What do we know about the political process of the French Revolution?* We know a great deal about its origins; we know a lot about its outcomes; and we know a great deal about political events that occurred in the course of the revolutionary decade. But the ongoing processes internal to the Revolution have been largely bracketed by scholars anxious to understand either its convoluted origins or its epochal outcomes.
The French Revolution and the Political Process—Then and Now
Reflections on a Trope in Eighteenth-Century Historiography
This article attempts to explain the appeal of "terror" in the French Revolution by examining the history of the concept of terror. It focuses on historiographical representations of sovereign powers, whether monarchs or nations, as "terrors" of their enemies. It argues that the term typically connoted majesty, glory, justice and hence legitimacy. Moreover, historiographical depictions of past rulers and nations frequently emphasized the transiency of terror as an attribute of power; they dramatized decline in formulations such as "once terrible." For the revolutionaries, terror therefore provided a means of legitimation, but one that always had to be guarded and reinforced.
Nostalgia in the Imagined Lives of Auguste Blanqui
Patrick H. Hutton
Louis-Auguste Blanqui ranks among the most famous apostles of the nineteenth-century French Revolutionary tradition. His commitment to that cause was bound up with his longing to tap once more the energy that had inspired the popular uprisings of the French Revolution. Such nostalgia came to define not only his tactics but also his way of life. In the process he fashioned a legend of his role as insurrectionary activist, and its nostalgic underpinnings would intrigue his twentieth-century biographers. Here I examine the way four among them draw out varied and conflicting meanings from a life powerfully invested in a conception of the future deeply embedded in the past.
This article is conceived as an overview of the career and scholarship of Claude Langlois. It emphasizes the breadth, diversity, and volume of his work, giving particular attention to four fields in which Langlois made especially important contributions. These fields to some extent mark four phases of his scholarly career-although not necessarily in chronological order. These are historical religious sociology, the French Revolution, women and religion, and theology and spirituality. The conclusion stresses the originality and independence of thought displayed by Langlois throughout his career.
The State Machine in Eighteenth-Century English Political Discourse
The importance of bodily and mechanical analogies in everyday political argumentation has been seldom discussed in the academic literature. This article is based on a contextual analysis of the uses of bodily and mechanical analogies in parliamentary and public debates in eighteenth-century England, as they can be retrieved from full-text databases of printed literature. The author demonstrates the continuous use of bodily analogies for much of the century particularly in defence of traditional conceptions of a unified political community. The article considers the expanding use of mechanical analogies as well, tracing their evolution in political debates and the effect of the American and French revolutions in their usage.
Louis-Antoine Saint-Just, Christopher Fotheringham, and Jérémie Barthas
We are publishing here the first modern English translation of the report on police and other matters presented by Louis-Antoine Saint-Just to the National Convention on 15 April 1794. This was his last report: his last appraisal of the history of the French Revolution since 1789, his last analysis of the social and economic consequences of the ongoing fight between revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces and his last sketch on what still needed to be done to secure the foundations of the young Republic. A few months later, the 10th Thermidor year II of the French Republic (28 July 1794 CE), Saint-Just was guillotined in Paris, Place de la Révolution.
Jeremy D. Popkin The Cult of the Nation in France: Inventing Nationalism, 1680-1800 by David A. Bell
Jay M. Smith A Revolution in Language: The Problem of Signs in Late Eighteenth-Century France by Sophia Rosenfeld
Ted W. Margadant Making Democracy in the French Revolution by James Livesey
Gay L. Gullickson Daughters of Eve: A Cultural History of French Theater Women from the Old Regime to the Fin-de-Siècle by Lenard R. Berlanstein
Elinor A. Accampo A Social Laboratory for Modern France: The Musée Social and the Rise of the Welfare State by Janet R. Horne
Thomas Ertman Institutions and Innovation: Voters, Parties, and Interest Groups in the Consolidation of Democracy—France and Germany, 1870-1939 by Marcus Kreuzer
Frank R. Baumgartner La Longue Marche des universités françaises by Christine Musselin
Conservative French nationalists had successfully labeled antimilitarism as antinationalist in the two decades preceding World War I. Because some of the more vocal antimilitarists were also involved in anarchist and radical Marxist organizations, historians largely have accepted this antinationalist label while also arguing that French nationalism had lost its connections to the French Revolution and become a more extremist, protofascist movement. A closer look at mainstream antimilitarist arguments, however, reveals the continued existence of the republican nationalism that had dominated the nineteenth century and shows that antimilitarists did not reject their nation. Instead, antimilitarists sought to protect the Republic, which they saw as synonymous with the nation, against an increasingly conservative, anti-Republic military and conservative nationalists, whom antimilitarists saw as a danger to a republican France.
The Close Relationship between the Historians Georges Lefebvre and Robert R. Palmer
For some twenty years the historians Georges Lefebvre and Robert R. Palmer maintained a "transatlantic friendship." Beginning with his translation of Lefebvre's Coming of the French Revolution, Palmer became a close friend of his French colleague, providing him with much-needed food, books, and information. In return Lefebvre published articles written by his American friend in his journal Annales historiques de la Révolution française as well as offered advice about his research. Thanks to their intellectual cooperation, the two advanced the study of the Revolution in their respective countries. Despite the considerable differences between their political outlooks—Lefebvre was a committed Marxist and Palmer was a liberal Democrat—the two men remained close friends until Lefebvre's death in 1959. Much of this article is based on the recently published correspondence of Lefebvre with Palmer.
Rethinking Éducation, Instruction, and the Political Pedagogy of the French Revolution
This article examines the political pedagogy of the French Revolution and, with that, the revolutionaries' engagement with issues of political community and communication. It proposes that while the distinction between éducation and instruction, or between the development of moral and civic character, on the one hand, and the cultivation of particular skills, on the other, was prominent in eighteenth-century pedagogy and has been influential in our understanding of the Revolution, that same distinction has obscured essential elements of the revolutionaries' pedagogical and political agendas. Attention to the proposals and practices of revolutionary pedagogy, including the revolutionary festivals, reveals that what the revolutionaries called “public instruction” was a dynamic synthesis of civic and technical training, a synthesis that was intended not to foster unquestioning obedience or the obliteration of differences among citizens, but to promote civic communication in ways that would make a participatory politics possible.