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Roe Vs Wade
The controversial case that legalized abortion.
The Revolution and the Colonies
Turn to the French colonies and ask what the Revolution meant in places such as Saint-Domingue, the colony that would soon become the independent nation of Haiti. Did the Declaration of the Rights of Man apply to free people of color? Would the Revolution abolish the slave trade? These questions…
Slave Revolt and the Abolition of Slavery
The largest slave revolt in history took place in Saint-Domingue in the early 1790s. What made the revolt possible? How did insurgent slaves convince France that slavery should be abolished? Uncover the suspenseful story of Toussaint Louverture's rise to power, which paved the way for an independent Haiti.
Counterrevolution and the Vendée
Not everyone was on board with the Revolution. In fact, tens of thousands of peasants and artisans in the provinces were dissatisfied with what they saw as the atheism and the anarchy of the revolutionaries. Learn about the civil war in western France and the counterrevolutionary efforts to restore the…
Foreign Reactions—A Divided Europe
Travel to Great Britain to explore the foreign reactions to the French Revolution. Professor Desan walks you through Edmund Burke's defense of tradition and the aristocratic system, as well as Thomas Paine's "Rights of Man," a response to Burke that lays out an argument for equality and a series of…
1455—Gutenberg’s Print Revolution
Trace how Johannes Gutenberg's introduction of a press with movable type sparked a print revolution, becoming a key factor in the Protestant Reformation, the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, and the standardization of vernacular languages.
1676—Van Leeuwenhoek’s Microscope
Trace how Anton van Leeuwenhoek's striking discovery fit into the larger Scientific Revolution and shifted intellectual authority from classic texts to that which is observable and measurable.
Revolutionary Culture and Festivals
Step back and explore the culture of France as revolutionary leaders tried to stamp out the power of religion and the monarchy. From a new republican calendar to festivals that celebrated the goddesses Liberty and Reason, radicals enacted a fascinating series of changes.
Revolutionary Legacies
In this concluding episode, you'll look at how the ideas, symbols, and practices of the Revolution had far-ranging consequences that are still being debated today. From the European uprisings of 1848 to the civil rights issues of the 20th and 21st centuries, the questions raised by the French Revolution are…
Napoleon Becomes Emperor
As his power grew, Napoleon's ties to the Revolution shifted. He spoke of the "nation" rather than the "republic," and he became more formal and remote. After a failed plot against his life, he declared himself emperor. Despite this shocking seizure of power, he built on some of the Revolution's…
The Path to War with Europe
Discover why France went to war with Austria and Prussia in 1792, and meet some of the key players in that decision--including the Jacobin Maximilien Robespierre who, ironically, feared war could destroy the Revolution and lead to a dictatorship. Study the causes of the war that would transform the Revolution.
Introduction and the Old Regime Monarchy
Take a first look at the complexities of overthrowing a monarchy and constructing a democracy. This first episode introduces you to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and lays the groundwork for the gripping drama of the French Revolution.