Liberty Leading the People, by Eugène Delacroix, 1830 / Louvre Museum
By Dr. William A. Pelz / 05.20.2016
Professor of History
Elgin Community College
From A People’s History of Modern Europe
Legend has it that Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was once asked his opinion of the French Revolution. He is reported to have responded, “It is too soon to say.” For better or worse, few have followed this example of withholding judgment. Within the English-speaking world, the image implanted upon millions of minds is one of crazed French revolutionaries running amok, as depicted in the famous Charles Dickens work, A Tale of Two Cities. Not only has this book sold hundreds of millions of copies, there have been four silent films and at least three sound movies not to mention comic books, television and radio adaptations. A revenge-crazed woman actually knits to the rhythm of the guillotine’s blade lopping off the heads of condemned counter-revolutionaries. This chapter will attempt to show that Dickens, among many others, was promoting an anti-French, anti-revolutionary bias and did not allow facts to complicate his opinions.
This bias is not limited to Dickens or nineteenth-century Britain. In the United States, it is far from difficult to run across the same type of narrative. Films have often shown the French revolutionaries as mobs of crazed rabble with an irrational blood lust. This is significant, since films so often create impressions in the viewer that resist even the most documented historical refutation. One example is the American film, Marie Antoinette, made in 2006. Devoting itself to ignoring everything of historical importance, this movie, in the words of a San Francisco Chronicle critic, “is an extended brief extolling the all-embracing exuberance and sterling humanity of rich girls who like to shop.” The unstated message of Marie Antoinette, at least to many better-off English speakers who have already read A Tale of Two Cities in high school, may well be: why would those evil commoners kill such a cool girl?
All of this is to argue that we should try to approach the revolt of the common people in France without accepting the dominant narrative with which most of us have been raised. Few events have changed the course of history the way the French Revolution did. Nor as noted before, have most events suffered such a sustained history of libel. What contemporaries saw as a brilliant, if at times confused, movement towards freedom, democracy and human solidarity has been reduced to a caricature. This negative image is often tinged with anti-female and ethnic biases. In 1790, conservative author Edmund Burke intellectually assassinated the revolution, while US slave owners were terrified by the revolution’s abolition of slavery. Once former slaves established a government in the French colony now known as Haiti, President Jefferson did all he could to convince the French to crush the blacks, even offering American assistance. Even in France today, rejection of the revolution is part of the neo-fascist movements’ credo. As one member of the far-right National Front stated, “France died in 1789, and what we’re left with now—it’s disgusting.”
So if it was not mere bloodlust that motivated the French revolutionaries, what did? Why was there a revolution in eighteenth-century France? It was certainly not that France was a poor or backward country compared with her European neighbors. On the contrary, France was one of the great powers of the Western world. In the 1780s, she had just humiliated Britain, the world’s greatest naval power, by intervening in North America to make possible a successful war of independence for thirteen of Britain’s North American colonies. Still, however advanced France was in many ways, the country remained ruled by feudal elite of king, nobility and Church. With this unholy trinity in charge, the remainder of the French people were forced to pay heavy taxes for foreign wars, the luxury of the royal Court, the unrestrained living of the nobles and high Church officials. Peasants were subject to feudal regulation and forced labor, while all had to pay the hated dime (10 percent tax) to the Church.
As the nation had grown in wealth, urban areas had become more important as centers of unrest. A popular political culture developed in towns that sought to better the social, economic and political positions of the urban populace. Moreover, among intellectuals within the bourgeoisie, the ideas that formed the foundations of the old order were being subverted by the ideas of the Enlightenment. Thinkers influenced by the Enlightenment believed in reason and change, while the old order was based on belief and tradition. Naturally, different thinkers advocated various, often conflicting, theories but two commonalities among almost all were an attack in one way or another upon tradition and an openness to some type of popular rule. For many businessmen, such theories only added an intellectual gloss onto the resentment they felt watching their class counterparts across the English Channel ruling through Parliament with the British king an important, but not all-powerful chief executive. That tens of thousands of French soldiers had served in North America during the anti-British revolution meant that many had become influenced by radical ideas of self-government.
