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The French Revolution
Revolution
(French: Révolution française [ʁevɔlysjɔ̃ fʁɑ̃sɛːz]) was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France
France
and its colonies that lasted from 1789 until 1799. It was partially carried forward by Napoleon
Napoleon
during the later expansion of the French Empire. The Revolution
Revolution
overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon
Napoleon
who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies.[1] Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution
Revolution
as one of the most important events in human history.[2][3][4] The causes of the French Revolution
Revolution
are complex and are still debated among historians. Following the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
and the American Revolution,[5] the French government was deeply in debt. It attempted to restore its financial status through unpopular taxation schemes, which were heavily regressive. Years of bad harvests leading up to the Revolution
Revolution
also inflamed popular resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy and the Catholic clergy of the established church. Demands for change were formulated in terms of Enlightenment ideals and contributed to the convocation of the Estates General in May 1789. During the first year of the Revolution, members of the Third Estate (commoners) took control, the Bastille
Bastille
was attacked in July, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
was passed in August, and a women's march on Versailles that forced the royal court back to Paris in October. A central event of the first stage, in August 1789, was the abolition of feudalism and the old rules and privileges left over from the Ancien Régime. The next few years featured political struggles between various liberal assemblies and right-wing supporters of the monarchy intent on thwarting major reforms. The Republic
Republic
was proclaimed in September 1792 after the French victory at Valmy. In a momentous event that led to international condemnation, Louis XVI
Louis XVI
was executed in January 1793. External threats closely shaped the course of the Revolution. The Revolutionary Wars beginning in 1792 ultimately featured French victories that facilitated the conquest of the Italian Peninsula, the Low Countries
Low Countries
and most territories west of the Rhine
Rhine
– achievements that had eluded previous French governments for centuries. Internally, popular agitation radicalised the Revolution
Revolution
significantly, culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre
and the Jacobins. The dictatorship imposed by the Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
during the Reign of Terror, from 1793 until 1794, established price controls on food and other items, abolished slavery in French colonies abroad, de-established the Catholic church (dechristianised society) and created a secular Republican calendar, religious leaders were expelled, and the borders of the new republic were secured from its enemies. Large numbers of civilians were executed by revolutionary tribunals during the Terror, with estimates ranging from 16,000 to 40,000, ranging from aristocrats to "suspected" enemies of the revolution.[6] After the Thermidorian Reaction, an executive council known as the Directory assumed control of the French state in 1795. They suspended elections, repudiated debt - resulting in financial instability, persecuted the Catholic clergy, and made significant military conquests abroad.[7] Dogged by charges of corruption, the Directory collapsed in a coup led by Napoleon
Napoleon
Bonaparte in 1799. Napoleon, who became the hero of the Revolution
Revolution
through his popular military campaigns, established the Consulate and later the First Empire, setting the stage for a wider array of global conflicts in the Napoleonic Wars. The modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. Almost all future revolutionary movements looked back to the Revolution
Revolution
as their predecessor.[8] Its central phrases and cultural symbols, such as La Marseillaise
La Marseillaise
and Liberté, fraternité, égalité, ou la mort, became the clarion call for other major upheavals in modern history, including the Russian Revolution
Revolution
over a century later.[9] The values and institutions of the Revolution
Revolution
dominate French politics to this day. The Revolution
Revolution
resulted in the suppression of the feudal system, emancipation of the individual, a greater division of landed property, abolition of the privileges of noble birth, and nominal establishment of equality among men. The French Revolution
Revolution
differed from other revolutions in being not only national, for it intended to benefit all humanity.[10] Globally, the Revolution
Revolution
accelerated the rise of republics and democracies. It became the focal point for the development of all modern political ideologies, leading to the spread of liberalism, radicalism, nationalism, and secularism, among many others. The Revolution
Revolution
also witnessed the birth of total war by organising the resources of France
France
and the lives of its citizens towards the objective of military conquest.[11] Some of its central documents, such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man
Rights of Man
and of the Citizen, continued to inspire movements for abolitionism and universal suffrage in the next century.[12]

Contents

1 Causes 2 Ancien Régime

2.1 Financial crisis 2.2 Estates-General of 1789 2.3 National Assembly (1789)

3 Constitutional Monarchy

3.1 National Constituent Assembly (July 1789 – September 1791)

3.1.1 Storming of the Bastille 3.1.2 Abolition of feudalism 3.1.3 Declaration of the Rights of Man 3.1.4 Writing the first constitution 3.1.5 Women's March on Versailles 3.1.6 Revolution
Revolution
and the Church 3.1.7 Intrigues and radicalism 3.1.8 Royal flight to Varennes 3.1.9 Completing the constitution

3.2 Legislative Assembly (Oct.1791–Sept.1792)

3.2.1 Failure of the constitutional monarchy 3.2.2 Constitutional crisis

4 French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
and Napoleonic Wars

4.1 Colonial uprisings

5 First Republic

5.1 National Convention
National Convention
(Sept.1792–95)

5.1.1 Execution of Louis XVI 5.1.2 Economy 5.1.3 Reign of Terror 5.1.4 Internal and external wars 5.1.5 Girondins
Girondins
expelled 5.1.6 Abounding civil war 5.1.7 Suppressing and retaliating the revolts 5.1.8 Profuse executions 5.1.9 Guillotining politicians 5.1.10 Disregarding the lower classes

5.2 The Directory (1795–99)

5.2.1 Evaluation 5.2.2 Coups d'état 5.2.3 Exporting the Revolution

6 Media and symbolism

6.1 Newspapers 6.2 Symbolism 6.3 La Marseillaise 6.4 Guillotine 6.5 Tricolore cockade 6.6 Fasces 6.7 Liberty cap

7 Role of women

7.1 Prominent women 7.2 Counter-revolutionary women

8 Economic policies 9 Long-term impact

9.1 France

9.1.1 Religion and charity 9.1.2 Economics 9.1.3 Constitutionalism

9.2 Communism 9.3 Outside France

9.3.1 Britain 9.3.2 Germany 9.3.3 Switzerland 9.3.4 Belgium 9.3.5 Scandinavia

9.4 United States

10 Historiography 11 See also

11.1 Political clubs during the French Revolution

12 Notes 13 References 14 Further reading

14.1 Surveys and reference 14.2 European and Atlantic History 14.3 Politics and wars 14.4 Economy and society

14.4.1 Women

14.5 Historiography and memory 14.6 Primary sources

15 External links

Causes Main article: Causes of the French Revolution

The French government faced fiscal crises in the 1780s, and King Louis XVI was blamed for mishandling these affairs.

Historians have pointed to many events and factors within the Ancien Régime that led to the Revolution. Rising social and economic inequality,[13][14] new political ideas emerging from the Enlightenment,[15] economic mismanagement, environmental factors leading to agricultural failure, unmanageable national debt,[16] and political mismanagement on the part of King Louis XVI
King Louis XVI
have all been cited as laying the groundwork for the Revolution.[17][18][19][20] Over the course of the 18th century, there emerged what the philosopher Jürgen Habermas
Jürgen Habermas
called the idea of the "public sphere" in France
France
and elsewhere in Europe.[21] Habermas argued that the dominant cultural model in 17th century France
France
was a "representational" culture, which was based on a one-sided need to "represent" power with one side active and the other passive.[21] A perfect example would be the Palace of Versailles, which was meant to overwhelm the senses of the visitor and convince one of the greatness of the French state and Louis XIV.[21] Starting in the early 18th century the "public sphere" was "critical" in that both sides were active.[22] Examples of the public sphere included newspapers, journals, masonic lodges, coffee houses and reading clubs where people either in person or virtually via the printed word debated and discussed issues.[23] In France, the emergence of the public sphere outside of the control of the state led to the shift from Versailles to Paris as the cultural capital of France.[23] Likewise, while in the 17th century the court had decided what was culturally good and what was not, in the 18th century the opinion of the court mattered less and consumers became the arbiters of cultural taste.[24] In the 1750s, during the "Querelle des Bouffons" over the question of the quality of Italian vs. French music, the partisans of both sides appealed to the French public "because it alone has the right to decide whether a work will be preserved for posterity or will be used by grocers as wrapping-paper".[25] In 1782, Louis-Sébastien Mercier wrote: "The word court no longer inspires awe amongst us as in the time of Louis XIV. Reigning opinions are no longer received from the court; it no longer decides on reputations of any sort ... The court's judgments are countermanded; one says openly that it understands nothing; it has no ideas on the subject and could have none."[26] Inevitably, the belief that public opinion had the right to decide cultural questions instead of deferring to the court transformed itself into the demand that the public also have a say on political questions as well.[27] The economy in the Ancien Régime
Ancien Régime
during the years preceding the Revolution
Revolution
suffered from instability. The sequence of events leading to the Revolution
Revolution
included the national government's fiscal troubles caused by an inefficient tax system and expenditure on numerous large wars.[16] The attempt to challenge British naval and commercial power in the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
was a costly disaster, with the loss of France's colonial possessions in continental North America and the destruction of the French Navy.[28] French forces were rebuilt, and feeling bitter about having lost many of France's overseas colonies to the British Empire
British Empire
during the Seven Years' War, Louis XVI
Louis XVI
was eager to give the American rebels financial and military support. After the British surrender at the Battle of Saratoga, the French sent 10,000 troops and millions of dollars to the rebels. Despite succeeding in gaining independence for the Thirteen Colonies, France
France
was severely indebted by the American Revolutionary War.[citation needed] France's inefficient and antiquated financial system could not finance this debt.[29] Faced with a financial crisis, the king called an Estates General, recommended by the Assembly of Notables
Assembly of Notables
in 1787 for the first time in over a century.[30] France
France
was experiencing such a severe economic depression that there wasn't enough food to go around. Poor harvests lasting several years and an inadequate transportation system both contributed to making food more expensive.[31][32] As with most monarchies, the upper class was always insured a stable living, so while the rich remained very wealthy, the majority of the French population was starving. Many were so destitute that they couldn't even feed their families and resorted to theft or prostitution to stay alive. Meanwhile, the royal court at Versailles was isolated from and indifferent to the escalating crisis. While in theory King Louis XVI
King Louis XVI
was an absolute monarch, in practice he was often indecisive and known to back down when faced with strong opposition. While he did reduce government expenditures, opponents in the parlements successfully thwarted his attempts at enacting much needed reforms. The Enlightenment had produced many writers, pamphleteers and publishers who could inform or inflame public opinion. The opposition used this resource to mobilise public opinion against the monarchy, which in turn tried to repress the underground literature.[29] Many other factors involved resentments and aspirations given focus by the rise of Enlightenment ideals. These included resentment of royal absolutism; resentment by peasants, labourers and the bourgeoisie towards the traditional seigneurial privileges possessed by the nobility; resentment of the Catholic Church's influence over public policy and institutions; aspirations for freedom of religion; resentment of aristocratic bishops by the poorer rural clergy; aspirations for social, political and economic equality, and (especially as the Revolution
Revolution
progressed) republicanism; hatred of Queen Marie-Antoinette, who was falsely accused of being a spendthrift and an Austrian spy; and anger towards the King for dismissing ministers, including finance minister Jacques Necker, who were popularly seen as representatives of the people.[33] Freemasonry
Freemasonry
played an important role in the revolution. Originally largely apolitical, Freemasonry
Freemasonry
was radicalised in the late 18th century through the introduction of higher grades, which emphasised themes of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Virtually every major player in the Revolution
Revolution
was a Freemason and these themes became the widely recognised slogan of the revolution.[34] Ancien Régime Financial crisis

Caricature of the Third Estate carrying the First Estate (clergy) and the Second Estate (nobility) on its back

In 1774 Louis XVI
Louis XVI
ascended to the throne in the middle of a financial crisis in which the state was faced with a budget deficit and was nearing bankruptcy.[35] This was due in part to France's costly involvements in the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
and later the American Revolutionary War.[36] In May 1776, finance minister Turgot was dismissed, after failing to enact reforms. The next year, Jacques Necker, a foreigner, was appointed Comptroller-General of Finance. He could not be made an official minister because he was a Protestant.[37] Necker realised that the country's extremely regressive tax system subjected the lower classes to a heavy burden,[37] while numerous exemptions existed for the nobility and clergy.[38] He argued that the country could not be taxed higher; that tax exemptions for the nobility and clergy must be reduced; and proposed that borrowing more money would solve the country's fiscal shortages. Necker published a report to support this claim that underestimated the deficit by roughly 36 million livres, and proposed restricting the power of the parlements.[37] This was not received well by the King's ministers, and Necker, hoping to bolster his position, argued to be made a minister. The King refused, Necker was dismissed, and Charles Alexandre de Calonne
Charles Alexandre de Calonne
was appointed to the Comptrollership.[37] Calonne initially spent liberally, but he quickly realised the critical financial situation and proposed a new tax code.[39] The proposal included a consistent land tax, which would include taxation of the nobility and clergy. Faced with opposition from the parlements, Calonne organised the summoning of the Assembly of Notables. But the Assembly failed to endorse Calonne's proposals and instead weakened his position through its criticism. In response, the King announced the calling of the Estates-General for May 1789, the first time the body had been summoned since 1614. This was a signal that the Bourbon monarchy was in a weakened state and subject to the demands of its people.[40] Estates-General of 1789 Main article: Estates General of 1789 in France The Estates-General was organised into three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and the rest of France. It had last met in 1614. Elections were held in the spring of 1789; suffrage requirements for the Third Estate were for French-born or naturalised males, aged 25 years or more, who resided where the vote was to take place and who paid taxes. Strong turnout produced 1,201 delegates, including 303 clergy, 291 nobles and 610 members of the Third Estate. The First Estate represented 100,000 Catholic clergy; the Church owned about 10% of the land and collected its own taxes (the tithe) on peasants. The lands were controlled by bishops and abbots of monasteries, but two-thirds of the 303 delegates from the First Estate were ordinary parish priests; only 51 were bishops.[41] The Second Estate represented the nobility, about 400,000 men and women who owned about 25% of the land and collected seigneurial dues and rents from their peasant tenants. About a third of these deputies were nobles, mostly with minor holdings. The Third Estate representation was doubled to 610 men, representing 95% of the population. Half were well educated lawyers or local officials. Nearly a third were in trades or industry; 51 were wealthy land owners.[42][43]

The meeting of the Estates General on 5 May 1789 at Versailles

To assist delegates, "Books of grievances" (cahiers de doléances) were compiled to list problems.[44] The books articulated ideas which would have seemed radical only months before; however, most supported the monarchical system in general. Many assumed the Estates-General would approve future taxes, and Enlightenment ideals were relatively rare.[45][46] Pamphlets by liberal nobles and clergy became widespread after the lifting of press censorship.[47] The Abbé
Abbé
Sieyès, a theorist and Catholic clergyman, argued the paramount importance of the Third Estate in the pamphlet Qu'est-ce que le tiers état? (What is the Third Estate?) published in January, 1789. He asserted: "What is the Third Estate? Everything. What has it been until now in the political order? Nothing. What does it want to be? Something."[48] The Estates-General convened in the Grands Salles des Menus-Plaisirs in Versailles on 5 May 1789 and opened with a three-hour speech by Necker. The Third Estate demanded that the credentials of deputies should be verified by all deputies, rather than each estate verifying the credentials of its own members, but negotiations with the other estates failed to achieve this. The commoners appealed to the clergy, who asked for more time. Necker then stated that each estate should verify its own members' credentials and that the king should act as arbitrator.[49] National Assembly (1789) Main article: National Assembly (French Revolution)

The National Assembly taking the Tennis Court Oath
Tennis Court Oath
(sketch by Jacques-Louis David)

The middle class were the ones who fanned the flames of revolution. They established the National Assembly and tried to pressure the aristocracy to spread their money evenly between the upper, middle and lower classes. On 10 June 1789 Abbé Sieyès
Abbé Sieyès
moved that the Third Estate, now meeting as the Communes (English: "Commons") proceed with verifying its own powers and invite the other two estates to take part, but not to wait for them. They proceeded to do so two days later, completing the process on 17 June.[50] Then they voted a measure far more radical, declaring themselves the National Assembly, an assembly not of the Estates but of "the People". They invited the other orders to join them, but made it clear they intended to conduct the nation's affairs with or without them.[51] In an attempt to keep control of the process and prevent the Assembly from convening, Louis XVI
Louis XVI
ordered the closure of the Salle des États where the Assembly met, making an excuse that the carpenters needed to prepare the hall for a royal speech in two days. Weather did not allow an outdoor meeting, and fearing an attack ordered by Louis XVI, they met in a tennis court just outside Versailles, where they proceeded to swear the Tennis Court Oath
Tennis Court Oath
(20 June 1789) under which they agreed not to separate until they had given France
France
a constitution. A majority of the representatives of the clergy soon joined them, as did 47 members of the nobility. By 27 June, the royal party had overtly given in, although the military began to arrive in large numbers around Paris and Versailles. Messages of support for the Assembly poured in from Paris and other French cities.[52] Constitutional Monarchy National Constituent Assembly (July 1789 – September 1791) Main article: National Constituent Assembly (France) Storming of the Bastille Main article: Storming of the Bastille By this time, Necker had earned the enmity of many members of the French court for his overt manipulation of public opinion. Marie Antoinette, the King's younger brother the Comte d'Artois, and other conservative members of the King's privy council urged him to dismiss Necker as financial advisor. On 11 July 1789, after Necker published an inaccurate account of the government's debts and made it available to the public, the King fired him, and completely restructured the finance ministry at the same time.[53]

The Storming of the Bastille
Storming of the Bastille
in July 1789 is widely regarded as the most iconic event of the Revolution.

