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Lecture 19

HIS103Y Lecture 19 November 23rd. The French Revolutionary Wars: Part II

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

HIS103Y Lecture 19 November 23 . rd The French Revolutionary Wars: Part II • In August 1789 the revolutionary government declared the Universal Rights of Man and Citizens • Mass democracy and human rights have its roots in this declaration • In 1792 all this was at stake at Valmy, The Prussians, Austrians were marching on Paris • Two French armies under Dumouriez and Kellerman had been much slower then the Prussian force and was not able to attack the enemy force, but the Prussian force turned around and confronted the two French armies • French military had been consistently beaten over the past year and were outnumbered in heavy guns. So even though the French had a greater number of soldiers (be voluntary forces) the Prussians appeared to have already won the battle • The French had some elite forces with them, particularly one elite artillery force that fired upon the Prussian forces as they advanced, the Prussian forces attack the French lines hoping to break the French forces but inspired by the French elite soldiers the volunteer forces stood their ground. • General Kellerman rode out in front of the troops shouting ‘Viva La Nation’ • The Prussian General Duke of Brunswick ordered the Prussian retreat and the French won the battle • Even thought the battle at Valmy was not much more then a small skirmish it had a profound impact • Goethe wrote ‘This day and this place opened a new phase in the history of the world’ after the battle of Valmy • Goethe was right for three reasons: o Political reason: On that same afternoon the first assembly convened that had been elected y universal male suffrage and the next day they declared France a Republic by abolishing the monarchy. The Political experiment of the French Revolution was guarantee to live o Military: The French would also effect a change in warfare. The use of slogans and songs. The mixing of experienced soldiers with that of volunteer recruits to from brigades. The real test for Dumouriez’s army came in Belgium at Jemappes where the new French brigade destroyed the Austrian forces o The French declaration of war against the existing international order by ordering a decree of solidarity to achieve liberal democracy in other countries by military means if necessary. The motivation behind this was illustr
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