Despite all these developments, feudal France may well have limped onward for a time had it not been for a conjuncture of circumstances. First, the decadence of the French ruling classes had reached the point where few understood that things had to change if they were to remain largely the same. One notable exception to this was Lafayette, a liberal noble and aid to George Washington. At the apex of the noble pyramid, sat King Louis XVI, a particularly inept, if not downright stupid monarch. Added to this politically lethal cocktail was his insensitive and self-absorbed foreign wife, Marie Antoinette. While she most likely never actually told starving French who had no bread that they should eat cake instead, it is just the sort of thing she might have said. The fact that the queen was Austrian played into the growing nationalism of sections of France’s population. Through her weak husband, the king, it was thought she ruled France with scant regard for the French people.
Yet, there were more concrete reasons behind the revolutionary upsurge. There was, in fact, a material basis to the discontent that pushed the French common people to throw off centuries of tradition and revolt. This can be seen if we compare the plight of Paris, the heart of the revolution, with other European cities. By combining real wages with the cost of living, economic historians have devised a welfare index. Using this tool, it is possible to see real differences between Paris and other bourgeois urban areas within Western Europe. A score of “1” on the index means a barely acceptable standard of living. Above “1” would mean that certain personal luxury items might be purchased, while below “1” suggests a family would be unable to have what was then considered a decent life.
In the period 1750–99, building craftsmen had a ratio of 1.20 in Paris, above the level of bare survival but far below London (2.21) and Amsterdam (1.83). For the less skilled in Paris, the data suggest an even harder life. While laborers in the French capital had a score of only 0.74, their London counterparts were at 1.42, with Amsterdam close behind at 1.41. Put another way, Parisian laborers lived a life of desperation as members of the working poor. By contrast, those in the same occupational category in London and Amsterdam had enough left over to save or buy new consumer luxuries like sugar or tobacco. Why were the people of Paris so much poorer? There are many theories but at the time revolutionaries attributed this to the corruption and exploitation of the French feudal rulers. Note that these numbers, like all statistics, should be approached with great care. They are indicative but far from definitive in their description of past realities. Nonetheless, such huge differences suggests that Parisian workers lived only half as well as workers in London or Amsterdam. Fairly, one might ask did the revolution made any significant changes? Taking the period 1800–49, that is after the achievements of the revolution were largely safeguarded, the numbers show important improvements for both craftsmen (1.20 to 1.72) and laborers (0.74 to 1.08). By contrast, during the exact same years, London and Amsterdam largely showed decline or stagnation.
So having insensitive and incompetent rulers, as noted above, is never good for a regime even in the best of times. As the statistics just discussed indicate, France in the 1780s was not experiencing the best of times. Rather, it was marked by food shortages, unemployment and poverty combined with a low standard of living, while the government was saddled with a huge public debt that reduced the king’s room for granting concessions. This debt had not been helped by the great amount of resources spent to help the American rebels defeat the British Empire, and reached crisis point when the privileged feudal lords refused to aid the national treasury. In desperation, Louis XVI called together a long-dormant type of feudal parliament, the Estates-General, in the hope of solving the crisis. The Estates-General was divided into three houses or estates: clergy, nobility, and everyone else. Each house had a single vote, which meant that the Third Estate, despite representing well over 90 percent of the population, could always be outvoted by the nobles and high Church officials. Not assembled since 1614, the Estates-General met on May 5, 1789.
It soon became apparent that most representatives of the Third Estate refused to play their assigned part in this elaborate farce. They had instead arrived with long lists of complaints, demands and a thirst for fundamental reform. The elected representatives of the Third Estate quickly insisted on a voting system that would be one member, one vote, rather than each Estate having a vote. Some even argued that the Third Estate was the true representative of the people. After a feeble attempt to disband them, the
Third Estate declared itself the National Assembly and swore to meet until a just constitution had been obtained. Of course, factions soon developed in the Assembly, one of the most notable being the Jacobin political club that would play a major role in the events of 1793–94. Uncertain, maybe even confused, Louis XVI legalized the National Assembly on June 27. A few weeks later, a crowd mobilized on July 14 and stormed the infamous Bastille Prison. This took on a symbolic importance far beyond the actual importance of seizing one jail. The Bastille was infamous as the place where the French kings sent political prisoners to suffer and often die. It was so much more than a penal institution: it was a symbol of much that was hated in the old order.
