Cover image for Barricades : the war of the streets in revolutionary Paris, 1830-1848
Barricades : the war of the streets in revolutionary Paris, 1830-1848
Harsin, Jill, 1951-
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Publication Information:
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
Physical Description:
viii, 417 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
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DC733 .H37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Between 1830 and 1848, Paris was rocked by two successful revolutions, three failed insurrections, and seven serious assassination attempts against King Louis Phillippe and his sons. The June Days of 1848 - the worst urban insurrection in history until that time - finally brought this period to a close. Using a wide variety of sources, including detailed court records and hundreds of depositions of witnesses and suspects, Jill Harsin examines revolutionary republicanism during the violent underground movement of the July Monarchy, and describes these events in vivid detail. The lives of ordinary men are captured in their own words as Harsin illuminates the political aspirations of the working class. Harsin sheds light on the particular turbulence of this era, a period of disruption that stemmed from the contemporary working class codes of masculinity and honour.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Harsin has written an exhaustively detailed, thoroughly researched account of the doomed branch of [19th-century French] republicanism, the montagnard movement. This hard left movement's predominantly male and working-class members looked back with fondness on Robespierre and the Reign of Terror; they embraced violence as a necessary means for bringing about revolutionary change and favored a top-down approach to governing. The movement was optimistic in July 1830, as Paris was rocked by revolution. The new king, Louis-Philippe, at first talked like a republican, but soon began governing by repression: he curbed freedom of the press and association, and immediately began cracking down on republican dissent. The montagnard organizations, whose structure and philosophy are skillfully detailed by Colgate historian Harsin, were forced deep underground. They hoarded weapons and stayed one step ahead of the police, awaiting the call to arms. There were several failed republican insurgencies during Louis-Philippe's July Monarchy (1830 1848), each followed by trials, repressive new laws and police crackdowns. Harsin uses newspaper accounts, court transcripts and memoirs to bring readers inside the minds of these desperate republicans and their doomed rebellions. Finally, in 1848, one of the most tumultuous years in French history, Louis-Philippe abdicated; a provisional government was established with republican leanings. Alas, the montagnard movement considered the new government too bourgeois, and another bloody insurgency broke out in July 1848. Once again, the montagnards were defeated; exile, prison and death were the fates of many of their leaders. Despite the drama, Harsin's narrative is recommended mainly for those with a serious interest in 19th-century French republicanism, especially its hard left aspects. 14 b&w illus. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

For this account of revolutionary republicanism in France, Harsin (history, Colgate Univ.; Policing Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century Paris) has employed a wide variety of research sources: newspapers, memoirs, court records, military and National Guard archives, and journal entries. From 1830 to 1848, Paris endured two successful revolutions, three unsuccessful rebellions, and seven assassination attempts against King Louis-Philippe and his family. Harsin provides details about the men behind these rebellions, who sought a better government than the July Monarchy, which was still a government for the elite. These men experienced strife and financial hardship but continued to fight. This vivid, well-researched account is unique in illustrating the dreams of working-class men through their own words, bringing a revolutionary era to life. It thus stands in contrast to H.A.C. Collingham's The July Monarchy: A Political History of France, 1830 1848, which covers the topic from a strictly political standpoint. With an extensive bibliography and notes section; recommended for European history collections. Mary Salony, West Virginia Northern Community Coll., Wheeling (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Harsin (Colgate Univ.) has written an entertaining and important study of the revolutionary violence that rocked Paris between 1830 and 1848. Using court records, newspapers, and memoirs, she chronicles the life and death of a force she terms montagnardism, a Paris-based, working-class movement of "radical" republicans who unabashedly looked back to the Great Terror (1793-94) for inspiration. Deprived of victory by a frightened middle class in 1830, the montagnards took to the streets over the next two decades in a determined if ultimately doomed attempt to resurrect the chimera of Robespierre's "republic of virtue." Although the bifurcation of French republicanism into its moderate and radical wings is not a new story, the volume puts a human and fascinating face on this division, moving deftly from the overthrow of Charles X in 1830, through the years of growing resistance to Louis-Philippe, and culminating in the "June Days" of 1848, when radical and moderate republicans fought each other. One may hope Harsin will continue her work by tracing more explicitly the links between her montagnards and the Communards of 1871. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels and libraries. G. P. Cox Gordon College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. ix
I. Honor
1. Introduction: Montagnardismp. 3
2. The End of the Regime: Joseph Henry's Premeditationsp. 20
II. Insurrection
3. The Failure of Moderate Republicanismp. 39
4. Preparing for Battle: The Societe des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyenp. 65
5. April 1834: La Guerre des Rues, Ip. 84
6. The Republican Underground: The Familles and the Saisonsp. 106
7. May 1839: La Guerre des Rues, IIp. 124
III Assassination
8. Fieschi's Infernal Machinep. 147
9. Alibaud, Meunier, and the Cult of Regicidep. 168
10. Republican Communists: The Travailleurs Egalitairesp. 188
IV Recrimination
11. Competitors and Mouchardsp. 211
12. Captivity and Defiance: The Years of Mont-Saint-Michelp. 229
V Defeat
13. Restaging the Revolution: February 1848p. 251
14. Living the Republic: The Provisional Governmentp. 275
15. "Une male et sombre resignation": The June Daysp. 294
16. Epilogue: La Proscriptionp. 319
Notesp. 323
Selected Bibliographyp. 391
Indexp. 409