The French Revolution and the Rights of Men


Before the French revolution, there were only two nations that acknowledged the concept of human right, which are the Great Britain and the USA, its former colony. Despite the interpretative differences in the national history of the French revolution, the country embraced only civil and political rights.

However, the complicated selection of delegates that was controversial on May 5, 1789, which acted as a barrier. The meeting that had been convened after both men and women turned hostile due to the demand of address on specific matters regarding the estates and national assembly’s representation.

Moreover, the scientific revolution also evolved following the modernity due to the correlation between technology, science and culture that gradually started after the 1500. The research paper will emphasize on the pre and post revolution with regard to technology and the effects on man’s way of life.

Scientific revolution

Historically, the scientific revolution started in Europe between 1550 and 1700, when Nicolas asserted that the earth, not the reverse followed by Isaac Newton’s invention of gravity and the mechanical universe, centers the sun. However, revolution from the religious beliefs into the experimental scientific inventions highlighted the onset of a series of inventions borrowed from the Asian and Arab cultural practices (Tallet and Atkin 106).

Following the clash between the scientific theories and the religious believes; the learned individuals gained a lot of interest in the scientific revolution ignoring the religion factor in the quest to elucidate the unexplainable.

The scientific revolution eased the way of life, the invention of steam-powered train; for example, reduced the long traveling distances that would be difficult for both man and goods to be moved over considerable distances. This was an improved method of transport, when compared with previously methods, such as water, sea, animals or by foot.

Apart from the invention of steam driven trains, movable steam and driven printing press, brought a great change in the newspapers cost and other information resources. The printers were able to produce many copies within a short time comparatively to the systems that were in place by that time (Spielvogel 204). In addition, a series of inventions emerged leading to industrialization that meant demands for scientific modernization.

The Industrial Revolution

From the development of steam driven trains and press printers that improved not only the level of economic growth but also communication standards. The steam power which replaced waterpower permitted the factories to be randomly located anywhere of which was economical to the manufactures.

However, after a while the steam technology came to pass-by with technological advancement (Roberts 12). Electricity age started by 1900, a concept that later became a scientific innovation due to the scientific concept at large. Taking for example, the invention of telegraph allowed more changes in communication, transport and manufacturing processes (Hibbert 127).

However, the invention of computers had to be considered as it enables individuals to type, listen to music, read email, and prepare information that conforms to the requirements then proceeding to the printing house.

With the ability to locate the source of energy away from the industry, electricity was more advantageous compared to the steam engines, which apart from consistence and being unlimited in the distance covered had no more preference (Tallet and Atkin 112).

Effects of Industrialized society

The advantages of living in industrialized society

The grouping of both industrial and scientific changes increased the supply of basic human needs, such as food, clothing, shelter and water. However, these merchandises and services were once luxury to ordinary man (Lefebvre & Palmer 42).

This improved both lifestyle and population growth, standard of basic human needs to the extent that it would be difficult to realize that such products are basic needs. This proved Thomas Malthus wrong when he stated that the standards of living in some areas will be poorer or the people would not be able to climb to the 19th century (Whitham 302).

The disadvantages of living in industrialized society

Due to the scientific inventions of steam engines, diesel and petrol fuels for both domestic and industrial use, the rate of pollution has greatly increased causing a lot of worries instead of being beneficial to human beings. The depletion of the ozone layer was also affected due to the gaseous emissions from the heavy machineries, which produce both fully and partly burned fuels that affect the climatic and health conditions.

The lead (Pb) contained in the fuels is a heavy metal that once inhaled would permanently stay in the respiratory system predisposing the victim to worrying health situations. Following Marx’s concern about industrialization, he affirmed that industrialization increases the gap between the poor and the rich, which was discouraging in the market economy (Neely 202).

The availability of better scientifically improved transport and communication posses a threat to local, traditional and cultural values a part from commerce. The individuals tend to imitate the other cultural values and the like from the foreign cultures either through television screens, movies, still pictures, digital median and physical experiences during missions, expedition, visits e.t.c. (Hibbert 132).