Many see this as the masses entering the stage of history—notably it is celebrated as France’s National Day. The events of July 14, 1789 were, are and no doubt will remain clouded in controversy. The Left celebrates the storming of the Bastille as an act of liberation, while the Right sees only violence and disorder. This sort of division is inevitable. Commenting on two completely contradictory accounts of that day, one by a monarchist and the other by a radical, one historian notes “no matter how honest the two men may have been, the event described by one has quite different flavour from that described by the other.” It is true that only some hundreds of citizens were directly involved in the assault on the famous prison, but it has been argued by George Rudé, a scholar who helped pioneer looking at history from the bottom up, said that it was the business “of the people of Paris as a whole,” with a minimum of 250,000 citizens armed in defense of the revolution by that time. As for the violence unleashed in the taking of the Bastille, it has been argued that it is surprising how few, maybe seven, defenders were actually killed given the violence previously visited upon the radicals. Further, rather than being criminals or the so-called dregs of society, the people who threw themselves against the prison were more representative of Paris’s population than we might suspect. A careful study of the crowd finds that besides soldiers, “about two-thirds [were] small workshop masters, craftsmen, and journeymen … the remainder [were] engaged in manufacture, distribution, building, the professions and general trades.”
Yet, why were the common people of Paris so outraged? Had they, as critics of the revolution have charged, been manipulated by power-hungry ideologues? Actually, there was a much more clear reason for the Parisian anger: bread. It is well to remember that bread was the basic article of food consumption in eighteenth-century France. Earlier in the century, the wage earner spent around half their income on bread. But, during the economic crisis of 1788–89, the portion of income spent on bread “rose to an average of 58 per cent; in the months of famine and top-level prices of 1789, it soared to the fantastic figure of 88 per cent.” It is likely more than mere coincidence that the Bastille fell on the day that grain prices hit their cyclical peak. In fact, there is evidence that high prices and scarcity of bread acted as the main stimulant to the popular movements of 1789.21 Nor was this a problem only in Paris; a study of Bordeaux noted that “subsistence at any level among the peasantry and industrial proletariat of eighteen century France was largely dependent on bread.” People may not live on bread alone but, at least in eighteenth-century France, without enough they went hungry. If there was no bread at all, they might even die of starvation.
Pressure from the common people led the National Assembly to officially abolish feudalism in France in August 1789. This meant that all the old rights and privileges of the feudal lords were gone. For example, they now had to pay taxes like anyone else and could be brought before courts for suspected wrongdoing, just like everyone else. By the end of the month, the famous “Rights of Man and the Citizen” was proclaimed. In a sign that woman would henceforth play an important role in France’s affairs, a crowd of female citizens marched on the Royal Palace at Versailles in October. With a boldness that belies claims of female passivity, the women forced Louis XVI and his family to return to Paris. During the struggle that this demand precipitated, the women even killed a number of the royals’ elite Swiss guards. This is often noted. That many of these same women had perhaps watched their children suffer from hunger is absent from most textbooks. Returning the monarch, whom the crowd of women called “the baker,” to the heart of the French capital was far more than symbolic. Many believed that with the Bourbon king and queen back in the urban heartland, it would be easier to intimidate the royals by demonstrations and protests so they would be pressured into solving the people’s needs.
Besides the power of the Bourbon monarchy, the people had to contend with the might of the Roman Catholic Church, one of, if not the, largest landowners in France. To undercut their power, in November 1789, the Church’s property was expropriated by the National Assembly, which spoke in the name of the majority of France, the Third Estate. This singular strike crippled one of the most powerful pillars of the old order—a lesson in dealing with faith-based organizations that England’s Henry VIII had learned more than two centuries earlier. This was followed by legislation that still embitters the far Right: the removal, in the early months of 1790, of all restrictions on France’s Jews, who could now work in the civil service, openly practice their religion and enjoy the full rights of citizenship. By halfway through 1790, religious orders were suppressed and the nobility’s rights and titles abolished. Of course, the Pope responded by excommunicating the French.
