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French Revolution II: Big State Solutions

Seminar Questions

  • How did Robespierre justify Terror?
  • Is 'liberal authoritarianism' a contradiction in terms or an apt way of characterising the late Revolution?
  • Did Napoleon uphold or betray the principles of the Revolution? What legacies did the French Revolution bequeath to the 19th Century?

Core Readings

  • Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the French Revolution, part III.
  • Robespierre, Report on the Principles of Political Morality [1794, excerpt]
  • Howard Brown, ‘From Organic Society to Security State: The War on Brigandage in France, 1797-1802,’ Journal of Modern History, 69: 4 (1997), 661-695 [electronic].
  • 'A Legend' (Tulard); 'Institutions' (Godechot), in F. Kafker and J. Laux (eds.), Napoleon and His Times: Selected Interpretations (1989)
  • For background, see Popkin, History of Modern France, chps. 8-10.

Further Reading

On Thermidor and the Directory

  • M. Lyons, France under the Directory (1975)
  • S. Clay, ‘Vengeance, justice and the reactions in the Revolutionary Midi’, French History 23:1 (2009), 22-46
  • L. Hunt, D. Lansky & P. Hanson, ‘The Failure of the Liberal Republic in France, 1795-9: The Road to Brumaire’, Journal of Modern HIstory, 51 (1979), 734-759.
  • D. Woronoff, The Thermidorean Regime and the Directory, 1794-9 (1984).
  • M.J. Sydenham, The First French Republic, 1792-1804 (1974).
  • Baczko, Ending the Terror: The French Revolution after Robespierre (1994)
  • A. Jainchill, Reimagining Politics after the Terror: the Republican Origins of French Liberalism (2008)
  • J. Livesey, Making Democracy in the French Revolution (2001)
  • H. Brown, Ending the French Revolution: Violence, Justice, and Repression from the Terror to Napoleon (2006).
  • R.B. Rose, Gracchus Babeuf. The First Revolutionary Communist (1978).
  • L. Mason, ‘Never Was a Plot So Holy: Gracchus Babeuf and the End of the French Revolution’, T. Kaiser, M. Linton, P. Campbell (eds.) Conspiracy in the French Revolution (2007).

On Napoleon

  • W Doyle, France and the Age of Revolution: Regimes Old and New from Louis XIV to Napoleon Bonaparte (2013), esp. part III
  • P. Dwyer, Napoleon: The Path to Power, 1769-1799 (2008) and Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in Power, 1799-1815 (2013)
  • I. Woloch, Napoleon and His Collaborators: The Making of a Dictatorship (2002)
  • F. Markham, Napoleon (2010 [orig. 1963]).
  • S. Englund, Napoleon: A Political Life (2003)
  • P. Dwyer, ‘Napoleon Bonaparte as Hero and Saviour: Image, Rhetoric and Behaviour in the Construction of a Legend’, French History 18:4 (2004), 379-403
  • Munro Price, Napoleon: The End of Glory (2014)
  • David A. Bell, The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It (2007)
  • Louis Bergeron, France Under Napoleon (1981)
  • Alan Forrest, Napoleon's Men: The Soldiers of the Revolution and Empire (2002)