Thursday, November 17, 2011

2011-2012 Challenges. Number 9

This week´s research will be dedicated to the guillotine, the execution device that started being used in France during the French Revolution. Here you have the questions:


Where does the name "guillotine" come from? What is the relation between this execution device and the man who gave name to it?


Who were the inventors of the guillotine? From what previous execution devices did they draw inspiration?


What were the execution methods used in France before the Revolution? Were there differences between the different estates?


Who was the first person to be executed by guillotine in France? What was his crime?

Execution of Queen Marie Antoinette, 16th October 1793


During the Reign of Terror some illustrious people were executed by the guillotine. One of them is considered to be the father of modern chemistry. Who was this scientist? What were his main contributions to science?


The rights of women were not recognized during the French Revolution, but some of them were guillotined for their participation in politics. Two of the most important fighters for the rights of women of that time were executed during the Reign of Terror due to their relationship with the Girondists. One of them was the writer of the Declaration of Rights of  Woman and the Female Citizen. The other one pronounced this sentence before her head was placed on the block to be executed: "Oh Liberty, what crimes are committed in your name!". Who were these two women?


Javier Alberca said...

I’m going to try this week’s challenge (but now doing it first in a Word document).

Question 1:
Its name comes from the surname of a French surgeon, Joseph Ignace Guillotin, who was a deputie of the National Assembly, he recommended it to decapitate people instead of the traditional methods. But he wasn’t its inventor because similar machines were used since the XII century.

Question 2:
I haven’t found this answer, the guillotine was based in some other European machines to behead but I haven’t found the real inventors of this machine.

Question 3:
There were differences between the estates, the nobles were beheaded with a sword or axe but the people from the third state were hanged that takes some more minutes. Some other forms of kill the condemned were the the wheel or burning at the stake.

Question 4:
The first execution by guillotine was performed on highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier, he did a robbery and killed a man.

Question 5:
He was Antoine Lavoisier, he found and termed both oxygen and hydrogen, helped construct the metric system, put together the first extensive list of elements, and helped to reform chemical nomenclature. He was also the first to establish that sulfur was an element rather than a compound. He discovered that, although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same.

Question 6:
One was Olympe de Gouges and the other was Marie-Jeanne Roland.


Paqui Pérez Fons said...

Hello Javi,

You´re the winner this week! Thanks for participating.

This is the answer to question 2:

The designers were three people: Laquiante, an officer of the Strasbourg criminal court, Tobias Schmidt, a German engineer, and Antoine Louis, Louis XVI´s physician and Secretary to the Academy of Surgery. They designed the guillotine drawing inspiration from other devices used in different places: the Mannaia (used in Italy), the Scottish Maiden (used in Edinburg) and the Halifax Gibbet(used in England).

To0morrow we´ll talk about this interesting topic in class. Good night!