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International Socialism, September 1998


Paul McGarr

The French Revolution: Marxism versus revisionism


From International Socialism 2:80, September 1998.
Copyright © International Socialism.
Copied with thanks from the International Socialism Archive.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


G. Kates (ed.)
The French Revolution: Recent Debates and New Controversies
Routledge 1997, £14.99

’One’s stance on the French Revolution inevitably reveals much about one’s deepest ideological and political convictions’. [1] Gary Kates’ comment, in his introduction to this collection of essays on the 1789 French Revolution, is certainly correct – though his claim is true of other great revolutions too. Even as the French Revolution was being fought out 200 years ago it was the subject of fierce arguments, which were centrally about the protagonists’ own views on contemporary politics.

The English reactionary Edmund Burke first took up the cudgels in 1790 with his Reflections on the Revolution in France. In it he dammed the revolution and all its works. He attacked the whole notion of social change and reserved his worst venom for the ‘swinish multitude’. Thomas Paine’s famous The Rights of Man was written in reply to Burke and was enormously influential in the English radical and embryonic working class movements. But reaction then had the upper hand in England, and Paine had to flee to France to avoid arrest. Though the arguments today are conducted in a more subdued and academic manner, they remain as much about the politics of the participants as about the facts of the revolution.

For much of this century the idea that the French Revolution was a bourgeois revolution, driven by class conflict, which swept away the political structures of feudalism and cleared the way for the development of capitalism, was generally accepted. Not all those who advocated this view considered themselves Marxists but their interpretations of the revolution drew heavily on Marxism. The Marxist approach began with the Second International leader Jean Jaurès and was developed by people like Georges Lefebvre and Albert Soboul into the accepted orthodoxy. In recent years this ‘orthodox’ tradition has come under sustained attack from self-styled ‘revisionist’ historians. This collection of essays edited by Gary Kates is a useful, if limited, guide to these debates. The first essay is a classic restatement of the ‘orthodox’ social interpretation by Albert Soboul. Readers of this journal will find little to disagree with here, though there are weaknesses which I will return to later.

The bulk of the book is concerned to spell out the revisionist case and some of what Kates calls ‘neo-liberal’ responses to the revisionists. The revisionists are represented in three essays by Colin Lucas, Keith Michael Baker and François Furet. Furet, a former member of the French Communist Party, was the doyen of the revisionists until his death last year. The core of the revisionist case can be summarised easily enough. It is that the revolution cannot be seen as a bourgeois revolution which destroyed feudal political structures. The revisionists insist that class struggle played little role in the revolution and that the revolution had nothing much to do with the development of capitalism.

The revisionists also argue that the nobility and bourgeoisie were part of a single ruling ‘elite’ of ‘notables’ – though they are woolly about what exactly is meant by these terms. This ‘elite’ was primarily made up of landowners and there was no fundamental social divide or conflict within it. Indeed all of the ‘elite’ were in favour of reform, and if only people had been a little more sensible, political reform was possible without social upheaval. The revolution thus becomes merely a squabble among this relatively homogeneous elite over political power, a squabble not rooted in any social base but fuelled by the ‘autonomous political and ideological dynamic’ of struggle between ‘sub-elites’, as Furet puts it.

This focus goes along with a turn away from seeing the revolution as having anything much to do with the underlying social conditions of the mass of people. ‘What matters is not poverty or oppression,’ Furet insists. [2] Instead we have to focus on the language, ideas and symbols of the revolutionaries and their opponents. This of course fits in with the wider trend in historical and philosophical writing variously labelled as ‘the linguistic turn’ or ‘postmodernism’.