Many Parisians presumed Louis' actions to be aimed against the Assembly and began open rebellion when they heard the news the next day. They were also afraid that arriving soldiers – mostly foreign mercenaries – had been summoned to shut down the National Constituent Assembly. The Assembly, meeting at Versailles, went into nonstop session to prevent another eviction from their meeting place. Paris was soon consumed by riots, chaos, and widespread looting. The mobs soon had the support of some of the French Guard, who were armed and trained soldiers.[54] On 14 July, the insurgents set their eyes on the large weapons and ammunition cache inside the Bastille
Bastille
fortress, which was also perceived to be a symbol of royal power. After several hours of combat, the prison fell that afternoon. Despite ordering a ceasefire, which prevented a mutual massacre, Governor Marquis Bernard-René de Launay was beaten, stabbed and decapitated; his head was placed on a pike and paraded about the city. Although the fortress had held only seven prisoners (four forgers, two noblemen kept for immoral behaviour, and a murder suspect) the Bastille
Bastille
served as a potent symbol of everything hated under the Ancien Régime. Returning to the Hôtel de Ville (city hall), the mob accused the prévôt des marchands (roughly, mayor) Jacques de Flesselles
Jacques de Flesselles
of treachery and butchered him.[55] The King, alarmed by the violence, backed down, at least for the time being. The Marquis de Lafayette took up command of the National Guard at Paris. Jean-Sylvain Bailly, president of the Assembly at the time of the Tennis Court Oath, became the city's mayor under a new governmental structure known as the commune. The King visited Paris, where, on 17 July he accepted a tricolore cockade, to cries of Vive la Nation ("Long live the Nation") and Vive le Roi ("Long live the King").[56] Necker was recalled to power, but his triumph was short-lived. An astute financier but a less astute politician, Necker overplayed his hand by demanding and obtaining a general amnesty, losing much of the people's favour. As civil authority rapidly deteriorated, with random acts of violence and theft breaking out across the country, members of the nobility, fearing for their safety, fled to neighbouring countries; many of these émigrés, as they were called, funded counter-revolutionary causes within France
France
and urged foreign monarchs to offer military support to a counter-revolution.[57] By late July, the spirit of popular sovereignty had spread throughout France. In rural areas, many commoners began to form militias and arm themselves against a foreign invasion: some attacked the châteaux of the nobility as part of a general agrarian insurrection known as "la Grande Peur" ("the Great Fear"). In addition, wild rumours and paranoia caused widespread unrest and civil disturbances that contributed to the collapse of law and order.[58] Abolition of feudalism Main article: Abolition of feudalism in France

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
of 26 August 1789

On 4 and 11 August 1789 the National Constituent Assembly abolished privileges and feudalism (numerous peasant revolts had almost brought feudalism to an end) in the August Decrees, sweeping away personal serfdom,[59] exclusive hunting rights and other seigneurial rights of the Second Estate (nobility). Also the tithe (a 10% tax for the Church, gathered by the First Estate (clergy)) was abolished which had been the main source of income for many clergymen.[60] During the course of a few hours nobles, clergy, towns, provinces, companies and cities lost their special privileges.[61] Historian Georges Lefebvre
Georges Lefebvre
summarises the night's work:

Without debate the Assembly enthusiastically adopted equality of taxation and redemption of all manorial rights except for those involving personal servitude—which were to be abolished without indemnification. Other proposals followed with the same success: the equality of legal punishment, admission of all to public office, abolition of venality in office,[62] conversion of the tithe into payments subject to redemption, freedom of worship, prohibition of plural holding of benefices ... Privileges of provinces and towns were offered as a last sacrifice.[63]

Originally the peasants were supposed to pay for the release of seigneurial dues; these dues affected more than a fourth of the farmland in France
France
and provided most of the income of the large landowners.[64] The majority refused to pay and in 1793 the obligation was cancelled. Thus the peasants got their land free, and also no longer paid the tithe to the church.[65] Furet emphasises that the decisions of August 1789 survived and became an integral part of

the founding texts of modern France. They destroyed aristocratic society from top to bottom, along with its structure of dependencies and privileges. For this structure they substituted the modern, autonomous individual, free to do whatever was not prohibited by law ... The Revolution
Revolution
thus distinguished itself quite early by its radical individualism [66]

The old judicial system, based on the 13 regional parlements, was suspended in November 1789, and officially abolished in September 1790. The main institutional pillars of the old regime had vanished overnight.[67] Declaration of the Rights of Man Main article: Declaration of the Rights of Man
Rights of Man
and of the Citizen On 26 August 1789 the Assembly published the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which comprised a statement of principles rather than a constitution with legal effect. The Declaration was directly influenced by Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
working with General Lafayette, who introduced it.[68] The National Constituent Assembly functioned not only as a legislature, but also as a body to draft a new constitution. Writing the first constitution Main article: French Constitution of 1791 Necker, Mounier, Lally-Tollendal and others argued unsuccessfully for a senate, with members appointed by the crown on the nomination of the people. The bulk of the nobles argued for an aristocratic upper house elected by the nobles. The popular party carried the day: France
France
would have a single, unicameral assembly. The King retained only a "suspensive veto"; he could delay the implementation of a law, but not block it absolutely. The Assembly eventually replaced the historic provinces with 83 départements, uniformly administered and roughly equal in area and population.[67] Amid the Assembly's preoccupation with constitutional affairs, the financial crisis had continued largely unaddressed, and the deficit had only increased. Honoré Mirabeau
Honoré Mirabeau
now led the move to address this matter, and the Assembly gave Necker complete financial dictatorship. Women's March on Versailles Main article: Women's March on Versailles

Engraving of the Women's March on Versailles, 5 October 1789

Fuelled by rumours of a reception for the King's bodyguards on 1 October 1789, at which the national cockade had been trampled upon, on 5 October 1789, crowds of women began to assemble at Parisian markets. The women first marched to the Hôtel de Ville, demanding that city officials address their concerns.[69] The women were responding to the harsh economic situations they faced, especially bread shortages. They also demanded an end to royal efforts to block the National Assembly, and for the King and his administration to move to Paris as a sign of good faith in addressing the widespread poverty. Getting unsatisfactory responses from city officials, as many as 7,000 women joined the march to Versailles, bringing with them cannons and a variety of smaller weapons. Twenty thousand National Guardsmen under the command of Lafayette responded to keep order, and members of the mob stormed the palace, killing several guards.[70] Lafayette ultimately persuaded the king to accede to the demand of the crowd that the monarchy relocate to Paris. On 6 October 1789, the King and the royal family moved from Versailles to Paris under the "protection" of the National Guards, thus legitimising the National Assembly. Revolution
Revolution
and the Church Main articles: Dechristianization of France
France
during the French Revolution
Revolution
and Civil Constitution of the Clergy

In this caricature, monks and nuns enjoy their new freedom after the decree of 16 February 1790.

The Revolution
Revolution
caused a massive shift of power from the Roman Catholic Church to the state.[71] Under the Ancien Régime, the Church had been the largest single landowner in the country, owning about 10% of the land in the kingdom.[72] The Church was exempt from paying taxes to the government, while it levied a tithe—a 10% tax on income, often collected in the form of crops—on the general population, only a fraction of which it then redistributed to the poor.[72] Resentment towards the Church weakened its power during the opening of the Estates General in May 1789. The Church composed the First Estate with 130,000 members of the clergy. When the National Assembly was later created in June 1789 by the Third Estate, the clergy voted to join them, which perpetuated the destruction of the Estates General as a governing body.[73] The National Assembly began to enact social and economic reform. Legislation sanctioned on 4 August 1789 abolished the Church's authority to impose the tithe. In an attempt to address the financial crisis, the Assembly declared, on 2 November 1789, that the property of the Church was "at the disposal of the nation".[74] They used this property to back a new currency, the assignats. Thus, the nation had now also taken on the responsibility of the Church, which included paying the clergy and caring for the poor, the sick and the orphaned.[75] In December, the Assembly began to sell the lands to the highest bidder to raise revenue, effectively decreasing the value of the assignats by 25% in two years.[76] In autumn 1789, legislation abolished monastic vows and on 13 February 1790 all religious orders were dissolved.[77] Monks and nuns were encouraged to return to private life and a small percentage did eventually marry.[78] The Civil Constitution of the Clergy, passed on 12 July 1790, turned the remaining clergy into employees of the state. This established an election system for parish priests and bishops and set a pay rate for the clergy. Many Catholics objected to the election system because it effectively denied the authority of the Pope in Rome over the French Church. In October a group of 30 bishops wrote a declaration saying they could not accept that law, and this protest fueled also civilian opposition against that law.[60] Eventually, in November 1790, the National Assembly began to require an oath of loyalty to the Civil Constitution from all the members of the clergy.[78] This led to a schism between those clergy who swore the required oath and accepted the new arrangement and those who remained loyal to the Pope. Priests swearing the oath were indicated as 'constitutional', those not taking the oath as 'non-juring' or 'refractory' clergy.[79] Overall, 24% of the clergy nationwide took the oath.[80] This decree stiffened the resistance against the state’s interference with the church, especially in the west of France
France
like in Normandy, Brittany and the Vendée, where only few priests took the oath and the civilian population turned against the revolution.[60] Widespread refusal led to legislation against the clergy, "forcing them into exile, deporting them forcibly, or executing them as traitors".[76] Pope Pius VI
Pope Pius VI
never accepted the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, further isolating the Church in France. A new Republican Calendar was established in 1793, with 10-day weeks that made it very difficult for Catholics to remember Sundays and saints' days. Workers complained it reduced the number of first-day-of-the-week holidays from 52 to 37.[81] During the Reign of Terror, extreme efforts of de-Christianisation ensued, including the imprisonment and massacre of priests and destruction of churches and religious images throughout France. An effort was made to replace the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
altogether, with civic festivals replacing religious ones. The establishment of the Cult of Reason was the final step of radical de-Christianisation. These events led to a widespread disillusionment with the Revolution
Revolution
and to counter-rebellions across France. Locals often resisted de-Christianisation by attacking revolutionary agents and hiding members of the clergy who were being hunted. Eventually, Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
were forced to denounce the campaign,[82] replacing the Cult of Reason
Cult of Reason
with the deist but still non-Christian Cult of the Supreme Being. The Concordat of 1801
Concordat of 1801
between Napoleon
Napoleon
and the Church ended the de-Christianisation period and established the rules for a relationship between the Catholic Church and the French State that lasted until it was abrogated by the Third Republic
Republic
via the separation of church and state on 11 December 1905. The persecution of the Church led to a counter-revolution known as the Revolt in the Vendée.[83] Historians Lynn Hunt and Jack Censer argue that some French Protestants, the Huguenots, wanted an anti-Catholic regime, and that Enlightenment thinkers such as Voltaire
Voltaire
helped fuel this resentment.[84] Historian John McManners writes, "In eighteenth-century France
France
throne and altar were commonly spoken of as in close alliance; their simultaneous collapse ... would one day provide the final proof of their interdependence."[85] Intrigues and radicalism Factions within the Assembly began to clarify. The aristocrat Jacques Antoine Marie de Cazalès and the abbé Jean-Sifrein Maury
Jean-Sifrein Maury
led what would become known as the right wing, the opposition to revolution (this party sat on the right-hand side of the Assembly). The "Royalist democrats" or monarchiens, allied with Necker, inclined towards organising France
France
along lines similar to the British constitutional model; they included Jean Joseph Mounier, the Comte de Lally-Tollendal, the comte de Clermont-Tonnerre, and Pierre Victor Malouet, comte de Virieu. The "National Party", representing the centre or centre-left of the assembly, included Honoré Mirabeau, Lafayette, and Bailly; while Adrien Duport, Barnave and Alexandre Lameth
Alexandre Lameth
represented somewhat more extreme views. Almost alone in his radicalism on the left was the Arras lawyer Maximilien Robespierre. Abbé Sieyès
Abbé Sieyès
led in proposing legislation in this period and successfully forged consensus for some time between the political centre and the left. In Paris, various committees, the mayor, the assembly of representatives, and the individual districts each claimed authority independent of the others. The increasingly middle-class National Guard under Lafayette also slowly emerged as a power in its own right, as did other self-generated assemblies.

The Fête de la Fédération
Fête de la Fédération
on 14 July 1790 celebrated the establishment of the constitutional monarchy

The Assembly abolished the symbolic paraphernalia of the Ancien Régime – armorial bearings, liveries, etc. – which further alienated the more conservative nobles, and added to the ranks of the émigrés. On 14 July 1790, and for several days following, crowds in the Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars
celebrated the anniversary of the fall of the Bastille
Bastille
with the Fête de la Fédération; Talleyrand performed a mass; participants swore an oath of "fidelity to the nation, the law, and the king"; the King and the royal family actively participated.[86] The electors had originally chosen the members of the Estates-General to serve for a single year. However, by the terms of the Tennis Court Oath, the communes had bound themselves to meet continuously until France
France
had a constitution. Right-wing elements now argued for a new election, but Mirabeau prevailed, asserting that the status of the assembly had fundamentally changed, and that no new election should take place before completing the constitution.[87] In late 1790 the French army was in considerable disarray. The military officer corps was largely composed of noblemen, who found it increasingly difficult to maintain order within the ranks. In some cases, soldiers (drawn from the lower classes) had turned against their aristocratic commanders and attacked them. At Nancy, General Bouillé successfully put down one such rebellion, only to be accused of being anti-revolutionary for doing so. This and other such incidents spurred a mass desertion as more and more officers defected to other countries, leaving a dearth of experienced leadership within the army.[88] This period also saw the rise of the political "clubs" in French politics. Foremost among these was the Jacobin
Jacobin
Club; 152 members had affiliated with the Jacobins
Jacobins
by 10 August 1790. The Jacobin
Jacobin
Society began as a broad, general organisation for political debate, but as it grew in members, various factions developed with widely differing views. Several of these factions broke off to form their own clubs, such as the Club of '89.[89] Meanwhile, the Assembly continued to work on developing a constitution. A new judicial organisation made all magistracies temporary and independent of the throne. The legislators abolished hereditary offices, except for the monarchy itself. Jury trials started for criminal cases. The King would have the unique power to propose war, with the legislature then deciding whether to declare war. The Assembly abolished all internal trade barriers and suppressed guilds, masterships, and workers' organisations: any individual gained the right to practise a trade through the purchase of a license; strikes became illegal.[90] Royal flight to Varennes Main article: Flight to Varennes

The return of the royal family to Paris on 25 June 1791, after their failed flight to Varennes

Louis XVI
Louis XVI
was increasingly dismayed by the direction of the revolution. His brother, the Comte d'Artois and his queen, Marie Antoinette, urged a stronger stance against the revolution and support for the émigrés, while he was resistant to any course that would see him openly side with foreign powers against the Assembly. Eventually, fearing for his own safety and that of his family, he decided to flee Paris to the Austrian border, having been assured of the loyalty of the border garrisons. Louis cast his lot with General Bouillé, who condemned both the emigration and the Assembly, and promised him refuge and support in his camp at Montmédy. On the night of 20 June 1791 the royal family fled the Tuileries Palace
Tuileries Palace
dressed as servants, while their servants dressed as nobles. However, late the next day, the King was recognised and arrested at Varennes
Varennes
and returned to Paris. The Assembly provisionally suspended the King. He and Queen Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
remained held under guard.[91] The King's flight had a profound impact on public opinion, turning popular sentiment further against the clergy and nobility, and built momentum for the institution of a constitutional monarchy.[91] Completing the constitution Main article: The Last Days of the National Constituent Assembly As most of the Assembly still favoured a constitutional monarchy rather than a republic, the various groups reached a compromise which left Louis XVI
Louis XVI
as little more than a figurehead: he was forced to swear an oath to the constitution, and a decree declared that retracting the oath, heading an army for the purpose of making war upon the nation, or permitting anyone to do so in his name would amount to abdication. However, Jacques Pierre Brissot
Jacques Pierre Brissot
drafted a petition, insisting that in the eyes of the nation Louis XVI
Louis XVI
was deposed since his flight. An immense crowd gathered in the Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars
to sign the petition. Georges Danton
Georges Danton
and Camille Desmoulins
Camille Desmoulins
gave fiery speeches. The Assembly called for the municipal authorities to "preserve public order". The National Guard under Lafayette's command confronted the crowd. The soldiers responded to a barrage of stones by firing into the crowd, killing between 13 and 50 people.[92] The incident cost Lafayette and his National Guard much public support. In the wake of the massacre the authorities closed many of the patriotic clubs, as well as radical newspapers such as Jean-Paul Marat's L'Ami du Peuple. Danton fled to England; Desmoulins and Marat went into hiding.[93] Meanwhile, in August 1791, a new threat arose from abroad: the King's brother-in-law Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, King Frederick William II of Prussia, and the King's brother Charles-Philippe, comte d'Artois, issued the Declaration of Pillnitz, declaring their intention to bring the French king in the position "to consolidate the basis of a monarchical government" and that they were preparing their own troops for action,[94] hinting at an invasion of France
France
on the King's behalf.[95] Although Leopold himself sought to avoid war and made the declaration to satisfy the Comte d'Artois and the other émigrés, the reaction within France
France
was ferocious. The French people
French people
expressed no respect for the dictates of foreign monarchs, and the threat of force merely hastened their militarisation.[96] Even before the Flight to Varennes, the Assembly members had determined to debar themselves from the legislature that would succeed them, the Legislative Assembly. They now gathered the various constitutional laws they had passed into a single constitution, and submitted it to the recently restored Louis XVI, who accepted it, writing "I engage to maintain it at home, to defend it from all attacks from abroad, and to cause its execution by all the means it places at my disposal". The King addressed the Assembly and received enthusiastic applause from members and spectators. With this capstone, the National Constituent Assembly adjourned in a final session on 30 September 1791.[97] Legislative Assembly (Oct.1791–Sept.1792) Main article: Louis XVI
Louis XVI
and the Legislative Assembly The Legislative Assembly first met on 1 October 1791, elected by those 4 million men – out of a population of 25 million – who paid a certain minimum amount of taxes.[98] Under the Constitution of 1791, France
France
would function as a constitutional monarchy. The King had to share power with the elected Legislative Assembly, but he retained his royal veto and the ability to select ministers. Early on, the King vetoed legislation that threatened the émigrés with death and that decreed that every non-juring clergyman must take within eight days the civic oath mandated by the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Over the course of a year, such disagreements would lead to a constitutional crisis. Late in 1791, a group of Assembly members who propagated war against Austria
Austria
and Prussia
Prussia
was, after some remark of politician Maximilien Robespierre, henceforth indicated as the 'Girondins', although not all of them really came from the southern province of Gironde. A group around Robespierre – later indicated as 'Montagnards' or 'Jacobins' – pleaded against that war; this opposition between those groups would harden and embitter in the next 1½ years.[94] In response to the threat of war of August 1791 from Austria
Austria
and Prussia, leaders of the Assembly saw such a war as a means to strengthen support for their revolutionary government, and the French people as well as the Assembly thought that they would win a war against Austria
Austria
and Prussia. On 20 April 1792, France
France
declared war on Austria.[94][99] Late April 1792, France
France
invaded and conquered the Austrian Netherlands
Austrian Netherlands
(roughly present-day Belgium
Belgium
and Luxembourg).[94] Failure of the constitutional monarchy See also: Louis XVI
Louis XVI
and the Legislative Assembly

