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Engraving of a guillotine

The Blood of the Murdered Crying for Vengeance

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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.

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THE CALENDAR

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A reformed calendar was a goal of the revolutionaries who sought to remake not only the political system and the social order, but also the very experience of life. To rid the calendar of the malign influence of Christianity as a bulwark of tradition, in the fall of 1793 the Convention set up a committee to draft a new secular, rational calendar. Headed by the Dantonist Philippe–François Fabre... Read More »

The Carmagnole

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Sharing its name with a popular dance, this song heaps scorn upon the queen (Madame Veto), believed to be a traitor, and the "aristocrats" who support her. Like "It’ll Be Okay", the simple tune of the "Carmagnole" permitted even the illiterate to learn lyrics with which to proclaim their conviction in the Revolution’s progress.

The Cathedral of Buenos Aires

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The Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires is the principal Catholic church in the capital city of Argentina. Although construction began around 1580, the church underwent a long building process, with expansions and repairs occurring over the next three-hundred years. It was built by the Spanish colonial government in the main town square, today called the Plaza de mayo. The current structure... Read More »

The Children of Edward Holden Cruttenden

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This 18th-century painting of the children of Edward Cruttenden depicted with their ayah was painted in Britain by Joshua Reynolds. The earliest immigrants from India came to Britain as the servants of employees of the East India Company. Many Indian women came to Britain employed as ayahs or nannies. British families who had spent time serving in India brought an ayah back with them to care... Read More »

The Clergy as a Target: A Political Problem

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Camille Desmoulins, an influential populist writer, here attacks the distinction between "active" and "passive" citizenry based on personal wealth, by pointing out that Christ himself would have been relegated to "passive" citizenry. Desmoulins holds the clergy responsible for this undemocratic policy, charging that the 300 representatives of the clergy in the National Assembly, as well as... Read More »

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THE CODE NOIR (THE BLACK CODE)

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The Code noir initially took shape in Louis XIV’s edict of 1685. Although subsequent decrees modified a few of the code’s provisions, this first document established the main lines for the policing of slavery right up to 1789. The very first article expels all Jews from the colonies; Jews played a significant but hardly dominant role in the Dutch colonies of the Caribbean region but were not... Read More »

The Coffee Planter of Saint Domingo (London, 1798)

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Here Pierre Joseph Laborie provides the perspective of the planter. He gives a detailed description of the organization of enslaved labor in the production of coffee. Although he shared quite negative views of the African enslaved people, he was candid about the extreme brutality that they faced and admitted that it diminished their capacity to work.

The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations

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This text is the first seven of 117 clauses of the Constitution of the Iroquois Nation. The Iroquois Constitution, also known as the Great Law of Peace, is a written transcription of collected oral histories and traditions that documents the formation of the Haudenosaunee (the Iroquois Confederacy). The Haudenosaunee originally consisted of five nations: the Cayuga, the Onondaga, the Mohawk,... Read More »

The Contrast, 1793 British Liberty/French Liberty

The Contrast, 1793 British Liberty/French Liberty

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In this color print from 1793, the height of the Terror, two circular drawings appear next to each other, contrasting two types of liberty. English liberty exists, as the figure suggests, but based on the Magna Carta, calm prevails. Representing French liberty is an uncontrolled, unruly woman, a killer and destroyer. That a woman represents both sides remains interesting in light of the fact... Read More »

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