Keith Michael Baker spells out where this all leads. He denies ‘that there are any social realities independent of symbolic meaning.’ And he continues in the typically obscure language beloved of this school of historians:

This is to argue that claims to delimit the field of discourse in relation to non-discursive social realities that lie beyond it invariably point to a domain of action that is itself discursively constituted. They distinguish, in effect, between different discursive practices – different language games – rather than between discursive and non-discursive phenomena. [3]

This comes down to saying that talk of social reality is an illusion. The French Revolution, and indeed all historical events, are merely a clash between different languages, discourses and symbols. At least Marie Antoinette, the French queen at the time of the revolution, is reputed to have said to people hungry for bread, ‘Let them eat cake.’ Historians like Baker would more likely have claimed their hunger was mere talk. Richard Evans has written elsewhere about this approach to history, ‘Auschwitz was not a discourse’. [4] Neither was the storming of the Bastille – and Louis XVI certainly found out that Dr Guillotine’s invention was more than talk or text.

It is amusing, reading the revisionist essays presented here, how often their own case is demolished by the evidence they present from their beloved discourses and texts. In addition, in the section entitled Neo-liberal Responses to the Revisionist there are several useful essays which demolish large chunks of the revisionist argument. Unfortunately, however, they do so without integrating their arguments into a wider understanding of the process of revolution. Indeed they often accept large chunks of the revisionist argument. So William Sewell, while demolishing the kind of nonsense from Keith Baker quoted above, insists at the same time:

I too have been influenced by the turn from social to intellectual interpretations of the French Revolution. I fully accept the revisionist critique of Lefebvre and Soboul and am convinced that the revolution cannot be understood apart from the language and conceptual vocabulary of the revolutionaries. [5]

For this reason I will illustrate some of the good points made in the essays by Sewell, along with those by Colin Jones, Timothy Tackett and John Markoff, by restating what I believe is the correct general understanding of the revolution. The need to do this is further underlined by a weakness in the orthodox tradition, as exemplified here by Soboul. All the historians in this tradition drew on what they believed was some version of Marxism. Unfortunately it was really Stalinism. This meant a tendency towards a mechanical, deterministic approach. At times reading some of their work gives the impression that all was pre-ordained, that history inevitably progresses and that, at the appointed hour, a revolutionary bourgeoisie with a fully formed consciousness of what it is fighting for springs up and seizes power. Too little room is left for conscious human intervention in making history. Not enough attention is paid to the fact that the consciousness of those engaged in the revolution developed in response to a crisis over which they had little direct control – and then went on developing in response to conflict and battles.

Fortunately Lefebvre, Soboul and others were good enough historians not to be totally derailed by these influences. Their work, especially on the movements from below, pulled in the opposite direction. Yet there is a tension between the real history and the distorted framework within which they tried to locate it. Another weakness was a tendency to overplay the ‘unity of the Third Estate’ against the old order in the revolution. Again the real history uncovered all the conflicts and divisions wonderfully. The limitations on different movements and how they affected the revolution were brought out. Yet this sat in a framework which stressed republican unity to an unwarranted degree. Of course it takes no leap of imagination to see how such an idea of an all-class alliance of the Third Estate against the old order fitted Stalinist popular front politics.

The main revisionist argument is that the revolution had no connection with the development of capitalism. Of course the development of capitalism and bourgeois revolutions are not the same thing. Capitalism had been developing long before the revolution. Reading the revisionists you could believe that nothing much was changing in France in the years before the revolution. They ignore the enormous social and economic changes that were going on in pre-revolutionary France. An indication of the scale of these changes can be given in a few figures. French trade grew by 400 percent in the 60 years before the revolution, iron production by 300 percent and coal by 700 percent. There is much more to it than that – but such figures are one reflection of a pace of change that seemed amazingly rapid to people at the time. One could add to the list the enormous transformations in agriculture in at least some areas of France, the development of transport links such as canals, the growth of ports and much more.

