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The rise of Women's Movements during the French Revolution

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Mr Cheadle

on 10 April 2018

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Transcript of The rise of Women's Movements during the French Revolution

Although French public opinion toward women as a whole tended toward the patriarchal, many French women had different ideas and were actively involved in all parts of the Revolution. Regardless of public opinion, women made many important strides to demonstrate their independence during this time of political change.
The rise of Women's Movements during the French Revolution
What role did women play in the French Revolution?
The Women's March on Versailles
Develop a FACTUAL question, a CONCEPTUAL question and a PROVOCATIVE question about the role of women in the French Revolution.
Donut Discussion
Olympe de Gouges published the "Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen" in 1791 as a counterpart to the famous revolutionary document that focused specifically on the rights of men. De Gouges is a symbol not only for France's growing feminism, but also for the Revolutionary opposition to changing gender roles. The Jacobin Club, one of the most influential political groups during the Revolution, executed de Gouges in 1793 and outlawed female political clubs on the grounds that women belonged in the private sphere of family rather than in the world of politics.
Olympe de Gouge
Liberty Leading the People
(1830)
Many women attempted to participate in revolutionary activities, although this was met with mixed success. In a successful group of political action by women, a large group of angry women gathered for the March to Versailles, an early event in the Revolution that was brought about by bread shortages causing hunger and hardship for ordinary citizens. The March happened soon after the fall of the Bastille in 1789, and the female protestors were eventually joined by a group of men outside the palace.
On October 5, 1789, a crowd of more than seven thousand women—fish sellers and bakers, working women from the markets, bourgeois “bonnet-wearing” women from the suburbs—marched the twelve miles from Paris to Versailles to demand King Louis XVI release his stores of grain. The march had been planned at the Palais Royal by a group of women who were furious over food shortages, especially after rumors that the king had thrown a lavish feast for his bodyguards only days before.
GROUP-WORK ACTIVITIES:

1. Discuss the similarities and differences between 'The Rights of Man and Citizen' and de Gouges' 'The Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen'

2. What are the revolutionary aspects of de Gouges' declaration?

3. How effective do you think de Gouges' declaration was?

4. Discuss the relevance of the role of women during the French Revolution to today's world.
The assassination of Marat

Marat, friend of Robespierre, Jacobin deputy to the Convention, and editor-in-chief of L'Ami du Peuple, was a fiery orator. Marat’s newspaper, written single-handedly and published several times a week, was enormously popular with the working people of Paris. The appeal of L’Ami du Peuple was derived not from its political ideas but its focus and tone. Every edition claimed to expose some scandal or conspiracy; every copy launched a scathing new attack on perceived enemies of the people.
On July 13, 1793, a young Royalist from Caen, Charlotte Corday, managed, by a clever subterfuge, to gain entry into his apartment. When Marat agreed to receive her, she stabbed him in his bathtub, where he was accustomed to sit hour after hour treating the disfiguring skin disease from which he suffered.
RESEARCH ACTIVITY:

1. What is the artist's message about Marat?

2. Why do you think the assassin Charlotte Corday is not included in this painting?

3. What does the death of Marat prove about the role of women in the French Revolution?
Full transcript