lecture summary part 2

1. Before the Industrial Revolution (IR), the feudal system ranked people hierarchically in the following order: monarch, aristocracy, clergy and lastly, peasants.
2. With the advent of the IR, this system evolved into a capitalist economy, introducing the burgeoning middle class.
3. The middle class demanded political power and asked for rights as a citizen subject i.e. the right to vote, free speech etc.
4. The ‘Social Contract’ was signed, allowing basic freedoms to the people while giving the middle/upper class most of the vote.
5. This resulted in a new emphasis on free trade and capitalist commerce as well as created a new consciousness of self over the collective i.e. individualism.
6. French Revolution: consisted of 3 estates namely the clergy, the nobility and the third estate that was predominantly middle class white men.
7. This third estate did not encompass women, people of other ethnicities and people of minority religions.
8. This resulted in much debate and contestation over who qualified as a citizen and whether those excluded from the definition of “men” were even considered humans with rights. The idea of a conditional equality.
9. Rousseau suggested that women and men exist in different spheres. Women should keep to the domestic, private sphere and fulfill their role as wife and mother. They were denied their place in the public sphere, being seen only as an extension of their husbands. As such, they had no right to vote, write political pamphlets or stand for office.
10. The Code Noir 1685 also deemed Negro slaves as a piece of furniture; property owned by landowners. The question thus arises about whether these ‘properties’ have rights.
11. The Haitian revolution showed slaves slaying their masters and claiming their rights as citizens.
12. The rise of the Black Consciousness also challenged the biological claim that Blacks displayed a lack of reason and thus did not qualify for the status of man and citizen. Negritude developed in the 1930s to foster a common black identity to counter French colonial racism.