Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

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Just after the Festival of 14 July, leaders of some of the more radical Parisian sections drafted, on behalf of the French nation, a petition calling on the Legislative Assembly to take emergency measures to ensure "the salvation of the people" by…

In early August, the Legislative Assembly was deadlocked, unable to decide what to do about the King, the constitution, the ongoing war, and above all the political uprisings in Paris. On 4 August, the most radical Parisian section, "the section of…

Jacques Brissot founded the Society of the Friends of Blacks in 1788 to agitate against the slave trade and slavery itself. Brissot modeled the Society on the London Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade established in 1787. He hoped that…

The term "bourgeoisie" had many meanings in eighteenth–century France, from the most literal sense of "citizens of a city" to a more sociological meaning of talented and cultivated members of the Third Estate. Some eighteenth–century writers also…

In the view of the most radical commentators, such as those writing for the newspaper Révolutions de Paris, the Revolution had to be the work of more than just the deputies of the National Assembly; it had to be an effort of the common people. To…

The sans–culotte [without the breeches of the wealthy] became the symbol of the committed, patriotic revolutionary everyman. This newspaper article describes the ideal sans–culotte, emphasizing his industriousness as a handicraft worker, his…

On 15 July 1791, the Jacobins held a demonstration on the Champ de Mars in Paris to gain signatures for their petition. A contingent of National Guard soldiers, led by General Lafayette, fired on the crowd, killing at least fifty, in what became…

In the aftermath of the King’s failed flight in June 1791, the more radical clubs circulated petitions calling on the National Assembly to depose the King rather than grant him executive power as a constitutional monarch, under the new…

The popular demonstration of 10 August 1792, occurred because the Legislative Assembly could not decide what to do about the King, the constitution, the ongoing war, and above all the political uprisings in Paris. On 4 August, the most radical…

In late summer 1792, news reached Paris that the Prussian army had invaded France and was advancing quickly toward the capital. Moreover, rumors circulated that the Prussians would find ready support from Parisians who secretly opposed the…
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