These measures indicate a clear rejection of centuries of feudalism and social tradition. Naturally, the new laws and customs were unpopular in certain parts of the population who could not imagine a France without the leadership of Crown and Cross. Interestingly, some lower clergy had been swept into the revolutionary reflection. Jean Meslier had been a poor country priest in the Champagne region who criticized the powerful for abusing the peasants. Before his death only a few decades before the revolution, Meslier had concluded, “All religions are nothing but error, illusion and imposture.”
What was taking place was an ever more radical bourgeois government being put under pressure from an even more radical popular movement, at least in Paris. In reality, there had always been a clear division between what the Assembly members wanted and the goals of the radical commoners. While the better-off lawyers and professionals who made up the government agreed about abolishing the privileges of the feudal lords and the Church, they were also committed to laissez-faire economics and representative
government, as opposed to any type of more direct democracy. While radical Paris agreed about political equality, they also wanted social and economic equality. If the bourgeoisie wanted a government like Britain’s or the United States’, radicals demanded something more democratic. If the former sought free markets, the latter wanted bread and the free market could be damned. The famous, if lightly documented, story of a radical leader abruptly leaving a group of friends at a café is indicative. Seeing a crowd march past, the man jumped up and said, “I must follow them because I am their leader.” When in 1791, the black citizens of French colonies were given equal rights, a gulf larger than the Atlantic opened between France and the United States. American slave owners were not impressed with all these rights-of-man arguments applying to those of African descent. Meanwhile in France, the common people appear to have been mainly satisfied with their own situation as the price of essential goods such as bread, wine and so on remained favorable until fall 1791.
Throughout the revolution, women became more interested in and involved in politics. This even carried over into the private sphere, where women sometimes acted in a way that had political undertones. Women in the revolution often only appear in the popular mind as maladjusted criminals à la the characters of Dickens’s imagination. In reality, despite overwhelming male prejudice that ultimately marginalized female voices, women were important actors in the events under discussion. As early as November 1789, the National Assembly received feminist proposals, crafted by educated women in part but largely the effort of working women in Paris, “that attacked the economic subordination of women and the evils of convent life.” Although the male politicians took no serious action in response to this and other petitions, women failed to remain passive. In 1791, for example, a feminist declaration circulated throughout the Paris region. Following closely on the outlines of the famous “rights of man,” the text declared “all women are born free and remain equal to men in rights … the aim of all political associations is the presentation of the natural and inalienable rights of women and men.” In the final analysis, revolutionary feminism no doubt made mistakes and was unable to achieve broad popularity. Yet, it was the inability of men to comprehend it and break free of century-old prejudices that helped to defeat it.
Not all conflicts originated within the republican camp. When in 1791, Louis XVI attempted to flee Paris with his family, he was doubtlessly hoping to remove himself from the eye of the revolutionary storm. Under pressure from reactionary nobles and his wife, the king desired to be free to organize counter-revolutionary activities with an eye to the restoration of a divine right monarchy. When forcefully returned in disgrace to the French capital, the anti-revolutionary faction of the old ruling class maintained their confidence that the old order could still be restored. Less than a month later, a radical crowd illustrated that many commoners had different ideas. The protesters clashed with the National Guard, still under the king’s command, as they pressed their opposition to the king’s restoration to executive power. In the chaos of the confrontation, the Marquis de Lafayette, former aide to and life-long friend of George Washington, ordered his troops to open fire, resulting in the massacre of many of the assembled French citizens. Although he always remained a favorite of America’s rulers, Lafayette was now hopelessly compromised in the eyes of popular Paris. When he fled his native France the following year, it was notable that he chose to go to arch-reactionary, monarchical Austria rather than more moderate Britain or America.
