Romanticism Composition Essay

779 words - 3 pages

1. a. 'Revolution and Reaction'- Toward the end of the eighteenth century, tworevolutions occurred outside England that indirectly threatened the stability of the Britishpolitical and social systems. The French Revolution began on July 14, 1789, when agroup of French citizens stormed the Bastille, a Paris prison for political prisoners. Duringthe following weeks the revolutionaries approved a document called the Declaration ofRights of Man, affirming the principles of 'liberty, equality, and fraternity.' Francebecame a constitutional monarchy. Revolutionary violence reached its peak, as theJacobins, under the leadership of Maximilien Robespierre, began what is called the Reignof Terror.b. 'The Reign of Terror'- During this time period British leaders did not want Franceor any other nation to win dominance on the European continent. In 1793, France tookthe initiative by declaring war on Britain. Thus began a series of wars that would drag onfor twenty-two years, creating fear and rigidity within Britain and effectively squelchingduring that time all hope of reform within British society. The battles at Waterloo, endedthe great Napoleon's reign, but not till he conquered almost all of Europe.c. 'Coping with Society's Problems'- During this era, Britain's government ignored themany problems that arouse. Many of these problems were a result from the IndustrialRevolution. The problems that arouse were not ones that were going to vanish,overcrowded towns, the unpleasant and unsafe working conditions in the factories, thelong working hours, and the low pay experienced by the workers. During this time,Britain had a series of weak and ineffective royal heads. George III, long subject to boutsof insanity, went irretrievably mad in 1811. George III, and his predecessors all had thereflaws, however, finally Parliament passed the first law governing factory safety which madthe people happy after the government pushed them down and ignored them.d. 'The Beginnings of Romanticism'- Writers of the Romantic Age reacted strongly tothe events of their time. They all felt the stirrings of excitement or repulsion as theycontemplated the French Revolution. Those who had applauded the French Revolution,envisioning a new age of democracy and equality in Britain, were left in a state of bitterdisappointment. They turned their attention to literary endeavors, creating a Romanticstyle that offered a new perspective on the world, a perspective that focused on nature and'the common people.' Jean-Jacques Rousseau planted on f the seeds from...

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