A Concise History of the French Revolution
This concise yet rich introduction to the French Revolution explores the origins, development, and eventual decline of a movement that defines France to this day. Through an accessible chronological narrative, Sylvia Neely explains the complex events, conflicting groups, and rapid changes that characterized this critical period in French history. She traces the fundamental transformations in government and society that forced the French to come up with new ways of thinking about their place in the world, ultimately leading to liberalism, conservatism, terrorism, and modern nationalism. Throughout, the author focuses on the essential political events that propelled the Revolution, at the same time deftly interweaving the intellectual, social, diplomatic, military, and cultural history of the time. Neely explains how the difficult choices made by the royal government and the revolutionaries alike not only brought on the collapse of the Old Regime but moved the nation into increasingly radical policies, to the Terror, and finally to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. Written with clarity and nuance, this work offers a deeply knowledgeable understanding of the political possibilities available at any given moment in the course of the Revolution, placing them in a broad social context. All readers interested in France and revolutionary history will find this an engaging and rewarding read.
What people are saying - Write a review
Other editions - View all
Ancien Regime areas Assembly of Notables attack August Austrian Austrian Netherlands authority Bastille became began believed Bonaparte Brienne Brissot British cahiers called Catholic church citizens Civil Constitution clergy Committee of Public Constituent Assembly Convention court created crowds Danton debate declared decree defeat delegates deputies despotism Directory eighteenth century elected emigres enemies factions fear fight Flight to Varennes forced foreign France French armies French Revolution Girondins hoped ideas institutions Jacobin Club July July 17 June king king's Lafayette land Legislative Assembly Louis XVI Marat Marie Antoinette ministers monarchy National Assembly National Guard Necker nobility nobles oath October officers peasants political priests privileges protested provinces Public Safety radical reform religion religious representatives on mission republic republican revolutionary Robespierre royal government royalist Saint-Domingue sans-culottes September Sieyes society soldiers taxes Terror Third Estate Timothy Tackett tion took troops Versailles vote wanted women