French politics and culture

The arrival of a new political philosophy in France which resulted from the revolution and the changes in France’s popular culture in the 1790s were heavily interrelated. Nearly every aspect of France’s new influx of culture was influenced by the contempt for the old French monarchy. The people made concerted efforts to move as far away from the oppression of the previous regime as possible and into an era of reason and rationality. Deism grew vastly in popularity, at least partially to repudiate the monarchy’s claim of divine right rule, by which a king could exercise his power by claiming to have been administered it by God himself. Deism proclaimed a separation between God and humans, that God created humans and then left them to their own devices, which directly contradicted the claim of divine right rule. In addition to their religion, the French made many other attempts to erase any evidence of the past monarchy. In chess and card games the kings and queens were discarded and forgotten; street names were altered if they contained any reference to the monarchy; and old festivals and flags were replaced. The old calendar was completely revamped in favor of a more logical date-keeping system, with 10 day weeks and holidays like Reason Day and Genius Day. These drastic changes in French culture were caused primarily out of a desire to leave behind the forced acquiescence imposed by the monarchy and into a society where reason, rationality, and justice held supreme. As the political system and ideologies changed, so did the culture of the French people, proving the profound interconnectedness of the two.

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