West European Studies | Select Topics in W European Studies: The French Revolution and Its Interpreters
W605 | 0000 | Craiutu, A
1:25-3:20 M WH204
Obtain on-line authorization for above section from department.
Above section meets with POLS Y675.
The purpose of this course is to offer a detailed analysis of the
debates triggered by the French Revolution. Special emphasis will be
put on studying the interplay between events, actors, institutions,
and ideas. We shall read closely some of the main texts and documents
published during the Revolution such as the Declaration of the Rights
of Man and of Citizen, The Constitution of 1791, Sieyès’s What is the
Third Estate? as well his Views of the Executive Means Available to
the Representatives of France in 1789. We’ll also study the debates
on the royal veto and authority in 1790, the documents of the
Committee on Public Safety and a selection from Robespierre’s
speeches. In our discussions, we focus on major concepts and themes
that loomed large in the debates of this period such as sovereignty,
representation, democracy, republic, the rights of man, and the
relationship between the legislative and the executive power.
The final section of the course will examine the works of
some of the most important interpreters of the French Revolution. It
will include representative selections from Madame de Staël’s
Consideration on the Principal Events of the French Revolution,
Tocqueville’s The Old Regime and the Revolution, Joseph de Maistre’s
Considerations on France, Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in
France, and Tom Paine’s The Rights of Man. The required secondary
literature will include selections from François Furet & Mona Ozouf
eds., A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution (Harvard, 1989),
François Furet, Interpreting the French Revolution (Cambridge 1981),
and Keith Baker, Inventing the French Revolution (Cambridge, 1990).
Knowledge of French is not required for this course.