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Questions tagged [french-revolution]

For questions about and related to the French Revolution.

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French Revolutionary figure who thought apes could oversee black slaves?

I'm operating off of fuzzy memory for this question but I know I have encountered this bizarre (and offensive: fair warning) historical figure who I am inquiring about here before in my previous ...
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Are the any primary sources from during the Conciergerie's time as a prison?

Are there any letters detailing Conciergerie prisoners' experiences during French Revolution? If so where can I find them? Thank you in advance for your help!
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During the French Revolution, how did the French address non-citizens?

I've read in multiple books and articles that during the French Revolution the address of monsieur / madame (my lord / my lady) was suspended in favor of the more égalité-friendly citoyen / citoyenne (...
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Was Robespierre in the pay of the British?

I was looking for interesting books on French Revolution, when I stumbled across this history of British espionage in the late 1700s. The book is several hundred dollars, so I won't be able to procure ...
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Why did Pichegru defect?

General Pichegru was a famous French Revolutionary military leader who had won great victories in 1795. And then, all of a sudden: Although he had become a hero of the Revolution, he allowed his ...
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What are the dates of these panoramas of Paris?

As part of a personal project I've been looking for period etchings, engravings, and black and white illustrations of Paris as it might have looked during the French Revolution of 1789. Those who are ...
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When and who did the Legislative Assembly banish from France during the French Revolution?

On what dates and what people were required to quit France by decree of the Legislative Assembly? EDIT 21 April 2018 The following details were added by the OP in comments to an answer below I ...
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Which of Ben Franklin's grandsons was blessed by Voltaire?

I've seen this image and I was curious if anyone knows which grandson of Ben Franklin's this is receiving Voltaire's blessing: https://www.wikitree.com/genealogy/Franklin-Descendants-1
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How many keys to the French Bastille are still in existence?

France's national day on July 14th is called Bastille Day in English. The day commemorates when a mob of people on July 14 1789 took a medieval castle, a symbol of Bourbon Royalty, in the opening ...
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Why didn't every nation commit genocides against every other nation when they conquered land? [closed]

I'm not saying genocides were great or anything like that. I'm just curious as to why would you leave the conquered population alive, leaving the door open for the possible future revolts when you ...
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How direct was the Enlightenment's role in the French Revolution?

John Thomson, in his book "Europe after Napoleon", argues that the Enlightenment had little direct role in creating the conditions for revolution. Neither the thinkers prescribed revolution nor the ...
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Hotel de Ville during Women's March on Versailles

What is the present location of the Hotel de Ville where women congregated just before the March on Versailles to take the king to Paris? Specifically, where they met with Mirabeau, Robespierre, etc
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Why did the Levee en Masse call for children to make lint?

The 1789 decree calling for general conscription begins, Henceforth, until the enemies have been driven from the territory of the republic, the French people are in permanent requisition for army ...
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During and right after the French Revolution, how did France maintain and operate such a big army all over Europe?

During revolutions or civil wars, countries usually suffer enormous economic losses along with much civil unrest. These things would seem to make it impossible for a nation to operate a huge army and ...
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Why was Lafayette imprisoned after the French Revolution?

I have read books about the American and French revolutions, but in all my reading it was never made clear why exactly Lafayette was imprisoned by the Austrians. It's clear that he angered the radical ...
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With what weapons were the towers of the Bastille armed?

I am researching the Bastille for a project in which I have to depict the Royal soldiers that stood on the towers during the French Revolution. Specifically, I am looking for the types of weapons ...
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Why wasn't there more resistance to the French revolution by the army?

Reading about the French revolution in 1789, none of the readily available Sources (Wikipedia history.com encyclopedia.com) mentions much resistance to the revolution by the army, even though "The ...
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Military Strategy of Carnot

I'm listening to Mike Duncan's podcast, Revolutions, episode 3.44, and in it, he details the misfortunes of the French bumbling about the wrong side of the Rhine. According to Duncan, Carnot, now a ...
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What happened to the Swiss troops in French service after August 10, 1792?

We know that the Swiss guards were disbanded in the aftermath of the Assault on the Tuileries, on August 10, 1792, and all other Swiss troops in French service followed soon thereafter. We also know ...
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Where did the French National Constituent Assembly meet on August 4, 1789?

Where did the National Constituent Assembly decide to abolish feudalism? I read that the National Constituent Assembly did not meet in a specific place. Therefore I want to know where they met in ...
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What motivated revolutionary France to declare war on Britain in 1793?

France declared war on Britain in 1793 (War of First Coalition). What was its motivation for declaring war? It was already at war with many European powers at the moment, and it was not likely in a ...
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Did Diderot say “Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”?

The following quote is often attributed to Diderot - co-founder of the Encyclopédie and one of the most notable figures during the Enlightenment: Men will never be free until the last king is ...
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How was the U.S. divided regarding the French Revolution around 1789?

How was America divided regarding the French Revolution during the early going (1789-1791, when the French hero of the American War of Independence, Lafayette, was one of its leaders)? What side of ...
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When and why did Girondins split from Jacobins

So I'm reading through Schama's Citizens and am thoroughly confused. I've gathered that at the beginning there were Feuillants and Jacobins, of whom the majority were followers of Brissot, the ...
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To what extent is a coincidence that the Dec. of the Rights of Man and the Citizen and the USA Dec. of Independence were approved so close in time? [closed]

France helped North Americans revolutionaries during the Independence War. The USA Declaration of Independence (USA, 1776) and the US Constitution (USA, 1787) influenced the content of the Declaration ...
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What was the meaning of Auguste Delfosse's statement “La liberté française pour faire le tour du monde n'a pas besoin de passer en Belgique!”