Such economic developments did not take place in a vacuum. They involved new relations between people, whole new ways of life, new classes-in short, the development of capitalism. And certainly capitalism also continued to develop after the revolution. The revolution itself, then, did not give birth to capitalism. Rather, it was a fight over political power and the nature and structure of the state. But the reason for that fight and the shape it took cannot be understood unless the way changes in society produced tensions within the existing state and political structures is grasped. And the state which emerged from the revolution was one which was refashioned in such a way as to further the development of capitalism – and the class which led the revolution, fashioned that new state and benefited from the new structures was the bourgeoisie.

T.C.W. Blanning’s book The French Revolution, Aristocrats versus Bourgeois? is hailed by one author in this volume as ‘a major contribution to revisionism’. [6] Yet Blanning notes, ‘It is both legitimate and necessary to look at what the revolution actually did. As soon as one does, one cannot help but be struck by the extent to which it furthered the interests of the bourgeois. At both a national and a local level it was they who benefited most from the new political arrangements’. [7] Exactly.

Revisionists argue that those who led the revolution and dominated the revolutionary assemblies were in fact often liberal professionals – lawyers and the like. Yet as Colin Jones points out, ‘If one assumes that the liberal professionals who made up such an important constitutive part of the assemblies are socially autonomous from the economic bourgeoisie, then reforms as classically capitalist in character as the formation of a national market, the abolition of guilds, the introduction of uniform weights and measures, the removal of seigneurial excrescences, the redefinition of property rights come to be seen as the product of conspiracy, accident or hidden hand’. [8]

Revisionists like Furet, following earlier writers such as Alexis de Tocqueville, make much of the fact that the revolution ‘completed’ a process of centralisation and ‘modernisation’ of the French state that was already under way before the revolution. This is true, and the state that resulted was crucial in creating the conditions for the 19th century flowering of capitalism and industrialisation of France. But they assume that this process could, and in reality they mean should, have been carried through without any violent upheaval or revolution. There is no doubt the French monarchy did push for reforms but, as I will argue below, the path of reform was repeatedly blocked and the result was a revolutionary crisis. Only through the upheaval of the revolution was the refashioning of the state carried through. Of course history may have turned out differently, but we are seeking to explain what did in fact happen, not what later opponents of all radical social change would like to have happened.

The revisionists are right to say the bourgeoisie in France were often landowners, and that both nobles and the bourgeois were part of the ‘ruling elite’. This is true in the sense that both bourgeois and nobles exploited the mass of the population. But to leap from that to the conclusion that there were no differences between the various elements of the exploiting classes is wrong. It reduces history to a simple tale of a crude division between one class, the exploiters, and another, the exploited. One will not get very far with such an approach in understanding any period of history.

In the years before the revolution in France there was a real growth in wealth based on commerce, manufacture and trade. And all landowners, noble or bourgeois, were increasingly producing for the market. Of course this all took place within the existing structures of society – how could it do otherwise? A landowner could be involved in commercial grain production, for instance, yet still be involved, directly or indirectly, in exploiting the range of feudal dues and privileges, internal tolls, taxes, monopolies and so on, to extract surplus rather than accumulating through investment in technical improvements. The same is true of the non-landowning bourgeois. In seeking to increase their wealth and position within society they would naturally attempt to exploit the existing structures in whatever way possible.

However, significant elements of the bourgeoisie were hindered by the privileges and restrictions imposed on them by those very structures. And many bourgeois, hit by noble monopolies, internal tolls, unequal tax burdens and so on, had a very material interest in the destruction of these structures. Above all, the idea that all the bourgeoisie were integrated within a single ruling elite alongside the nobility is simply false. Colin Jones quotes research which demonstrates the growing commercialisation and production for the market of French society in the decades before the revolt: ‘The main intermediaries and beneficiaries of this growing commercialisation were the allegedly “traditional” [in the sense of being primarily landowners or office holders in the ancien regime] bourgeoisie.’

