The French revolution : a short history, PDF (1910) by Robert Matteson Johnston

The French revolution

The French revolution : a short history


The object of this book is similar to that with which, a few years ago, I wrote a short biography of Napoleon. The main outlines of the Revolution, the proportion and relation of things, tend to become obscured under the accumulation of historical detail that is now proceeding. 

This is an attempt, therefore, to dis- entangle from the mass of details the shape, the movement, the significance of this great historical cataclysm. To keep the outline clear I have deliberately avoided mentioning the names of many subordinate actors; think- ing that if nothing essential was connected with them the mention of their names would only tend to confuse matters. Similarly, with incidents, I have omitted a few, such as the troubles at Avignon, and changed the emphasis on others, judging freely their importance and not following the footsteps of my predecessors, as in the case of the capture of the Bastille, the importance of which was vastly exaggerated by early writers on the subject. 

Robert Matteson Johnston was an American historian and an important scholar of military history. He was born in Paris, Texas, and educated at Eton College and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He taught at Harvard University and Mount Holyoke College and was a founding member of the faculty at Simmons University 

Contents of the book:

I. The Perspective of the French Revolution i 

II. Versailles ii 

III. Economic Crisis 25 

IV. Convocation of the States-General ... 35 
V. France Comes to Versailles 52 

VI. From Versailles to Paris 70 

VII. The Assembly Demolishes Privilege ... 89 

VIII. The Flight to Varennes 105 

IX. War Breaks Out 123 

X. The Massacre 139 

XI. Ending the Monarchy 157 

 XII. The Fall of the Gironde 170 

XIII. The Reign of Terror 185 

XIV. Thermidor 202 

XV. The Last Days of the Convention . . . 222 

XVI. The Directoire 239 

XVII. Art and Literature 262 

Index 279 



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