Auguste Delfosse, a Belgian politician, is said to have given this statement in the Belgian House of Representatives on March 1, 1848: La liberté française pour faire le tour du monde n'a pas ...
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Napoleon's medals

I'm currently part-way through a biography of Napoleon. I'm curious about the medals he had struck to commemorate events such as battlefield victories. How widely were these distributed within the ...
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How were the bodies of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette identified in their unmarked graves?

I have read that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were both buried in unmarked graves after their executions during the French Revolution. On January 18, 1815, during the Bourbon Restoration, their ...
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When was the first secular society?

When was the first attempt to create a secular society? (a society that was intentionally separate from religion). Was the French Revolution the first to discard religion as an legitimizing force and ...
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What was this small state in the south of France in 1789?

On wikipedia I came across the following rough political map of Europe in 1789: To my surprise there seems to be a small state enclaved in the south of France, circled in the picture. I have no clue ...
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Was the money requested by the French for the XYZ affair really a bribe?

I know that in history classes, and the American version of the XYZ Affair, that before the French would even sit down to the table with the Americans in order to discuss, basically, the piracy ...
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Presidents of the French Tribunate from 1799 to 1807

who were the presidents of the French Tribunate from 1799 to 1807? the French wiki only has an undated list of names (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribunat): Pierre Daunou Jean-Nicolas Démeunier Jean ...
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What happened to the French royal navy during the french-revolution?

Similar to my other question about her colonies I am interested in knowing what happened to the french royal navy of the period. Some ships must have been at sea and only learned the news as they ...
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What happened to the french overseas colonies during the beginning of the french revolution?

While I understand that Paris and then most of France got swept up in revolutionary fervor. What happened in its far flung colonies, such as the Antilles, India, North America, Africa and even ...
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Why did the French Revolution bring secularism?

The Roman Catholic Church was one of the victims of the French Revolution. Many of the priests, nuns, and other clergyman were abolished. Why did the revolutionaries "hate" the Roman Catholic Church?
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Did collective punishment of families occur during the French Revolution?

In his classic work of historical fiction, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens suggests that family members of those sentenced to death by the various tribunals were themselves targeted for ...
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French revolution: the source of the conflict in the meeting of the Estates General

In the article on the French Revolution Wikipedia says: "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 ...
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When did the French Revolution end?

Is there a consensus among historians on when the regarding when the French Revolution ended? Google results including Wikipedia names Napoleon's coup d'etat in 1799 as the end of the French ...
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What did the nobles do after the French Revolution?

After the French Revolution, the privileges of the aristocracy were abolished. Some nobles were executed, others migrated, but what happened to those who stayed in France? Did they live off what ...
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Were any French aristocrats guillotined facing up?

There is a myth that Robespierre was guillotined faced-up (he wasn't); but it raises the question of which aristocrats or disgraced revolutionaries were provably guillotined face-up during the period ...
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Curious office hours of Topographical Bureau where Napoleon served in 1795?

In his new biography Napoleon the Great Andrew Roberts reports about Napoleon's stint in the Historical and Topographical Bureau of the war ministry in Paris between mid-August and early October 1795. ...
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What effect did the execution of Louis XVI have on French foreign policy?

I was studying West Civilization and other events in history and I was quite conflicted here. I know who Louis was and everything but I don't really know enough to be able to answer the question in ...
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Sales of books of Rousseau in Versailles

I am currently comparing the sales of books by Rousseau and Voltaire in the city of Versailles, and I noticed a very important peak in sales of books by Rousseau in 1781. I was wondering if anyone ...
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Where did the French revolutionists get their weapons?

I have learned in class that the main purpose of raiding the Bastille in 14 July 1789 was to acquire the weapons in the Bastille. There was only a few political prisoners held there. There were, on ...
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Symbol of the San-colottes

I missed a section in Modern History and cannot find the answer to the question for a video that was shown in class. The Topic was The Demise of King Louis. Question: What is the symbol of the san-...
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Persian Letters

Assume that Montesquieu was trying to send a message to his readers about French politics under the Bourbon monarchy when he published The Persian Letters in 1721. Was it a message of reform, i.e., ...
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Was Marie Antoinette considered a fully legitimate bride for the heir apparent to the French throne in 1770? [closed]

When Marie Antoinette married Louis-Auguste, Dauphin of France in 1770, who later became King Louis XVI of France, was she considered as a fully legitimate bride or was there some sort of political ...
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Furniture van in 1848 France

In Alistair Horne's Seven Ages of Paris, he gives a description of France's revolution in June of 1848. He says, Killed, too, were no fewer than five of Cavaignac's generals, as well as hundreds ...
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Tricolore: Why have the colors been chosen that way?

The French flag, the Tricolour, was installed as France's national flag shortly after the Revolution in 1790. Its colors are Red and Blue - which are the colors of the flag of Paris - and White - ...
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What was the need to call the Estates-General of 1789?

I read that in France at the time of the French revolution, the monarch did not have the power to impose taxes on his will alone. Rather he had to call a meeting of the Estates General which would ...