Condorcet supported the Revolution. Notably, the enlightenment period, which redefined the ideals of French society inspired the Condorcet’s work. Correspondingly, his work demonstrates what the revolution stood for like promoting equality of all people and destroying the feudal system. Although he does not promote violence, he stresses the need to allow citizens to think for themselves and find truths that would benefit France. Condorcet’s work supported the Revolution by advancing ideas like equality, destroying the clerical system, and promoting enlightenment.
Condorcet proposed equality which underpinned the Revolution. He heavily condemned the inequalities in the nation and remarked that the state should resolve the two issues to achieve enlightenment (Condorcet 66). All countries should ensure equality. In this regard, the French should set free its colonies in Africa and Asia, which portrayed France as a bloodthirsty and racist nation. Instead of being oppressors, the French should aim to liberate Africa and Asia through enlightenment and modern civilization. Condorcet advocated the equality of nations, a notable theme in the revolution.
Comparatively, Condorcet championed for wealth equality. The state had a significant role in enforcing fairness through appropriate legislation. To end the inequality in wealth distribution, Condorcet states that the laws guiding commerce should offer equal opportunities for the poor and the rich to perform their trades (69). The taxes on business contracts should not be cumbersome so that even the less fortunate can engage in business. In additional, formalities and obligatory costs should not hinder the poor from participating in economic activities by taking away their meager capital. The administration should ensure that wealth is not the only means to acquire status or fulfill ambitions. Condorcet’s argument that fairness should apply in commerce is an idea the Revolution supported.
Condorcet’s fight for equality is notable for the minority. He remarked that it was necessary to bridge the disparity and secure the liberty of every person, particularly widows, children, and low-class citizens (69). Widows and the aged should have financial security, as they are productive members of society. The government should cater to the needs of children whose fathers had died until they were old enough to receive employment and start theirown families. Condorcet claimed that women should be considered equal to men. He challenged the notion that women were intellectually inferior to men and so the state should not include them in political matters (Landes). Condorcet also argued that the physical appearance of women, which had been used to justify inequality, was not a sufficient reason for excluding women in civic matters. Women and men had equal rights to education. Consequently, institutions should create curriculums that cater to both genders. Without women, Condorcet stated that the French republic would not have a free constitution as the effects of the feudal system, which is unfair to women, would still prevail. Condorcet fought for equal opportunities for the minority, a vital issue on the revolution.
Condorcet had anti-clerical sentiments, which was notable during the revolution. He loathed religion, which he blamed for abuse of power and tyranny. Accordingly, religion was a political invention that powerful men used to restrict reasoning among other people (Condorcet 68). Priests and monks filled the population with superstition and terror against changes from the feudal system. Correspondingly, a time had come when the government disbanded priests and hypocritical followers. Progress could not continue if the church duped people and stifled reasoning while it thrived at the expense of the poor. In the feudal system, the church had substantial control over the society and the bourgeoisie used it to retain power. Since it was a corrupt institution, getting rid of its influence was necessary to establish a community that could determine its truth and reasoning. Condorcet’s issues against the church were revolutionary.
Condorcet argued that enlightenment was vital to progress. He predicted a time that people would only recognize reason as their master (Condorcet 69). Enlightenment would result in the betterment of humankind. Civilized nations such as America and Britain owed their progress to such awareness. The reasoning was a recipe for liberty from inequality among nations and citizens. Enlightened people would bridge the social class gap that existed in the country and would be instrumental in bridging the social classes in France. Enlightenment also gave rise to the arts, principles of morality, and improving physical capacities, whose use would improve the constitution of people (67). Through historical analysis, Condorcet concluded that there was no limit for hope and the abilities of people. Enlightenment was a recipe for free commerce and freedom not only for the French citizens but also their colonies in Africa and Asia. It is the key to freedom and equality.
Other nations inspired Condorcet’s yearnings that reflected an advanced France. The French Revolution came after the American Revolution and borrowed its ideas of enlightenment. In the “Epoch,” he mentions that the French should emulate Great Britain and the Anglo-Americans (67). In support of the revolution was Thomas Jefferson, who in his letter to William Short, congratulates the French. Jefferson states that the French can emulate the actions that the Americans took in pursuing their independence (“From Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 3 January 1793”). Thomas also agrees that finding the truth will help France to establish a prosperous nation. Regardless of the death toll, liberty was effective self-governance. Jefferson had the same ideas about liberty and truth as Condorcet. Equally, both of them hated violence, which they found was unnecessary for making reforms. Condorcet desired the freedom that other western nations, which inspired the revolution, enjoyed.
Condorcet’s work was in support of the Revolution, as it promoted ideas like equality, destroying the administrative system, and promoting enlightenment. Concerning equality, he proposed commercial and social equality. Condorcet supported the poor and minority groups by suggesting that the government creates equal opportunities to gain wealth. Furthermore, he spearheaded the rights of women and widows who society overlooked. The clerical system was retrogressive and limited people’s thoughts. Enlightenment was essential in promoting equality and safeguarding liberty. Condorcet highlighted the benefits of enlightenment as observed in other countries like Great Britain. Condorcet’s work reveals that he supported the revolution, using the insights that he gathered during the enlightenment period.