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"The Padua Circular" (5 July 1791)

Source

Even after the aborted flight of the royal family in June 1791, Emperor Leopold von Habsburg of Austria, brother of Marie Antoinette, continued his efforts to organize a coalition of French émigré nobles and other European powers that would invade France and put an end to the Revolution. In this letter, written shortly after the forced return of Louis and Marie Antoinette to Paris (which... Read More »

"The Royal Orgy" (1789)

Source

In 1789, with the collapse of old regime censorship as well as a sense of liberation from traditional moral constraints, printed libels against the Queen became both more common and more intense. An example of this greater intensity is this light opera, with raunchy lyrics set to popular tunes. Not intended to be performed, the pamphlet spoofs the Queen’s great interest in opera and her... Read More »

"The Song of the End": The Whole World Now Chases Him

Source

Where Napoleon was once the conqueror, the world now avenges itself. This sense of reversal, felt widely outside of France, characterized a number of the caricatures of Napoleon, and indeed of the entire Revolution.

This source is a part of the The Napoleonic Experience teaching module.

"This is My Dear Son": Napoleon as Child of the Devil

Source

Linking Napoleon with Hell represents a far cry from his own propaganda. German propaganda piece depicting Napoleon as the child of the Devil.

This source is a part of the The Napoleonic Experience teaching module.

Deposition of Jan Joosten

"Torture by Water" in the Early Modern Dutch Empire

Source

The Amboyna trial was a famous conspiracy case that took place in 1623 when a group of Japanese mercenaries were accused of plotting with English merchants to seize control of a Dutch fort on a remote island in Southeast Asia. Despite occurring thousands of miles away in an unfamiliar part of the world, the trial on Amboyna swiftly escalated to become one of the most famous legal cases of the... Read More »

20 June 1791, Anonymous Drawing

Source

In this depiction of the King’s arrest, the Queen risks her body to save her son, the crown prince.

4 August Decrees

Source

In late July 1789, as reports of several thousand separate yet related peasant mobilizations poured into Paris from the countryside, a majority of them against seigneurial property, the deputies of the National Assembly debated reforming not just the fiscal system or the constitution but the very basis of French society. In a dramatic all–night session on 4–5 August, one deputy after another... Read More »

9 Thermidor: The Conspiracy against Robespierre

Source

This account of the proceedings in the Convention Hall on the 9 Thermidor Year II (27 July 1794) describes how Robespierre and Saint–Just, facing an organized attack by other members of the Committee of Public Safety, tried one last gamble, appealing to the deputies of the "Right" to come to their aid. These deputies repudiated the appeal, and the Convention unanimously voted for the... Read More »

A Bread Riot

Source

Bread was the basic staple of most people’s diets, and variations in the price of bread were keenly felt by the poor, especially by women who most frequently bought bread in the marketplace. Women would sometimes protest against what they thought to be unjust price increases for bread in what were known as "bread riots." As this excerpt shows, these were not usually violent, nor did they... Read More »

A British Observer of the September Massacres

Source

A British diplomat in Paris here describes, in dispatches back to London, the goings–on in Paris in early September, in light of news of advances by the Duke of Brunswick’s Prussian forces toward the capital. This diplomat was naturally most concerned with reporting the readiness of the Parisians to resist the British, which is evident in his focus on the National Assembly’s call to arms and... Read More »

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