This utilization of murderous force dispersed that particularly popular mobilization, but the violence of the old order failed to stop the revolution. Being convinced that the order to shoot protesters had come from the king, many no longer could support the idea of even a constitutional monarchy. In 1792, war broke out with the French queen’s native land of Austria. By summer, the Duke of Brunswick, a German-speaking feudal lord, was calling for foreign intervention against the French people. In August, radical crowds of commoners, many supporters of the Jacobin political club, stormed the palace, arrested and imprisoned the Bourbon royal family. In mainstream narratives, the fact that the radicals were forced to kill well-paid, Swiss mercenaries to get at the royals is highlighted. On the other hand, the fact that the king and queen had committed—and continued to commit—treason against their country and its people is often not worthy of mention. For what else could one call conspiring with foreign powers to militarily invade their own country if not treason?
In September, a general mobilization of (male) citizens gives birth to a massive army sent to the front to repel foreign invaders. Later that same month, the elected government abolishes the monarchy and France becomes a republic. Then, on December 11, 1792, what had been unthinkable only a few years before happens. Louis XVI, King of France by Grace of God, is put on trial like a common criminal. Having been convicted, Louis XVI goes to his execution proclaiming: “I die innocent.” This represents a remarkable historical shift. As one author commented:
At first, Louis XVI was not revered as a man, but as the embodiment of divinely sanctioned monarchy … [after his attempted flight from Paris] … He was discredited as a traitor in popular consciousness. On the day he “kissed Madame Guillotine” in January 1793, the idea of monarchy died with him.”
In response to foreign aggression, the next month France officially declared war on Britain and Holland. In April 1793, elected representatives established a Committee of Public Safety. Their hope was that a small group with concentrated power might be able to save France from the ruinous foreign assaults and unending royalist plots within. One of the committee’s first actions was to fix a maximum price for bread, so that the masses would not go hungry. Bakers were forbidden to produce cakes for the rich as all meager grain reserves had to be used to make the “people’s bread.” This early example of war rationing took place in what may rightly be called a Jacobin dictatorship, as the leaders of that political club wielded almost all effective power. Jacobinism was a radical but clearly bourgeois movement. The common people of Paris—the “sans-culottes” as they are often referred to because they could not afford the expensive pants or culottes of the rich—continued to affirm the idea of direct democracy. They did so in the face of the hostility from the national government as represented by the Committee of Public Safety. To the committee, the unruly democracy of the neighborhood meetings was undermining their control and, by extension, the revolution. Much contended was the matter of whether the revolution would result in only formal political equality or genuine social equality. The fear whispered through the common slums was that the revolution would create new institutions, but leave them dominated by the rich. This provoked radicals such as Jean-Paul Marat to demand a radical state that would place power firmly in the hands of the people.
Meanwhile, women had not only political demands but also more immediate economic concerns. The revolution caused great economic upheaval and among other results was the collapse of the luxury goods trade. This brought about extreme hardship for the many women working in that industry. In response, the National Assembly created spinning workshops. Those female workers fortunate enough to gain a place—there were always more applicants than jobs—spun thread for both private and government use. During the crisis years of 1793–94, these workshops became “centers of war production and produced almost exclusively for the war effort.” The period 1793–94 was not an easy one for revolutionary France. The economy was in chaos and foreign armies threatened the revolution’s very existence. Paris seemed awash with traitors, both real and imagined. Many doubted that the revolution could survive.
The Reign of Terror was a period of repression that remains forever linked to the name Robespierre. A leading member of the Assembly and the Jacobin Club, Maximilien Robespierre was a supporter of democracy and considered himself a friend of the poor. Still, he felt there must be limits and opposed the idea of the De-Christianization of France. During the Reign of Terror, he did not hesitate to execute those who demanded a more egalitarian society or launched assaults against property rights. The Reign of Terror was actually an operation designed to put a brake “on the legitimate violence of the people and [give] a public and institutional form to vengeance. Terror as justice was thus a desperate and despairing attempt to constrain both political crime and the legitimate popular vengeance.” In other words, the Terror was a tool against counter-revolution but, at the same time, an attempt to channel popular anger into forms acceptable to the bourgeois, albeit radical, governmental apparatus. The Committee of Public Safety was troubled not just by royalist plots but also by movements of the people demanding more equality and a more radical form of democracy. The response to critics from the Left was just as deadly as to monarchical conspiracies. When Robespierre and the committee were challenged by radicals who decried the drift towards dictatorship and opposed non-noble
privilege as they had rejected aristocratic rights, the response was swift and deadly, as the dissenters were send to the guillotine.
