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intellectual origins of the french revolution

. Despite the significant achievements of Furet and Baker in reconceptualizing the intellectual origins of the Revolution, a new paradigm—classical republicanism—has exerted significant influence since 2000, at least in the English-speaking wing of the field. In this chapter Linton stresses the complexity of the relationship of the Enlightenment to the outbreak of revolution. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com, This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (, Samurai and Southern Belles: Interracial Romance, Southern Morality, and the 1860 Japanese Embassy, Duty Beyond the Battlefield: African American Soldiers Fight For Racial Uplift, Citizenship, and Manhood, 1870–1920, https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model, Special Forum: The French Revolution is Not Over, Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. Naturally, the question of its origins remains a key area of controversy. 415pp. Following were the social, economic, political and intellectual causes of the French Revolution: Social - The social conditions in France in late 18 th century were extremely unequal and exploitative. The intellectual origins of the French Revolution. The author wishes to thank Jane Turner Censer and Gary Kates for their advice and assistance. In: Campbell, Peter, (ed.) (New York, 1967, 1969); and R. R. Palmer, The Age of Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760–1800, 2 vols. Peter Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, 2 vols. Although Furet’s interpretation did much to supplant Marxist and more traditional intellectual interpretations, it was criticized by scholars who contended that Rousseau’s fame had sprung far more from his sentimental writings than from the Social Contract. It uncovers the origins of liberalism and political Catholicism in the Southern Netherlands in the wake of the French Revolution, a… Largely because of the prominence of this debate, Israel’s work has somewhat obscured the previous decades of more sober, though still contentious scholarship. Keith Michael Baker, “A Script for a French Revolution: The Political Consciousness of the Abbé Mably,” in Inventing the French Revolution (Cambridge, 1990); and Johnson Kent Wright, A Classical Republican in Eighteenth-Century France: The Political Thought of Mably (Stanford, CA, 1997). But the shape of that future was still very much under contestation, and would be further transformed in the context of revolutionary and counterrevolutionary politics. . Published by Oxford University Press. I In his essay of 1886, Trance in the Eighteenth Century', John Morley made the point against Hipplolyte Taine, whose book on the Old Regime had This essay focuses on those ideas that became evident at and around the outbreak of the revolution in 1788–89. . Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. Price: $26.95. None of these recent approaches seems to have raised the importance of intellectuals to quite the level achieved in France’s sister rebellion in North America. The cultural origins of the French Revolution have been located, then, in ideas and texts, on the one hand, and in institutions and modes of communication on the other. Marisa Linton, The Politics of Virtue in Enlightenment France (New York, 2001); Andrew Jainchill, Reimagining Politics after the Terror: The Republican Origins of French Liberalism (Ithaca, NY, 2008). Although his work (five books totaling four thousand pages published from 2001 to 2014) could be useful, its combativeness, the overemphases of its argument, and its length all undercut that potential contribution. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Authors: Marteel, Stefaan Free Preview Buy Before the Deluge: Public Debt, Inequality, and the Intellectual Origins of the French Revolution by Sonenscher, Michael (ISBN: 9780691143262) from Amazon's Book Store. The result is a perspective on the early revolution, its ideological origins and consequences, that is brilliant, politely iconoclastic and thoroughly revisionist." As Smith notes, the French were familiar with ancient authors such as Livy, Tacitus, and Plutarch and “the ‘civic humanism’ idiom that served as an important vehicle for transmitting the values of the ancient republics to the early modern Atlantic world.”19 The embrace of antiquity fueled the pride of nobles but also reminded them of family heritage and their disproportionate political and economic power. Israel presents his thesis forcibly, and the rebuttals have shown similar intensity. . Synopsis. Marisa Linton, Publisher: Princeton University Press, Mar 23, 2014 - History - 888 pages. The best history-of-political-thought volume I read this year was Michael Sonenscher's Before the Deluge: Public Debt, Inequality and the Intellectual Origins of the French Revolution, which goes to show how the eighteenth-century political economy scholarship of the last generation or so can be put to work to address the really big historiographical questions. Bell, “A Very Different French Revolution,” 2; Hunt, “Louis XVI,” 8. Keith Baker articulated a parallel but different explanation for the acceptance of revolutionary ideology.6 He put forth the abstract concept that every individual lives in an environment with discourses—ideational resources—that compete for attention. Entering the crowded arena regarding the intellectual origins of the French Revolution has been Jonathan Israel, who approaches the role of ideas by postulating a direct connection between individual Enlightenment thinkers and specific views that would compete in the Revolution. pp. Yet in recent decades, scholars have argued that the Revolution was brought about by social forces, politics, economics, or culture―almost anything but abstract notions like liberty or equality. The Philosophes and Religion: Intellectual Origins of the Dechristianization Movement in the French Revolution - Volume 40 Issue 3 - Charles A. Gliozzo Skip to main content Accessibility help We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a … Department of History Nor was this idea new in 1789, molding its users in a determinist fashion, as Furet suggested. ; 9780691124995, £23.95 (hbk) Show all authors. He takes no interest in the common people’s culture.” Israel’s unwillingness to engage with the work of other scholars piqued Lynn Hunt who derided his one-sided accounts: “Israel’s palette is too black and white for . Though few will follow his precise path, a focus on the use of ideas, from the Greeks to the physiocrats, could help illuminate the intellectual history of the revolutionary maelstrom. Revolutionary Ideas: An Intellectual History of the French