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The Legislative Assembly degenerated into chaos before October 1792. Francis Charles Montague concluded in 1911, "In the attempt to govern, the Assembly failed altogether. It left behind an empty treasury, an undisciplined army and navy, and a people debauched by safe and successful riot."[100] Lyons argues that the Constituent Assembly had liberal, rational, and individualistic goals that seem to have been largely achieved by 1791. However, it failed to consolidate the gains of the Revolution, which continued with increasing momentum and escalating radicalism until 1794. Lyons identifies six reasons for this escalation. First, the king did not accept the limitations on his powers, and mobilised support from foreign monarchs to reverse it. Second, the effort to overthrow the Roman Catholic Church, sell off its lands, close its monasteries and its charitable operations, and replace it with an unpopular makeshift system caused deep consternation among the pious and the peasants. Third, the economy was badly hurt by the issuance of ever increasing amounts of paper money (assignats), which caused more and more inflation; the rising prices hurt the urban poor who spent most of their income on food. Fourth, the rural peasants demanded liberation from the heavy system of taxes and dues owed to local landowners. Fifth, the working class of Paris and the other cities—the sans-culottes—resented the fact that the property owners and professionals had taken all the spoils of the Revolution. Finally, foreign powers threatened to overthrow the Revolution, which responded with extremism and systematic violence in its own defence.[101] Constitutional crisis Main articles: 10 August (French Revolution), September Massacres, and Proclamation of the abolition of the monarchy In the summer of 1792, all of Paris was against the king, and hoped that the Assembly would depose the king, but the Assembly hesitated.[102] At dawn of 10 August 1792, a large, angry crowd of Parisians and soldiers from all over France,[102] insurgents and popular militias, supported by the revolutionary Paris Commune,[103] marched on the Tuileries Palace
Tuileries Palace
where the king resided,[102] assailed the Palace and killed the Swiss Guards who were assigned for the protection of the king.[103] Around 8:00 am the king decided to leave his palace and seek safety with his wife and children in the Assembly that was gathered in permanent session in Salle du Manège
Salle du Manège
opposite to the Tuileries.[102] The royal family became prisoners.[104] After 11:00 am, a rump session of the Legislative Assembly 'temporarily relieved the king from his task'[102] and thus suspended the monarchy; little more than a third of the deputies were present, almost all of them Jacobins.[104] In reaction, on 19 August the Prussian general Duke of Brunswick invaded France[105] and besieged Longwy.[106]

On 10 August 1792 the Paris Commune stormed the Tuileries Palace
Tuileries Palace
and killed the Swiss Guards.

On 26 August, the Assembly decreed the deportation of refractory priests in the west of France, as "causes of danger to the fatherland", to destinations like French Guiana. In reaction, peasants in the Vendée
Vendée
took over a town, in another step toward civil war.[106] What remained of a national government depended on the support of the insurrectionary Commune. With enemy troops advancing, the Commune looked for potential traitors in Paris.[107][108] On 2, 3 and 4 September 1792, hundreds of Parisians, supporters of the revolution, infuriated by Verdun being captured by the Prussian enemy, the uprisings in the west of France, and rumours that the incarcerated prisoners in Paris were conspiring with the foreign enemy, raided the Parisian prisons and murdered between 1,000 and 1,500 prisoners, many of them Catholic priests but also common criminals. Jean-Paul Marat, a political ally of Robespierre, in an open letter on 3 September incited the rest of France
France
to follow the Parisian example; Robespierre kept a low profile in regard to the murder orgy.[109] The Assembly and the city council of Paris (la Commune) seemed inapt and hardly motivated to call a halt to the unleashed bloodshed.[102] The Commune sent gangs of National Guardsmen and fédérés into the prisons, and they killed 10 or more victims, mostly nonjuring priests. The Commune then sent a circular letter to the other cities of France inviting them to follow this example, and many cities launched their own massacres of prisoners and priests in the "September massacres". The Assembly could offer only feeble resistance. In October, however, there was a counterattack accusing the instigators, especially Marat, of being terrorists. This led to a political contest between the more moderate Girondists and the more radical Montagnards inside the Convention, with rumour used as a weapon by both sides. The Girondists lost ground when they seemed too conciliatory. But the pendulum swung again and after Thermidor, the men who had endorsed the massacres were denounced as terrorists.[107][108] Chaos persisted until the Convention, elected by universal male suffrage and charged with writing a new constitution, met on 20 September 1792 and became the new de facto government of France. The next day it abolished the monarchy and declared a republic. The following day – 22 September 1792, the first morning of the new Republic
Republic
– was later retroactively adopted as the beginning of Year One of the French Republican Calendar.[110] French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
and Napoleonic Wars Main articles: French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
and Napoleonic Wars From 1793 to 1815 France
France
was engaged almost continuously (with two short breaks) in wars with Britain and a changing coalition of other major powers. The many French successes led to the spread of the French revolutionary ideals into neighbouring countries, and indeed across much of Europe. However, the final defeat of Napoleon
Napoleon
in 1814 (and 1815) brought a reaction that reversed some – but not all – of the revolutionary achievements in France
France
and Europe. The Bourbons were restored to the throne, with the brother of executed King Louis XVI becoming King Louis XVIII.

French victory over the Prussians at the Battle of Valmy
Battle of Valmy
on 20 September 1792

The politics of the period inevitably drove France
France
towards war with Austria
Austria
and its allies. The King, many of the Feuillants, and the Girondins
Girondins
specifically wanted to wage war. The King (and many Feuillants with him) expected war would increase his personal popularity; he also foresaw an opportunity to exploit any defeat: either result would make him stronger. The Girondins
Girondins
wanted to export the Revolution
Revolution
throughout Europe
Europe
and, by extension, to defend the Revolution
Revolution
within France. The forces opposing war were much weaker. Barnave and his supporters among the Feuillants feared a war they thought France
France
had little chance to win and which they feared might lead to greater radicalisation of the revolution. On the other end of the political spectrum Robespierre opposed a war on two grounds, fearing that it would strengthen the monarchy and military at the expense of the revolution, and that it would incur the anger of ordinary people in Austria
Austria
and elsewhere. The Austrian emperor Leopold II, brother of Marie Antoinette, may have wished to avoid war, but he died on 1 March 1792.[111] France
France
preemptively declared war on Austria (20 April 1792) and Prussia
Prussia
joined on the Austrian side a few weeks later. The invading Prussian army faced little resistance until checked at the Battle of Valmy
Battle of Valmy
(20 September 1792) and was forced to withdraw.

The French Revolutionary Army
French Revolutionary Army
defeated the combined armies of Austrians, Dutch and British at Fleurus in June 1794

The new-born Republic
Republic
followed up on this success with a series of victories in Belgium
Belgium
and the Rhineland
Rhineland
in the fall of 1792. The French armies defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Jemappes
Battle of Jemappes
on 6 November, and had soon taken over most of the Austrian Netherlands. This brought them into conflict with Britain and the Dutch Republic, which wished to preserve the independence of the southern Netherlands from France. After the king's execution in January 1793, these powers, along with Spain
Spain
and most other European states, joined the war against France. Almost immediately, French forces faced defeat on many fronts, and were driven out of their newly conquered territories in the spring of 1793. At the same time, the republican regime was forced to deal with rebellions against its authority in much of western and southern France. But the allies failed to take advantage of French disunity, and by the autumn of 1793 the republican regime had defeated most of the internal rebellions and halted the allied advance into France itself. The stalemate was broken in the summer of 1794 with dramatic French victories. They defeated the allied army at the Battle of Fleurus, leading to a full Allied withdrawal from the Austrian Netherlands. They followed with a campaign that swept the allies to the east bank of the Rhine
Rhine
and allowed the French, by the beginning of 1795, to conquer the Dutch Republic
Republic
itself. The House of Orange was expelled and replaced by the Batavian Republic, a French satellite state. These victories led to the collapse of the coalition against France. Prussia, having effectively abandoned the coalition in the fall of 1794, made peace with revolutionary France
France
at Basel in April 1795, and soon thereafter Spain, too, made peace with France. Of the major powers, only Britain and Austria
Austria
remained at war with France. Colonial uprisings

Slave revolt in Saint Domingue

Although the French Revolution
Revolution
had a dramatic impact in numerous areas of Europe, the French colonies felt a particular influence. As the Martinican author Aimé Césaire
Aimé Césaire
put it, "there was in each French colony a specific revolution, that occurred on the occasion of the French Revolution, in tune with it."[112] The Haitian Revolution (Saint Domingue) became a central example of slave uprisings in French colonies. First Republic National Convention
National Convention
(Sept.1792–95) Main article: National Convention Late in August 1792, elections were held, now under male universal suffrage, for the new National Convention,[109] which replaced the Legislative Assembly on 20 September 1792. From the start the Convention suffered from the bitter division between a group around Robespierre, Danton and Marat, referred to as 'Montagnards' or 'Jacobins' or the 'left', and a group referred to as 'Girondins' or the 'right'. But the majority of the representatives, referred to as 'la Plaine', were member of neither of those two antagonistic groups and managed to preserve some speed in the Convention's debates.[109][113] Immediately on 21 September the Convention abolished the monarchy, making France
France
the French First Republic.[102] A new French Republican Calendar was introduced to replace the Christian Gregorian calendar, renaming the year 1792 as year 1 of the Republic.[59] With wars against Prussia
Prussia
and Austria
Austria
having started earlier in 1792, France
France
also declared war on the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
and the Dutch Republic
Republic
in November 1792.[113] In the course of 1793, the Holy Roman Empire, the kings of Portugal and Naples and the Grand-Duke of Tuscany declared war against France.[114] Execution of Louis XVI Main article: Execution of Louis XVI See also: Robespierre and the Execution of Louis XVI

Execution of Louis XVI
Execution of Louis XVI
in what is now the Place de la Concorde, facing the empty pedestal where the statue of his grandfather, Louis XV, had stood.

In the Brunswick Manifesto, the Imperial and Prussian armies threatened retaliation on the French population if it were to resist their advance or the reinstatement of the monarchy. This among other things made Louis appear to be conspiring with the enemies of France. On 17 January 1793 Louis was condemned to death for "conspiracy against the public liberty and the general safety" by a close majority in Convention: 361 voted to execute the king, 288 voted against, and another 72 voted to execute him subject to a variety of delaying conditions. The former Louis XVI, now simply named Citoyen Louis Capet (Citizen Louis Capet) was executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793 on the Place de la Révolution, former Place Louis XV, now called the Place de la Concorde.[115] Conservatives across Europe
Europe
were horrified and monarchies called for war against revolutionary France.[116][117] Economy When war went badly, prices rose and the sans-culottes – poor labourers and radical Jacobins
Jacobins
– rioted; counter-revolutionary activities began in some regions. This encouraged the Jacobins
Jacobins
to seize power through a parliamentary coup, backed up by force effected by mobilising public support against the Girondist
Girondist
faction, and by utilising the mob power of the Parisian sans-culottes. An alliance of Jacobin
Jacobin
and sans-culottes elements thus became the effective centre of the new government. Policy became considerably more radical, as "The Law of the Maximum" set food prices and led to executions of offenders.[118] The price control policy was coeval with the rise to power of the Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
and the Reign of Terror. The Committee first attempted to set the price for only a limited number of grain products, but by September 1793 it expanded the "maximum" to cover all foodstuffs and a long list of other goods.[119] Widespread shortages and famine ensued. The Committee reacted by sending dragoons into the countryside to arrest farmers and seize crops. This temporarily solved the problem in Paris, but the rest of the country suffered. By the spring of 1794, forced collection of food was not sufficient to feed even Paris, and the days of the Committee were numbered. When Robespierre went to the guillotine in July 1794, the crowd jeered, "There goes the dirty maximum!"[120] Reign of Terror Main article: Reign of Terror

Queen Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
on the way to the guillotine on 16 October 1793 (drawing by Jacques-Louis David)

'Reign of Terror' is a label used by some historians for (part of) French history between July 1789 and July 1794, but those historians adhere that label to different periods. The Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
came under the control of Maximilien Robespierre, a lawyer, and the Jacobins
Jacobins
unleashed the Reign of Terror (1793–94). According to archival records, at least 16,594 people died under the guillotine or otherwise after accusations of counter-revolutionary activities.[121] As many as 40,000 accused prisoners may have been summarily executed without trial or died awaiting trial.[121][122] On 2 June 1793, Paris sections – encouraged by the enragés ("enraged ones") Jacques Roux and Jacques Hébert
Jacques Hébert
– took over the Convention, calling for administrative and political purges, a low fixed price for bread, and a limitation of the electoral franchise to sans-culottes alone.[123] With the backing of the National Guard, they managed to persuade the Convention to arrest 31 Girondin
Girondin
leaders, including Jacques Pierre Brissot. Following these arrests, the Jacobins
Jacobins
gained control of the Committee of Public Safety
Committee of Public Safety
on 10 June, installing the revolutionary dictatorship.[124] On 24 June, the Convention adopted the first republican constitution of France, variously referred to as the French Constitution of 1793
French Constitution of 1793
or Constitution of the Year I. It was progressive and radical in several respects, in particular by establishing universal male suffrage. It was ratified by public referendum, but normal legal processes were suspended before it could take effect.[125] On 13 July, the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat – a Jacobin leader and journalist known for his bloodthirsty rhetoric – by Charlotte Corday, a Girondin, resulted in further increase of Jacobin political influence. Georges Danton, the leader of the August 1792 uprising against the king, undermined by several political reversals, was removed from the Committee and Robespierre, "the Incorruptible", became its most influential member as it moved to take radical measures against the Revolution's domestic and foreign enemies.[124] The Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
ultimately weakened the revolutionary government, while temporarily ending internal opposition. The Jacobins
Jacobins
expanded the size of the army, and Carnot replaced many aristocratic officers with soldiers who had demonstrated their patriotism, if not their ability. The Republican army repulsed the Austrians, Prussians, British, and Spanish. At the end of 1793, the army began to prevail and revolts were defeated with ease. The Ventôse Decrees (February–March 1794) proposed the confiscation of the goods of exiles and opponents of the Revolution, and their redistribution to the needy. However, this policy was never fully implemented.[126] Three approaches attempt to explain the Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
imposed by the Jacobins
Jacobins
in 1793–94. The older Marxist interpretation argued the Terror was a necessary response to outside threats (in terms of other countries going to war with France) and internal threats (of traitors inside France
France
threatening to frustrate the Revolution). In this interpretation, as expressed by the Marxist historian Albert Soboul, Robespierre and the sans-culottes were heroes for defending the revolution from its enemies. François Furet has argued that foreign threats had little to do with the terror.[127] Instead, the extreme violence was an inherent part of the intense ideological commitment of the revolutionaries – their utopian goals required exterminating opposition. Soboul's Marxist interpretation has been largely abandoned by most historians since the 1990s. Hanson (2009) takes a middle position, recognising the importance of the foreign enemies, and sees the terror as a contingency that was caused by the interaction of a series of complex events and the foreign threat. Hanson says the terror was not inherent in the ideology of the Revolution, but that circumstances made it necessary.[128] Internal and external wars Further information: War in the Vendée

The War in the Vendée
Vendée
was a royalist uprising that was suppressed by the republican forces in 1796.

