Ancien Régime: Final Thoughts II

Ancien Régime: Final Thoughts II by • May 12, 2011 • Printer-friendly

Tocqueville has offered many insights into the origins and legacy of the French Revolution.  In conclusion, perhaps, we should consider three of his main points.

I He rejects the interpretation that the FR was the culmination of a conspiracy to destroy Christianity and/or the Catholic Church;

II He sees the FR as a continuation of the Ancien Régime’s centralization of France and thinks that centralization weakened and undermined all local administration, making it impossible for local communities to govern themselves;

III He regards egalitarian democracy as a rabid force which, if left unchecked by any principles of merit, protection of property, or regard for liberty, will become tyrannical.  He is thus a moderate democratic republican and thinks that basically classical liberal principles can be used to tame the beast.

In the next week or two, I am happy to give my views and am putting out a call for your opinions.



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