Chapter 28 Web QuestionsPosted: June 20, 2012
Below please find a series of questions on Chapter 28: Revolutions and National States in the Atlantic World, as well as Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and Mary Wollstonecraft’s A False System of Education, written by your classmate, Lindsay Poulakos.
1) Two ideologies that emerged from the Enlightenment were conservatism and liberalism, which are both aimed toward improving society, but contrast in terms of implementation. How do these views conflict each other? What would be their take on abolishing slavery or on the rights of women? Which view was more beneficial to newly independent societies?
2) New ideas of freedom and equality quickly spread across the globe and sparked change and independence in Europe and in the Americas. These revolutionary changes were only applicable to white males, leaving an ongoing fight for the liberties of colored inhabitants and of women. What were some of the key elements that made the abolition of slavery and the procurement of women’s rights such slow and lengthy processes?
3) Nationalism was a powerful force in the nineteenth century that created a new form of identity for members of a nation. What are the origins of this idea of nationalism? How did this affect the views of societies towards each other and within themselves? Was nationalism a positive or negative influence?
Common Sense Questions:
4) Paine greatly opposed the institution of monarchy and of hereditary succession, which he strongly expresses in Common Sense. What are some of the arguments he makes to support his views? Are his reasons justifiable?
5) Paine utilizes several metaphors in his essay to deliver his argument, such as “We may as well assert, that because a child has thrived upon milk, that it is never to have meat…” Why do you think he utilized poetic language to explain his points? What audience do you think his essay was directed towards? Does use of this literary tool provide for a more convincing argument?
A False System of Education Question:
6) According to Mary Wollstonecraft, women’s education at that time lead to a weak mind, childish behavior and a submissive disposition. Do you think society has corrected this “false refinement” in our modern society by providing women with formal education? Or do publications such as magazines still promote the ideals Wollstonecraft so strongly opposed?