He also points out that despite the partial integration of elements of the bourgeoisie within the old political order and the nobility, the vast bulk of the bourgeoisie remained excluded. There were some 120,000 nobles in France in 1789. Yet, ‘The size of the bourgeoisie grew over the century from 700,000 or 800,000 individuals in 1700 to perhaps 2.3 million in 1789. The new revisionist orthodoxy that bourgeoisie and nobility were somehow identical in economic terms thus seems rather wide of the mark’. [9] William Doyle, a leading revisionist, even suggests that these figures understate the real growth in the size of the bourgeoisie. [10] And the vast bulk of the bourgeoisie remained hampered by and excluded from the privileged orders of the existing social structures.

The revisionists, despite their intentions, cannot wish away the existence of real tensions among those they prefer to call the ‘elite’, including both the bourgeoisie and nobility. So Colin Lucas, for instance, admits ‘the existence of very real antagonisms, divisions and antagonisms within this elite’. [11] This was certainly only too obvious to many who lived at the time of the revolution. To give one example, Emmanuel Sieyes wrote a famous pamphlet at the time of the revolution, What is the Third Estate? He bitterly charged that:

... in one way or another all the branches of the executive have been taken over by the caste that monopolises the church, the judiciary, the army. A spirit of fellowship leads the nobles to favour one another in everything over the rest of the nation. Their usurpation is complete, they truly reign. [12]

This may be a text or discourse, but as a simple matter of historical fact it struck a chord with the real experience of hundreds of thousands of people who knew it to be true. And for modern day academics who deny the role of the bourgeoisie in the French Revolution it is worth recalling that even Edmund Burke himself, who certainly knew a bourgeois when he saw one, viewed the French Revolution as the work of ‘moneyed men, merchants, principal tradesmen and men of letters’. [13]

The revisionists do not deny that French society plunged into a huge crisis in 1789 – facts can be stubborn things. So Lucas accepts ‘the existence of a social crisis’. [14] And William Doyle argues that ‘the French Revolution was neither inevitable nor predictable. What was inevitable was the breakdown of the old order’. [15] Even François Furet has to talk of how ‘the revolution was born at the coming together of several series of events’, above all ‘an economic crisis (itself complex, being at once agricultural and industrial, meteorological and social) emerged alongside the political crisis which had existed openly since 1787’. [16]

This was also the near universal view of those who lived at the time-which while of course not something one should simply accept, certainly demands to be taken seriously. Calonne, a noble who became finance minister in the dying days of the old regime, summed it up in a way few historians, even revisionists, would disagree with: ‘France is in its present condition impossible to govern’. [17]

There is not space here to go into the reasons for the crisis. The crucial aspect is the inability of the existing social and political structures to function any longer in a stable way. France, with its rickety and near bankrupt state structure and feudal survivals, faced growing external competition from already ‘modernised’ states where bourgeois revolutions had been carried through – above all, England and Holland. This amplified the growing tensions within France, between the growing bourgeoisie and the monopoly of state privilege and power held by the court, the nobility and, yes, by some – but not many – elements of the bourgeoisie.

There was also the growing tension between the mass of peasantry and those who lived off their backs, a burden which had been getting heavier in the years before the revolution, and the growing tension between rich and poor in the growing towns and cities. Furet may claim that ‘what matters is not poverty or oppression’. This is not quite how it would have been seen by the urban poor in Paris in 1789 – who in the months leading up to the revolution saw bread prices soar to their highest level of the 18th century, to the point where they had to spend some 88 percent of their income on bread alone. And I can imagine the reply to Furet’s claim from the peasant who told an English traveller, ‘May God send us something better for all these dues and taxes are crushing us’. [18] One is tempted to recommend a week without food to revisionist historians and then ask them if they still think poverty does not matter.

Virtually everyone at the time, and even revisionist historians today, accepted the need for change in France in the 1780s. The real argument was, and is, over what kind of change. It boils down, as ever, to reform or revolution. Was reform possible? Was it possible to create a ‘modern’ (i.e. capitalist) state, of the kind that did in fact eventually emerge in France, through some process of reform? In the abstract any answer is possible but the real history of France suggests that it was very unlikely – for the very simple reason that it was tried and failed. And this failure was rooted in the social structures of society, and cannot be reduced to an accident or the incompetence of this or that individual.

