Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

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This song illustrates the fluid boundary between "high" and "popular" musical forms. Althought these lyrics were set to a new composition by Joseph Gossec, they could also be sung to a tune already familiar to many French men and women. The song…

One of many hymns that was composed by rhyming new lyrics to the wildly popular tune of the "Marseillaise," this song was performed at a festival celebrating the first anniversary of the republican revolution of August 10.

Composed by Joseph Rouget de Lisle when he learned that France had declared war on Austria, the Marseillaise quickly became the anthem of the republican Revolution. it remains the French national anthem today. A republican anthem, the Marseillaise…

Sharing its name with a popular dance, this song heaps scorn upon the queen (Madame Veto), believed to be a traitor, and the "aristocrats" who support her. Like "It’ll Be Okay", the simple tune of the "Carmagnole" permitted even the illiterate to…

On 29 October 1793, a group of women appeared in the National Convention to complain that female militants had tried to force them to wear the red cap of liberty as a sign of their adherence to the Revolution, but they also presented a petition…

The National Convention drew up this new declaration of rights to attach to the republican constitution of 1793. The constitution was ratified in a referendum, but never put into operation. It was suspended for the duration of the war and then…

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…

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…

Long after sans–culotte influence on the government had waned, social conflicts continued to drive some revolutionary events. Throughout 1794 and 1795, urban and rural radicals alike demanded "bread and the constitution of 1793," meaning that the…
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