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AIH389 - The French Revolution and the Struggle for Freedom

Unit details

Year2016 unit information
Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Cloud (online)
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit chair:G Burgess




Incompatible with:


Contact hours:

Campus mode: 1 x 1 hour Class per week, 1 x 1 hour Seminar per week.

Cloud (online): Learning experiences are via CloudDeakin.


The French Revolution of 1789 was, above all, a struggle for freedom, as the people rose against a despotic monarchy and an oppressive social system to demand their natural rights to liberty and equality. But what did freedom mean to the people? How was freedom given substance in the political structures of the new, revolutionary regime? This unit will study the meaning of freedom from the Enlightenment and the American Revolution to its influence on the emerging revolutionary mentality of late-eighteenth France. It will examine how the revolutionary struggle between the monarchy, nobility, church and the bourgeoisie saw freedom realised. Freedom was expressed in a statement of rights, which declared that all men were born free and equal. Freedom then had to be defended and protected. And freedom had limits. Were women truly free? Could Jews and Protestants be free in a Catholic country? Could a revolution based on freedom justify the abomination of slavery? What did freedom mean for the people if their society remained profoundly unequal in wealth and power? This unit will explore these questions. It will examine the struggle for freedom as a great social struggle with a profound legacy that still resonates today.


On Campus: Seminar Program Exercises (50%) (2,000 words)

Off Campus (Cloud): On-line exercises based on the Seminar Program (50%) (2,000 words)

All students: Research Essay (50%) (2,000 words)

Unit Fee Information

All Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), fee paying undergraduate and pre-2016 commencing students

Unit fee information available soon

2016 commencing International and full fee paying postgraduate domestic students

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