Revolutions All Around; Understanding and finding similarities between three major revolutions
The goal of this unit is to get students to understand why revolutions occur and to examine their similarities and differences across nations and ages. Student will earn about the Russian, French and American Revolutions. Themes of the causes of revolutions and what people are looking for when they decide to revolt will be the focus of comparisons.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.1Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.2 Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.3 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.5 Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.10By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
1.1 GLE 2 Compare and contrast historical events in the United States to those in other countries
1.7 GLE 16 Compare and contrast different forms of governance in the past and present
1.8 GLE 18 Analyze and critique examples where governments in other nations have changed through violent or peaceful means
1.9 GLE 19 Compare the rights and responsibilities of citizens under different forms of government throughout the world
1.11 GLE 21 Compare and contrast different economic systems in the world
2.1 GLE 2 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources
3.2 GLE 4 Cite evidence to summarize the feelings and
points of view. outlook of people engaged in a historical
event (e.g. immigrant experience, wartime
2.3 GLE 23 Integrate information from multiple print and
digital sources while avoiding plagiarism.
2.3 GLE 22 Write informative/explanatory texts, including
Because the content of this unit is advanced for this age group, and possibly the first time they are exposed to world history, most of the content will be delivered in whole class settings. However, the teacher should pause for a few minutes several times throughout this instruction to allow small groups to discuss and summarize the information being presented.
Students will be creating their own portfolio for the significant task, and will be individually responsible for their own product. Though they will produce their own individual piece to be assessed at the end of the unit, teachers are still encouraged to allow them time to work in groups so students may share ideas and work together to pull details out of the texts to use in their portfolio pieces.
Portfolio Presentation, Collection of artifacts
Students create a portfolio of artifacts from various revolutions. The artifacts they create will show their understanding of the points of view of people involved in the various revolutions studied.
The timing of this unit is flexible. Teachers can spend more or less time analyzing documents depending on the depth of understanding that they want their students to achieve. Components of the significant task will be create as the corresponding content is covered, so at the end of the instructional period significant tasks should be virtually complete. A day or two should be allowed at the end for students to share their projects.
Primary Source Documents:
The Manifesto of October 17, 1905 http://www.dur.ac.uk/a.k.harrington/octmanif.html (also see attached document)
Excerpts from Thomas Paine’s Common Sense (see attached documents) In it’s entirety at http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/mod/paine-common.asp
A firsthand account of the execution of Louis XVI, 1793 (see attached document or view at http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/louis.htm
Significant Task documents:
Revolutions all Around Comparison sheet (see attached)
Significant Task Explanation sheet (attached)
Significant Task Rubric (attached)
The unit will begin with the teacher defining revolutions and completing a KWL chart with the class. Important vocabulary will be introduced and Student discussion groups will work on higher level thinking skills questions such as:
Why do people revolt?
What are people looking for when they revolt?
How do revolutions change the course of history?
Are revolutions a good things or a bad thing?
The teacher will dive into each revolution in depth for a period of one to two weeks. They will begin by using secondary source materials such as text books and periodicals to provide age appropriate information about the revolution, and then use the primary source documents attached to provide the students with the point of view of the people involved in the revolution. As students gather information, they use it to complete the Revolutions all Around comparison sheet. They will use this sheet to track the similarities between revolutions and evidence from primary sources to support their claims. After discussing each revolution, the students will decide to create one artifact for their portfolio.
Students should be given the rubric created (see attached) before beginning to create their artifact. The teacher should explain that the rubric corresponds directly with the comparison sheet they have been using to collect their data. As students begin to create their artifact they should use the notes on their comparison sheet to help them add details.
The unit is complete after all three revolutions have been studied in depth by the class and the students have created an artifact to go with each revolution. At the end students will share their portfolio with their class, and teachers will use the rubric to assess their mastery of the objective (finding similarities between revolutions).
Significant Task Rubrics, one for each artifact (see attached)
Revolutions all Around comparison Sheet
Excerpts from Thomas Paine’s Common Sense; January 1776 As a long and violent abuse of power, is generally the Means of calling the right of it in question (and in matters too which might never have been thought of, had not the Sufferers been aggravated into the inquiry) and as the King of England had undertaken in his own Right, to support the Parliament in what he calls Theirs, and as the good people of this country are grievously oppressed by the combination, they have an undoubted privilege to inquire into the pretensions of both, and equally to reject the usurpation of either.
Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil in its worst state an in tolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamities is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer! Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience Wear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least.
Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.