Introduction of a nationwide conscription for the army in February 1793 was the spark that in March made the Vendée, already rebellious since 1790 because of the changes imposed on the Roman Catholic Church by the Civil Constitution of the Clergy
Clergy
(1790),[129] ignite into civil (guerrilla) war against the French Revolutionary government in Paris.[113][130][131][132] North of the Loire, similar revolts were started by the so-called Chouans (royalist rebels).[133] In March 1793, France
France
also declared war on Spain, the Vendée
Vendée
rebels won some victories against Paris, and the French army was defeated in Belgium
Belgium
by Austria
Austria
with the French general Dumouriez defecting to the Austrians: the French Republic's survival was now in real danger.[113] Facing local revolts and foreign invasions in both the East and West of the country, the most urgent government business was the war.[134] On 6 April 1793, to prevent the Convention from losing itself in abstract debate and to streamline government decisions, the Comité de salut public (Committee of Public Prosperity) was created, as executive government which was accountable to the Convention.[113] Girondins
Girondins
expelled In April 1793, the Girondins
Girondins
indicted Jean-Paul Marat
Jean-Paul Marat
before the Revolutionary Tribunal
Revolutionary Tribunal
for 'attempting to destroy the sovereignty of the people' and 'preaching plunder and massacre', referring to his behaviour during the September 1792 Paris massacres. Marat was quickly acquitted but the incident further exacerbated the 'Girondins' versus 'Montagnards' party strife in the Convention.[113] Jacques Hébert, Convention member leaning to the 'Montagnards' group, on 24 May 1793 called on the sans-culottes to rise in revolt against the "henchmen of Capet [the ex-king] and Dumouriez [the defected general]". Hébert was arrested by a Convention committee. While that committee consisted only of members from la Plaine and the Girondins, the anger of the sans-culottes was directed towards the Girondins. 25 May, a delegation of la Commune (the Paris city council) protested against Hébert’s arrest. The Convention’s President Isnard, a Girondin, answered them: "Members of la Commune (…) If by your incessant rebellions something befalls to the representatives of the nation, I declare, in the name of France, that Paris will be totally obliterated".[113] On 2 June 1793, the Convention's session in Tuileries Palace degenerated into chaos and pandemonium. Crowds of people swarmed in and around the palace. Incessant screaming from the public galeries suggested that all of Paris was against the Girondins. Petitions circulated, indicting and condemning 22 Girondins. Barère, member of the Comité de salut public, suggested: to end this division which is harming the Republic, the Girondin
Girondin
leaders should lay down their offices voluntarily. Late that night after much more tumultuous debate, dozens of Girondins
Girondins
had resigned and left the Convention.[113] Abounding civil war

The assassination of Jean-Paul Marat
Jean-Paul Marat
by Girondist
Girondist
sympathizer Charlotte Corday
Charlotte Corday
on 13 July 1793

By the summer of 1793, most French departments in one way or another opposed the central Paris government. Girondins
Girondins
who fled from Paris after 2 June led those revolts.[135] In Brittany's countryside, the people rejecting the Civil Constitution of the Clergy
Clergy
of 1790 had taken to a guerrilla warfare known as Chouannerie.[129] But generally, the French opposition against 'Paris' had now evolved into a plain struggle for power over the country[135] against the 'Montagnards' around Robespierre and Marat now dominating Paris.[129] In June–July 1793, Bordeaux, Marseilles, Brittany, Caen
Caen
and the rest of Normandy
Normandy
gathered armies to march on Paris and against 'the revolution'.[130][129] In July, Lyon guillotined the deposed 'Montagnard' head of the city council.[129] Barère, member of the Committee of Public Prosperity, on 1 August incited the Convention to tougher measures against the Vendée, at war with Paris since March: "We'll have peace only when no Vendée
Vendée
remains … we'll have to exterminate that rebellious people".[130] In August, Convention troops besieged Lyon.[129] On 17 August 1793, the Convention voted for general conscription, the levée en masse, which mobilised all citizens to serve as soldiers or suppliers in the war effort.[134] The consecutive successes in the French revolutionary wars earned Lazare Carnot
Lazare Carnot
the title 'Organizer of Victory'.[136][137] In August–September 1793, militants urged the Convention to do more to quell the counter-revolution. A delegation of the Commune (Paris city council) suggested to form revolutionary armies to arrest hoarders and conspirators.[129] Barère, member of the Committee of Public Prosperity—the de facto executive government—ever since April 1793,[135] among others on 5 September reacted favorably, saying: let's "make terror the order of the day!"[129] The National Convention on 9 September voted to establish sans-culottes paramilitary forces, revolutionary armies, and to force farmers to surrender grain demanded by the government.[134] On 17 September, the Law of Suspects
Law of Suspects
was passed, which ordered the arrest of suspected counter-revolutionaries and people who had revealed themselves as "enemies of freedom".[138] This decree was one of the causes for some 17,000 legal death sentences until the end of July 1794, an average of 370 per week – reason for historians to label those 10½ months 'the (Reign of) Terror'.[139][140] On 19 September the Vendée
Vendée
rebels again defeated a Republican Convention army.[130] On 29 September, the Convention extended price limits from grain and bread to other household goods and established the Law of the Maximum, intended to prevent price gouging and supply food to the cities.[134] On 1 October Barère repeated his plea to subdue the Vendée: "refuge of fanaticism, where priests have raised their altars…".[130] In October the Convention troops captured Lyon and reinstated a Montagnard government there.[129] Criteria for bringing someone before the Revolutionary Tribunal, created March 1793, had always been vast and vague.[135] By August, political disagreement seemed enough to be summoned before the Tribunal; appeal against a Tribunal verdict was impossible.[129] Late August 1793, an army general had been guillotined on the accusation of choosing too timid strategies on the battlefield.[129] Mid-October, the widowed former queen Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
was on trial for a long list of charges such as "teaching [her husband] Louis Capet the art of dissimulation" and incest with her son, she too was guillotined.[129] In October 1793, 21 former 'Girondins' Convention members who hadn't left Paris after June were convicted to death and executed, on the charge of verbally supporting the preparation of an insurrection in Caen
Caen
by fellow-Girondins.[129] Suppressing and retaliating the revolts

Mass shootings at Nantes
Nantes
in 1793

Shootings and massacres by the Infernal columns
Infernal columns
under Louis Marie Turreau

17 October 1793, the 'blue' Republican army near Cholet
Cholet
defeated the 'white' Vendéan insubordinate army and all surviving Vendée residents, counting in tens of thousands, fled over the river Loire north into Brittany.[130] A Convention's representative on mission in Nantes
Nantes
commissioned in October to pacify the region did so by simply drowning prisoners in the river Loire: until February 1794 he drowned at least 4,000.[135] Meanwhile, the instalment of the Republican Calendar on 24 October 1793 caused an anti-clerical uprising. Hébert's and Chaumette's atheist movement campaigned to dechristianise society. The climax was reached with the celebration of the flame of Reason in Notre Dame Cathedral on 10 November.[141] By November 1793, the revolts in Normandy, Bordeaux and Lyon were overcome, in December also that in Toulon.[129] Two representatives on mission sent to punish Lyon between November 1793 and April 1794 executed 2,000 people to death by guillotine or firing-squad.[135] The Vendéan army since October roaming through Brittany on 12 December 1793 again ran up against Republican troops and saw 10,000 of its rebels perish, meaning the end of this once threatening army.[135] Some historians claim that after that Vendéan defeat Convention Republic
Republic
armies in 1794 massacred 117,000 Vendéan civilians to obliterate the Vendéan people, but others contest that claim.[142] Some historians consider the total civil war to have lasted until 1796 with a toll of 170,000[143] or 450,000 lives.[144][145] Because of the extremely brutal forms that the Republican repression took in many places, historians such as Reynald Secher have called the event a "genocide".[146][147][148] Historian François Furet concluded that the repression in the Vendee "not only revealed massacre and destruction on an unprecedented scale but also a zeal so violent that it has bestowed as its legacy much of the region's identity."[149] Profuse executions The guillotine became the tool for a string of executions. Louis XVI had already been guillotined before the start of the terror; Queen Marie Antoinette, Barnave, Bailly, Brissot and other leading Girondins, Philippe Égalité (despite his vote for the death of the King), Madame Roland
Madame Roland
and many others were executed by guillotine. The Revolutionary Tribunal
Revolutionary Tribunal
summarily condemned thousands of people to death by the guillotine, while mobs beat other victims to death.

Nine emigrants go to the guillotine in 1793

At the peak of the terror, the slightest hint of counter-revolutionary thoughts or activities (or, as in the case of Jacques Hébert, revolutionary zeal exceeding that of those in power) could place one under suspicion, and trials did not always proceed according to contemporary standards of due process.[citation needed] Sometimes people died for their political opinions or actions, but many for little reason beyond mere suspicion, or because some others had a stake in getting rid of them.[citation needed] Most of the victims received an unceremonious trip to the guillotine in an open wooden cart (the tumbrel). In the rebellious provinces, the government representatives had unlimited authority and some engaged in extreme repressions and abuses. For example, Jean-Baptiste Carrier
Jean-Baptiste Carrier
became notorious for the Noyades ("drownings") he organised in Nantes;[150] his conduct was judged unacceptable even by the Jacobin
Jacobin
government and he was recalled.[151] Guillotining politicians Maximilien Robespierre, since July 1793 member of the Committee of Public Prosperity,[130] on 5 February 1794 in a speech in the Convention identified Jacques Hébert
Jacques Hébert
and his faction as "internal enemies" working toward the triumph of tyranny.[135] After a dubious trial Hébert and some allies, charged with counter-revolutionary activities,[152] were guillotined in March.[135] On 5 April, again at the instigation of Robespierre, Danton, a moderate Montagnard, and 13 associated politicians, charged with counter-revolutionary activities,[152] were executed.[135] A week later again 19 politicians. This hushed the Convention deputies: if henceforth they disagreed with Robespierre they hardly dared to speak out.[135]

The Festival of the Supreme Being on 8 June 1794

On 7 June 1794, Robespierre advocated a new state religion and recommended the Convention acknowledge the existence of the "Supreme Being".[152] A law enacted on 10 June 1794 (22 Prairial II) further streamlined criminal procedures: if the Revolutionary Tribunal
Revolutionary Tribunal
saw sufficient proof of someone being an "enemy of the people" a counsel for defence would not be allowed. The frequency of guillotine executions in Paris now rose from on average three a day to an average of 29 a day.[135] Meanwhile, France's external wars were going well, with victories over Austrian and British troops in May and June 1794 opening up Belgium for French conquest.[135] But cooperation within the Committee of Public Prosperity, since April 1793 the de facto executive government, started to break down. On 29 June 1794, three colleagues of Robespierre at 'the Committee' called him a dictator in his face – Robespierre baffled left the meeting. This encouraged other Convention members to also defy Robespierre. On 26 July, a long and vague speech of Robespierre wasn't met with thunderous applause as usual but with hostility; some deputies yelled that Robespierre should have the courage to say which deputies he deemed necessary to be killed next, what Robespierre refused to do.[135] In the Convention session of 27 July 1794 (9 Thermidor of Year II), Robespierre and his allies hardly managed to say a word as they were constantly interrupted by a row of critics such as Tallien, Billaud-Varenne, Vadier, Barère and acting president Thuriot. Finally, even Robespierre's own voice failed on him: it faltered at his last attempt to beg permission to speak.[135]

The execution of Robespierre on 28 July 1794 marked the end of the Reign of Terror.

A decree was adopted to arrest Robespierre, Saint-Just and Couthon. 28 July, they and 19 other leading Jacobins
Jacobins
were beheaded. 29 July, again 70 Parisians were guillotined.[135] Subsequently, the Law of 22 Prairial
Law of 22 Prairial
(10 June 1794) was repealed, and the 'Girondins' expelled from the Convention in June 1793, if not dead yet, were reinstated as Convention deputies.[153] Disregarding the lower classes After July 1794, the French government was dominated by 'Girondins', who indulged in revenge and violence and death sentences against people associated with the previous 'Jacobin'/'Montagnard' governments around Robespierre and Marat, in what was known as the White Terror.[154] The Jacobin Club
Jacobin Club
was closed and banned.[155][156] After July 1794, most civilians henceforth ignored the Republican calendar and returned to the traditional seven-day weeks. The government in a law of 21 February 1795 set steps of return to freedom of religion and reconciliation with the since 1790 refractory Catholic priests, but any religious signs outside churches or private homes, such as crosses, clerical garb, bell ringing, remained prohibited. When the people's enthousiasm for attending church grew to unexpected levels the government backed out and in October 1795 again, like in 1790, required all priests to swear oaths on the Republic.[153] In the very cold winter of 1794–95, with the French army demanding more and more bread, same was getting scarce in Paris as was wood to keep houses warm, and in an echo of the October 1789 March on Versailles, on 1 April 1795 (12 Germinal III) a mostly female crowd marched on the Convention calling for bread. But no Convention member sympathized, they just told the women to return home. Again in May a crowd of 20,000 men and 40,000 women invaded the Convention and even killed a deputy in the halls, but again they failed to make the Convention take notice of the needs of the lower classes. Instead, the Convention banned women from all political assemblies, and deputies who had solidarized with this insurrection were sentenced to death: such allegiance between parliament and street fighting was no longer tolerated.[153] Late 1794, France
France
conquered present-day Belgium.[157] In January 1795 they subdued the Dutch Republic
Republic
with full consent and cooperation of the influential Dutch patriottenbeweging ('patriots movement'), resulting in the Batavian Republic, a satellite and puppet state of France.[158][159] In April 1795, France
France
concluded a peace agreement with Prussia,[160] later that year peace was agreed with Spain.[citation needed] The Directory (1795–99) Main article: French Directory The Convention on 22 August 1795 approved the new "Constitution of the Year III". A French plebiscite ratified the document, with about 1,057,000 votes for the constitution and 49,000 against.[161] The results of the voting were announced on 23 September 1795, and the new constitution took effect on 27 September 1795.[161] The new constitution created the Directoire (English: Directory) with a bicameral legislature. The first chamber was called the 'Council of 500' initiating the laws, the second the 'Council of Elders' reviewing and approving or not the passed laws. Each year, one-third of the chambers was to be renewed. The executive power was in the hands of the five members of the five directors of the Directory with a five-year mandate.[153] The early directors did not much understand the nation they were governing; they especially had an innate inability to see Catholicism as anything else than counter-revolutionary and royalist. Local administrators had a better sense of people's priorities, and one of them wrote to the minister of the interior: "Give back the crosses, the church bells, the Sundays, and everyone will cry: ’vive la République!’"[153] The Directory denounced the arbitrary executions of the Reign of Terror, but itself engaged in large scale illegal repressions, as well as large-scale massacres of civilians in the Vendee uprising. The economy continued in bad condition, with the poor especially hurt by the high cost of food. State finances were in total disarray; the government could only cover its expenses through the plunder and the tribute of foreign countries. If peace were made, the armies would return home and the directors would have to face the exasperation of the rank-and-file who had lost their livelihood, as well as the ambition of generals who could, in a moment, brush them aside. Barras and Rewbell were notoriously corrupt themselves and screened corruption in others. The patronage of the directors was ill-bestowed, and the general maladministration heightened their unpopularity.[162]

A small French force tried to invade Britain in February 1797. This contemporary image shows troops landing near Fishguard in Wales. The troops were later forced to surrender.

The constitutional party in the legislature desired toleration of the nonjuring clergy, the repeal of the laws against the relatives of the émigrés, and some merciful discrimination towards the émigrés themselves. The directors baffled all such endeavours. On the other hand, the socialist conspiracy of Babeuf was easily quelled. Little was done to improve the finances, and the assignats continued to fall in value until each note was worth less than the paper it was printed on; debtors easily paid off their debts.[163] A series of financial reforms started by the Directory finally took effect after it fell from power.[citation needed] Evaluation Although committed to Republicanism, the Directory distrusted democracy.[citation needed] Historians have seldom praised the Directory; it was a government of self-interest rather than virtue, thus losing any claim on idealism. It never had a strong base of popular support; when elections were held, most of its candidates were defeated. Its achievements were minor.[164][165] Brown stresses the turn towards dictatorship and the failure of liberal democracy under the Directory, blaming it on, "chronic violence, ambivalent forms of justice, and repeated recourse to heavy-handed repression."[166]

General Napoleon
Napoleon
and his troops crossing the bridge of Arcole in 1796

The election system was complex and designed to insulate the government from grass roots democracy. The parliament consisted of two houses: the Conseil des Cinq-Cents (Council of the Five Hundred) with 500 representatives, and the Conseil des Anciens (Council of Elders) with 250 senators. Executive power went to five "directors," named annually by the Conseil des Anciens from a list submitted by the Conseil des Cinq-Cents. The universal male suffrage of 1793 was replaced by limited suffrage based on property. The voters had only a limited choice because the electoral rules required two-thirds of the seats go to members of the old Convention, no matter how few popular votes they received.[167] Citizens
Citizens
of the war-weary nation wanted stability, peace, and an end to conditions that at times bordered on chaos. Nevertheless, those on the right who wished to restore the monarchy by putting Louis XVIII on the throne, and those on the left who would have renewed the Reign of Terror, tried but failed to overthrow the Directory. The earlier atrocities had made confidence or goodwill between parties impossible.[168] The Directory régime met opposition from Jacobins
Jacobins
on the left and royalists on the right (the latter were secretly subsidised by the British government). The army suppressed riots and counter-revolutionary activities. In this way the army and in particular Napoleon
Napoleon
gained total power.[citation needed] Coups d'état Parliamentary elections in the spring of 1797, for one-third of the seats in Parliament, resulted in considerable gains for the royalists,[153] who seemed poised to take control of the Directory in the next elections. This frightened the republican directors and they reacted, in the Coup of 18 Fructidor
Coup of 18 Fructidor
V (4 September 1797), by purging all the winners banishing 57 leaders to certain death in Guiana, removing two supposedly pro-royalist directors, and closing 42 newspapers. The new, 'corrected' government, still strongly convinced that Catholicism and royalism were equally dangerous to the Republic, started a fresh campaign to promote the Republican calendar (officially introduced in 1792), with its ten-day week, and tried to hallow the tenth day, décadi, as substitute for the Christian Sunday. Not only citizens opposed and even mocked such decrees, also local government officials refused to enforce such laws.[153]

Napoléon Bonaparte
Napoléon Bonaparte
in the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire
18 Brumaire
VIII (9 November 1799).

