The French Revolution, a Political History, 1789-1804 - Vol. 1

The French Revolution, a Political History, 1789-1804 - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

The French Revolution, a Political History, 1789-1804 - Vol. 1

The French Revolution, a Political History, 1789-1804 - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In this Political History of the French Revolution, I propose to show how the principles of the Declaration of Rights were, between 1789 and 1804, put into operation by the institutions of the time; or interpreted by speeches, by the press, by the policies of the various political parties, and by the manifestations of public opinion. Two of these principles, the principle of the equality of rights, and the principle of national sovereignty, were those most often invoked in the elaboration of the new state politic. They are, historically, the essential principles of the Revolution; variously conceived, differently applied, according to the period. The chief object of this book is the narration of the vicissitudes which these two principles underwent.

In other words, I wish to write the political history of the Revolution from the point of view of the origin and the development of Democracy and Republicanism.

Democracy is the logical consequence of the principle of equality. Republicanism is the logical consequence of the principle of national sovereignty. These two consequences did not ensue at once. In place of Democracy, the men of 1789 founded a middle-class government, a suffrage of property-owners. In place of the Republic, they organised a limited monarchy. Not until August 10, 1792, did the French form themselves into a Democracy by establishing universal suffrage. Not until September 22nd did they abolish the Monarchy and create the Republic. The republi-

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