By referring the matter from argument to arms, a new area for politics is struck; a new method of thinking hath arisen. All plans, proposals, &c. prior to the nineteenth of April, i. e. to the commencement of hostilities, are like the almanacs of the last year; which, though proper then, are superseded and useless now. Whatever was advanced by the advocates on either side of the question then, terminated in one and the same point, viz. a union with Great Britain; the only difference between the parties was the method of effecting it; the one proposing force, the other friendship; but it hath so far happened that the first hath failed, and the second hath withdrawn her influence.
As much hath been said of the advantages of reconciliation, which, like an agreeable dream, hath passed away and left us as we were, it is but right, that we should examine the contrary side of the argument, and inquire into some of the many material injuries which these colonies sustain, and always will sustain, by being connected with, and dependant on Great Britain. To examine that connection and dependance, on the principles of nature and common sense, to see what we have to trust to, if separated, and what we are to expect, if dependant.
But Britain is the parent country, say some. Then the more shame upon her conduct. Even brutes do not devour their young; nor savages make war upon their families; wherefore the assertion, if true, turns to her reproach; but it happens not to be true, or only partly so, and the phrase Parent or mother country hath been jesuitically adopted by the king and his parasites, with a low papistical design of gaining an unfair bias on the credulous weakness of our minds. Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America. This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers off civil and religious liberty from every Part of Europe. Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home pursues their descendants still.
Manifesto of 17 October 1905 On the improvement of order in the state
The disturbances and unrest in St Petersburg, Moscow and in many other parts of our Empire have filled Our heart with great and profound sorrow. The welfare of the Russian Sovereign and His people is inseparable and national sorrow is His too. The present disturbances could give rise to national instability and present a threat to the unity of Our State. The oath which We took as Tsar compels Us to use all Our strength, intelligence and power to put a speedy end to this unrest which is so dangerous for the State. The relevant authorities have been ordered to take measures to deal with direct outbreaks of disorder and violence and to protect people who only want to go about their daily business in peace. However, in view of the need to speedily implement earlier measures to pacify the country, we have decided that the work of the government must be unified. We have therefore ordered the government to take the following measures in fulfilment of our unbending will:
Fundamental civil freedoms will be granted to the population, including real personal inviolability, freedom of conscience, speech, assembly and association.
Participation in the Duma will be granted to those classes of the population which are at present deprived of voting powers, insofar as is possible in the short period before the convocation of the Duma, and this will lead to the development of a universal franchise. There will be no delay to the Duma elect already been organized.
It is established as an unshakeable rule that no law can come into force without its approval by the State Duma and representatives of the people will be given the opportunity to take real part in the supervision of the legality of government bodies.
We call on all true sons of Russia to remember the homeland, to help put a stop to this unprecedented unrest and, together with this, to devote all their strength to the restoration of peace to their native land.
Source: Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiiskoi Imperii, 3rd series, vol. XXV/I, no. 26803.
The Execution of Louis XVI, 1793
Louis XVI, king of France, arrived in the wrong historical place at the wrong time and soon found himself overwhelmed by events beyond his control. Ascending the throne in 1774, Louis inherited a realm driven nearly bankrupt through the opulence of his predecessors Louis XIV and XV. After donning the crown, things only got worse. The economy spiraled downward (unemployment in Paris in 1788 is estimated at 50%), crops failed, the price of bread and other food soared. The people were not happy. To top it off, Louis had the misfortune to marry a foreigner, the Austrian Marie Antoinette. The anger of the French people, fueled by xenophobia, targeted Marie as a prime source of their problems.
In 1788, Louis was forced to reinstate France's National Assembly (the Estates-General) which quickly curtailed the king's powers. In July of the following year, the mobs of Paris stormed the hated prison at the Bastille. Feeling that power was shifting to their side, the mob forced the imprisonment of Louis and his family. Louis attempted escape in 1791 but was captured and returned to Paris. In 1792, the newly elected National Convention declared France a republic and brought Louis to trial for crimes against the people.
Procession to eternity
On January 20, 1793, the National Convention condemned Louis XVI to death, his execution scheduled for the next day. Louis spent that evening saying goodbye to his wife and children. The following day dawned cold and wet. Louis arose at five. At eight o'clock a guard of 1,200 horsemen arrived to escort the former king on a two-hour carriage ride to his place of execution. Accompanying Louis, at his invitation, was a priest, Henry Essex Edgeworth, an Englishman living in France. Edgeworth recorded the event and we join his narrative as he and the fated King enter the carriage to begin their journey:
"The King, finding himself seated in the carriage, where he could neither speak to me nor be spoken to without witness, kept a profound silence. I presented him with my breviary, the only book I had with me, and he seemed to accept it with pleasure: he appeared anxious that I should point out to him the psalms that were most suited to his situation, and he recited them attentively with me. The gendarmes, without speaking, seemed astonished and confounded at the tranquil piety of their monarch, to whom they doubtless never had before approached so near.
