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A Companion to the French Revolution

Peter McPhee (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-97752-1
568 pages
December 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to the French Revolution (1118977521) cover image


A Companion to the French Revolution comprises twenty-nine newly-written essays reassessing the origins, development, and impact of this great turning-point in modern history.
  • Examines the origins, development and impact of the French Revolution
  • Features original contributions from leading historians, including six essays translated from French.
  • Presents a wide-ranging overview of current historical debates on the revolution and future directions in scholarship
  • Gives equally thorough treatment to both causes and outcomes of the French Revolution
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors x

Abbreviations xiv

Introduction xv

Peter McPhee

Part I The Origins and Nature of the Crisis of 1789 1

1 Rethinking the Origins of the French Revolution 3
Peter Campbell

2 The Social and Economic Crisis in France at the End of the Ancien Régime 24
Jean-Pierre Jessenne

3 The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution 42
Sarah Maza

4 France and the Atlantic World 57
Miranda Spieler

Part II Reshaping France, 1789–91 73

5 The Principles of 1789 75
Michael P. Fitzsimmons

6 Reimagining Space and Power 91
Alan Forrest

7 “The Case against the King,” 1789–93 107
Barry M. Shapiro

Part III Church, State, and War 121

8 The Ancien Régime, Catholic Europe, and the Revolution’s Religious Schism 123
Dale Van Kley

9 The Origins and Outcomes of Religious Schism, 1790–99 145
Edward J. Woell

10 A Tale of Two Narratives: The French Revolution in International Context, 1787–93 161
Thomas E. Kaiser

Part IV Contesting the Limits of Revolution 179

11 Whose Revolution? 181
Serge Aberdam

12 Gender, Sexuality, and Political Culture 196
Anne Verjus

13 The Peasantry, Feudalism, and the Environment, 1789–93 212
Noelle Plack

Part V Revolutionary and Counter-Revolutionary Violence 229

14 Urban Crowds, Riot, Utopia, and Massacres, 1789–92 231
Donald Sutherland

15 The Vendée, Chouannerie, and the State, 1791–99 246
Jean-Clément Martin

Part VI Political Choice and Practice 261

16 Friends, Enemies, and the Role of the Individual 263
Marisa Linton

17 Choosing Revolution and Counter-Revolution 278
Peter M. Jones

18 The Course of the Terror, 1793–94 293
David Andress

Part VII Searching for Stability, 1794–99 311

19 The Thermidorian Reaction 313
Laura Mason

20 The Political Culture of the Directory 328
James Livesey

21 The New Security State 343
Howard G. Brown

22 The White Terror: Factions, Reactions, and the Politics of Vengeance 359
Stephen Clay

Part VIII The Revolution in International Perspective 379

23 The International Repercussions of the French Revolution 381
Mike Rapport

24 Slavery and the Colonies 397
Frédéric Régent

25 The Revolutionary Mediterranean 419
Ian Coller

Part IX Change and Continuity in France 435

26 A Revolution in Political Culture 437
Isser Woloch

27 The Economy, Society, and the Environment 454
Peter McPhee

28 The French Revolution and the Family 470
Suzanne Desan

29 The Revolution in History, Commemoration, and Memory 486
Pascal Dupuy

Index 503

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Author Information

Peter McPhee is Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. His publications include Living the French Revolution 1789-1799 (2006) and Robespierre: a Revolutionary Life (2012). A Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences, McPhee was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012 for service to education and the discipline of history.
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“The essays range widely across the whole revolutionary era, offering excellent surveys of recent research and suggesting how contemporary historians are redefining the Revolution’s historical significance.”  (H-France)

“The Revolution will never be exhausted as a subject of historical interest; this volume is an excellent survey of the current state of research.” (Reference Reviews)

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