Although the radical grouping’s actual numbers are difficult to calculate, it is clear that there existed within the revolution those who sought a socialist solution to the problems facing Republican France. That is, they wanted a France of social equals, not a nation of rich and poor. For all their radical rhetoric, Robespierre and his allies in the government, whether Jacobin or not, were far from socialists or proponents of social equality. As one historian summed up, “the leading parties had more in common with each other and feared each other less than an incipient proletarian group.”
Robespierre increasingly attacked critics as often as serious counter-revolutionaries; his position grew untenable as he became unpopular with both radical commoners demanding more social equality as well as moderate bourgeois who wanted stability. While his fall has been extensively documented and commented upon, the role of the average French citizen has not. Accounts always, with reason, point to the crisis caused by war and counter-revolution. What is often left unsaid is the passionate involvement of men and women determined to make their own history. When they thought of democracy, they thought it meant the people should forcefully involve themselves in the affairs of France.
After the end of the Terror, a more moderate republicanism came to dominate the government. While wars continued, the new government, known as the Directory (Directoire), ended the previous policy of subsidizing basic necessities such as bread. Establishing a more stable currency and more moderate policies did not prevent corruption from becoming a major problem for the Directory. By 1795, the rightward drift of the government resulted in the end of the workshop experiment, of such importance to many, especially women. Rather than exhibiting only passivity, women and some male radicals demonstrated against the termination of this form of female public employment. In the end, the forces of governmental order prevailed. The point should be made, however, that in spite of ultimate defeat, these activities “illustrate how the women workers, could and did participate in the revolutionary process.” Even with their limited political rights, French women fought for their interests. In the long run, the exclusion of women from the public sphere and the limitation of their rights show that male radicals set clear limits to the exercise of the universal rights they had proclaimed.
Gathering support from alienated radicals and the urban poor, Francois “Gracchus” Babeuf, a man without any great political or social standing, put forth what may be the first socialist program in France. Reacting to the rightward drift of the revolution under the Directory, Babeuf organized a conspiracy to overthrow the government and establish a society of equals. While small in number, his supporters were still important enough for the government to crush them in 1795–96. Though they lost, their words survive in the Manifesto of the Equals. Among other things, it declared, “Let disappear, once for all, the revolting distinction of rich and poor, of great and small, of masters and valets, of governors and governed!”
Under assault from critics from both left and right, this government paved the way for the “restoration of order” by Napoleon Bonaparte. In a coup d’état in November 1799, General Bonaparte established a military dictatorship, first dressing himself up as the “First Consul” and later “Emperor.” Tired and fearful of the demands of the common citizens, the better-off longed for an end to radical experiments and for the establishment of measures that would promote the revival of trade and business. It was time, as they say, to cash in their chips. “General Bonaparte and his co-conspirators did not agree on everything,” noted one historian, “but they all wished to depoliticize government and society.” And so, the revolution was over. Napoleon played at being emperor from 1804 onwards. Still, he did not and could not return France to the days before 1789. Many of the most basic changes in French society would remain untouched, the Church’s power remained curbed and the power of feudal lords never recovered. To the untrained eye, it might appear that the masses were quietly following their new leaders. Still, from within the working- class districts of Paris, Lyons and elsewhere, many still thought, “Long live the Revolution.” They and their descendants would reappear in 1830, 1848, 1871, in the French resistance to fascism, the protests in May–June 1968 …
1. The evidence suggests that either this conversation did not take place, or Zhou Enlai mistakenly thought he was being asked about Maoist parties in early 1970s France.
2. There seem to be countless editions but one good one is Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, London: Penguin, 2003.
3. According to a 2010 article in a British newspaper, A Tale of Two Cities has sold over two hundred million copies making it one of, if not the, best-selling novel in history: David Mitchell, “On historical fiction,” The Telegraph, May 8, 2010.