France
France
was still waging wars, in 1798 in Egypt, Switzerland, Rome, Ireland, Belgium
Belgium
and against the U.S.A., in 1799 in Baden-Württemberg. When the elections of 1798 were again carried by the opposition, the Directory used the army to imprison and exile the opposition leaders and close their newspapers.[citation needed] Increasingly it depended on the Army in foreign and domestic affairs, as well as finance. In 1799, when the French armies abroad experienced some setbacks, the newly chosen director Sieyes considered a new overhaul necessary for the Directory's form of government because in his opinion it needed a stronger executive. Together with successful general Napoleon Bonaparte who had just returned to France, Sieyes began preparing another coup d'état, which took place on 9–10 November 1799 (18–19 Brumaire VIII), replacing the five directors now with three "consuls": Napoleon, Sieyes, and Roger Ducos.[153] That coup some historians consider the closing of the specifically republican phase of the French Revolution.[169] Exporting the Revolution The Army at first was quite successful. It conquered Belgium
Belgium
and turned it into a province of France; conquered the Netherlands and made it a puppet state; and conquered Switzerland and most of Italy, setting up a series of puppet states. The result was glory for France and an infusion of much needed money from the conquered lands, which also provided direct support to the French Army. However, the enemies of France, led by Britain and funded by the inexhaustible British Treasury, formed a Second Coalition in 1799 (with Britain joined by Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and Austria). The allies scored a series of victories that rolled back French successes, retaking Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands and ending the flow of payments from the conquered areas to France. The treasury was empty. Despite his publicity claiming many glorious victories, Napoleon's army was trapped in Egypt after the British sank the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile. Napoleon
Napoleon
escaped by himself, returned to Paris and overthrew the Directory in November, 1799.[170][171]

French-Dutch victory under General Brune and General Daendels against the Russians and British in 1799

Napoleon
Napoleon
conquered most of Italy in the name of the French Revolution in 1797–99. He consolidated old units and split up Austria's holdings. He set up a series of new republics, complete with new codes of law and abolition of old feudal privileges. Napoleon's Cisalpine Republic
Republic
was centred on Milan. Genoa the city became a republic while its hinterland became the Ligurian Republic. The Roman Republic
Republic
was formed out of the papal holdings and the pope was sent to France. The Neapolitan Republic
Republic
was formed around Naples, but it lasted only five months before the enemy forces of the Coalition recaptured it. In 1805 Napoleon
Napoleon
formed the Kingdom of Italy, with himself as king and his stepson as viceroy. In addition, France
France
turned the Netherlands into the Batavian Republic, and Switzerland into the Helvetic Republic. All these new countries were satellites of France
France
and had to pay large subsidies to Paris, as well as provide military support for Napoleon's wars. Their political and administrative systems were modernised, the metric system introduced, and trade barriers reduced. Jewish ghettos were abolished. Belgium
Belgium
and Piedmont became integral parts of France.[172] Most of the new nations were abolished and returned to prewar owners in 1814. However, Artz emphasises the benefits the Italians gained from the French Revolution:

For nearly two decades the Italians had the excellent codes of law, a fair system of taxation, a better economic situation, and more religious and intellectual toleration than they had known for centuries... Everywhere old physical, economic, and intellectual barriers had been thrown down and the Italians had begun to be aware of a common nationality.[173]

Media and symbolism Main article: Symbolism in the French Revolution Newspapers

A copy of L'Ami du peuple stained with the blood of Marat

In the Old regime there were a small number of heavily censored newspapers that needed a royal licence to operate. Newspapers and pamphlets played a central role in stimulating and defining the Revolution. The meetings of the Estates-General in 1789 created an enormous demand for news, and over 130 newspapers appeared by the end of the year. Among the most significant of these newspapers in 1789 were Marat's L'Ami du peuple and Elysée Loustallot's Revolutions de Paris. The next decade saw 2000 newspapers founded, with 500 in Paris alone. Most lasted only a matter of weeks. Together they became the main communication medium, combined with the very large pamphlet literature.[174] Newspapers were read aloud in taverns and clubs, and circulated hand to hand. The press saw its lofty role to be the advancement of civic republicanism based on public service, and downplayed the liberal, individualistic goal of making a profit.[175][176][177][178] By 1793 the radicals were most active but at the start the royalists flooded the country with their press the "Ami du Roi" (Friends of the King) until they were suppressed.[179] Napoleon
Napoleon
only allowed four newspapers, all under tight control. Symbolism Symbolism was a device to distinguish the main features of the Revolution
Revolution
and ensure public identification and support. In order to effectively illustrate the differences between the new Republic
Republic
and the old regime, the leaders needed to implement a new set of symbols to be celebrated instead of the old religious and monarchical symbolism. To this end, symbols were borrowed from historic cultures and redefined, while those of the old regime were either destroyed or reattributed acceptable characteristics. These revised symbols were used to instil in the public a new sense of tradition and reverence for the Enlightenment and the Republic.[180] La Marseillaise Main article: La Marseillaise

Rouget de Lisle, composer of the Marseillaise, sings it for the first time in 1792

La Marseillaise

The French national anthem La Marseillaise; text in French.

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"La Marseillaise" (French pronunciation: ​[la maʁsɛjɛz]) became the national anthem of France. The song was written and composed in 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, and was originally titled "Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin". The French National Convention adopted it as the First Republic's anthem in 1795. It acquired its nickname after being sung in Paris by volunteers from Marseille
Marseille
marching on the capital. The song is the first example of the "European march" anthemic style. The anthem's evocative melody and lyrics have led to its widespread use as a song of revolution and its incorporation into many pieces of classical and popular music. Cerulo says, "the design of "La Marseillaise" is credited to General Strasburg of France, who is said to have directed de Lisle, the composer of the anthem, to 'produce one of those hymns which conveys to the soul of the people the enthusiasm which it (the music) suggests.'"[181]

English cartoon attacking the excesses of the Revolution
Revolution
as symbolised by the guillotine; between 18,000 and 40,000 people were executed during the Reign of Terror

Guillotine Main article: Guillotine Hanson notes, "The guillotine stands as the principal symbol of the Terror in the French Revolution."[182] Invented by a physician during the Revolution
Revolution
as a quicker, more efficient and more distinctive form of execution, the guillotine became a part of popular culture and historic memory. It was celebrated on the left as the people's avenger and cursed as the symbol of the Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
by the right.[183] Its operation became a popular entertainment that attracted great crowds of spectators. Vendors sold programmes listing the names of those scheduled to die. Many people came day after day and vied for the best locations from which to observe the proceedings; knitting women (tricoteuses) formed a cadre of hardcore regulars, inciting the crowd. Parents often brought their children. By the end of the Terror, the crowds had thinned drastically. Repetition had staled even this most grisly of entertainments, and audiences grew bored.[184] What it is that horrifies people changes over time. Doyle comments:

Even the unique horror of the guillotine has been dwarfed by the gas chambers of the Holocaust, the organized brutality of the gulag, the mass intimidation of Mao's cultural revolution, or the killing fields of Cambodia.[185]

Tricolore cockade Main article: tricolore cockade Cockades were widely worn by revolutionaries beginning in 1789. They now pinned the blue-and-red cockade of Paris onto the white cockade of the Ancien Régime
Ancien Régime
– thus producing the original Tricolore cockade. Later, distinctive colours and styles of cockade would indicate the wearer's faction—although the meanings of the various styles were not entirely consistent, and varied somewhat by region and period.

The tricolour cockade, created in July 1789. White was added to "nationalise" an earlier blue and red design.

The tricolour flag is derived from the cockades used in the 1790s. These were circular rosette-like emblems attached to the hat. Camille Desmoulins asked his followers to wear green cockades on 12 July 1789. The Paris militia, formed on 13 July, adopted a blue and red cockade. Blue and red are the traditional colours of Paris, and they are used on the city's coat of arms. Cockades with various colour schemes were used during the storming of the Bastille
Bastille
on 14 July.[186] The blue and red cockade was presented to King Louis XVI
King Louis XVI
at the Hôtel de Ville on 17 July. Lafayette argued for the addition of a white stripe to "nationalise" the design.[187] On 27 July, a tricolour cockade was adopted as part of the uniform of the National Guard, the national police force that succeeded the militia.[188] Well after the revolution, by 1912 the French Third Republic
French Third Republic
had authorised the form of the tricolore cockade for use on its military aircraft by the Aeronautique Militaire as a national insignia,[189] the first-ever in use worldwide – it is still in use by the current Armee de l'Air
Armee de l'Air
of France, and directly inspired the use of similar roundel insignia by the United Kingdom and many other nations worldwide. Fasces

The unofficial but common National Emblem of France
France
is backed by a fasces, representing justice.

Fasces are Roman in origin and suggest Roman Republicanism. Fasces are a bundle of birch rods containing an axe. The French Republic continued this Roman symbol to represent state power, justice, and unity.[180] Liberty cap

Early depiction of the tricolour in the hands of a sans-culotte

The Liberty cap, also known as the Phrygian cap, or pileus, is a brimless, felt cap that is conical in shape with the tip pulled forward. It reflects Roman republicanism and liberty, alluding to the Roman ritual of manumission of slaves, in which a freed slave receives the bonnet as a symbol of his newfound liberty.[190] Role of women Main articles: Women in the French Revolution
Revolution
and Militant feminism in the French Revolution

Club of patriotic women in a church

Historians since the late 20th century have debated how women shared in the French Revolution
Revolution
and what long-term impact it had on French women. Women had no political rights in pre-Revolutionary France; they were considered "passive" citizens; forced to rely on men to determine what was best for them. That changed dramatically in theory as there seemingly were great advances in feminism. Feminism emerged in Paris as part of a broad demand for social and political reform. The women demanded equality for men and then moved on to a demand for the end of male domination. Their chief vehicle for agitation were pamphlets and women's clubs, but the clubs were abolished in October 1793 and their leaders were arrested. The movement was crushed. Devance explains the decision in terms of the emphasis on masculinity in a wartime situation, Marie Antoinette's bad reputation for feminine interference in state affairs, and traditional male supremacy.[191] A decade later the Napoleonic Code confirmed and perpetuated women's second-class status.[192] When the Revolution
Revolution
opened, groups of women acted forcefully, making use of the volatile political climate. Women forced their way into the political sphere. They swore oaths of loyalty, "solemn declarations of patriotic allegiance, [and] affirmations of the political responsibilities of citizenship." De Corday d'Armont is a prime example of such a woman; engaged in the revolutionary political faction of the Girondins, she assassinated the Jacobin
Jacobin
leader, Marat. Throughout the Revolution, other women such as Pauline Léon and her Society of Revolutionary Republican Women supported the radical Jacobins, staged demonstrations in the National Assembly and participated in the riots, often using armed force.[193] The March to Versailles is but one example of feminist militant activism during the French Revolution. While largely left out of the thrust for increasing rights of citizens, as the question was left indeterminate in the Declaration of the Rights of Man,[194] activists such as Pauline Léon and Théroigne de Méricourt
Théroigne de Méricourt
agitated for full citizenship for women.[195] Women were, nonetheless, "denied political rights of 'active citizenship' (1791) and democratic citizenship (1793)."[194] On 20 June 1792 a number of armed women took part in a procession that "passed through the halls of the Legislative Assembly, into the Tuileries Gardens, and then through the King's residence."[196] Militant women also assumed a special role in the funeral of Marat, following his murder on 13 July 1793. As part of the funeral procession, they carried the bathtub in which Marat had been murdered (by a counter-revolutionary woman) as well as a shirt stained with Marat's blood.[197] On 20 May 1793 women were at the fore of a crowd that demanded "bread and the Constitution of 1793." When their cries went unnoticed, the women went on a rampage, "sacking shops, seizing grain and kidnapping officials."[198]

Olympe de Gouges
Olympe de Gouges
was the author of the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen in 1791.

The Society of Revolutionary Republican Women, a militant group on the far left, demanded a law in 1793 that would compel all women to wear the tricolour cockade to demonstrate their loyalty to the Republic. They also demanded vigorous price controls to keep bread – the major food of the poor people – from becoming too expensive. After the Convention passage law in September 1793, the Revolutionary Republican Women demanded vigorous enforcement, but were counted by market women, former servants, and religious women who adamantly opposed price controls (which would drive them out of business ) and resented attacks on the aristocracy and on religion. Fist fights broke out in the streets between the two factions of women. Meanwhile, the men who controlled the Jacobins
Jacobins
rejected the Revolutionary Republican Women as dangerous rabble-rousers. At this point the Jacobins
Jacobins
controlled the government; they dissolved the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women, and decreed that all women's clubs and associations were illegal. They sternly reminded women to stay home and tend to their families by leaving public affairs to the men. Organised women were permanently shut out of the French Revolution
Revolution
after October 30, 1793.[199] Prominent women Olympe de Gouges
Olympe de Gouges
wrote a number of plays, short stories, and novels. Her publications emphasised that women and men are different, but this shouldn't stop them from equality under the law. In her "Declaration on the Rights of Woman" she insisted that women deserved rights, especially in areas concerning them directly, such as divorce and recognition of illegitimate children.[200] Madame Roland
Madame Roland
(a.k.a. Manon or Marie Roland) was another important female activist. Her political focus was not specifically on women or their liberation. She focused on other aspects of the government, but was a feminist by virtue of the fact that she was a woman working to influence the world. Her personal letters to leaders of the Revolution influenced policy; in addition, she often hosted political gatherings of the Brissotins, a political group which allowed women to join. As she was led to the scaffold, Madame Roland
Madame Roland
shouted "O liberty! What crimes are committed in thy name!"[201] Most of these activists were punished for their actions. Many of the women of the Revolution
Revolution
were even publicly executed for "conspiring against the unity and the indivisibility of the Republic".[202] Counter-revolutionary women A major aspect of the French Revolution
Revolution
was the dechristianisation movement, a movement strongly rejected by many devout people. Especially for women living in rural areas of France, the closing of the churches meant a loss of normalcy.[203] When these revolutionary changes to the Church were implemented, it sparked a counter-revolutionary movement among women. Although some of these women embraced the political and social amendments of the Revolution, they opposed the dissolution of the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
and the formation of revolutionary cults like the Cult of the Supreme Being.[204] As Olwen Hufton argues, these women began to see themselves as the "defenders of faith".[205] They took it upon themselves to protect the Church from what they saw as a heretical change to their faith, enforced by revolutionaries. Counter-revolutionary women resisted what they saw as the intrusion of the state into their lives.[206] Economically, many peasant women refused to sell their goods for assignats because this form of currency was unstable and was backed by the sale of confiscated Church property. By far the most important issue to counter-revolutionary women was the passage and the enforcement of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy
Clergy
in 1790. In response to this measure, women in many areas began circulating anti-oath pamphlets and refused to attend masses held by priests who had sworn oaths of loyalty to the Republic. These women continued to adhere to traditional practices such as Christian burials and naming their children after saints in spite of revolutionary decrees to the contrary.[207] Economic policies

Early Assignat
Assignat
of 29 Sept, 1790: 500 livres

The value of Assignats
Assignats
(1789–96)

The French Revolution
Revolution
abolished many of the constraints on the economy that had slowed growth during the ancien regime. It abolished tithes owed to local churches as well as feudal dues owed to local landlords. The result hurt the tenants, who paid both higher rents and higher taxes.[208] It nationalised all church lands, as well as lands belonging to royalist enemies who went into exile. It planned to use these seized lands to finance the government by issuing assignats. It abolished the guild system as a worthless remnant of feudalism.[209] It also abolished the highly inefficient system of tax farming, whereby private individuals would collect taxes for a hefty fee. The government seized the foundations that had been set up (starting in the 13th century) to provide an annual stream of revenue for hospitals, poor relief, and education. The state sold the lands but typically local authorities did not replace the funding and so most of the nation's charitable and school systems were massively disrupted.[210] The economy did poorly in 1790–96 as industrial and agricultural output dropped, foreign trade plunged, and prices soared. The government decided not to repudiate the old debts. Instead it issued more and more paper money (called "assignat") that supposedly were grounded seized lands. The result was escalating inflation. The government imposed price controls and persecuted speculators and traders in the black market. People increasingly refused to pay taxes as the annual government deficit increased from 10% of gross national product in 1789 to 64% in 1793. By 1795, after the bad harvest of 1794 and the removal of price controls, inflation had reached a level of 3500%. The assignats were withdrawn in 1796 but the replacements also fuelled inflation. The inflation was finally ended by Napoleon
Napoleon
in 1803 with the franc as the new currency.[211] Napoleon
Napoleon
after 1799 paid for his expensive wars by multiple means, starting with the modernisation of the rickety financial system.[212] He conscripted soldiers at low wages, raised taxes, placed large-scale loans, sold lands formerly owned by the Catholic Church, sold Louisiana to the United States, plundered conquered areas and seized food supplies, and levied requisitions on countries he controlled, such as Italy.[213] Long-term impact Main article: Influence of the French Revolution The French Revolution
Revolution
had a major impact on Europe
Europe
and the New World, decisively changing the course of human history.[214][215] It brought an end to feudalism and made a path for future advances in broadly defined individual freedoms.[2][3][4] Otto Dann and John Dinwiddy report, "It has long been almost a truism of European history that the French Revolution
Revolution
gave a great stimulus to the growth of modern nationalism."[216] Nationalism
Nationalism
was emphasised by historian Carlton J. H. Hayes as a major result of the French Revolution
Revolution
across Europe. The impact on French nationalism was profound. For example, Napoleon
Napoleon
became such a heroic symbol of the nation that the glory was easily picked up by his nephew, who was overwhelmingly elected president (and later became Emperor Napoleon III).[217] The influence was great in the hundreds of small German states and elsewhere, where it was either inspired by the French example or in reaction against it.[218][219] France The changes in France
France
were enormous; some were widely accepted and others were bitterly contested into the late 20th century.[220] Before the Revolution, the people had little power or voice. The kings had so thoroughly centralised the system that most nobles spent their time at Versailles, and thus played only a small direct role in their home districts. Thompson says that the kings had "ruled by virtue of their personal wealth, their patronage of the nobility, their disposal of ecclesiastical offices, their provincial governors (intendants) their control over the judges and magistrates, and their command of the Army."[221] After the first year of revolution, the power of the king had been stripped away, he was left a mere figurehead, the nobility had lost all their titles and most of their land, the Church lost its monasteries and farmlands, bishops, judges and magistrates were elected by the people, and the army was almost helpless, with military power in the hands of the new revolutionary National Guard. The central elements of 1789 were the slogan "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity' and "The Declaration of the Rights of Man
Rights of Man
and the Citizen", which Lefebvre calls "the incarnation of the Revolution
Revolution
as a whole."[222] The long-term impact on France
France
was profound, shaping politics, society, religion and ideas, and polarising politics for more than a century. Historian François Aulard writes:

