Raymond A. Jonas
Transformation of France under the Revolution of 1789; the Reign of Terror and Napoleon; the impact of the revolution and Napoleon upon Europe.
At its core, this course is about the French Revolution from the twilight of the old regime to the defeat of Napoléon and the restoration of the monarchy. However, the Revolution’s impact extended well beyond Europe. It prompted slave revolt in the Caribbean, weakened the hold of Europe on Latin America, and shook the status quo in North Africa and the Middle East.
Students will learn how the Revolution of 1789 destabilized the European old regime and opened the era of modern politics. By the time the Revolution was over, the inertia that had favored the rule of kings and queens from Madrid to Moscow had been destroyed, public opinion was a recognized force, human rights had become a legitimate goal, and terror as a political tool had new advocates.
Lecture topics will include: the invention of public opinion in the 18th century; the Revolution and the Catholic Church; revolutionary evangelism; the king's trial and execution; the guillotine and modern justice; counter revolution and resistance to the Revolution; the Terror and terrorism in historical perspective; the status of women in a fraternal revolution; music and political culture; the Revolution and the world’s first successful slave revolt (Haiti); the Napoleonic armies and the spread of the Revolution from the Caribbean to Cairo; Napoléonic warfare (strategy and tactics in the age of mass politics); revolutionary culture and iconography; the Revolution and the city of Paris; the Revolution in film; the Revolution today.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lecture and discussion.
Familiarity with the outlines of European history.
Class assignments and grading
Weekly readings in primary and secondary sources; discussion; midterm, paper, final.
class discussion midterm examination term paper final examination