The book integrates global competition, fiscal crisis, slavery and the beginnings of nationalism with the more traditional emphases on human rights and constitutions, terror and violence, and the rise of authoritarianism. This global approach then enables the authors – two world-renowned scholars in the field – to clearly illustrate how the French Revolution and Napoleonic Empire changed all the political givens for Europe, the Americas, North Africa and parts of Asia as well.
Including numerous illustrations and maps, end-of-chapter questions, timelines and primary source document extracts for analysis in each chapter, this book is essential reading for all students of modern European history who want to understand the French Revolution and Napoleonic Empire in a truly global context.
Marsha and Linda Frey, noted French historians, place the French Revolution in historical and social context for the reader. In addition to a historical overview, other essays explore the deterioration of the ancien regime and the birth of the revolution, the Terror, the culture of the Revolution, Revolution-era diplomacy, and the ambiguous legacy of the Revolution. Biographical portraits range from Louis XVI to Robespierre and from Danton to Lafayette. Primary documents such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man, excerpts from the memoirs of French minister Miot de Melito, and Englishman William Eden's description of Revolutionary France bring to life the political, cultural, and emotional upheaval that was the French Revolution. Illustrations from contemporary sources add a valuable visual component to this all-in-one reference source.
With enough background information to satisfy the general reader with no previous knowledge of the subject, Norman Ha mpson's book devotes particular attention to provincial France. The result is both a picture of the supreme crisis in French society, and an examination of social attitudes and aspirations whose influence has been universal and enduring.