From the social point of view, the Revolution
Revolution
consisted in the suppression of what was called the feudal system, in the emancipation of the individual, in greater division of landed property, the abolition of the privileges of noble birth, the establishment of equality, the simplification of life.... The French Revolution differed from other revolutions in being not merely national, for it aimed at benefiting all humanity."[223]

Religion and charity The most heated controversy was over the status of the Catholic Church.[224] From a dominant position in 1788, it was almost destroyed in less than a decade, its priests and nuns turned out, its leaders dead or in exile, its property controlled by its enemies, and a strong effort underway to remove all influence of Christian religiosity, such as Sundays, holy days, saints, prayers, rituals and ceremonies. The movement to dechristianise France
France
not only failed but aroused a furious reaction among the pious.[225][226] Napoleon's Concordat was a compromise that restored some of the Catholic Church's traditional roles but not its power, its lands or its monasteries. Priests and bishops were given salaries as part of a department of government controlled by Paris, not Rome. Protestants and Jews gained equal rights.[227] Battles over the role of religion in the public sphere, and closely related issues such as church-controlled schools, that were opened by the Revolution
Revolution
have never seen closure. They raged into the 20th century. By the 21st century, angry debates exploded over the presence of any Muslim religious symbols in schools, such as the headscarves for which Muslim girls could be expelled. J. Christopher Soper and Joel S. Fetzer explicitly link the conflict over religious symbols in public to the French Revolution, when the target was Catholic rituals and symbols.[228] The revolutionary government seized the charitable foundations that had been set up (starting in the 13th century) to provide an annual stream of revenue for hospitals, poor relief, and education. The state sold the lands but typically local authorities did not replace the funding and so most of the nation's charitable and school systems were massively disrupted.[210] In the ancien regime, new opportunities for nuns as charitable practitioners were created by devout nobles on their own estates. The nuns provided comprehensive care for the sick poor on their patrons' estates, not only acting as nurses, but taking on expanded roles as physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries. During the Revolution, most of the orders of nuns were shut down and there was no organised nursing care to replace them.[229] However, the demand for their nursing services remained strong, and after 1800 the sisters reappeared and resumed their work in hospitals and on rural estates. They were tolerated by officials because they had widespread support and were the link between elite male physicians and distrustful peasants who needed help.[230] Economics Two thirds of France
France
was employed in agriculture, which was transformed by the Revolution. With the breakup of large estates controlled by the Church and the nobility and worked by hired hands, rural France
France
became more a land of small independent farms. Harvest taxes were ended, such as the tithe and seigneurial dues, much to the relief of the peasants. Primogeniture
Primogeniture
was ended both for nobles and peasants, thereby weakening the family patriarch. Because all the children had a share in the family's property, there was a declining birth rate.[231][232] Cobban says the revolution bequeathed to the nation "a ruling class of landowners."[233] In the cities, entrepreneurship on a small scale flourished, as restrictive monopolies, privileges, barriers, rules, taxes and guilds gave way. However, the British blockade virtually ended overseas and colonial trade, hurting the port cities and their supply chains. Overall, the Revolution
Revolution
did not greatly change the French business system, and probably helped freeze in place the horizons of the small business owner. The typical businessman owned a small store, mill or shop, with family help and a few paid employees; large-scale industry was less common than in other industrialising nations.[234] A 2017 National Bureau of Economic Research paper found that the emigration of more than 100,000 individuals (predominantly supporters of the Old Regime) during the Revolution
Revolution
had a significant negative impact on income per capita in the 19th century (due to the fragmentation of agricultural holdings) but became positive in the second half of the 20th century onward (because it facilitated the rise in human capital investments).[235] Another 2017 paper found that the redistribution of land had a positive impact on agricultural productivity, but that these gains gradually declined over the course of the 19th century.[236][237] Constitutionalism The Revolution
Revolution
meant an end to arbitrary royal rule and held out the promise of rule by law under a constitutional order, but it did not rule out a monarch. Napoleon
Napoleon
as emperor set up a constitutional system (although he remained in full control), and the restored Bourbons were forced to go along with one. After the abdication of Napoleon
Napoleon
III in 1871, the monarchists probably had a voting majority, but they were so factionalised they could not agree on who should be king, and instead the French Third Republic
French Third Republic
was launched with a deep commitment to upholding the ideals of the Revolution.[238][239] The conservative Catholic enemies of the Revolution
Revolution
came to power in Vichy France (1940–44), and tried with little success to undo its heritage, but they kept it a republic. Vichy denied the principle of equality and tried to replace the Revolutionary watchwords "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" with "Work, Family, and Fatherland." However, there were no efforts by the Bourbons, Vichy or anyone else to restore the privileges that had been stripped away from the nobility in 1789. France
France
permanently became a society of equals under the law.[240] Communism The Jacobin
Jacobin
cause was picked up by Marxists in the mid-19th century and became an element of communist thought around the world. In the Soviet Union, "Gracchus" Babeuf was regarded as a hero.[241] Outside France Main article: Influence of the French Revolution Economic historians Dan Bogart, Mauricio Drelichman, Oscar Gelderblom, and Jean-Laurent Rosenthal described codified law as the French Revolution's "most significant export." They wrote, "While restoration returned most of their power to the absolute monarchs who had been deposed by Napoleon, only the most recalcitrant ones, such as Ferdinand VII of Spain, went to the trouble of completely reversing the legal innovations brought on by the French."[242] They also note that the French Revolution
Revolution
and the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
caused England, Spain, Prussia
Prussia
and the Dutch Republic
Republic
to centralize their fiscal systems to an unprecedented extent in order to finance the military campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars.[242] According to Daron Acemoglu, Davide Cantoni, Simon Johnson, and James A. Robinson the French Revolution
Revolution
had long-term effects in Europe. They suggest that "areas that were occupied by the French and that underwent radical institutional reform experienced more rapid urbanization and economic growth, especially after 1850. There is no evidence of a negative effect of French invasion."[243] A 2016 study in the European Economic Review found that the areas of Germany that were occupied by France
France
in the 19th century and in which the Code Napoleon
Napoleon
was applied have higher levels of trust and cooperation today.[244] Britain On July 16, 1789, two days after the Storming of the Bastille, John Frederick Sackville, serving as ambassador to France, reported to Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Francis Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds, "Thus, my Lord, the greatest revolution that we know anything of has been effected with, comparatively speaking—if the magnitude of the event is considered—the loss of very few lives. From this moment we may consider France
France
as a free country, the King a very limited monarch, and the nobility as reduced to a level with the rest of the nation.[245]" Yet Britain saw minority support while the majority, and especially the among aristocracy, strongly opposed the French Revolution. Britain led and funded the series of coalitions that fought France
France
from 1793 to 1815, and then restored the Bourbons. Philosophically, there was a significant debate internally, regarding the revolution, including the Revolution
Revolution
Controversy, a "pamphlet war" set off by the publication of Richard Price's speech, A Discourse on the Love of Our Country, supporting the French Revolution
Revolution
(as he had the American Revolution), and saying that patriotism actually centers around loving the people and principles of a nation, not its ruling class. Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
responded with his own pamphlet, Reflections on the Revolution
Revolution
in France, attacking the French Revolution
Revolution
as a threat to the aristocracy of all countries.[246][247] William Coxe opposed Price's premise that one's country is principles and people, not the State itself.[248] Conversely, two seminal political pieces of political history were written in Price's favor, supporting the general right of the French people to replace their State, Rights of Man
Rights of Man
by Thomas Paine, and A Vindication of the Rights of Men by Mary Wollstonecraft, who followed this with what is sometimes described as the first feminist text, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. In 1792 Christopher Wyvill published Defence of Dr. Price and the Reformers of England, a plea for reform and moderation.[249] This exchange of ideas has been described as "one of the great political debates in British history".[250] Even in France, there was a varying degree of agreement during this debate, English participants generally opposing the violent means that the Revolution
Revolution
bent itself to for its ends.[251] In Ireland, the effect was to transform what had been an attempt by Protestant settlers to gain some autonomy into a mass movement led by the Society of United Irishmen
Society of United Irishmen
involving Catholics and Protestants. It stimulated the demand for further reform throughout Ireland, especially in Ulster. The upshot was a revolt in 1798, led by Wolfe Tone, that was crushed by Britain.[252] Germany German reaction to the Revolution
Revolution
swung from favourable to antagonistic. At first it brought liberal and democratic ideas, the end of gilds, serfdom and the Jewish ghetto. It brought economic freedoms and agrarian and legal reform. Above all the antagonism helped stimulate and shape German nationalism.[253] Switzerland Main article: Helvetic Republic The French invaded Switzerland and turned it into an ally known as the "Helvetic Republic" (1798–1803). The interference with localism and traditional liberties was deeply resented, although some modernising reforms took place.[254][255] Belgium Main article: French period

The Brabant Revolution
Revolution
broke out in the Austrian Netherlands
Austrian Netherlands
in October 1789, inspired by the revolution in neighbouring France, but had collapsed by the end of 1790

The region of modern-day Belgium
Belgium
was divided between two polities: the Austrian Netherlands
Austrian Netherlands
and Prince-Bishopric of Liège. Both territories experienced revolutions in 1789. In the Austrian Netherlands, the Brabant Revolution
Revolution
succeeded in expelling Austrian forces and established the new United Belgian States. The Liège Revolution expelled the tyrannical Prince-Bishop and installed a republic. Both failed to attract international support. By December 1790, the Brabant revolution had been crushed and Liège was subdued the following year. During the Revolutionary Wars, the French invaded and occupied the region between 1794 and 1814, a time known as the French period. The new government enforced new reforms, incorporating the region into France
France
itself. New rulers were sent in by Paris. Belgian men were drafted into the French wars and heavily taxed. Nearly everyone was Catholic, but the Church was repressed. Resistance was strong in every sector, as Belgian nationalism emerged to oppose French rule. The French legal system, however, was adopted, with its equal legal rights, and abolition of class distinctions. Belgium
Belgium
now had a government bureaucracy selected by merit.[256] Antwerp
Antwerp
regained access to the sea and grew quickly as a major port and business centre. France
France
promoted commerce and capitalism, paving the way for the ascent of the bourgeoisie and the rapid growth of manufacturing and mining. In economics, therefore, the nobility declined while the middle class Belgian entrepreneurs flourished because of their inclusion in a large market, paving the way for Belgium's leadership role after 1815 in the Industrial Revolution
Revolution
on the Continent.[257][258] Scandinavia Main article: History of Denmark § Reforms The Kingdom of Denmark adopted liberalising reforms in line with those of the French Revolution, with no direct contact. Reform was gradual and the regime itself carried out agrarian reforms that had the effect of weakening absolutism by creating a class of independent peasant freeholders. Much of the initiative came from well-organised liberals who directed political change in the first half of the 19th century.[259] United States The Revolution
Revolution
deeply polarised American politics, and this polarisation led to the creation of the First Party System. In 1793, as war broke out in Europe, the Republican Party led by Thomas Jefferson favoured France
France
and pointed to the 1778 treaty that was still in effect. George Washington
George Washington
and his unanimous cabinet, including Jefferson, decided that the treaty did not bind the United States to enter the war. Washington proclaimed neutrality instead.[260] Under President John Adams, a Federalist, an undeclared naval war took place with France
France
from 1798 until 1799, often called the "Quasi War". Jefferson became president in 1801, but was hostile to Napoleon
Napoleon
as a dictator and emperor. However, the two entered negotiations over the Louisiana Territory
Louisiana Territory
and agreed to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, an acquisition that substantially increased the size of the United States. Historiography Main article: Historiography of the French Revolution The French Revolution
Revolution
has received enormous amounts of historical attention, both from the general public and from scholars and academics. The views of historians, in particular, have been characterised as falling along ideological lines, with disagreement over the significance and the major developments of the Revolution.[261] Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis de Tocqueville
argued that the Revolution
Revolution
was a manifestation of a more prosperous middle class becoming conscious of its social importance.[262] Other thinkers, like the conservative Edmund Burke, maintained that the Revolution
Revolution
was the product of a few conspiratorial individuals who brainwashed the masses into subverting the old order—a claim rooted in the belief that the revolutionaries had no legitimate complaints.[263] Other historians, influenced by Marxist thinking, have emphasised the importance of the peasants and the urban workers in presenting the Revolution
Revolution
as a gigantic class struggle.[264] In general, scholarship on the French Revolution
Revolution
initially studied the political ideas and developments of the era, but it has gradually shifted towards social history that analyses the impact of the Revolution
Revolution
on individual lives.[265] Historians until the late 20th century emphasised class conflicts from a largely Marxist perspective as the fundamental driving cause of the Revolution.[266] The central theme of this argument was that the Revolution
Revolution
emerged from the rising bourgeoisie, with support from the sans-culottes, who fought to destroy the aristocracy.[267] However, Western scholars largely abandoned Marxist interpretations in the 1990s. By the year 2000 many historians were saying that the field of the French Revolution
Revolution
was in intellectual disarray. The old model or paradigm focusing on class conflict has been discredited, and no new explanatory model had gained widespread support.[268][269] Nevertheless, as Spang has shown, there persists a very widespread agreement to the effect that the French Revolution
Revolution
was the watershed between the premodern and modern eras of Western history.[270] Historians widely regard the Revolution
Revolution
as one of the most important events in history. It marks the end of the early modern period, which started around 1500 and is often seen as marking the "dawn of the modern era".[271] Within France
France
itself, the Revolution
Revolution
permanently crippled the power of the aristocracy and drained the wealth of the Church, although the two institutions survived despite the damage they sustained. After the collapse of the First Empire in 1815, the French public lost the rights and privileges earned since the Revolution, but they remembered the participatory politics that characterised the period, with one historian commenting: "Thousands of men and even many women gained firsthand experience in the political arena: they talked, read, and listened in new ways; they voted; they joined new organisations; and they marched for their political goals. Revolution became a tradition, and republicanism an enduring option."[272] Some historians argue that the French people
French people
underwent a fundamental transformation in self-identity, evidenced by the elimination of privileges and their replacement by rights as well as the growing decline in social deference that highlighted the principle of equality throughout the Revolution.[273] The Revolution
Revolution
represented the most significant and dramatic challenge to political absolutism up to that point in history and spread democratic ideals throughout Europe
Europe
and ultimately the world.[274] Throughout the 19th Century, the revolution was heavily analysed by economists and political scientists, who saw the class nature of the revolution as a fundamental aspect in understanding human social evolution itself. This, combined with the egalitarian values introduced by the revolution, gave rise to a classless and co-operative model for society called "socialism" which profoundly influenced future revolutions in France
France
and around the world. See also

Timeline of the French Revolution Glossary of the French Revolution
Revolution
for definitions of technical terms List of people associated with the French Revolution History of France Paris in the 18th Century

Political clubs during the French Revolution

Jacobin Cordeliers Feuillant Society of the Friends of Truth Montagnards Girondin

