Primary sources from world and global history, including images, objects, texts, and digitally-born materials – annotations by scholars contextualize sources.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
The counterrevolution was a very large movement that would over time engulf different parts of France from 1793 into the Napoleonic period. But it was not one thing, for many regions of different ideologies were involved. The most serious was the revolt in the west, including both the Vendée (especially during 1793–94) and the Chouans (strongest in 1795–96).... Read More »
This print depicts and labels the essential components of a plantation producing indigo, a blue dye used for coloring cloth. Slaves are shown here working at different parts of the production process. In 1789, over 3,000 plantations in Saint Domingue produced indigo.... Read More »