The French Revolution: A History in Documents explores the rapidly evolving political culture of the French Revolution through first-hand accounts of the revolutionary (and counterrevolutionary) actors themselves. It demonstrates how radical Enlightenment philosophy fused with a governmental crisis to create a moment of new political possibilities unlike any the world had previously seen. In so doing, the French and their allies generated a template for revolutionary possibility from which virtually all subsequent political movements – liberalism, abolitionism, socialism, anarchism, conservatism, feminism and human rights included – derived inspiration.
As well as providing an invaluable general introduction, vital contextual notes and thematic bibliographies, Micah Alpaugh selects a fascinating range of pieces, drawing on Parisian, provincial, colonial, and even international voices. From Enlightened dissent to apologias for terror, from declarations of human rights to accounts of slave rebellions, from passionate arguments for democratization to the authoritarian pronouncements of Napoleonic rule, this book presents the French Revolution’s evolution in all its awesome complexity. In addition to classic texts, Alpaugh includes many lesser-known sources, a number of which are translated into English here for the first time.
This unique collection of 13 visual sources and over 90 documents, incorporating perspectives from across class, gender, race and nationality, provides you with insights into the fervent debates, pronouncements and proposals that spawned modern politics.