Notes

^ Livesey, James. Making Democracy in the French Revolution
Revolution
p. 19 The Revolution
Revolution
created and elaborated...the ideal of democracy, which forms the creative tension with the notion of sovereignty that informs the functioning of modern democratic liberal states. This was the truly original contribution of the Revolution
Revolution
to modern political culture. ^ a b Linda S. Frey and Marsha L. Frey, The French Revolution
Revolution
(2004), Foreword. ^ a b R.R. Palmer and Joel Colton, A History of the Modern World (5th ed. 1978), p. 341 ^ a b Ferenc Fehér, The French Revolution
Revolution
and the Birth of Modernity, (1990) pp. 117–30 ^ Tombs, Robert and Isabelle. That Sweet Enemy: The French and the British from the Sun King to the Present. Random House (2007) ISBN 978-1-4000-4024-7. p. 179. ^ Matusitz, Jonathan Symbolism in Terrorism: Motivation, Communication, and Behavior, p. 19 ^ Palmer, R.R. & Colton, Joel. A History of the Modern World, pp. 393–97 ^ Palmer, R.R. & Colton, Joel. A History of the Modern World, p. 361 ^ Dmitry Shlapentokh, The French Revolution
Revolution
and the Russian Anti-Democratic Tradition (Edison, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1997), pp. 220–28 ^ A. Aulard in Arthur Tilley, ed. (1922). Modern France. A Companion to French Studies. Cambridge UP. p. 115. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Bell, David Avrom (2007). The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe
Europe
and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 51. ISBN 0-618-34965-0.  ^ Suzanne Desan et al. eds. The French Revolution
Revolution
in Global Perspective (2013), pp. 3, 8, 10 ^ Marshall, Thomas H. Citizenship and social class. Vol. 11. Cambridge, 1950. ^ Lichbach, Mark Irving. "An evaluation of 'does economic inequality breed political conflict?' studies". World Politics 41.04 (1989): 431–70. ^ Gordon, Daniel. Citizens
Citizens
without Sovereignty: Equality and sociability in French thought, 1670–1789. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994. ^ a b Sargent, Thomas J., and Francois R. Velde. "Macroeconomic features of the French Revolution." Journal of Political Economy (1995): 474–518. ^ Hardman, John. French politics 1774–1789: from the accession of Louis XVI
Louis XVI
to the fall of the Bastille. Addison-Wesley, 1995. ^ Baker, Keith Michael. "French political thought at the accession of Louis XVI". The Journal of Modern History (1978): 279–303. ^ David P. Jordan (1 January 2004). The King's Trial: The French Revolution
Revolution
Vs. Louis XVI. University of California Press. pp. 11–. ISBN 978-0-520-23697-4.  ^ Campbell, Peter Robert, ed. The origins of the French revolution. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. ^ a b c Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolution: Class War or Culture Clash?, London: Macmillan, 1998 p. 26. ^ Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolution: Class War or Culture Clash?, London: Macmillan, 1998 pp. 26–27. ^ a b Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolution: Class War or Culture Clash?, London: Macmillan, 1998 p. 27. ^ Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolution: Class War or Culture Clash?, London: Macmillan, 1998 p. 28. ^ Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolution: Class War or Culture Clash?, London: Macmillan, 1998 p. 29. ^ Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolution: Class War or Culture Clash?, London: Macmillan, 1998 pp. 26–27 ^ Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolution: Class War or Culture Clash?, London: Macmillan, 1998 pp. 29–30. ^ Cormack, William S. Revolution
Revolution
and Political Conflict in the French Navy 1789–1794. Cambridge University Press, 2002. ^ a b William Doyle, The Oxford History of the French Revolution
Revolution
(2nd ed. 2003), pp. 45–49, 76–77 ^ De Tocqueville, Alexis, François Furet, and Françoise Mélonio. The Old Regime and the Revolution, Volume II: Notes on the French Revolution
Revolution
and Napoleon. Vol. 2. University of Chicago Press, 2001. ^ Tilly, Louise A. "Food entitlement, famine, and conflict". Journal of Interdisciplinary History (1983): 333–49. ^ Hufton, Olwen. "Social conflict and the grain supply in eighteenth-century France". Journal of interdisciplinary history (1983): 303–31. ^ Doyle, The Oxford History of the French Revolution
Revolution
(2003), pp. 73–74 ^ Martin, Henri. History of the Decline and Fall of the French monarchy Volume II (1866) p. 481 ^ Frey, p. 3 ^ "France's Financial Crisis: 1783–1788". Retrieved 26 October 2008.  ^ a b c d Hibbert, pp. 35, 36 ^ Frey, p. 2 ^ Doyle, The French Revolution: A very short introduction, p. 34 ^ Doyle 2003, p. 93 ^ William Doyle, The Oxford History of the French Revolution
Revolution
(1989) p. 59 ^ Doyle, The Oxford History of the French Revolution
Revolution
(1989) pp. 99–101 ^ Albert Soboul, The French Revolution
Revolution
1787–1799 (1975) pp. 127–29. ^ Frey, pp. 4, 5 ^ Doyle 2001, p. 38 ^ Neely, pp. 63, 65 ^ Neely, p. 56 ^ Furet, p. 45 ^ Hibbert, p. 54 ^ John Hall Stewart. A Documentary Survey of the French Revolution. (1951), p. 86. ^ Schama 2004, p. 303 ^ Schama 2004, p.312 ^ Schama 2004, p.317 ^ Schama 2004, p. 331 ^ Schama 2004, p. 344 ^ Schama 2004, p. 357 ^ Georges Lefebvre, The French Revolution: From its Origins to 1793 (1952) pp. 187–88. ^ Hibbert, 93 ^ a b (in Dutch) Niek Pas – De geschiedenis van Frankrijk in een notendop (The history of France
France
in a nutshell). Bert Bakker, Amsterdam, 2008. Chapter 4 (pages 49–62): Revolutie en Keizerrijk ( Revolution
Revolution
and Empire). ^ a b c (in Dutch) Noah Shusterman – De Franse Revolutie (The French Revolution). Veen Media, Amsterdam, 2015. (Translation of: The French Revolution. Faith, Desire, and Politics. Routledge, London/New York, 2014.) Chapter 3 (p. 95–139) : The Civil Constitution of the Clergy
Clergy
(summer 1790–spring 1791). ^ François Furet, "Night of August 4," in François Furet, and Mona Ozouf, eds. A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution
Revolution
(1989) pp. 107–14. ^ The buying and selling of high office. ^ Lefebvre, Georges (1962). The French Revolution: Vol. 1, from Its Origins To 1793. Columbia U.P,. p. 130. ISBN 9780231085984.  ^ Robert Forster, "The survival of the nobility during the French Revolution". Past and Present (1967): 71–86 in JSTOR. ^ Paul R. Hanson, The A to Z of the French Revolution
Revolution
(2013) pp. 293–94 ^ Furet, Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution, p. 112 ^ a b J.M. Thompson, The French Revolution
Revolution
(1943), pp. 90–111 ^ Gregory Fremont-Barnes (2007). Encyclopedia of the Age of Political Revolutions and New Ideologies, 1760–1815. Greenwood. p. 190. ISBN 9780313049514.  ^ Doyle 1989, p.121 ^ Doyle 1989, p. 122 ^ Gemma Betros, "The French Revolution
Revolution
and the Catholic Church," History Review (2010) Issue 68, pp. 16–21. ^ a b Censer and Hunt, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution
Revolution
p. 4. ^ John McManners, The French Revolution
Revolution
and the Church, pp. 50, 4. ^ National Assembly legislation cited in John McManners, The French Revolution
Revolution
and the Church, 27. ^ John McManners, The French Revolution
Revolution
and the Church, p. 27. ^ a b Censer and Hunt, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution, p. 61. ^ Emmet Kennedy, A Cultural History of the French Revolution, p 148. ^ a b Censer and Hunt, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution, 92. ^ Noah Shusterman – The French Revolution. Faith, Desire, and Politics. Routledge, London and New York, 2014. Chapter 3 (p. 55–87): The Civil Constitution of the Clergy
Clergy
(summer 1790–spring 1791) ^ Emmet Kennedy, A Cultural History of the French Revolution, (1989) p 151. ^ Matthew Shaw, Time and the French Revolution: The Republican Calendar, 1789 – Year XIV (2011) ^ Censer and Hunt, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution, pp. 92–94. ^ Jack R. Censer, "Historians Revisit the Terror – Again". Journal of Social History 48#2 (2014): 383–403. ^ Censer and Hunt, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution, 16. ^ John McManners, The French Revolution
Revolution
and the Church, p. 5. ^ Schama 2004, pp. 433–34 ^ Runkle, Lucia Isabella Gilbert (1902). Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Volume 17. University of California: J. A. Hill. p. 10079.  ^ William Doyle (2009). Aristocracy and its Enemies in the Age of Revolution. Oxford UP. pp. 334–36. ISBN 9780191609718.  ^ Schama 2004, p. 449 ^ Schama 2004, p. 442 ^ a b Timothy Tackett, When the King Took Flight (Harvard University Press, 2003) ^ Schama 2004, p. 481 ^ Clifford D. Conner, Jean-Paul Marat: Tribune of the French Revolution
Revolution
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References

Censer, Jack; Lynn Hunt (2001). Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press.  Cole, Alistair; Peter Campbell (1989). French electoral systems and elections since 1789. Gower.  Palmer, R.R.; Joel Colton (1995). A History of the Modern World. New York: McGraw Hill, Inc.  Doyle, William (1990). The Oxford history of the French Revolution (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-285221-3.  Doyle, William (2001). The French Revolution: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-285396-1.  Doyle, William (2002). The Oxford history of the French Revolution (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-925298-X.  online; 2nd edition online Feher, Ferenc (1990). The French Revolution
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and the Birth of Modernity. Los Angeles: University of California Press.  Frey, Linda; Marsha Frey (2004). The French Revolution. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-32193-0.  Furet, F. (1981). Interpreting the French Revolution. Cambridge UP.  Furet, François (1995). Revolutionary France, 1770–1880. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-19808-3.  Hampson, Norman (1988). A Social History of the French Revolution. Routledge: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-710-06525-6.  Hanson, Paul (2009). Contesting the French Revolution. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4051-6083-4.  Hibbert, Christopher (1980). The Days of the French Revolution. New York: Quill, William Morrow. ISBN 0-688-03704-6.  Hunt, Lynn (1984). Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press.  Kennedy, Emmet (1989). A Cultural History of the French Revolution. New Haven: Yale University Press.  Lefebvre, Georges (1971). The French Revolution: From Its Origins to 1793. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08598-2.  Lefebvre, Georges (1964). The Thermidorians & the Directory. New York: Random House.  Lefebvre, Georges (1963). The French Revolution: from 1793 to 1799. vol. II. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-02519-X.  McManners, John (1969). The French Revolution
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Further reading See also: Historiography of the French Revolution

Surveys and reference

Andress, David, ed. The Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2015). excerpt, 714pp; 37 articles by experts Aulard, François-Alphonse. The French Revolution, a Political History, 1789–1804 (4 vol. 1910); famous classic; volume 1 1789–1792 online; Volume 2 1792–95 online Azurmendi, Joxe (1997). The democrats and the violent. Mirande's critique of the French Revolution. Philosophical viewpoint. (Original: Demokratak eta biolentoak, Donostia: Elkar ISBN 84-7917-744-6). Ballard, Richard. A New Dictionary of the French Revolution
Revolution
(2011) excerpt and text search Bosher, J. F. The French Revolution
Revolution
(1989) 365pp Davies, Peter. The French Revolution: A Beginner's Guide (2009), 192pp Frey, Linda and Frey, Marsha. The French Revolution. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2004. ISBN 0-313-32193-0 Furet, François. The French Revolution, 1770–1814 (1996) excerpt and text search Furet, François and Mona Ozouf, eds. A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution
Revolution
(1989), 1120pp; long essays by scholars; conservative perspective; stress on history of ideas excerpt and text search Gershoy, Leo. The French Revolution
Revolution
and Napoleon
Napoleon
(1945) 585pp Gershoy, Leo. The Era of the French Revolution, 1789–1799 (1957), brief summary with some primary sources Gottschalk, Louis R. The Era of the French Revolution
Revolution
(1929), cover 1780s to 1815 Hanson, Paul R. The A to Z of the French Revolution
Revolution
(2013)

Hanson, Paul R. Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution
Revolution
(2004)

Jaurès, Jean. A Socialist History of the French Revolution. Pluto Press, 2015. ISBN 978-0745335001 Jones, Colin. The Longman Companion to the French Revolution
Revolution
(1989) Jones, Colin. The Great Nation: France
France
from Louis XV
Louis XV
to Napoleon (2002) excerpt and text search Lefebvre, Georges. The French Revolution: From its Origins to 1793 (1962), famous French classic excerpt and text search v 1

Lefebvre, Georges. French Revolution
Revolution
from 1793–1799 (1964)

McPhee, Peter, ed. (2012). A Companion to the French Revolution. Wiley. ISBN 9781118316412. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Madelin, Louis. The French Revolution
Revolution
(1916); textbook by leading French scholar. online Paxton, John. Companion to the French Revolution
Revolution
(1987), 234pp; hundreds of short entries. Popkin, Jeremy D. A Short History of the French Revolution
Revolution
(5th ed. 2009) 176pp Scott, Samuel F. and Barry Rothaus, eds. Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution, 1789–1799 (2 vol 1984), short essays by scholars vol 1 online; vol 2 online Shusterman, Noah (2014). The French Revolution. Faith, Desire, and Politics. Routledge, London and New York. Soboul, Albert. The French Revolution, 1787–1799: From the storming of the Bastille
Bastille
to Napoleon
Napoleon
(1975) Sutherland, D.M.G. France
France
1789–1815. Revolution
Revolution
and Counter- Revolution
Revolution
(2nd ed. 2003, 430pp excerpts and online search from Amazon.com Thompson, J. M. The French Revolution
Revolution
(1943), British viewpoint

European and Atlantic History

Amann, Peter H., ed. The eighteenth-century revolution: French or Western? (Heath, 1963) readings from historians Brinton, Crane. A Decade of Revolution
Revolution
1789–1799 (1934) the Revolution
Revolution
in European context Desan, Suzanne, et al. eds. The French Revolution
Revolution
in Global Perspective (2013) Fremont-Barnes, Gregory. ed. The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars: A Political, Social, and Military History (ABC-CLIO: 3 vol 2006) Goodwin, A., ed. The New Cambridge Modern History, Vol. 8: The American and French Revolutions, 1763–93 (1965), 764pp Palmer, R. R. "The World Revolution
Revolution
of the West: 1763–1801," Political Science Quarterly (1954) 69#1 pp. 1–14 in JSTOR Palmer, Robert R. The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe
Europe
and America, 1760–1800. (2 vol 1959), highly influential comparative history; vol 1 online Rude, George F. and Harvey J. Kaye. Revolutionary Europe, 1783–1815 (2000), scholarly survey excerpt and text search

Politics and wars

Andress, David. The terror: Civil war
Civil war
in the French revolution (2006). Baker, Keith M. ed. The French Revolution
Revolution
and the Creation of Modern Political Culture (Oxford, 1987–94) vol 1: The Political Culture of the Old Regime, ed. K.M. Baker (1987); vol. 2: The Political Culture of the French Revolution, ed. C. Lucas (1988); vol. 3: The Transformation of Political Culture, 1789–1848, eds. F. Furet & M. Ozouf (1989); vol. 4: The Terror, ed. K.M. Baker (1994). excerpt and text search vol 4 Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
1787–1802 (1996). Desan, Suzanne. "Internationalizing the French Revolution," French Politics, Culture & Society (2011) 29#2 pp. 137–60. Doyle, William. Origins of the French Revolution
Revolution
(3rd ed. 1999) online edition Englund, Steven. Napoleon: A Political Life. (2004). 575 pages; emphasis on politics excerpt and text search Fremont-Barnes, Gregory. The French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
(2013), 96pp; excerpt and text search Griffith, Paddy. The Art of War of Revolutionary France
France
1789–1802, (1998); 304 pp; excerpt and text search Rothenberg, Gunther E. (Spring 1988). "The Origins, Causes, and Extension of the Wars of the French Revolution
Revolution
and Napoleon". Journal of Interdisciplinary History. 18 (4): 771–793. JSTOR 204824.  Schroeder, Paul. The Transformation of European Politics, 1763–1848. 1996; Thorough coverage of diplomatic history; hostile to Napoleon; online edition Wahnich, Sophie (2016). In Defence of the Terror: Liberty or Death in the French Revolution
Revolution
(Reprint ed.). Verso. ISBN 978-1784782023. 

Economy and society

Anderson, James Maxwell. Daily life during the French Revolution (2007) Andress, David. French Society in Revolution, 1789–1799 (1999) Kennedy, Emmet. A Cultural History of the French Revolution
Revolution
(1989) McPhee, Peter. "The French Revolution, Peasants, and Capitalism," American Historical Review (1989) 94#5 pp. 1265–1280 in JSTOR Tackett, Timothy, "The French Revolution
Revolution
and religion to 1794," and Suzanne Desan, "The French Revolution
Revolution
and religion, 1795–1815," in Stewart J. Brown and Timothy Tackett, eds. The Cambridge History of Christianity
Christianity
vol. 7 (Cambridge UP, 2006).

