FRENCH REVOLUTION DEBATES
Resolution #1: Robespierre was a heroic patriot
Was Robespierre the first modern dictator, inhuman, fanatical and dictatorial, an obsessive who used his political power to try to impose his rigid ideal of a land of Spartan “virtue”? Or was he a great revolutionary martyr who succeeded in leading the French Republic to safety in the face of overwhelming military odds? Were the controls on individual liberties and the mass arrests and executions of “the Terror” the necessary price to pay to save the Revolution?
Resolution #2: Napoleon was an enlightened, revolutionary ruler
Should Napoleon Bonaparte be seen as a savior of France’s republican cause or simply as an opportunist? His advocates credit him with helping to spread the values of democracy and the French Enlightenment throughout Europe. Others find it ironic that this would be the legacy of the man who declared himself Emperor.
Task 1 - Individual - Background Research
Each member of the group must read and summarize at least one resource.
- Write a paragraph summary of the main ideas of the source.
- Then make a bulleted list of specific details from the resource you can use in your team’s argument and counterargument.
- Each student must submit their personal work to the teacher via Google Classroom.
Task 2 - Group - Making an Arguement
Submit one group document of your team’s written preparation via Google Drive. There are three components. Make one Google Doc and share it. Copy everyone's work into this document so you can sort and edit the content.
- Make a list of the arguments that support your resolution. State each argument in a clear, concise claim.
- Bullet-point the key pieces of evidence that support your claim.
- Counter-arguments and rebuttals
- Brainstorm counter-arguments (predict what the other team will present). State each counterargument in a clear, concise claim.
- Write a short rebuttal to each counter-argument. The rebuttal may be in the form of a short paragraph, or it can be a claim with bullet-pointed data.
- Organize evidence
- Sort and label the team’s evidence into categories for which student will present it.
- Some key points will be repeated as themes. Other lesser pieces of evidence should be used once.
Task 3 - Individual - Writing your Speech
Each student writes their own speech for their section. It should be approximately 300 words (2-3 minutes spoken). This must be saved on the same Google Classroom file as task 1, which is shared individually with the teacher in Google Classroom.
Affirmative goes first each round