Thursday, July 9, 2020

Secret Societies

 From The Great Courses Daily:
The American and French Revolutions started over the same issues of taxation and representation but both took different courses. In May 1789, when France faced national bankruptcy, the crisis was partly caused by King Louis XVI’s financing of the American Revolution. That forced Louis to summon France’s long-disused consultative assembly, the Estates-General. Two of the estates; the clergy and nobility, represented only 2 percent of the French population but held more than half of the assembly’s seats. The third estate basically everybody else, thought that grossly unfair. Instead of finding a solution, the Estates-General ignited a revolution.

As the revolution progressed, radical groups took more control. The most important radicals, the Jacobins, first appeared in late 1789 as the Society of the Friends of the Constitution who in later years abolished traditional religion, and initiated a reign of terror. The storming of the Bastille was portrayed as a spontaneous attack on a hated symbol of royal tyranny.

 Three days before the assault on the Bastille, King Louis dismissed his liberal finance minister, Jacques Necker. While that was a plot by Louis to restore royal authority, it was spun by agitators in the Palais- Royal in Paris a popular area of stalls, shops, and coffee houses considered a ‘hotbed of Masonic activity’.

 The Palais owned by Louis-Philippe, the Duke of Orleans, was the most powerful Freemason in France. He was master of the powerful Grand Orient Lodge, and brother of the influential Neufs Soeurs, or Nine Sisters Lodge. Founded in 1776, the Nine Sisters Lodge was an important link between the French and American Revolutions whose motto was ‘Truth, Union, and Force’, which had a slightly prophetic, and ominous ring. Louis Philippe, Duke of Orleans, dreamt of sitting on the throne himself, as an enlightened monarch, was also the king’s cousin but not his friend. He’d even changed his name to Philippe Égalité—Philip the Equal. (Read more.)

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