Source Analysis of Documents Written by Thomas
Jacobin, and a likened them to the Republican Patriots of the American Revolution. Because of their beginnings with establishing a free constitution, and the sheer desire to become independent, it is only expectable that these connections would be made within the American’s minds. Despite originally seeing the two groups a part of the same sect, the violence that erupted from the French Revolution, leading up to and during the Reign of Terror caused Jefferson to change his views towards the Jacobin. The Document begins expressing a sense of uneasiness.Jefferson Is attempting to express his insupportableness with the amount of violence that has been going on in France.
He does not discount that in the beginning the violence was beneficial for creating a sense of power and respect among the people. Jefferson also expresses that although their deaths were beneficial to the cause, he would forever grieve for the deaths of the innocent that had occurred. Jefferson also makes sure to emphasis his belief that the citizens of North America are supporters of French Revolution, the few that are not are In positions of high office, or wealthy.He rationalizes that it would make sense that these people would stand on the side of the nobles and monarchs of France. Jefferson finishes off the document explaining that although he disagrees with much of the activity that is occurring, he believes that the French republicanism is “pure,” and is the correct path for the country. No doubt an avid and open supporter of the French Revolution, Benjamin Franklin Beach stood with devotion to the cause despite the actions that had been occurring during the Reign of Terror. This Is demonstrated throughout the document “APositive American View.
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” The document begins from the get-go belittling the naysayer, and those who may disapprove of the entire revolution based off of the horrible actions that had occurred. He Justifies the countless deaths of innocent and guilty, by claiming “the change which took place in the system of government, emancipated twenty-four millions of the human species. ” HIS next focus throughout the document Is the views of the Nobility and Monarchs, describing them as the “tenth part” who viewed the revolution as a negative development.He explains that e believes that the people who were put out, the wealthy and privileged, are Jealous and are attempting to act against the revolutionaries as punishment for all that they lost with the constitution. In Beaches eyes the monarchs are directly responsible for creating the revolutionaries look bad, they have been achieving this by Infiltrating Beach wishes to emphasize his point that: Though much blood may be shed ere liberty be firmly established; yet that when it shall be established the effusion will cease.A system of Despotism however, cannot be supported without blood, and we have no reason to live that as long as it continues, the sanguinary torrent will ever cease. It is Justified in his views that the amount of violence that has been occurring, and that is because even without the Revolutionaries fighting for liberty, the Monarchy would still be causing mass death and punishment.
At least at the end of the Revolution, the violence will stop and all will be appeased.The contrasts between the two documents are apparent to anyone, but there are also many similarities between both the writers and their messages throughout the documents. The first of which is that they are both sympathetic with the evolutionary cause. They both are able to acknowledge the similarities between the French Revolution and the American Revolution, they both began with the desire of liberty and the creation of a free constitution, and although the actually process of carrying the constitution and the dealing with a monarch or any hereditary executive.This brings me to the second similarity, both Beach and Jefferson agree that while it was admirable that the Jacobin attempted to pacify the populations by trying to maintain a hereditary ruler with the constitution, they agreed that the decision to abolish the act all together was better for the constitution to flourish, because a maintained hereditary ruler opened the gates for despotism to be reestablished. The last similarity between the Beach and Jefferson documents is that they both retain their support for the Revolutionaries, although they are different in proclaiming it.Beach is able to unabashedly support the Jacobin for their diligence, while Jefferson no longer agrees with the methods and extremes that the Jacobin are reaching, he cannot turn his back on the basis of the movement, one with which e agrees wholeheartedly.
Now, although Beach and Jefferson agreed, the main focus of these documents in comparison to each other was their opinions on the necessity of violence and the morality as well. Jefferson was by no means shy to express his disapproval of the excessive violence that became known as the Reign of Terror.Meanwhile Beach not necessarily approved of the violence, but believed that it was rightfully so because of the monarch and nobility’s greed and own violence. The excessive violence caused Jefferson faith to waver, but not Beach, he saw it as n excuse to continue forward, stating that there will be violence on either path, but it only ends with the success of liberty. From these documents two main questions arose for me, the first of which was: Was the violence that was exemplified during the Reign of Terror really necessary?Both Benjamin Franklin Beach and Thomas Jefferson were not shy in their belief that violence was inevitable during the revolution, though their reasons why were incredibly different. Beach took the side of belief that the Executive powers and nobility were causing as much, if not more, violence then the evolutionarily, and that without the constitution and liberty the patterns of violence would be never ending. But on the other side was Jefferson, who believed that while justifiable.
The second question that came clear from the documents was: Was mass violence and deaths the only means by which control was able to be gained? Benjamin Franklin Beach claimed that the violence used within the revolution was what “emancipated twenty-four millions of the human species. ” Thus causing me to believe that without violence the results would be unachievable. Even Jefferson lams that violence is inevitable. As a direct quote “In the struggle that was necessary, many guilty persons fell without the forms of trial and with them some innocent. In his own words he cannot deny that violence to some extent is necessary, but why does that change when it is applied on a grander scale. Without the foundation of violence, would the Jacobin have been able to gain power and respect. Beyond that, if violence is the only way in which power and respect was gained, why would those methods change later on? The idea of changing their methods cannot yen up with the desires of Jefferson, who expresses his desires for less violence now that they have been established.
In conclusion, there are many similarities and differences between the documents presented, but in the core then both express, albeit one unwillingly, admit that the violence known as the Reign of Terror was inevitable. While Jefferson calls for a dismissal of the violence and the return to the “pure” motives of the revolution, Beach supports his revolutionary brothers by claiming they not only have the right to act as they do, but are required to do so in order to uphold the tradition of liberty.