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Questions tagged [french-revolution]

For questions about and related to the French Revolution.

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18
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
17
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
17
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2answers
351 views

In the French Republican calendar: were Quintidis holidays?

I did some research on the French Republican calendar and found some contradictory information on weekly (or decadian?) holidays. Wikipedia (and most other articles I found) mention: The calendar ...
15
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2answers
13k views

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 ...
14
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3answers
553 views

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. ...
13
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1answer
4k views

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 ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Did the French Revolution help produce French military “elan?”

In earlier wars against the British and Germans (e.g. the Seven Years' War of 1756-1763), French armies did not particularly distinguish themselves, even with a numerical advantage. Yet during the ...
13
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
13
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3answers
2k views

What was the foreign policy of 1791 France?

Having done some research on my own had yielded little to no results on pre-radical revolutionary France regarding foreign policy. I am specifically looking for arguments during the constitutional ...
12
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2answers
1k views

What became of the French Revolutionary Religion and Calendar?

During the height of the French Revolution, there was a complete revamping/retooling of French culture and religion: A new calendar based on the metric system and marking the significant events and ...
10
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3answers
1k views

How did the First French Empire and allies differ from the other European monarchies at that time?

During the Napoleonic Wars (especially towards the end), France and most of its allies (e.g. Kingdom of Italy, Duchy of Warsaw, Kingdom of Spain) are absolute monarchies. However, they seemed to ...
10
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
3k views

How historically accurate is Les Miserables?

In essence, I'm asking about whether there are any historical inaccuracies in the movies/plays themselves. I'm pretty sure the book would have very few, due to the fact that it was written in a ...
10
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2answers
271 views

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 ...
9
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3answers
11k views

How did Maximilien de Robespierre lose control of his Reign of Terror and die by the guillotine?

Maximilien de Robespierre was one of the best influential figures of the French Revolution and died at the young age of only 36. He started the Reign of Terror and the tool of his Terror was the ...
9
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2answers
1k views

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 (...
9
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2answers
8k views

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 ...
9
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
544 views

Do we know of other examples of modern Utilitarian/Poltical 'cannibalism' (as defined by Carlyle), besides the French Revolutionaries and the Nazis?

Thomas Carlyle - The French Revolution, A History: Chapter 3.5.VII: One other thing, or rather two other things, we will still mention; and no more: The Blond Perukes; the Tannery at Meudon. ...
8
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3answers
1k views

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?
8
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1answer
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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 ...
8
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1answer
1k views

How did the French take the Republican Calendar?

I've been wondering what the reactions were in France to the new Republican Calendar. When I learned about it in school, it seemed ridiculously overzealous to me, and this notion hasn't left me since. ...
7
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5answers
1k views

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 ...
7
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
7
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1answer
507 views

What was the League of Sublime and Perfect Masters?

What was the League of the Sublime and Perfect Masters, created when the Congress of Viena was finished? What role did it play in Italian Reunification?
7
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1answer
262 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
6
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
31k views

How many people were beheaded by the Guillotine in France during the French Revolution (1789-1794)?

Concerning the period of the Thermidorian Reaction we find Carlyle in his "A History" reporting the following: This Convention, now grown Anti-Jacobin,did,with an eye to justify and fortify ...
6
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1answer
141 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
611 views

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 ...
5
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3answers
1k views

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 - ...
5
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1answer
477 views

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 ...
5
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0answers
337 views

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 ...
5
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0answers
79 views

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 ...
5
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0answers
111 views

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., ...
4
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2answers
1k views

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
4
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1answer
149 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
375 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
566 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
645 views

Who was the noble present at the Tennis Court Oath?

I remember learning that a member of the 2nd Estate was notably present at the Tennis Court Oath (though I realize there might have been more than one). Does anyone know who that might have been? ...
4
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1answer
656 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
324 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
93 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
113 views

What is the meaning of this short passage in Thomas Carlyle's 'French Revolution'? [closed]

Look to it, D'Aiguillon; sharply as thou didst, from the Mill of St. Cast, on Quiberon and the invading English; thou, 'covered if not with glory yet with meal!' Fortune was ever accounted ...
3
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1answer
253 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
314 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
6k views

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 ...
3
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2answers
151 views

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-...
3
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1answer
1k views

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 ...