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Seminar Reading: Week 4

Week 4: Global and Economic Origins

Core secondary reading

A. Jourdan, ‘Tumultuous Contexts and Radical Ideas (1783-89). The ‘Pre-Revolution’ in a Transnational Perspective’ in OHFR, pp. 92-108.

G. Bossenga, ‘The Financial Origins of the French Revolution’ in T. Kaiser and D. Van Kley (eds)., From Deficit to Deluge: The Origins of the French Revolution (2011), 37-66. [library ebook]

J-P Jessenne, 'The Social and Economic Crisis in France at the End of the Ancien Régime', CFR, 24-41.

- Choose one of the following three essays from Desan, Hunt, Nelson (eds.), The French Revolution in Global Context (2013) (library copies + library ebook)

  • M. Kwass, ‘The Global Underground: Smuggling, Rebellion and the Origins of the French Revolution’
  • C. Walton, ‘The Fall from Eden: The Free-Trade Origins of the French Revolution’
  • L. Hunt, ‘The Global Financial Origins of the French Revolution’


Further Reading

Global, Atlantic, Transnational 

D. Armitage and S. Subrahmanyam (eds.), The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c. 1760-1840 (2010).

D. A. Bell, The Cult of the Nation in France: Inventing Nationalism, 1680-1800 (2001).

P. Cheney, Revolutionary Commerce: Globalisation and the French Monarchy (2010).

S. Desan, L. Hunt, W. M. Nelson (eds.), The French Revolution in Global Perspective (2013).

J. Godechot, France and the Atlantic revolution of the eighteenth century, 1770-1799 (1965)

D. Jarret, The Begetters of Revolution. England’s Involvement with France 1759-1789 (1973).

T. Kaiser, ‘The Diplomatic Origins of the French Revolution’ in D. Andress (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution, pp. 109-127

W. Klooster, Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History (2009).

J. Polasky, Revolutions without Borders (2015).

R. R. Palmer, The Age of Democratic Revolutions, 2 vols. (1959, 1964)

M. Spieler, ‘France and the Atlantic World’, P. McPhee (ed.), A Companion to the French Revolution (2013), pp. 57-72.

A. Sepinwall, ‘Atlantic Revolutions’, P. Stearns (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Modern World (2008), vol. 1, pp. 284 – 289.

W. M. Verhoeven and B. D. Kautz (eds.), Revolutions and Watersheds: Transatlantic Dialogues, 1775-1815 (1999).

P. Ziesche, Cosmopolitan Patriots: Americans in Paris in the Age of Revolution (2010)


P.M. Jones, The Peasantry in the French Revolution (1988).

P.T. Hoffman, Growth in a Traditional Society: The French Countryside, 1450-1815 (1996).

L. Vardi, The Land and the Loom: Peasants and Profits in Northern France, 1680-1800 (1993)

H.L Root, Peasants and King in Burgundy. Agrarian Foundations of French Absolutism (1987)

O. Hufton, ‘The seigneur and the rural community in eighteenthcentury France: the seigenurial reaction. A reappraisal’, TRHS, 5th series, 29 (1979)

O. Hufton, The Poor of Eighteenth-Century France, 1750-89 (1974)

C. Jones, The Charitable Imperative: Hospitals and Nursing in Ancien Régime and Revolutionary France (1989)

R.M. Schwartz, Policing the Poor in Eighteenth-Century France (1988)

T. Adams, Bureaucrats and Beggars: French Social Policy in the Age of Enlightenment (1990)

G.L. Gullickson, Spinners and Weavers of Auffay: Rural Industry and the Sexual Division of Labor in a French Village (1986).



G. Lefebvre, The Great Fear of 1789: Rural Panic in Revolutionary France (1973)

C. Ramsay, The Ideology of the Great Fear. The Soissonnais in 1789 (1992)

A. Davies, ‘The origins of the French peasant revolution of 1789’, History, 49 (1964)

P.M. Jones, The Peasantry in the French Revolution (1988)

J. Markoff, The Abolition of Feudalism. Peasants, Lords and Legislators in the French Revolution (1996)

M.P. Fitzsimmons, The Night the Old Regime Ended. August 4, 1789, and the French Revolution (2003)

P. Kessel, La Nuit du 4 août 1789 (Paris, 1969)


Countryside and Town

L. Hunt, ‘Committees and communes: local politics and national revolution in 1789’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 18 (1976)

L. Hunt, Revolution and Urban Politics in Provincial France. Troyes and Reims,

1786-90 (1978)

A. Crubaugh, ‘Local Justice and Rural Society in the French Revolution’, Journal of Social History (2000).

P.M. Jones, Liberty and Locality in Revolutionary France: Six Villages Compared, 1760-1820 (2003)

P.M. Jones, ‘Towards a Village History of the French Revolution. Some problems of method, FH, 14 (2000)

J. Maciak, ‘Of News and Networks. The communication of political information in the rural south-west during the French Revolution’, FH, 15 (2001)

McPhee, Peter, ‘”The Misguided Greed of Peasants’’? Popular attitudes to the environment in the Revolution of 1789’, FHS, 24 (2001)

N. Plack, ‘Drinking the Fruits of Revolution: Common land privatisation and the expansion of viticulture in Languedoc, c.1789-1820’, European Review of History, 13 (2006).