The outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789 was the result of a combination of factors that historians still debate. Victoria Bunnell and Lynn Hunt (Oakland, CA, 1999), as well as Philippe Poirrier, ed., L’Histoire culturelle: un tournant mondial? The idea behind all of this work is, as Sewell puts it, “to reintegrate the rhythms and effects of economic life back into the study of history” and to return the history of capitalism to the space that it had once occupied before cultural history, in its turn against Marxist explanatory models, effectively papered it over.24. So the French Revolution is also known as the ‘Bourgeoisie Revolution’. I know that culturally the churches reopened, the people gaind liberty, and they gained equality. Political Impacts: The main political legacy of the French revolution was the rise of 2 new political ideologies, Nationalism and Socialism. As I write, in Year Two of the Trump regime and Year One of the Macron moment and against a backdrop of a near-constant conversation about the fragility of republics, the threats of growing inequality and statelessness, and resurgent populism, there is the strong possibility that we will have to reconsider yet again our well-established ways of understanding transitions in and out of democracy, starting with the Revolution of 1789. Spread of Enlightenment ideas around Europe. For more information on usage, please refer to our Terms of Use. Date published: August 15, 2020 On emergence of the “new” cultural history in the 1980s, see the two important volumes entitled The New Cultural History, ed. Others look to material culture for a way in.26 The shared goal, though, is to give the history of the revolutionary era back its contemporary relevance, which is to say, its (lost) political bite. A cultural approach to the study of the French Revolution took off in the 1980s as a result of the coincidence of new intellectual and political currents with celebrations of the Revolution’s bicentennial. Jean-Sylvain Bailly stands at the centre and administers the oath, while the other National Assembly deputies respond in a variety of ways, from pensive (Sieyès) to optimistic (Dom Gerle and the other clergymen) to exuberant (Robespierre). 1 (Feb. 1996): 13–40; David Bell, The Cult of the Nation in France: Inventing Nationalism, 1680–1800 (Cambridge, MA, 2001); and William M. Reddy, The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions (Cambridge, 2001). The current moment is likely to produce more in this vein; see too Sophia Rosenfeld, Democracy and Truth: A Short History (Philadelphia, PA, forthcoming 2018). This criticism, derived in part from classic works of postcolonial and subaltern studies, has been particularly pronounced in the work of scholars whose primary focus has been neither metropolitan nor revolutionary France. Charlotte Mandel (Stanford, CA, 1997 [1993]); and Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink and Rolf Reichardt, The Bastille: A History of a Symbol of Despotism, trans. Miriam Kochan (Cambridge, MA, 1986 [1982]) and Roger Chartier, The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution, trans. By conquering many of the surrounding European nations, Napoleon helped spread his democratic ideas to other countries. But a backlash was already underway. A brimless bonnet of red wool or felt, the liberty cap symbolised freedom given to oppressed people. French revolutionary culture also borrowed symbols from classical mythology, the Enlightenment and the American Revolution. The effects of the French Revolution, however, remain indelible in the shaping of French culture. One of the main causes of the American Revolution was the cultural differences that had developed between the British and the American colonies. Its repercussions include lessening the importance of religion; rise of Modern Nationalism; spread of Liberalism and igniting the Age of Revolutions. The result was a spate of wonderful books and shorter studies of literature, fine art, theater, dance, opera, song, architecture and design, festivals, fashion, and sometimes also the press, schooling initiatives, and even churches as they became enmeshed in the political drama of the last decade or so of the eighteenth century. It became a popular military song and was played wherever troops were being massed, mobilised or marched out. Ian Coller, Natacha Coquery, and Richard Flamein, “Ce que les cultures matérielles peuvent apporter à l’historiographie de la Révolution française,” Annales historiques de la Révolution française 383 (2016): 1–20. I also know that prices rose and the priveleged were taxed. Recent scholarship, with few exceptions, has not had the reach beyond specialists that the work of Ozouf, Darnton, Hunt, and Chartier had in the 1980s and early 90s. The first revolution in France was driven by new capitalists. The economic condition of France became poor due to the foreign wars of Louis XIV, the seven years War of Louis XV and other expensive wars. For an (earlier) French equivalent, see Serge Bianchi, La Révolution culturelle de l’an II: élites et peuple, 1789–1799 (Paris, 1982). Thomas Burger (Cambridge, MA, 1989 [1962 in the German original; 1978 in French]). See too, for subsequent approaches building on different antecedents, Antoine De Baecque, The Body Politic: Corporeal Metaphor in Revolutionary France, 1770–1800, trans. The social causes also led to the outbreak of the revolution. Or is that question itself obsolete? 3. Inspiration for the former derives from such classics of postcolonial thought as C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (London, 1938); Aimé Césaire, Toussaint L’Ouverture: La Révolution française et le problème colonial (Paris, 1960); and Louis Sala-Molins, The Dark Side of the Light: Slavery and the French Enlightenment, trans. At each stage, the question of who should hold political power was further refined. In addition to the works cited and discussed in Rosenfeld, “Thinking about Feeling, 1789–1799,” see such recent works as: Sophie Wahnich, Les Émotions, la Révolution française et le présent: Exercises pratiques de conscience historique (Paris, 2009); David Andress, ed., Experiencing the Revolution (Oxford, 2013), esp. Using classical styling, David shows Marat in death as calmer, softer and more serene than he had been in life. 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