Browse Primary Sources
Equality

Equality

At the beginning of the French Revolution, the term "equality" meant an end to the legal differences that had characterized the Old Regime. For example, all individuals would be subject to the same regimen of taxation. Over the course of the decade, however, the Revolution radicalized, and equality expanded to encompass an end to many other sorts of differences, particularly economic ones.

... Read More »
The Assassination of Marat by Charlotte Corday

The Assassination of Marat by Charlotte Corday

In the fall of 1793, the radical journalist was confined to his bathtub by a paralyzing skin disease he had contracted while hiding from the police in the sewers. He nevertheless continued to pour out populist tracts and remained highly influential in the sections.

... Read More »
Robespierre 10 Thermidor painting

Robespierre 10 Thermidor—Exposition of 1877

This painting from 1877 shows in romantic style Robespierre dying in a large room, surrounded by soldiers and others. His shirt is bloodied and his left hand is on his chest; visible in the background is a tablet of the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen, suggesting that it was the cause for which Robespierre died. The image might be seen as a moment of secular apotheosis.

... Read More »
The Annoyance of Walking etching

The Annoyance of Walking

French nobles had been used to riding in carriages or on horseback. Now, so radicals hoped, they could no longer afford to do so either financially or politically. The imagined response of this social elite reveals clearly to their attackers the worthlessness of such people.

... Read More »
Engraving of a guillotine

The Blood of the Murdered Crying for Vengeance

Yet another English image promising that the death of Louis will bring havoc on the French Revolution. This engraving indicates that the very blood of the King requires vengeance.

... Read More »
The Queen in Paris

The Queen in Paris

Confined to her cell, the Queen is as dejected as her husband.

... Read More »
Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette Memorialized

Marie Antoinette is almost sainted in this image.

... Read More »

Pages