Technology and warfare

The technological advancement entails both negative and positive implications on warfare. With advanced technology, the attack skills and aviation techniques can assure a military victory (Roberts 15). This were experienced during the World war I and World war II, where the military combats used civilian aviation to attach the unprepared opponents awaiting for the military planes in order to attack.

However, the technology has gone beyond that level where the range of the weapons expanded corresponding to the killing power. The negative effects of technology on war raises a lot of concern as the civilians die in large numbers. The latest ammunitions are more powerful that they do not attack selectively instead, they clear any living thing within the periphery (Lefebvre & Palmer 45).

This has raised concern of the human rights watch over the murder of mammoth innocent civilians at the expense of the militaristic battalions evidenced in the Iraqi war whereby few American and Iraqi soldiers died while the innocent civilians perished in large numbers. In addition, the situation in Lebanon where the Israeli militia attaches led to massive civilian deaths that scared the global community (Carlyle 155).

World wars prior to 1914

The war, which depicted the world wars I & II, was the Napoleon war that erupted between 1790 and 1815. However, Napoleon, the French empire intended to obtain parts of Middle East and the Europe, during the revolution. The French were fought by most parts of the world including the British, America and Africa, which included both attach on colonies and ships globally.

In addition to that, the imperialism brought another war as the British and French empires were established (Whitham 304). The two empires competed against each other, though they never got engaged in any warring atrocity. They engaged in WWI, which was due to the conflict that erupted in Europe, the western countries gathered for or against the conflicting countries.

However, the failure of the peace treaty that ended the World War I led to the Second World War. Adolph Hitler’s discontent with the political and economical problems (Robert 20). Through his fanaticism, he launched a true world war with the help of Japan and Italy, the war that left more than fifty million people dead.

The emergence of cold war that involved the USA and the Soviet Union, however, the term cold war referenced the indirect massive attacks. The Soviet Union were advocating for communism while the American counterparts were for capitalism, the hot war that involved Eastern Europe, Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan among others (Hibbert 141).

Through the use of nuclear weapons, which were as a result of scientific advancement, the war negatively affected the human race, the newborn babies developed malformations indicating that the weapons were meant to continuously fight the population for years.

This negatively impacted on the working population to the extent that the gas could be inhaled. The emergence of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism as well of nuclear and atomic bombs as a result of technologies leaves a question to be answered, that “with the continued advancement in technology, is the world a safer place than ever or not?” (Roberts 25).


Through the emergence of scientific revolution, the anticipated better situations are yet to be experienced with numerous incidences of endangering situations to human race. Taking automotive as an example, the transport systems have improved since then though, the number of accidents is on the increase in comparison with the increased warring technology (Roberts 25).

However, the numbers of civilians who perish in wars are more than the soldiers and other members of the warring sides. Through the improvement in the technical standards due to the scientific revolution, human beings are now able to solve their problems through technology.

Nevertheless, not all problems can be solved through technology, over reliance on technology would be disastrous to human beings. We should embrace nationalism in order to reduce the risks that arise from misuse of technology and lack of understanding in case of a problem.

The negative effects of technology disobey the human rights, for instance through technology, the powerful countries developed weapons of mass destruction. These weapons are carelessly used resulting into massive death of the innocent civilians who are deprived of their rights to life.

Works cited

Carlyle, Thomas. The French revolution: A history, Part 1: The French Revolution. Washington: Harvard University, 2008. Print.

Hibbert, Christopher. The Days of the French Revolution: France – History – Revolution, 1789-1799. Paris: Macmillan Print, 1999. Print.

Lefebvre, Georges, and Palmer, R. The Coming of the French Revolution: France – History – Revolution, Canterbury: Sage Print, 2005. Print.

Neely, Sylvia. A Concise History of the French Revolution: Critical Issues In History, New York: Oxford Press, 2008. Print.

Roberts, John. The New Penguin History of the World (5ed). New York: Penguin, 2007. Print.

Spielvogel, Jackson. Western Civilization: To 1500. Birmingham: Oxford Press, 2008.

Tallet, Frank and Atkin, Nicholas. Religion, society, and politics in France since 1789, Paris- France, New York: Routledge, 1990. Print.

Whitham, Mills. Men and Women of the French Revolution. Paris: Sage, 1977. Print.

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