Revolution by IsraelThis is a large, detailed … Historians of the French Revolution used to take for granted what was also obvious to its contemporary observers―that the Revolution was shaped by the radical ideas of the Enlightenment. See also Rachel Hammersley, The English Republican Tradition and Eighteenth-Century France: Between the Ancients and the Moderns (Manchester, England, 2010). Largely outside the political maelstrom, other ideas flourished. The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution is a major work by one of the leading scholars in the field and is likely to set the intellectual agenda for future work on the subject. Yet in recent decades, scholars have argued that the Revolution was brought about by social forces, politics, economics, or culture―almost anything but abstract notions like liberty or equality. Enlightenment, French siècle des Lumières (literally “century of the Enlightened”), German Aufklärung, a European intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries in which ideas concerning God, reason, nature, and humanity were synthesized into a worldview that gained wide assent in the West and that instigated revolutionary developments in art, philosophy, and politics. But this relationship was never quite settled, as Rousseau’s Social Contract advocated both republicanism and natural rights. To illustrate these points she shows how the discourse of virtue also played a significant role in the ideological origins of the Revolution, a role that must be interpreted in terms of the rhetorical and strategic development of this concept within specific historical contexts. Please enable JavaScript on your browser, so that you can use all features of this website. Praise. More work needs to be done to chart natural law and connect it to revolutionary events. In short, events called for the label; then, the label “revolution” defined subsequent actions.9. Buy. . popular actions almost with annoyance. Kindle Edition. Revolutionary Ideas is a first rate, academic intellectual history of the French Revolution. Having pushed aside class conflict as the Revolution’s central dynamic, Furet succinctly posited his own theory that even before 1789 the monarchy was toothless. Revolutionary Ideas: An Intellectual History Of The French Revolution From The Rights Of Man To Robespierre Jonathan Israel Nowadays, it’s difficult to imagine our lives without the Internet as it offers us the easiest way to access the information we are looking for from the comfort of our homes. According to Smith, an increased interest in adding equality to the mix of values emerged at mid-century. . Ushered by classical republicanism into a smaller space in the intellectual ferment, the role of natural law requires reevaluation. In general, the real causes of the Revolution must be located in the rigid social structure of French society during the ancien regime . This action gave rise to a bitter struggle that animated the Revolution. Shop now. How could these specific ideas hijack the mindset of a population? How the Radical Enlightenment inspired and shaped the French Revolution. The revolution began with deep divisions at the royal court. This is a revised edition of Christopher Hill's classic and ground-breaking examination of the motivations behind the English Revolution and Civil War/5. For more on the mixture of natural law and the right to resist overweening monarchs in the Atlantic world, consult Jack R. Censer, Debating Modern Revolution: The Evolution of Revolutionary Ideas (London, 2016), 7–52. The historiography of the French Revolution stretches back over two hundred years, as commentators and historians have sought to answer questions regarding the origins of the Revolution, and its meaning and effects. Intellectual Origins of the English Revolution: Revisited. Availability: In stock. In Before the Deluge, Michael Sonenscher examines these fears and the responses to them, and the result is nothing less than a new way of thinking about the intellectual origins of the French Revolution. In this analysis, the atheists become the source of the moderate, incremental revolution, while the religious appear as political fanatics and authors of the Terror. The discourse of will approximated Furet’s notion of the role of equality and popular sovereignty. However, it must be said that such values triumphed as the nineteenth century rolled along. The French Revolution (French: Révolution française [ʁevɔlysjɔ̃ fʁɑ̃sɛːz]) began in May 1789 when the Ancien Régime was abolished in favour of a constitutional monarchy. See especially, Robert Darnton, The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-revolutionary France (New York, 1995); and François Furet et al., Livre et société dans la France du XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1965–70), 2 vols. Despite all its faults, Israel’s work does suggest the value in plumbing the ideas of individual intellectual predecessors of the French Revolution. 23 Even more astonishing—as it certainly would have been to Voltaire—has been the work on the Catholic enlightenment. Michael Kwass, Privilege and the Politics of Taxation in Eighteenth Century France: Liberté, Égalité, Fiscalité (Cambridge, 2000), 234–38. Robespierre filled this role admirably, but he also created the potential for individual tyranny far more potent than that of a king whose authority was inherent in his body but surely did not represent the France of millions of people. But what Rétat had begun in a fairly obscure article (that Baker carefully acknowledged and credited), Baker emphatically embraced and applied to all subsequent revolutions. How King Louis XVI and the French nobility faced a revolt from the Third Estate. With regard to Baker, she critiques three features: firstly, the schematic claim to boil down the ideological origins into three particular discourses, those of will, reason, and justice; secondly, the ideas-driven approach that gives insufficient place to the impact of context and events; thirdly, the neglect of the motivations, intentions, and rhetorical strategies on the part of authors of discourses. Kwass, Privilege and the Politics of Taxation, 251. Central to the piece is a monument labeled as a pyramid, whose lettering indicated that taxes linked to the king were to be eliminated, replaced by charity, equity, and abundance.18. Scholars who focus on classical republicanism in the origins of the Revolution sometimes imply through offhand remarks that natural law exerted a major impact as the Revolution continued. To pursue the connection between ideas and the Revolution, Israel sorted the philosophes into two camps. See below for a discussion of Jonathan Israel’s work. 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