On several occasions the monarchy itself sought to push through radical reforms. The most famous was that in 1776 when the physiocrat minister Turgot wanted to open up trade, abolish guilds and reform the tax system to include taxing the privileged orders. The outcry from the privileged orders – the nobility and church – coupled with popular protest against the consequences of a free market in grain, saw the king back off and sack Turgot. The only way to push the reforms through would have been for the monarchy to attack the very aristocracy at whose head it stood, but that could open up a questioning of the whole social order, including the monarchy itself. The queen, Marie Antoinette, summed up the contradiction: ‘The nobility will destroy us but it seems to me we cannot save ourselves without it’. [19]

It was another attempt at reform which finally sparked the revolution. As Furet’s favourite historian Alexis de Tocqueville noted, ‘Experience shows that the most dangerous moment for a bad government is generally that in which it sets about reform’. [20] The calling of the Estates General was an attempt to deal with the crisis by pushing through reform. In the context of that crisis it rapidly became the focus around which all the accumulated tensions in society erupted – tensions rooted in the real social conditions of real people.

Revisionists argue that the key in understanding the revolutionary events from 1789 onwards is politics and ideas. This is in one sense obviously true – how else do people organise, mobilise, even become conscious of their interests and aims? The revisionists, however, never ask why some ideas and some political groupings prospered while others did not. The reason is that ideas grow from, and are generalisations of, the real social experience of significant groups and classes in society. They are attempts to make sense of the social situation people find themselves in and point a way forward. Those ideas and groups that prosper are those that find an echo among real social forces, those which succeed in making sense of the world, and point a way forward, from the point of view of the real experience of particular groups and classes – and best help mobilise those forces.

Of course until a crisis in society opens the possibility of real change and throws people into struggle, both ideas and self-awareness of the interests of particular social groups can remain at best half formed. People will look for ways to adapt, not believing fundamental change is possible. Only in response to crisis and struggle do they become fully understood and expressed. So, for instance, Antoine Barnave, a leading figure in the early years of the revolution, had by 1792 developed one of the clearest analyses of the process. He wrote, ‘ideas which had engaged me when they were still the object of fruitless curiosity absorbed me totally when public events began to suggest that there was some hope for them’. [21] Barnave then underwent a process of seeking to make sense of what was happening in the turmoil of the revolution, from the point of view of the bourgeoisie of which he was part. He ended up being guillotined, but while awaiting his fate in jail he wrote perhaps the clearest summation of the nature of the revolution penned at the time:

Once industry and commerce have begun to establish themselves the way will be open for a revolution in politics; a shift in the balance of wealth leads to a shift in the distribution of political power. Just as the possession of land once raised the aristocracy to power, so the growth of industrial property now raises the power of the people.

Of course by ‘people’ he meant people like him, the bourgeoisie. Barnave went on, in a passage which is remarkable when one remembers this was written half a century before Marx developed his ideas:

One may from a certain point of view consider population, wealth, customs, knowledge as the elements and the substance which form the social body, and see in the laws and the government the tissue which contains and envelops them. If the tissue expands in the degree that the substance grows in volume the progress of the social body will occur without any violent commotion. But if instead of being an elastic force it opposes itself rigidly there will come a moment when proportionality will end and where the substance must be destroyed or where it must break its envelope and expand. [22]

