Here Robespierre’s death is depicted as divine retribution, as in a classical myth. Numerous heads, presumably of those who had perished at the guillotine, watch two male figures (bearing a strong resemblance to Hercules, who had been an early symbol of the Revolution) carry the freshly severed heads of Robespierre and his followers toward the mythological river Styx, guarded by the three–... Read More »
This cartoon mocks the distinction between active and passive citizens. Many revolutionaries hated this difference, essentially dividing those with property from those without. The propertied (active) were the only ones who could participate in the political process.
The Englishman Arthur Young, who was in France during the early stages of the Revolution, recorded his observations. In this letter from mid–January 1790, he describes a Jacobin club meeting, which he depicts as being highly procedural in nature as it elects new leaders.
In late spring 1792, a group of militant journalists and section leaders began planning an uprising that they hoped would lead to the summoning of a new assembly for the specific purpose of rewriting the constitution to create a genuine republic—thereby eliminating the King altogether. They hoped to enlist activists from the Parisian sections and armed volunteer units from the provinces who... Read More »
This image is of an advertisement for a nearly equal number of adults and children from Sierra Leone at a Charleston Auction. This image is important for several reasons, namely because one should see what an auction advertisement looks like, but also because the number of boys and girls is nearly equal to that of the number of men and women imported. Other things that should be pointed out is... Read More »
Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún recorded this text in the mid-16th century as part of an effort to gather information about native Aztec history and customs. Sahagún went to Mexico in 1529 as one of the first missionaries assigned to the newly conquered territory of New Spain. He remained there until his death, preaching and instructing youth in Spanish, Latin, science, religion, and... Read More »
This standard map of Africa came from a popular Atlas in the late sixteenth century. In a dramatic age of exploration, new information poured in from around the world through books and travel accounts that artists and geographers, like Abraham Ortelius, used to craft beautifully detailed maps of far off lands. By compiling the host of detailed descriptions before them and perhaps even their... Read More »