4. Casey Harison, “The French Revolution on film: American and French perspectives,” The History Teacher, 38(3), May 2005: 299.
5. Mick LaSalle, “Rock ‘n’ roll queen just wants little fun before the Revolution,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 2006.
6. See, for example, Marcellus, “Reflections on the French Revolution,” The Belfast Monthly Magazine, 9(53), December 31, 1812: 434–6.
7. Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, London: Penguin, 1986.
8. Among these slave owners was Thomas Jefferson. See Paul Finkelman, “Thomas Jefferson and antislavery: The myth goes on,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 102(2), April 1994: 193–228.
9. Finkelman, “Thomas Jefferson and antislavery,” 206.
10. Philip Gourevich, “Once more unto the breach, the other winner of France’s election,” Harper’s Magazine, July 2012: 53.
11. William Beik, Urban Protest in Seventeenth-Century France: The Culture of Retribution, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
12. Robert C. Allen, “The great divergence in European wages and prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War,” Explorations in Economic History, 38, 2001: 427.
13. Ibid., 428.
15. William B. Wilcox, “An historian looks at social change,” in A.S. Eisenstadt (ed.), The Craft of American History, New York: Harper, 1966: 25.
16. George Rudé, The Crowd in the French Revolution, New York: Oxford University Press, 1967: 59.
17. Ibid., 55–7.
18. Ibid., 57–8.
19. George Rudé, “Wages and popular movements during the French Revolution,” The Economic History Review, 6(3), 1954: 247.
21. Ibid., 249.
22. Richard Munthe Brace, “The problem of bread and the French Revolution at Bordeaux,” The American Historical Review, 51(4), July 1946: 650.
23. Mitchell Abidor (ed. and trans.), The Great Anger, Pacifica, CA: MIA, 2009: 52.
24. Rudé, “Wages and popular movements”, 251–2.
25. Karren Offen, “The new sexual politics of French revolutionary historiography,” French Historical Studies, 16(4), Autumn 1990: 919.
26 Jane Abray, “Feminism in the French Revolution,” The American Historical Review, 80(1), February 1975: 47.
27. Ibid., 48.
28. Ibid., 62.
29. David Andress, Massacre at the Champ de Mars: Popular Dissent and Political Culture in the French Revolution, Suffolk, UK: The Royal Historical Society, 2000. 30. David Coward, “The march of the women,” Times Literary Supplement, May 10, 2013: 12.
31. Robert R. Palmer, “Popular democracy in the French Revolution: Review article,” French Historical Studies, 1(4), Autumn 1960: 452.
32. Clifford D. Conner, Jean-Paul Marat: Tribune of the French Revolution, London: Pluto Press, 2012.
33. Lisa DiCapo, “Women workers, state-sponsored work, and the right to subsistence during the French Revolution,” The Journal of Modern History, 71(3), September 1999: 519.
34. Sophie Wahnich, In Defense of the Terror: Liberty or Death in the French Revolution, London: Verso, 2012: 65.
35. Morris Slavin, Herbertistes to the Guillotine: Anatomy of a “Conspiracy” in Revolutionary France, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1994.
36. Louis R. Gottschalk, “Communism during the French Revolution, 1789–1793,” Political Science Quarterly, 40(3), 1925: 450.
37. Palmer, “Popular democracy in the French Revolution,” 469.
38. George Lefebvre, The French Revolution from 1793–1799, New York: Columbia University Press, 1964.
39. DiCapo, “Women workers, state-sponsored work,” 547.
40. Dorinda Outram, “Revolution, domesticity and feminism: Women in France after 1789,” The Historical Journal, 32(4), December, 1989: 972.
41. Charles H. George, Five Hundred Years of Revolution: European Radicals from Hus to Lenin, Chicago, IL: Charles H. Kerr, 1998: 179.
42. Isser Woloch, “In the aftermath of the French Revolution,” The History Teacher, 28(1), November, 1994: 9.
43. Michael Broers, Napoleon: Soldier of Destiny, London: Faber & Faber, 2014.