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Title: Revolutionary insurgency and revolutionary republicanism : aspects of the French Revolutionary tradition from the advent of the July monarchy through the repression of the Paris Commune
Author: Shafer, David A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3395 1345
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1994
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During the greater part of the nineteenth century the French political, social and cultural landscapes continued to reverberate from the echoes of the French Revolution. On one level, the Revolution framed the parameters of political debate. However, on another level the Revolution represented the first time in French history when political activism appeared to open up boundless opportunities for effecting change. In large measure, this was due to the prominence of popular protest in the Revolution and its transformation after 1789. Popular protest was nothing new to France. In fact, it was ingrained in the popular mentalite as a response to grievances. That said, the scope of popular protest during the ancien régime tended to be quite limited and rarely transcended the immediate source of the dispute. However, it was clear that the combination of increased centralisation of the French state and a growing tendency to associate traditional grievances with political institutions or social relationships indicated a burgeoning political consciousness that was bound to alter the dimensions of protest. The French Revolution accelerated and expanded this process by infusing manifestations of popular protest with larger implications. Consequently, in so far as France's transformation from a kingdom to a nation was accomplished by outbreaks of popular protest, insurgency assumed revolutionary proportions. For some, it was legitimised as the purest expression of a sovereign people. Beginning with the overthrow of the Bourbon Restoration in 1830, a revolutionary tradition grounded on the referents of the French Revolution was established. Over the course of the next forty-one years, a strain of the republican movement premised its rhetoric and ideals on the revolutionary origins of France's first experiment with a republic. To these nineteenth century revolutionary republicans, republicanism was inextricably linked with revolution and their discourse remained riveted to the experience of 1793-4. This study examines the anthro-historical role of tradition in society. Next, it traces the etymological transformation of 'revolution' in producing a definition that distinguishes it from other forms of popular protest. Finally, the concept of a revolutionary republican tradition is applied to three contentious periods of the nineteenth century: the nine years following Louis-Philippe's revolutionary path to authority in 1830; the violent first four months of the Second Republic; and, the period which led up to and witnessed the competing republican visions of 1871. To the protagonists of revolution in the nineteenth century, each period reflected different stages of the Revolution and, consequently, the latter's example remained viable in spite of a different context and a changed society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: French Revolution