Women

Dalton, Susan. "Gender and the Shifting Ground of Revolutionary Politics: The Case of Madame Roland." Canadian journal of history (2001) 36#2 Godineau, Dominique. The Women of Paris and Their French Revolution (1998) 440pp 1998 Hufton, Olwen. "Women in Revolution
Revolution
1789–1796" Past & Present (1971) No. 53 pp. 90–108 in JSTOR Hufton, Olwen. "In Search of Counter-Revolutionary Women." The French Revolution: Recent debates and New Controversies Ed. Gary Kates. (1998) pp 302–36 Kelly, Linda. Women of the French Revolution
Revolution
(1987) 192 pp. biographical portraits or prominent writers and activists Landes, Joan B. Women and the Public Sphere in the Age of the French Revolution
Revolution
(Cornell University Press, 1988) excerpt and text search Melzer, Sara E., and Leslie W. Rabine, eds. Rebel daughters: women and the French Revolution
Revolution
(Oxford University Press, 1992) Proctor, Candice E. Women, Equality, and the French Revolution (Greenwood Press, 1990) online Roessler, Shirley Elson. Out of the Shadows: Women and Politics in the French Revolution, 1789–95 (Peter Lang, 1998) online

Historiography and memory Main article: Historiography of the French Revolution

Andress, David. "Interpreting the French Revolution," Teaching History (2013), Issue 150, pp. 28–29, very short summary Censer, Jack R. "Amalgamating the Social in the French Revolution." Journal of Social History 2003 37(1): 145–50. online Cox, Marvin R. The Place of the French Revolution
Revolution
in History (1997) 288pp Desan, Suzanne. "What's after Political Culture? Recent French Revolutionary Historiography," French Historical Studies (2000) 23#1 pp. 163–96. Furet, François and Mona Ozouf, eds. A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution
Revolution
(1989), 1120pp; long essays by scholars; strong on history of ideas and historiography (esp pp. 881–1034 excerpt and text search Furet, François. Interpreting the French revolution (1981). Germani, Ian, and Robin Swayles. Symbols, myths and images of the French Revolution. University of Regina Publications. 1998. ISBN 978-0-88977-108-6 Geyl, Pieter. Napoleon
Napoleon
for and Against (1949), 477pp; summarizes views of major historians on controversial issues Hanson, Paul R. Contesting the French Revolution
Revolution
(2009). 248 pp. Kafker, Frank A. and James M. Laux, eds. The French Revolution: Conflicting Interpretations (5th ed. 2002), articles by scholars Kaplan, Steven Laurence. Farewell, Revolution: The Historians' Feud, France, 1789/1989 (1996), focus on historians excerpt and text search Kaplan, Steven Laurence. Farewell, Revolution: Disputed Legacies, France, 1789/1989 (1995); focus on bitter debates re 200th anniversary excerpt and text search Kates, Gary, ed. The French Revolution: Recent Debates and New Controversies (2nd ed. 2005) excerpt and text search Lewis, Gwynne. The French Revolution: Rethinking the Debate (1993) online; 142 pp. McPhee, Peter, ed. (2012). A Companion to the French Revolution. Wiley. ISBN 9781118316412. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ; 540pp; 30 essays by experts; emphasis on historiography and memory Reichardt, Rolf: The French Revolution
Revolution
as a European Media Event, European History Online, Mainz: Institute of European History, 2010, retrieved: December 17, 2012. Ross, Steven T., ed. The French Revolution: conflict or continuity? (1971) 131pp; excerpt from historians table of contents

Primary sources

Wikisource has original works on the topic: French Revolution

Anderson, F.M. (1904). The constitutions and other select documents illustrative of the history of France, 1789–1901. , complete text online Burke, Edmund (1790). Reflections on the Revolution
Revolution
in France.  Dwyer, Philip G. and Peter McPhee, eds. The French Revolution
Revolution
and Napoleon: A Sourcebook (2002) 235 pp; online Legg, L. G. Wickham, ed. Select Documents Illustrative of the History of the French Revolution
Revolution
(2 Volumes, 1905) 630pp vol 1 online free; in French (not translated) Levy, Darline Gay, et al. eds. Women in Revolutionary Paris, 1789–1795 (1981) 244pp excerpt and text search Mason, Laura, and Tracey Rizzo, eds. The French Revolution: A Document Collection (1998) 334pp excerpt and text search Stewart, John Hall, ed. A Documentary Survey of the French Revolution (1951), 818pp Thompson, J. M., ed. The French revolution: Documents, 1789–94 (1948), 287pp  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "The French Revolution". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  This article incorporates text from the public domain History of the French Revolution
Revolution
from 1789 to 1814, by François Mignet
François Mignet
(1824), as made available by Project Gutenberg.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to French Revolution.

Library resources about the French Revolution

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

Museum of the French Revolution
Revolution
(French) Primary source documents from The Internet Modern History Sourcebook. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution, a collaborative site by the Center for History and New Media (George Mason University) and the American Social History Project (City University of New York). Vancea, S. The Cahiers de Doleances of 1789, Clio History Journal, 2008. French Revolution
Revolution
Digital Archive a collaboration of the Stanford University Libraries and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, containing 12000 digitised images The guillotined of the French Revolution
Revolution
factsheets of all the sentenced to death of the French Revolution Jean-Baptiste Lingaud papers, Kislak Center for Special
Special
Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania. Includes a vast number of name lists and secret surveillance records as well as arrest warrants for aristocrats and their sympathisers. Most notable in this part of the collection are letters and documents from the Revolutionary Committee and the Surveillance Committee. French Revolution
Revolution
Pamphlets, Division of Special
Special
Collections, University of Alabama Libraries. Over 300 digitised pamphlets, from writers including Robespierre, St. Juste, Desmoulins, and Danton. "The French Revolution's Legacy" BBC Radio 4 discussion with Stefan Collini, Anne Janowitz and Andrew Roberts (In Our Time, Jun. 14, 2001)

Preceded by Ancien Régime
Ancien Régime
(Old Regime) French Revolution 1789–1792 Succeeded by French First Republic

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French Revolution

Causes Timeline Ancien Régime Revolution Constitutional monarchy Republic Directory Consulate Glossary

Significant civil and political events by year

1788

Day of the Tiles
Day of the Tiles
(7 Jun 1788) Assembly of Vizille
Assembly of Vizille
(21 Jul 1788)

1789

What Is the Third Estate?
What Is the Third Estate?
(Jan 1789) Réveillon riots (28 Apr 1789) Convocation of the Estates-General (5 May 1789) National Assembly (17 Jun – 9 Jul 1790) Tennis Court Oath
Tennis Court Oath
(20 Jun 1789) National Constituent Assembly (9 Jul – 30 Sep 1791) Storming of the Bastille
Storming of the Bastille
(14 Jul 1789) Great Fear (20 Jul – 5 Aug 1789) Abolition of Feudalism
Feudalism
(4-11 Aug 1789) Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
(27 Aug 1789) Women's March on Versailles
Women's March on Versailles
(5 Oct 1789)

1790

Abolition of the Parlements (Feb–Jul 1790) Abolition of the Nobility (19 Jun 1790) Civil Constitution of the Clergy
Clergy
(12 Jul 1790)

1791

Flight to Varennes
Flight to Varennes
(20–21 Jun 1791) Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars
Massacre (17 Jul 1791) Declaration of Pillnitz (27 Aug 1791) The Constitution of 1791 (3 Sep 1791) Legislative Assembly (1 Oct 1791 – Sep 1792)

1792

France
France
declares war (20 Apr 1792) Brunswick Manifesto
Brunswick Manifesto
(25 Jul 1792) Paris Commune becomes insurrectionary (Jun 1792) 10th of August (10 Aug 1792) September Massacres
September Massacres
(Sep 1792) National Convention
National Convention
(20 Sep 1792 – 26 Oct 1795) First republic declared (22 Sep 1792)

1793

Execution of Louis XVI
Execution of Louis XVI
(21 Jan 1793) Revolutionary Tribunal
Revolutionary Tribunal
(9 Mar 1793 – 31 May 1795) Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
(27 Jun 1793 – 27 Jul 1794)

Committee of Public Safety Committee of General Security

Fall of the Girondists (2 Jun 1793) Assassination of Marat (13 Jul 1793) Levée en masse
Levée en masse
(23 Aug 1793) The Death of Marat
The Death of Marat
(painting) Law of Suspects
Law of Suspects
(17 Sep 1793) Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
is guillotined (16 Oct 1793) Anti-clerical laws (throughout the year)

1794

Danton and Desmoulins guillotined (5 Apr 1794) Law of 22 Prairial
Law of 22 Prairial
(10 Jun 1794) Thermidorian Reaction
Thermidorian Reaction
(27 Jul 1794) Robespierre guillotined (28 Jul 1794) White Terror (Fall 1794) Closing of the Jacobin Club
Jacobin Club
(11 Nov 1794)

1795

Constitution of the Year III
Constitution of the Year III
(22 Aug 1795) Conspiracy of the Equals
Conspiracy of the Equals
(Nov 1795) Directoire (1795–99)

Council of Five Hundred Council of Ancients

13 Vendémiaire
13 Vendémiaire
5 Oct 1795

1797

Coup of 18 Fructidor
Coup of 18 Fructidor
(4 Sep 1797) Second Congress of Rastatt
Second Congress of Rastatt
(Dec 1797)

1799

Coup of 30 Prairial VII (18 Jun 1799) Coup of 18 Brumaire
Coup of 18 Brumaire
(9 Nov 1799) Constitution of the Year VIII
Constitution of the Year VIII
(24 Dec 1799) Consulate

Revolutionary campaigns

1792

Verdun Thionville Valmy Royalist
Royalist
Revolts

Chouannerie Vendée Dauphiné

Lille Siege of Mainz Jemappes Namur (fr)

1793

First Coalition Siege of Toulon
Siege of Toulon
(18 Sep – 18 Dec 1793) War in the Vendée Battle of Neerwinden) Battle of Famars
Battle of Famars
(23 May 1793) Expédition de Sardaigne
Expédition de Sardaigne
(21 Dec 1792 - 25 May 1793) Battle of Kaiserslautern Siege of Mainz Battle of Wattignies Battle of Hondschoote Siege of Bellegarde Battle of Peyrestortes
Battle of Peyrestortes
(Pyrenees) First Battle of Wissembourg (13 Oct 1793) Battle of Truillas
Battle of Truillas
(Pyrenees) Second Battle of Wissembourg (26–27 Dec 1793)

1794

Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies
Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies
(24 Apr 1794) Battle of Boulou
Battle of Boulou
(Pyrenees) (30 Apr – 1 May 1794) Battle of Tournay
Battle of Tournay
(22 May 1794) Battle of Fleurus (26 Jun 1794) Chouannerie Battle of Tourcoing
Battle of Tourcoing
(18 May 1794) Battle of Aldenhoven (2 Oct 1794)

1795

Peace of Basel

1796

Battle of Lonato
Battle of Lonato
(3–4 Aug 1796) Battle of Castiglione
Battle of Castiglione
(5 Aug 1796) Battle of Theiningen Battle of Neresheim
Battle of Neresheim
(11 Aug 1796) Battle of Amberg
Battle of Amberg
(24 Aug 1796) Battle of Würzburg
Battle of Würzburg
(3 Sep 1796) Battle of Rovereto
Battle of Rovereto
(4 Sep 1796) First Battle of Bassano
Battle of Bassano
(8 Sep 1796) Battle of Emmendingen
Battle of Emmendingen
(19 Oct 1796) Battle of Schliengen
Battle of Schliengen
(26 Oct 1796) Second Battle of Bassano
Battle of Bassano
(6 Nov 1796) Battle of Calliano (6–7 Nov 1796) Battle of the Bridge of Arcole
Battle of the Bridge of Arcole
(15–17 Nov 1796) The Ireland Expedition (Dec 1796)

1797

Naval Engagement off Brittany (13 Jan 1797) Battle of Rivoli
Battle of Rivoli
(14–15 Jan 1797) Battle of the Bay of Cádiz (25 Jan 1797) Treaty of Leoben
Treaty of Leoben
(17 Apr 1797) Battle of Neuwied (18 Apr 1797) Treaty of Campo Formio
Treaty of Campo Formio
(17 Oct 1797)

1798

French invasion of Switzerland
French invasion of Switzerland
(28 January – 17 May 1798) French Invasion of Egypt (1798–1801) Irish Rebellion
Rebellion
of 1798 (23 May – 23 Sep 1798) Quasi-War
Quasi-War
(1798–1800) Peasants' War (12 Oct – 5 Dec 1798)

1799

Second Coalition (1798–1802) Siege of Acre (20 Mar – 21 May 1799) Battle of Ostrach
Battle of Ostrach
(20–21 Mar 1799) Battle of Stockach (25 Mar 1799) Battle of Magnano
Battle of Magnano
(5 Apr 1799) Battle of Cassano (27 Apr 1799) First Battle of Zurich
First Battle of Zurich
(4–7 Jun 1799) Battle of Trebbia (19 Jun 1799) Battle of Novi (15 Aug 1799) Second Battle of Zurich
Second Battle of Zurich
(25–26 Sep 1799)

1800

Battle of Marengo
Battle of Marengo
(14 Jun 1800) Battle of Hohenlinden
Battle of Hohenlinden
(3 Dec 1800) League of Armed Neutrality (1800–02)

1801

Treaty of Lunéville
Treaty of Lunéville
(9 Feb 1801) Treaty of Florence
Treaty of Florence
(18 Mar 1801) Algeciras Campaign
Algeciras Campaign
(8 Jul 1801)

1802

Treaty of Amiens
Treaty of Amiens
(25 Mar 1802)

Military leaders

French Army

Eustache Charles d'Aoust Pierre Augereau Alexandre de Beauharnais Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte Louis-Alexandre Berthier Jean-Baptiste Bessières Guillaume-Marie-Anne Brune Jean François Carteaux Jean Étienne Championnet Chapuis de Tourville Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine Louis-Nicolas Davout Louis Desaix Jacques François Dugommier Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Charles François Dumouriez Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino Louis-Charles de Flers Paul Grenier Emmanuel de Grouchy Jacques Maurice Hatry Lazare Hoche Jean-Baptiste Jourdan François Christophe de Kellermann Jean-Baptiste Kléber Pierre Choderlos de Laclos Jean Lannes Charles Leclerc Claude Lecourbe François Joseph Lefebvre Jacques MacDonald Jean-Antoine Marbot Jean Baptiste de Marbot François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers Auguste de Marmont André Masséna Bon-Adrien Jeannot de Moncey Jean Victor Marie Moreau Édouard Mortier, duc de Trévise Joachim Murat Michel Ney Pierre-Jacques Osten (fr) Nicolas Oudinot Catherine-Dominique de Pérignon Jean-Charles Pichegru Józef Poniatowski Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer Jean-Mathieu-Philibert Sérurier Joseph Souham Jean-de-Dieu Soult Louis-Gabriel Suchet Belgrand de Vaubois Claude Victor-Perrin, Duc de Belluno

French Navy

Charles-Alexandre Linois

Opposition

Austria

József Alvinczi Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen Count of Clerfayt (Walloon) Karl Aloys zu Fürstenberg Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze
Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze
(Swiss) Friedrich Adolf, Count von Kalckreuth Pál Kray (Hungarian) Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc
Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc
(French) Maximilian Baillet de Latour (Walloon) Karl Mack von Leiberich Rudolf Ritter von Otto (Saxon) Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld Peter Vitus von Quosdanovich Prince Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló
Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló
(Hungarian) Karl Philipp Sebottendorf Dagobert von Wurmser

Britain

Sir Ralph Abercromby Admiral Sir James Saumarez Admiral Sir Edward Pellew Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany

Dutch Republic

William V, Prince of Orange

 Prussia

Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen

Russia

Alexander Korsakov Alexander Suvorov

Spain

Luis Firmin de Carvajal Antonio Ricardos

Other significant figures and factions

Society of 1789

Jean Sylvain Bailly Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette François Alexandre Frédéric, duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt Isaac René Guy le Chapelier Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord Nicolas de Condorcet

Feuillants and monarchiens

Madame de Lamballe Madame du Barry Louis de Breteuil Loménie de Brienne Charles Alexandre de Calonne de Chateaubriand Jean Chouan Grace Elliott Arnaud de La Porte Jean-Sifrein Maury Jacques Necker François-Marie, marquis de Barthélemy Guillaume-Mathieu Dumas Antoine Barnave Lafayette Alexandre-Théodore-Victor, comte de Lameth Charles Malo François Lameth André Chénier Jean-François Rewbell Camille Jordan Madame de Staël Boissy d'Anglas Jean-Charles Pichegru Pierre Paul Royer-Collard

Girondists

Jacques Pierre Brissot Roland de La Platière Madame Roland Father Henri Grégoire Étienne Clavière Marquis de Condorcet Charlotte Corday Marie Jean Hérault Jean Baptiste Treilhard Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud Bertrand Barère
Bertrand Barère
de Vieuzac Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve Jean Debry Jean-Jacques Duval d'Eprémesnil Olympe de Gouges Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet Louis Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux

The Plain

Abbé
Abbé
Sieyès de Cambacérès Charles François Lebrun Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot Philippe Égalité Louis Philippe I Mirabeau Antoine Christophe Merlin
Antoine Christophe Merlin
de Thionville Jean Joseph Mounier Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours François de Neufchâteau

Montagnards

Maximilien Robespierre Georges Danton Jean-Paul Marat Camille Desmoulins Louis Antoine de Saint-Just Paul Nicolas, vicomte de Barras Louis Philippe I Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau Jacques-Louis David Marquis de Sade Jacques-Louis David Georges Couthon Roger Ducos Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois Jean-Henri Voulland Philippe-Antoine Merlin de Douai Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville Philippe-François-Joseph Le Bas Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier Jean-Pierre-André Amar Prieur de la Côte-d'Or Prieur de la Marne Gilbert Romme Jean Bon Saint-André Jean-Lambert Tallien Pierre Louis Prieur Bertrand Barère
Bertrand Barère
de Vieuzac Antoine Christophe Saliceti

Hébertists and Enragés

Jacques Hébert Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne Pierre Gaspard Chaumette Charles-Philippe Ronsin Antoine-François Momoro François-Nicolas Vincent François Chabot Jean Baptiste Noël Bouchotte Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Gobel François Hanriot Jacques Roux Stanislas-Marie Maillard Charles-Philippe Ronsin Jean-François Varlet Theophile Leclerc Claire Lacombe Pauline Léon Gracchus Babeuf Sylvain Maréchal

Others

Charles X Louis XVI Louis XVII Louis XVIII Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien Louis Henri, Prince of Condé Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé Marie Antoinette Napoléon Bonaparte Lucien Bonaparte Joseph Bonaparte Joseph Fesch Joséphine de Beauharnais Joachim Murat Jean Sylvain Bailly Jacques-Donatien Le Ray Guillaume-Chrétien de Malesherbes Talleyrand Thérésa Tallien Gui-Jean-Baptiste Target Catherine Théot List of people associated with the French Revolution

Influential thinkers

Les Lumières Beaumarchais Edmund Burke Anacharsis Cloots Charles-Augustin de Coulomb Pierre Claude François Daunou Diderot Benjamin Franklin Thomas Jefferson Antoine Lavoisier Montesquieu Thomas Paine Jean-Jacques Rousseau Abbé
Abbé
Sieyès Voltaire Mary Wollstonecraft

Cultural impact

La Marseillaise French Tricolour Liberté, égalité, fraternité Marianne Bastille
Bastille
Day Panthéon French Republican Calendar Cult of the Supreme Being Cult of Reason

Temple of Reason

Sans-culottes Metric system Phrygian cap Women in the French Revolution Symbolism in the French Revolution Historiography of the French Revolution Influence of the French Revolution

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