AP European History DBQ 2008 Form B
On November 24, 1793, the National Convention replaced the Gregorian calendar with a new revolutionary calendar. In response to the new calendar, in the period 1789 to 1806, several different reactions evolved. Based on the documents provided, when looked at upon an intellectual basis, the calendar seemed perfect; where some found the new calendar to work well, others proclaimed it inconvenience; and through overthrowing Christianity in the calendar and everyday life, problems began to arise.
The documents can be divided into three main groups. The first group of documents shows the intellectual thought behind the creation of the revolutionary calendar and the reasons for its adoption. A report of grievances in 1789, shows how the though of the calendar came to be. The document asks for the number of religious holidays to be reduced and uses disadvantages of idleness as an excuse (Document 1). Gilbert Romme, head of the calendar reform committee, speaks of the cons of the Church calendar. In his speech before the National Convention, he claims the Church calendar to debase nations and persuades people that a new calendar is a must for every Frenchman. However, Romme is biased towards the production of a new calendar, clearly shown, because he is head of the calendar reform committee (Document 2). The “Institution Concerning the Era of the Republic and the Division of the Year” also supports the new calendar. This document not only looks at the calendar from an intellectual level, but also considers the economy. It claims a new calendar will soon be needed for commerce and the trades, and arts and history. It says that the new calendar shows the character of their revolution. This document is also biased though, because it is a decree of the National Convention (Document 5). The National Convention thought a new calendar was best.
The second group of documents shows the social reactions the calendar brought. These social...