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Birth and Death in Romania, October 1986

Source

In the last years of the regime, Pavel Câmpeanu, a prominent sociologist and a lifelong leftist and former prison cellmate of Nicoale Ceauşescu during World War II managed to smuggle out this article, which was published in The New York Review of Books. For his safety, the editors did not publish his name since it was known that the Romanian secret service was quick to punish, even assassinate... Read More »

Breakdowns in Soviet-Romanian Relations

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In its final years, Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorial regime in Romania increasingly isolated itself from the rest of the Eastern Bloc. Likewise, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev distanced himself from the ultra-hardliners in Bucharest. In keeping with Gorbachev's policy of non-intervention into East European domestic affairs, the Soviets had not commented officially on the mid-December shootings... Read More »

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BRUMAIRE: BONAPARTE’S JUSTIFICATION

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Having seized power through the coup of 18 Brumaire [9 November 1799], Bonaparte—now First Consul—set out to win public support for yet another new government. His first public pronouncement was the proclamation reprinted below, in which he claims he had acted to defend liberty and the republic against internal enemies. The proclamation, accompanied by similar proclamations from all the new... Read More »

Burning the Guardhouse on the Pont Neuf

Burning the Guardhouse on the Pont Neuf

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This retrospective shows that early in the French Revolution targets were often economic. This should be no surprise as the populace had a long tradition of taking the law into its own hands to rectify what they saw as injustices. Here a guardhouse is destroyed during a riot focused on a network of facilities regulating the market. Most dangerously, the crowd burned an effigy of Brienne, the... Read More »

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Bust of Marat

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After Marat’s death, his defenders glamorized him, forgetting both his physical deformities and his vitriolic calls for more and more heads. One common approach was to give him secular sainthood (a halo in this image) incongruous for someone with so little patience with the church.

Cahiers from Rural Districts: Attack on Seigneurial Dues

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The petitions from rural communities decried the abuse of seigneurial dues that peasants owed to lords in exchange for which they were supposed to receive protection and supervision. But by 1789, on the verge of the French Revolution, these excerpts demonstrate how peasants had come to see their lords not as protectors, but as creditors, constantly turning the screws on them for ever more rent... Read More »

Cahiers—A Parish Cahier

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The cahiers de doléances ["lists of grievances"] drawn up by each assembly in choosing deputies to the Estates–General are the best available source of the thoughts of the French population on the eve of the Revolution. This excerpt from a parish cahier in the sénéchaussée of Aix–en–Provence demonstrates that popular unrest stemmed in large part from the privileges enjoyed by nobles... Read More »

Calonne, "Programs of Reform," Address to Assembly of Notables (1787)

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In 1783, Charles Alexandre de Calonne, a provincial noble, became royal finance minister. At first, he, like Vergennes, saw no need to rationalize the royal treasury or to appease the Parlements. However, by 1786 the deficit had become so huge—one–sixth of the total royal budget—that Calonne knew reforms (meaning more taxes or at least more loans) could no longer be put off. To obtain the... Read More »

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Castro Speech Database

Review
This database contains English translations of thousands of speeches, interviews, and press conferences given by Fidel Castro between 1959 and 1996.

Champ de Mars: Petitions of the Cordelier and Jacobin Clubs

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In the aftermath of the King’s failed flight in June 1791, the more radical clubs circulated petitions calling on the National Assembly to depose the King rather than grant him executive power as a constitutional monarch, under the new constitution. Below are excerpts from two such petitions, from the Cordeliers and Jacobin clubs, respectively; note that these efforts technically violated a... Read More »

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