Description : This concise yet rich introduction to the French Revolution explores the origins, development, and eventual decline of a movement that defines France to this day. Through an accessible chronological narrative, Sylvia Neely explains the complex events, conflicting groups, and rapid changes that characterized this critical period in French history. She traces the fundamental transformations in government and society that forced the French to come up with new ways of thinking about their place in the world, ultimately leading to liberalism, conservatism, terrorism, and modern nationalism. Throughout, the author focuses on the essential political events that propelled the Revolution, at the same time deftly interweaving the intellectual, social, diplomatic, military, and cultural history of the time. Neely explains how the difficult choices made by the royal government and the revolutionaries alike not only brought on the collapse of the Old Regime but moved the nation into increasingly radical policies, to the Terror, and finally to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. Written with clarity and nuance, this work offers a deeply knowledgeable understanding of the political possibilities available at any given moment in the course of the Revolution, placing them in a broad social context. All readers interested in France and revolutionary history will find this an engaging and rewarding read.
Description : What kinds of people were in the crowds that stormed the Bastille, marched to Versailles to bring the king and queen back to Paris, overthrew the monarchy in August 1792, or impassively witnessed the downfall of Robespierre on 9 Thermidor? Who led these crowds or mobilized them to action? What did they hope to achieve, and how far were their aims realized? Earlier historians have tended to view the revolutionary crowd as an abstraction--"people" or "mob" according to the writer's prejudice--often even as the personification of good or evil. Professor Rudé's book, published originally in 1959, makes a first attempt to bring objectively to life each of the important Parisian crowds between 1787 and 1795. Using police records and other contemporary research materials, the author identifies the social groups represented in them, contrasts the crowds with their political leaders, relates their activities to underlying economic and psychological tensions, and compares the Parisian crowd "patterns" to those of other popular movements in France and Britain during the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Description : The French Revolution of 1789 was the central event of modern history. For the first time a major nation fell prey to political and then social revolution, with civil war and the Reign of Terror following the execution of Louis XVI in January 1793. Although the Revolution started with the resistance of a minority to absolutist government, it soon spread to involve the whole nation, including the men and women who made up by far the largest part of it - the peasantry, as well as towns and craftsmen, the poor and those living on the margins of society. The French Revolution and the People is a portrait of the common people of France, in the towns and in the countryside; in Paris and Lyon; in the Vendee, Britanny, Provence. Popular grievances and reactions affected the events and outcome of the Revolution at all stages, and in turn everyone in France was affected by the Revolution. The French Revolution and the People is a vivid story of conflict, violence and death, but there were winners as well as losers and not all the suffering was in vain, as the injustices of the Ancien Regime were thrown off.
Description : Contesting the French Revolution provides an insightful overview of one of history’s most significant events, as well as examining the most significant historiographical debates about this period. Explores the causes, events, and consequences of the French Revolution Offers a stimulating analysis of the most controversial debates: Were the events of 1789 a social revolution or a political accident? Did they mark the rise of industrial capitalism or the birth of modern democracy? Was Napoleon Bonaparte an heir to the ideals of 1789 or a betrayer of the Revolution? Shows how historical interpretation of the French Revolution has been influenced by the changing political and social currents of the last 200 years – from the Russian Revolution to the fall of the Berlin Wall – and how historical study has shifted from a political focus to social and cultural approaches in more recent years.
Description : The upheavals, terror, and drama of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic period restructured politics and society on a grand scale, making this the defining moment for modern European history. This volume collects together a wide selection of primary texts to explain the process behind the enormous changes undergone by France and Europe between 1787 and 1815, from the Terror to the Counter-Revolution and from Marie-Antoinette to Robespierre and Bonaparte. While bringing the impact of historical events to life, Philip Dwyer and Peter McPhee provide a clear outline of the period through key documents and lucid introductory passages and commentary. They illustrate the meaning of the Revolution for peasants, sans-culottes, women, and slaves, as well as placing events within a wider European context.. Students will find this an invaluable source of information on the Revolution as a whole as well as the international significance of the events.
Description : This collection of essays by prominent American and French scholars explores the political, cultural, and social implications of the most fundamentally formative modern event, the French Revolution. The contributors contend that the vocabulary and spirit of the French Revolution has exercised greater influence on the modern world than the more moderate and by all appearances more successful American Revolution. The Legacy of the French Revolution delineates the distinctive characters of the American and French revolutions and analyzes the different variants of democratic political traditions that have evolved from this seminal event. This book will be of particular interest to political theorists, political historians, and students of democratic theory.
Description : Reknowned historian Roger Chartier, one of the most brilliant and productive of the younger generation of French writers and scholars now at work refashioning the Annales tradition, attempts in this book to analyze the causes of the French revolution not simply by investigating its “cultural origins” but by pinpointing the conditions that “made is possible because conceivable.” Chartier has set himself two important tasks. First, while acknowledging the seminal contribution of Daniel Mornet’s Les origens intellectuelles de la Révolution française (1935), he synthesizes the half-century of scholarship that has created a sociology of culture for Revolutionary France, from education reform through widely circulated printed literature to popular expectations of government and society. Chartier goes beyond Mornet’s work, not be revising that classic text but by raising questions that would not have occurred to its author. Chartier’s second contribution is to reexamine the conventional wisdom that there is a necessary link between the profound cultural transformation of the eighteenth century (generally characterized as the Enlightenment) and the abrupt Revolutionary rupture of 1789. The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution is a major work by one of the leading scholars in the field and is likely to set the intellectual agenda for future work on the subject.