Primary sources from world and global history, including images, objects, texts, and digitally-born materials – annotations by scholars contextualize sources.
In June 1793, the French governor of Saint Domingue, Thomas–François Galbaud, tried to raise a revolt of the whites against republican commissioners sent from France. To defeat him, the commissioners promised freedom to the slaves who would fight on their behalf. Thousands of whites fled the northern town, which nearly burned to the ground.... Read More »
One of Napoleon’s first priorities was to reestablish good relations with the papacy, which had fought the revolutionary church settlement tooth and nail. Napoleon gained everything he desired in the Concordat: he appointed the bishops and archbishops of the French church, and all bishops had to swear an oath of fidelity to the French Republic.... Read More »
Bonaparte’s secretary describes the religious practices, attitudes, and views of Bonaparte with regard to Islam. Accepting that the general curried favor with Muslims, he also hoped to deflect criticism of Bonaparte, claiming that what he did was good governance rather than bad Christianity, as his critics maintained.... Read More »
De Staël was the daughter of Jacques Necker, Louis XVI’s Swiss Protestant finance minister. She published novels, literary tracts, and memoirs and became one of the best-known writers of the early nineteenth century. Napoleon exiled her in 1803. In the following excerpts, she describes her first meetings with him in 1797 and her judgment of the man.... Read More »
Thomas Paine (1737–1809) played a vital role in mobilizing American support for their own independence, and he leapt to support the French revolutionaries when Edmund Burke attacked. Elected deputy to the French National Convention in 1793, Paine nearly lost his head as an associate of the Girondins during the Terror. In his reply to Burke, Paine defended the idea of reform based on reason.... Read More »
When the revolutionaries, led by thousands of women, marched to Versailles, they triumphantly seized and then brought the king to Paris, where he would live in the midst of his people. Here this image attempts to maintain a perception of royal pomp and grandeur, ignoring the reality that the king was forced against his will.... Read More »