Middle Ages to the French Revolution and Beyond

Middle Ages to the French Revolution and Beyond

Middle Ages

Culture wars during the Middle Ages to the French Revolution and beyond:

Five issues or challenges between the Middle Ages and the French Revolution that will shed light on a contemporary problem faced by society today

Much has been said about the so-called ‘culture war,’ or divide between red and blue states America. Conventional wisdom suggests that there is a growing chasm between conservative and liberal individuals within the American nation. These culture wars regarding the role of religion, the individual, the role of the state in curtailing the abuses of capitalism, the role of women, and the role of nationalism are not new. Rather, such issues can be traced far back in history, back to the beginnings of the Enlightenment concepts that gave birth to the conceptual founding of the America ‘experiment’ in the first place.

Perhaps most foundational to the development of these conflicts is the role of religion. The role of the Church and State was a contentious issue from even before the Middle Ages, extended well into the French Revolution, and beyond the eventual end of France’s New Regime. Until the Protestant Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church was the only formal religious institution in Europe. The Almighty Church could make kings bend to its will, and the question of which institution had greater power, that of the monarch or that of the king was continually debated between the reigning Popes and the reigning kings of Europe. The idea that kings ruled by the will of God through divine right reinforced the importance of religion in society, as kings could not ignore the power of the Church when making policy (Hooker, 1996, The divine right).

However, kings could also come into conflict with the Church, as in the case of Henry VIII of England, when he demanded a divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Henry ultimately withdrew his nation from the authority of the Roman Church, and the Church of England was to form its own branch of Christianity, as distinct from Continental, Lutheran Protestantism. The balance of power of Protestant and Catholic monarchs, and the role of the individual’s spirituality in relationship to the state became even more fraught as some Protestant sects tried to opt out of civic obligations entirely (like radical Puritans in England). In other nations, such as in France, the Church had a formal role in the government — it was known as the First Estate of the Old Regime, and thus came under attack along with the rest of the inequalities of society when the revolution occurred in France. “Not only did God bestow power on certain monarchsbut the bestowal of this power legitimated autocracy (rule by one person). The king ruled by virtue of God’s authority; therefore he should be obeyed in all things. No group, whether they be nobles, or a parliament, or the people in the street, have a right to participate in this rule; to question or oppose the monarch was to rebel against God’s purpose. This doctrine of absolutism would follow a tortured course through the eighteenth century culminating in the French Revolution of 1789-1792 and the beheading of Louis XVI, the king of France” (Hooker, 1996, The divine right).

Today, the question of what constitutes a truly secular society is a topic of intense debate. People argue that America is founded upon a Judeo-Christian ethic, and use this to support the teaching of creationism in science class, and school prayer. But does a secular society prohibit students from establishing their own independent Bible study groups on school grounds? Is it wrong for a citizen to take a candidate’s religious views into consideration before voting? Does secularism constitute a religion in and of itself? Do some societies, such as France, fight too hard to exclude religion from civic institutions, by banning Muslim headscarves, for example?

The right of the individual and his or her responsibility to society is also a contentious question. In the Middle Ages, the rights of the individual were inconsequential. People could be forced to go to war by their lords, for example, or compelled by their families to marry or enter monasteries if they were despised second sons or unmarriageable daughters. Later, the development of the modern, centralized nation-state did not immediately generate a more elevated role for the individual in society — men and women could have their property or liberty taken away quite arbitrarily by the strong sovereign authority through prohibitive taxation or conscription into the army. Philosophers such as John Locke and the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution demanded that the rights of the individual be acknowledged by the leading social governing body. But even today, the balance between the rights of the individual and the state is an imperfect one: to what degree do individuals have a right to critique the government, to set their own moral terms of the private behavior, and what ethical as well as legal obligations does the individual have to the community? America’s intense individualism tends to deemphasize the obligations of citizens to others.

A third controversial development during this period was the development of capitalism. Before capitalism, the self-sustaining farm or fiefdom was the predominant economic mode. However, mechanized and specialized labor that took the form of wage labor where “humans work for wages rather than for product” became more common (Hooker, 1996, capitalism). Arguably, in a Marxist understanding of capitalism, the wage slave toils, while the capitalist owner does not, and merely profits from owning the factory — thus the idea of collective ownership of property to prevent exploitation. Today, there is an imperfect system in place: we live under a balance between pure capitalism and Marxism. Modern industrialized nations endorse and protect private ownership, but prohibit certain abuses by employers, and extend state benefits such as pensions for the elderly, and in some nations, healthcare.

The role of women in society as workers and citizens continues to be debated today — although the common conception of women in the Middle Ages is that they were ‘second class citizens,’ this picture does not tell the whole truth. Women often administered property when their husbands were away on Crusades. Although nuns lacked the institutional authority of monks, priests, and the higher-level clergy, they often created works of lasting artistic value, and many women were active in the development of the proto-mercantilist capitalist system. Yet even during the French Revolution, the most radical of all revolutions to sweep Europe, the rights of women were separately defined from those of men. Women, although active in the revolution in their support of its leaders and as symbols, did not ascend to full equality. In the United States’ permanent, radical social upheaval during the Enlightenment, American women did not win the right to vote until the 20th century, and only in the 1970s did women begin to assume a fully, legally equal role with men in elite educational and social institutions such as the Ivy League, Congress, and the military.

Finally, the question of nationalism, and the role of the nation-state continues to be debated. Does the U.S. have an enforcing role in the world community? Are there inalienable human rights that transcend national borders? The nation-state is historically a relatively new, modern invention, as once upon a time, monarchies were fairly decentralized, until the Enlightenment. Gradually, formerly fractious conglomerations of city-states came under the control of a central ruler. Even during the 19th century in the U.S., the question of whether the U.S. was a confederation of states or a federal organization with states subservient to a national government was open for debate. Did states exist based upon shared national identity, upon the right of a collective investment of faith or democratic authority in a ruler, or the arbitrarily given (and withdrawn) consent of the governed? “Monarchies began to slowly erode as democratic sentiments rose and this led to serious doubts about the nature of human political institutions, and a variety of philosophical answers were produced to meet these doubts. Among these answers was the idea that states were governed by natural laws; these laws were immutable, rational, and understandable by human reason” (Hooker, 1996, Social contract). Today, within the international community, of which the U.S. is a vital component part, the question of what constitutes a nation-state, a people, and a democracy remains undecided, and the President’s interpretation of the concepts of democracy and nation-states inevitably affects how the U.S. responds to international questions of legitimacy in other nations.

Works Cited

Hooker, Richard. (1996). Capitalism. European Enlightenment Glossary.

Retrieved August 3, 2009 at http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/GLOSSARY/CAPITAL.htm

Hooker, Richard. (1996). The divine right of kings. European Enlightenment Glossary.

Retrieved August 3, 2009 at http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/GLOSSARY/DIVRIGHT.htm

Hooker, Richard. (1996). Social contract. European Enlightenment Glossary.

Retrieved August 3, 2009 http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/GLOSSARY/SOCCON.HTM

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essaysmile and order essay PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!

order custom essay paper