Prior the French Revolution, France was divided byvarious regions and religions. The only thing that could possibly link thenation together was the belief that everyone was supposed to serve the king.
However, by the end of the eighteenth century, there appeared to be a sense ofmembership among the French people. Some of them no longer saw themselves as”subject” to serve the king, instead, they began seeing themselves as”citizens” who serve their own nation proudly. This sense ofbelonging can be said to have been the instigation of nationalism.
In the prerevolutionary society, the old regime,everyone belonged to one of three estates. The third estate representedeveryone except for the aristocracy and the clergy, namely the middle class andthe peasants. On 1789, the third estate declared itself “NationalAssembly” where it was insisted that deputies of all three orders shouldsit as a single house and vote as individuals instead of one vote per house.The unicameral self-entitled National Assembly was meant to remove the divisionand marginalization of the government caused by the separation of constituencyand to represent the nation as a whole.
As the state became more secular, there was a largedemand for uncompromising loyalty to the state in order to keep the spirit ofthe revolution alive. After the capture of Bastille, national guard wasestablished in Paris and other cities to keep order. For insignia of the guardthe commander combined the colors of the city of Paris, red and blue, with thewhite of the house of Bourbon. The French tricolor thus became the emblem ofthe Revolution, which is also the contemporary French national flag.On 1789, the National Assembly issued “Declaration of the Rights of Manand Citizen”, one of the most significant, if not the most significant,documentations ever.
95 percent of population represented the Third Estate. Itwas meant to affirm the principles of the new state and applied to all humanbeing, it recognized equal individual citizenship, and collective sovereigntyof the people.Napoleon was a French military and political leader.
TheNapoleonic Wars began after he declared himself emperor in 1804 and Napoleonbegan his quest for a European empire. The immediate effects of the NapoleonicWars were the development and spread of nationalism and further revolutions inEurope. As Napoleon’s armies were conquering other nations, his soldiers alsobegan to spread ideas of the Enlightenment, changes in government, andrevolution. These ideas indirectly led to Napoleon’s defeat as people in Europebegan learning about challenges to government as well as new systems ofgovernment.
Napoleon’s armies, who had lived through the FrenchRevolution, shared news of the causes and events of their own revolution,therefore spreading Enlightenment ideas about natural rights, social contract,and limited government. His armies even backed revolutionary governments ormovements in the lands they conquered. At the same time, Napoleon tried to burdenFrench customs and culture, and in response, the conquered people began feelingmore loyal to their own nations and customs. Citizens of conquered lands suchas Austria, Prussia, Italy, and Portugal therefore began. After the 1870nationalism took goes different direction and truly become a mass phenomenon. WholeEurope become had a huge changed after the Napoleon’s leadership.
We will consider the relationship between politicalreform and warfare, since throughout the period of the Revolution, France wasat war internally and with much of the rest of Europe. We will also analyze theways in which the Revolution transformed culture, so that men and women came tothink of themselves in new ways. Finally, we will seek to understand theunexpected culmination of these epic struggles in a powerful, centralgovernment in France under Napoleon. This course proposes not merely anarration of the events of the Revolution but also an in-depth exposure toprimary sources: texts, images, and songs of the period. Furthermore, we willengage with the rich and sophisticated historiography of the Revolution, whichhas made the topic a matter of contemporary debate around the world.