The procession lasted almost two hours; the streets were lined with citizens, all armed, some with pikes and some with guns, and the carriage was surrounded by a body of troops, formed of the most desperate people of Paris. As another precaution, they had placed before the horses a number of drums, intended to drown any noise or murmur in favour of the King; but how could they be heard? Nobody appeared either at the doors or windows, and in the street nothing was to be seen, but armed citizens - citizens, all rushing towards the commission of a crime, which perhaps they detested in their hearts.
The carriage proceeded thus in silence to the Place de Louis XV, and stopped in the middle of a large space that had been left round the scaffold: this space was surrounded with cannon, and beyond, an armed multitude extended as far as the eye could reach. As soon as the King perceived that the carriage stopped, he turned and whispered to me, 'We are arrived, if I mistake not.' My silence answered that we were. One of the guards came to open the carriage door, and the gendarmes would have jumped out, but the King stopped them, and leaning his arm on my knee, 'Gentlemen,' said he, with the tone of majesty, 'I recommend to you this good man; take care that after my death no insult be offered to him - I charge you to prevent it.'. As soon as the King had left the carriage, three guards surrounded him, and would have taken off his clothes, but he repulsed them with haughtiness- he undressed himself, untied his neckcloth, opened his shirt, and arranged it himself. The guards, whom the determined countenance of the King had for a moment disconcerted, seemed to recover their audacity. They surrounded him again, and would have seized his hands. 'What are you attempting?' said the King, drawing back his hands. 'To bind you,' answered the wretches. 'To bind me,' said the King, with an indignant air. 'No! I shall never consent to that: do what you have been ordered, but you shall never bind me. . .'
The path leading to the scaffold was extremely rough and difficult to pass; the King was obliged to lean on my arm, and from the slowness with which he proceeded, I feared for a moment that his courage might fail; but what was my astonishment, when arrived at the last step, I felt that he suddenly let go my arm, and I saw him cross with a firm foot the breadth of the whole scaffold; silence, by his look alone, fifteen or twenty drums that were placed opposite to me; and in a voice so loud, that it must have been heard it the Pont Tournant, I heard him pronounce distinctly these memorable words: 'I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I Pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France.'
He was proceeding, when a man on horseback, in the national uniform, and with a ferocious cry, ordered the drums to beat. Many voices were at the same time heard encouraging the executioners. They seemed reanimated themselves, in seizing with violence the most virtuous of Kings, they dragged him under the axe of the guillotine, which with one stroke severed his head from his body. All this passed in a moment. The youngest of the guards, who seemed about eighteen, immediately seized the head, and showed it to the people as he walked round the scaffold; he accompanied this monstrous ceremony with the most atrocious and indecent gestures. At first an awful silence prevailed; at length some cries of 'Vive la Republique!' were heard. By degrees the voices multiplied and in less than ten minutes this cry, a thousand times repeated became the universal shout of the multitude, and every hat was in the air."
References: Cronin, Vincent, Louis and Antoinete (1975); Edgeworth, Henry in Thompson, J.M., English Witnesses of the French Revolution (1938, Memoirs originally published 1815).
How To Cite This Article:
"The Execution of Louis XVI, 1793," EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (1999)
Revolutions all Around: Trends in World Revolutions
What did they think about the government before the revolution?
Revolutions all Around
Significant Task Explanation
During this unit you will be learning about three major revolutions in different countries. Your teacher will be sharing information about the French, Russian and American Revolutions. You will use your Revolutions all Around comparison sheet to keep track of the causes of the revolutions, what people thought of the government before the revolution and what they want to get out of the revolution. As you move from studying one revolution to another, you will see patterns and trends along all these dimensions!
After studying each revolution, you will be creating an artifact to put in your Revolutions all Around portfolio. You can choose to create a folk song, a war propaganda poster or a letter written by a layperson. The artifact you create must show:
Knowledge of important people and concepts in each revolution
How revolutionaries felt about the government
What circumstance led people to revolt
Your teachers will use the significant task rubric to assess how you show what you have learned in the pieces you create. Use the notes you took in your Revolutions all Around comparison sheet to help you include important details in each of your artifacts.