DBQ4: Reactions to Revolution


Thomas Paine, one of the heroes of the American Revolution (and the author of Common Sense), was living in Europe when the French Revolution broke out.  There, he read British writings (like Document 3) on events in France.  Paine, in response to these writings, published his own thoughts on the French Revolution.  The excerpt below is one of his published reactions.

It was not against Louis XVI, but against the despotic principles of the Government, that the nation revolted.  These principles had not their origin in him, but in the original establishment, many centuries back: and they were become too deeply rooted to be removed, and the...parasites and plunderers too abominably filthy to be cleansed by anything short of a complete and universal Revolution.  When it becomes necessary to do anything, the whole heart and soul should go into the measure, or not attempt it.  That crisis was then arrived, and there remained no choice but to act with determined vigor, or not to act at all...

Document 4
a. Why does Paine say that a revolution was needed?  Support your answer.
b. Does Paine agree with the writer of Document 3 about the execution of King Louis XVI?  What words or phrases support your answer?

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