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January 28.doc

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Political Science
POLI 344
Jason Scott Ferrell

January 28, 2013 French Revolution Declaration of Pillantz • Assumption that Britain will not go along with this • Revolutionaries in France take this as evidence that there is a conspiracy in the world to undermine the Revolution o Declare war on Prussia and Austria  Attack the Austrian Netherlands • From an ideological perspective – an opportunity to spread Revolutionary ideals throughout the Continent o Lower classes in other nations would rise up and effect democratic change Declaration of War • Use of war in this instance is used as a mechanism to try and consolidate the gains of democracy at home o War becomes a tool of domestic level politics  Need to unify to face aggressors (exaggeration of the threat to France) • Duke of Brunswick (Prussia) issues a manifesto threatening the destruction of Paris if the royal family is harmed o French start to organize local militias to defend against the invading army o Fear through Paris that the King is in a league with these foreign monarchs • Paris populous establish the Paris Commune and take control of the city away from the National Assembly – forced to recognize the Commune as the de facto head of government o Local militias end up being used internally to round up conspirators Abolishment of the Monarchy • Massacre of numbers of political prisoners and clergy members • Inflamed by radical propaganda • Abolishment of the monarchy in January of 1793  King gets executed • In this case War turned the path away from absolutism and towards the abolishment of the monarchy o Revolutionizes the Revolution • Decree on Liberty  Promise to grant aid to those abroad who are seeking liberty o Order the French generals engaged in the war to overturn local level institutions in conquered areas o Peace is possible only with other Republics o Sense that they had to export democracy to ensure security o “We can not be calm until all of Europe is in flames” Britain • Not as threatened  Watching all of this happen • Enters the war in February 1793 – Britain’s role as a balancer on the Continent • Britain sees itself structurally threatened by events on the Continent o If France takes over the lowlands they have easy access to the Channel an becomes a potential threat to Britain • Regimes established on revolutionary ideals threatens Britain • When Britain intervenes they define their war aims in terms of the restoration of the monarchy (ideology) o Revolution has gone too far o Tie is sometimes made between Britain’s insecurity and the radically revolutionary ideology of France • While France is doing well Britain increases its war gains  Result of domestic level instability France During the War • France suffers food shortages – complicates ability to fight the war • Committee of Public Safety and Council of Security o Centralization of authority and the suspension of the Constitution o Attempts to restore some sense of internal stability • August 1793 level a mass conscription o Previously the army had largely been volunteer o 600,000 troops to over a million in just one year • Other countries see France doing this and do the same • Justification for the Draft is patriotism and nationalism  Indoctrinate their soldiers with a nationalist zeal • Idea of nationalism translates to other communities and is then put into service of the state • Price control on bread and seizure of bread to feed the masses  Rift begins between the urban and rural populations o Robespierre ends up being killed and the Radical phase of the revolution comes to an end
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