Allons enfants de la Patrie, le jour de gloire est arrivé!
“Arise children of the Fatherland, the day of glory has arrived!” These opening lines to La Marseillaise, France’s famously stirring and evocative national anthem, capture perfectly the passion, fear, and frenetic energy of Republicanism’s sanguinary birth on French soil. Through the violence of the Revolutions the reign of the Bourbon monarchy came to an end and modern France was born.
French Revolutions For Beginners examines the several bloody revolutions and counter-revolutions throughout the course of the 19th century and the constant upheavals and disruptions in France’s ever changing political landscape from 1789-1900. While most people have some familiarity with names like Louis XVI and Napoleon, the details of what exactly happened during the French Revolution–apart from pithy royal pronouncements about cake eating and the ever-falling blade of the guillotine–are often difficult to understand, and for good reason: there were 15 changes of government in less than a century! The legacy of the French Revolutions remains with us today; we see it all over the world when an oppressed people rise up against an authoritarian regime demanding their rights as citizens be recognized.
French Revolutions For Beginners presents the major political figures, events and hot-button political issues of this extremely violent, chaotic, confusing–but exciting–period in a way that is accessible, interesting, and fun to both history buffs and the neophyte alike.