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At that time the American Revolution could hardly have been other than a rebellion of the elites. While the American Colonies may have been among the most widely literate places of its time a systematic education was still the almost sole province of the elite. If even half of the total population was minimally literate, it was mostly due to parents, usually wives, teaching the children to read and the most common, usually the only book in the house was the Bible.

The French Revolution was, initially, led by elites, including some from the 1st and 2nd Estates. And the vast majority of delegates to the National Assembly of the Estates General were business and professional people such as Robspierre and Danton, while Mirabeau was a count and Sant Just was descended from a noble family. Even Les Enragés were well educated. I don't know the circumstances from which Jacques Roux came, but he was a priest. Probably the closest to a lower class origin was the actress Claire Lacombe, as actresses then were often considered to be little better than prostitutes.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 12:10:40 PM EST
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