21H.346 The French Revolution and Napoleonic France, Spring 2000
Author(s)Ravel, Jeffrey S.
The French Revolution and Napoleonic France
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Examines the origins, course, and consequences of the revolution which arose in France at the end of the eighteenth century and its Napoleonic sequel. Particular attention given to the interplay of politics, culture, and social questions in the period, as well as the impact of the Revolution outside France. From the course home page: Course Description The French esteem the Revolution of 1789 to be the turning point in their national history; journalists, politicians, scholars, and others outside France have called this moment the birth of modern political culture. In this subject we will begin with a brief survey of French politics, culture and society in the century prior to the Revolution, emphasizing the reasons for the end of the Old Regime and the origins of the Revolution. Next, we will examine the turbulent decade of the 1790s, when the French experimented with a constitutional monarchy, a republic, a dictatorship by committee, and a parliamentary form of government, only to end in a military coup d'état staged by Napoléon Bonaparte and his supporters. In 1804, Napoléon crowned himself emperor thus initiating the First Empire, which was characterized by relentless military campaigning abroad and the consolidation of certain legal and administrative reforms at home. Finally, we will consider the impact of the Revolution and its Napoleonic sequel in Europe and elsewhere, and we will discuss the ongoing influence of these events in the following two centuries. This subject is open to all interested undergraduates and graduate students; there are no prerequisites.
French Revolution, Napoleon, constitutional monarchy, Old Regime, republic, dictatorship, committee, parliament, First Empire, France -- History -- Revolution, 1789-1799