Sunday, September 8, 2019

Enlightenment Virtue in Robespierre's Writings and Speeches (RESEARCH Essay

Enlightenment Virtue in Robespierre's Writings and Speeches (RESEARCH PROVIDED) - Essay Example In one of his speeches, Robespierre claimed that â€Å"the Constitution establishes that sovereignty resides in the people, in all the individuals of the people. Each individual has the right to participate in making the law which governs him and in the administration of the public good which is his own†.1 To a large extent, virtue for Robespierre was a matter of politics and had to work for the benefit of the masses. Robespierre did not simply assert that every individual was a citizen, but granted citizens a broad range of individual and social rights, irrespective of the amount of fortune they possessed.2 Robespierre was confident that the amount and scope of the individual rights did not have to depend on the amount of money an individual was able to invest in his country.3 Otherwise, such a position would deny the relevance and meaning of virtue, equality, and justice in the human society. The humanistic nature of Robespierre’s beliefs was difficult to ignore, and it produced a multitude of positive effects on the development of the political and ethical consciousness in France. As part of his political and individual evolution, Robespierre slowly transformed and expanded his beliefs about virtue. By 1791, he no longer perceived virtue as a combination of sovereignty, equality, and justice in the masses. For Robespierre, virtue came to exemplify a sophisticated framework of attitudes and decisions that continuously affected the lives of the thousands in France. Robespierre slowly came to associate virtue with patriotism. The latter, at times, bordered on nationalism. He was willing to reach a compromise with the à ©migrà ©s and promote eternal fraternity, peace, and amnesty in France.4 For Robespierre, peace, fraternity, and amnesty were the principal preconditions for avoiding military conflicts with the perceived enemies.5 Robespierre moved even further, by denouncing the King’s political and military power:

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