History and Citizenship Education (Cycle One)

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The American or French revolution

The fundamental rights proclaimed by Enlightenment philosophers were instrumental in the efforts of American and French revolutionaries to overthrow authoritarian powers at the end of the 18th century. Inspired by the principles of British parliamentarianism, the American and French revolutions laid the foundations of modern democracy. The study of one of these revolutions sheds light on the legal foundation of contemporary democratic states.

The concepts prescribed by the program are not described using specific statements. It is by using all of the knowledge related to a social phenomenon that students develop their understanding of the following concepts: citizen, democracy, rights, social hierarchy, justice, philosophy, political regime, revolution, separation of powers and the Enlightenment.

Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.


Student reinvests knowledge.

1 2
  1. Affirmation of fundamental rights today
    1. Names charters associated with the affirmation of human rights (e.g. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child)
    1. States some of the human rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations (e.g. equality before the law; right to life, liberty and security)
  1. The American or French revolution and the role of revolutions in the conquest and recognition of fundamental rights
  • 2.1.   Location in space and time
  American Revolution French Revolution  
    1. Locates on a map
the British  colonies in 1776 the territory of France in 1789  
    1. Locates on a time line the American or French revolution and related facts
e.g. the Declaration of Rights, the Boston Tea Party, the Declaration of Independence of the colonies, the Battle of Yorktown e.g. the Cahiers de doléances, the Storming of the Bastille, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the Reign of Terror  
  • 2.2.   Age of Enlightenment
  American Revolution French Revolution  
    1. Names Enlightenment philosophers who inspired revolutionary movements
e.g. Locke, Rousseau, Voltaire  
    1. States principles of the philosophy of Enlightenment
e.g. existence of natural rights: life, liberty, property  
    1. Indicates the three powers of the state defined in the Age of Enlightenment
Legislative power to write laws; executive power to carry out laws; judicial power to interpret laws  
  • 2.3.   Revolution
  American Revolution French Revolution  
    1. Indicates elements of the economic, political and social context on the eve of the revolution
e.g. economic prosperity in the colonies, imposition of taxes, limitation of territorial expansion by Great Britain e.g. agricultural crisis, financial crisis,  three “Estates”  
    1. Indicates the mode of political organization on the eve of the revolution
parliamentary government under the King of England absolute, divine right monarchy  
    1. Names actors in the revolution
e.g. the Patriots, Franklin, Washington, George III e.g. the Sans-culottes, Condorcet, Louis XVI  
    1. Indicates consequences of the revolution
e.g. independence, new government, Declaration of Rights e.g. individual liberty, equality of citizens before the law, right to vote  
    1. Names values promoted during the revolution
e.g. equality, liberty, justice, democracy  
  1. Guarantees of rights and freedoms in society today
    1. Names international organizations dedicated to the protection of rights and freedoms (e.g. United Nations, International Criminal Court)
    1. Indicates methods used by the international community to support the application of rights recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (e.g. economic pressure, United Nations Peacekeepers or Blue Helmets)

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