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French Revolution & Napoleon: Library Resources

A library resource guide to accompany Dr. Aubert's HIST 415 class.

French Revolution

The French Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1789, was a transformative event in European history, one of the first in a series of events that brought about the end of absolute monarchy and religious hegemony in Europe and paved the way for constitutional monarchies and representative government. Historians have identified numerous contributing factors behind the revolution, including deepening socioeconomic disparities and growing public resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the elite social and religious classes. In addition, the new wave of political and social thought known as the Enlightenment was spreading throughout the continent, fueling interest in revolutionary opposition to the inequities of the feudal system. Read more...


Although he was a native of the island of Corsica, Napoleon Bonaparte was sent to French military schools in Brienne and Paris, where he became known as “the little corporal” because of his small stature. Commissioned to the artillery in 1785, he later took part in fighting on behalf of the French Revolution (1787–99). In 1793, he was promoted to brigadier general, but he was imprisoned the next year when the forces in power changed from the radical Jacobins to Thermidorean reactionaries intent on stopping the reign of terror that had made the revolution turn on its own members. He was soon released, however, and back in favor in October, 1795, when he dispersed a Parisian mob threatening the government. Read more...

Databases - Find Journal Articles

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Your Librarian

Jennifer Fairall's picture
Jennifer Fairall
117 Standish Library