unit banner

Unit 3: Revolutions and Reaction

Lesson B: Out with the Old World and in with the New

Lesson Overview

artist's depiction of France's 1789 declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen artist's depiction of France's 1789 declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen

Artist's Depiction of France's 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen [1]

The Glorious Revolution and the Enlightenment ushered in an era of change in the early modern world. Shifting perspectives on individual rights and the power of government placed new pressure on the old social order. War among the great powers of Europe and America accelerated the pace of change. Support for democracy and the growth of nationalism resulted in popular constitutions, patriotism, and changes in social organization. The results of revolutionary wars for independence in colonial North America and France created an example for the rest of the world. These ideas became the basis for more modern forms of government.

Key Questions

  1. How do trade and migration patterns cause intellectual and cultural transformations?
  2. What social, political, and economic conditions lead to the overthrow of established ideas?
  3. How does nationalism impact countries and people?

Student Outcomes

  1. Analyze how the Seven Years War, Enlightenment thought, the American Revolution, and growing internal economic crisis affected social and political conditions in Old Regime France and other parts of the world.
  2. Compare the causes, character, and consequences of the American and French Revolutions, including ideas of social equality, democracy, human rights, liberty, constitutionalism, and nationalism.
  3. Analyze cause-and-effect relationships and multiple causation, including the importance of the individual and the influence of ideas. (Historical Thinking Skill)
  4. Consider and compare multiple perspectives in primary and secondary sources. (Historical Thinking Skill)

Key Terms

Student Resources

Chart of Activities

Activities to Complete Estimated Time
5 minutes
Key Terms
5 minutes
Activator: The World 1700s
5 minutes
Opening: Social Groups
10 minutes
Activity 1: The Three Estates
10 minutes
Activity 2: Pre-Revolution Conditions
20 minutes
Activity 3: The American Revolution
20 minutes
Activity 4: Causes of Revolution
10 minutes
Activity 5: The Revolution Begins
10 minutes
Activity 6: Examining the Success of the Revolution
30 minutes
Activity 7: The American Revolution — Permanent Change
20 minutes
Review and Assessment
10 minutes
Lesson Summary
5 minutes

Lesson Completion Time

The total estimated time to complete this lesson is 160 minutes.


Page Notes:

[1] Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Declaration_of_Human_Rights.jpg is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.