Cover image for The French Revolution and Empire : the quest for a civic order
The French Revolution and Empire : the quest for a civic order
Sutherland, Donald (Donald M. G.)
Publication Information:
Oxfork, UK ; Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 2003.
Physical Description:
viii, 424 pages : map ; 24 cm
The origins of the revolution in France -- The first year of liberty -- Subjects become citizens -- The perjured king and war -- The first year of equality -- Terror and the new republican man -- The language of terror -- Collapse and vengeance -- The failure of law -- Citizens into subjects -- Napoleon and thirty million Frenchmen -- The failure of empire.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DC148 .S856 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This book provides students and general readers with an introduction to revolutionary France whilst also presenting a clear argument to explain the events of the period.

Provides students and general readers with an introduction to revolutionary France .
Also presents a clear argument to explain the events of the period.
Argues that the French Revolution encountered resistance from the poor as well as the privileged.
Includes substantial discussion of society and government under Napoleon.
Contextualizing material in each chapter aids students new to the topic.

Author Notes

D. M. G. Sutherland has been Professor of History at the University of Maryland since 1986. Before that, he taught in Canada and in the United Kingdom. His first book, The Chouans: A Social History of Popular Counterrevolution in Upper Brittany, 1780-1795 (1982), received honourable mention from the Canadian Historical Association. He also shared the Koren Prize awarded by the Society for French Historical Studies for the best article in a given year. He has received a number of other awards and fellowships of which the most recent is the Guggenheim Fellowship for 2001-02.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Based on secondary sources, this expository work is a revised edition of the author's France, 1789-1815: Revolution and Counter-revolution (CH, Nov'86). The struggle between revolution and counter-revolution is still a primary theme, beginning with the "origins of the Revolution to the failure of the Napoleonic Empire." What caused the Revolution? Why did the peasants revolt? What caused the Terror? Why the Vendee? Why was the Revolution violent and why did it persist so long? Were people better off with Napoleon? These questions are only several examples of many others relating to the social, economic, political, and religious issues of the Revolution and the Empire. Sutherland (Univ. of Maryland) responds with clear critical thinking and editorial comments. He enhances his work by interpreting the historiography of Francois Furet, Michel Vovelle, Albert Mathiez, Alphonse Aulard, Donald Greer, and many other historians. A theme that permeates is the "thesis of circumstances." These "outside forces impact events such as foreign war and domestic counterrevolution resulting in extraordinary and violent solutions." In view of these recurring external forces, there is only one conclusion for this author and other historians of the French Revolution--"the Revolution is not over." ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Primarily for general readers and students. C. A. Gliozzo Michigan State University

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Problem and the Thesis
1 The Origins of the Revolution in France
2 The First Year of Liberty
3 Subjects Become Citizens
4 The perjured King and War
5 The First Year of Equality
6 Terror and the New Republican Man
7 The Language of Terror
8 Collapse and Vengeance
9 The Failure of Law
10 Citizens Into Subjects
11 Napoleon and Thirty Million Frenchmen
12 The Failure of Empire. Conclusion: Towards a Future Democracy