I read the chapter about the French revolution on the book called The Age of Revolution 1789-1848 by Eric John Hobsbawm who is a British Marxist historian.
This chapter started with a quote that I really liked that really shows the general point of view of the author, this quote is from the The Morning Post (British newspaper) the 21st of July 1789, right after the fall of the Bastille:
« An Englishman not filled with esteem and admiration at the sublime manner in which one of the most IMPORTANT REVOLUTIONS the world has ever seen is now effecting, must be dead to every sense of virtue and of freedom; not one of my countrymen who has had the good fortune to witness the transactions of the last three days is this great city, but will testify that my language is not hyperbolical. »
I think this quote really embraces the author’s feeling about the French Revolution. Indeed he starts his chapter saying that the economy of the 19th century was formed by the influence of the British Industrial Revolution, it’s politics and ideology were mainly formed by the French Revolution. He also adds that those two revolutions were complementary rather than competitive.
During the reading, I could tell that the author was pro-revolution. He says that France provided the first great example of nationalism which is one of the key concept that we have still in mind today while studying history. Moreover, France also provided the vocabulary and the issues of liberal and radical-democratic politics.
Causes of Revolution, why did it took place in France?
The author points out that the French Revolution was not an isolated phenomenon at the time, a lot a political agitation was going on at the time such as in the USA (1776-1783), or Ireland (1782-1784), etc. But the difference is that the French Revolution was more fundamental and so its consequences were more profound: • First, because it occurred in the most powerful and populous state of