run the country so a radical club called the Jacobins took control and tried to get rid of anyone connected to the Old Regime.

The Jacobins cut the heads off of anyone they thought might be against them. They even tried King Louis XVI for betraying France, found him guilty, and cut his head off in public. People in the government did not trust each other. Soon after Max Robespierre who ruled like a dictator took control over the goverment and wiped out any trace of the old monarchy. Mostly everything now had the face of the revolutionaries on it.

Max Robespierre changed a lot of things for the bad that is why his ruling was called the Reign of Terror. The "enemies of the republic" who troubled Robespierre the most were fellow revolutionaries who challenged their leadership. A conspiracy was organized against Robespierre since no one felt safe around him. He was arrested and executed on July 28, 1794 along with hundreds of Jacobins.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The French Revolution: Social Causes

The Causes of the French Revolution :
Giving power and priviledge to other classes (nobility and the clergy) who prevented the French citizens from advancing socially and politically. The higher class refused to give up their priviledges of not paying taxes to help their country. Participation in the Seven Year's War and the American Revolution having a large effect on their minds

The Three estates consist of the first estate (clergy), second estate (clergy), and the third estate (Rest of the French citizens). Both the first and second estates were linked to royalty and shared many similar priviledges. Some members of the third estate were peasants and laborers, whereas others had the occupations, wealth, and lifestyles of nobility.

The Third estate felt used because the first and second estates weren't paying any taxes even though they made more money than the third estates. The third estate also felt like they were being used because when they voted the first and second estates usually voted the same way while the third estate voted another way meaning the third estate's vote didn't really mean anything.

The Enlightenment thinkers influenced the French Revolution beacause among the third estate different views of power and authority were being talked and thought about. They began questioning the structure of the society knowing that they were not being treated equally.

On July 14, 1989 the French citizens began to walk the streets of Paris and assaulted the Bastille. The revolutionaries gained a symbolic victory over the Old Regime and conveyed the message that they were not to be messed with.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Copernicus and the trial of Galileo

Geocentric Solar System
The two theories of the solar system include the geocentric and heliocentric. The geocentric system was the first theory relating to the solar system. The geocentric theory is the belief that the Earth is the center of the universe and the sun and other objects go around it. This beleif was the common thinking in ancient Greece. They had two common observations that they thought proved their theory. The first is that, for observers in the northern hemisphere, the stars and the sun appear to revolve around the Earth each day. The second reason is the perception that the Earth is solid and stable, it is not moving but is at rest.
Heliocentric Solar System
The heliocentric theory of the solar system is the belief that the sun is the center of the Universe. Nicolas Copernicus didn't have any evidence to support his idea so the Church didn't accept his theory. However, around the 17th century Copernicus presented a mathematical model of a heliocentric system, which was later elaborated by Kepler and defended by Galileo.
Trail of Galileo
Galileo Galilei was a scientist who was put on trial by the Catholic Church because he supported the beliefs of Copernicus' heliocentric astronomy ideas. The Catholics believed in the genocentric astronomy ideas because the evidence was in the Bible. In Psalm 104:5 it says, "the Lord set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved." Even though they had interpreted this passage of scripture wrong they still believed they were right. Galileo was condemned to life in prison because he didn't attend to the trial. However the next day they changed his sentence to house arrest.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Scientific Revolution: Scientific Method

The Scientific method was used by different scientists to prove or disprove a theory. Before the scientific method scientists came up with theories and everyone thought they were true, until Galileo proved Aristotle a greek philospher wrong. Aristotle thought that light stone would fall faster to the ground than a heavy stone. Galileo disagreed with his theory and set up an experiment that proved stones of different weights fall at the same pace.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Evolution vs. Creation

Darwin's theory of evolution is the belief that all living things came from one common ancestor. The theory also explains that complex creatures evolved from simple organisms. These simple organisms had random gene mutations within their genetic code that helped them survive. These mutations were then passed down from one generation to another. A single mutation can have a large effect, but in many cases, evolutionary change is based on the amount of many mutations. This a very controversial issue because many people don't believe we are the descendants of animals, which brings about another belief called creation.

Creation is the belief that God or many gods created the universe. If you are a Christian the creation of the earth is explained in genesis the first book of the bible. Also Christianity explains that the first people on earth were Adam and Eve which we were created from. The Jewish interpretation tells that six things followed the creation of the world including the Torah and the Throne of Glory. Each religion has their own way of how the earth was created because everyone wants to believe in something.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007