The sample paper on the effective use of the enlightenment principles during the French and the Haitian revolution puts forth a strong argument in favor of the French revolution. The essay includes a clear and strong thesis, as required by the initial instructions. The author correctly argues that France implemented more effectively Enlightenment principles, because it was a stronger and more developed country.
Moreover, an entire paragraph of the author’s essay is weakened by the mistaken argument that the French “Declaration of the Rights of Men” inspired the American “declaration of Independence”. This is a poor argument since the Declaration of Independence had been written 13 years earlier and therefore, the entire paragraph based on this argument, is irrelevant.
The argument would have been made stronger by including the course material on “The Enlightenment”, because it would how shown how the French thinkers and writers contributed to the dissemination of new ideas and principles regarding the rights and liberties of the people, and the tyranny of the leaders, which stood at the basis of the revolution. In addition, this material shows that the focus of Enlightenment was France, because the other countries were too small to become major centers for Enlightenment thought (“The Enlightenment”). Another important course material is “Macandal and Voudou” , which is based upon Alejo Carpentier’s novel, “Kingdom of This World”. This material shows that Voudou, the traditional religion which united the slave population, was an important foundation of the revolution as well, and thus it was not based upon Enlightenment ideas only, but also on their own internally developed mythology and ideologies.
Therefore, the sample paper is based upon a strong thesis, and uses only the course materials to support the argument, as instructed. The author makes an attempt to build a strong argument in favor of the thesis, but the argumentation is rather weak because it ignores important aspects of the revolution, while focusing on small details instead and on the narration of the events, which takes away space unnecessarily. There are also some spelling and grammar mistakes in the paper. There are also problems with the elegance and readability of the prose, because the author sometimes repeats the same words in the same sentence, such as “in terms of implementing these changes of principle, the changes must happen”, where “changes” appears twice. Finally, the author mistakenly states that the American Declaration of Independence was inspired by the “Declaration of the Rights of Men”, which is a very serious error since the American Revolution of independence took place 13 before the French Revolution and actually inspired it. The grade for the sample paper should be 75/100 based on the above problems.
Israel, Jonathan. Revolutionary Ideas: An Intelectual History of the French Revolution from the Rights of Man to Robespierre. Oxford and Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2014. Print.
Popkin, Jeremy. A Concise History of the Haitian Revolution. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons. 2012. Print.
“The Enlightement” Course Material, D2L. Web.
“Macandal and Vodou: The Centrality of Vodou to the Haitian Revolution”. Course Material, D2L. Web.