The revisionists point out that the nobility was agreed on the need for some real change in 1789. But they ignore the degree to which it simply was not prepared to surrender its power. So T.C.W. Blanning gives a summary of the lists of grievances drawn up for the Estates General. He claims that it shows there was no real divide between nobility and the Third Estate (which in practice meant the bourgeoisie) and that his table ‘provides the revisionists with their best evidence’. One is tempted to say that with friends like this the revisionists hardly need enemies, as this ‘best evidence’ actually explodes the revisionist case. On issues such as equality before the law, abolition of arbitrary arrest, establishment of a constitution, equalisation of taxes and liberty of the press there is general agreement. But tucked away at the bottom of the table we find that on ‘more economic freedom’ there is a clear split between nobility and Third Estate. And, crucially, on ‘abolition of seigneurial [i.e. feudal] rights’ the Third Estate is against the nobility by five to one. Yet somehow Blanning, in common with other revisionists, argues that ‘it is impossible to infer any confrontation’! [23]

The Estates General met against the background of a social crisis with everyone agreeing the need for some kind of change. Social groups were, in this situation, forced to begin to articulate their interests in a new way. Figures emerged who put forward programmes for the reorganisation of society, pointed to a way out of the crisis. François Furet himself makes exactly this point, when he argues that in the revolution people were putting forward ideas which sought ‘to reconstruct through the imagination the whole social edifice which had fallen to pieces’. [24]

Some of the bourgeoisie was too tied into the existing structure of society to look for any radical change. But a large part of the bourgeoisie had everything to gain from breaking the old structures and began to rally around various programmes for change. They did so in the face of determined opposition from the old order – a point consistently ignored by the revisionists. It was the nobility and king who refused, until forced to accept, the demand for all to meet together in one assembly instead of preserving the privileged orders’ own assemblies. It was the king who tried to cow the Third Estate by decreeing, ‘The king wishes the ancient distinction between the three orders of the state to be preserved in its entirety as being essentially linked to the constitution of his kingdom’. [25] To ram his point home he had the hall where the deputies were meeting ringed with armed royalist troops.

All this was taking place against the background of growing revolt from below. It was this volatile situation which spilled over into revolution on 14 July 1789. There is not space here to go into the development of the revolution itself, but the same pattern is there throughout. There is long and determined opposition from the old order – including armed counter-revolution and support for the foreign armies that sought to crush the revolution. There are those among the bourgeoisie who wanted some change but pushed for a compromise with the old order, and there are those who come to see the only solution as much more radical change. All the while there is the pressure from below, in town and country, as vast numbers of ordinary people try and take matters into their own hands.

The revisionists reduce the political conflicts to ‘elites’ fighting for power. Yet millions of people were engaged in real social conflict. Programmes for social and political change put forward by minorities grew out of such conflict and developed through it. They could only gain support if they reflected the real interest of significant social forces. The revisionists fail to ask why some programmes were taken up and others not – after all, there were countless schemes put forward.

Let me underline the key role played by opposition from the old order, which is always ignored by the revisionists. Timothy Tackett in his Nobles and Third Estate in the National Assembly brings this out very clearly. He shows that from the very beginning of the revolution the nobility wanted to block real change. He quotes a series of letters from ‘moderate’ members of the Third Estate in the assembly who were pushed ‘left’ because the nobles ‘refuse to yield an inch of ground’. Jean Baptiste Grellet de Beauregard wrote, ‘Those who have led the nobles have blocked all roads to compromise.’ Laurent de Visme wrote in his diary that he had opposed radical measures at first but had changed his mind because ‘the nobles’ actions have justified it’. [26]

Such debates took place in the context of the upsurges from below and mass mobilisation. Even Furet admits that the revolution ‘was characterised in fact by an exceptional mobilisation of the habitually inert social forces’. [27] John Markoff’s useful essay Violence, Emancipation and Democracy documents the huge peasant upheaval. The impact of such popular revolt on shaping the policies and programmes of those in the assembly is well known. Markoff underlines the point simply and well by quoting the caustic remark of one radical deputy in the National Assembly on seeing former opponents of change shifting their position: ‘Severed heads were frightfully instructive’. [28]

The refusal of the old order ever to give up its hopes of a counter-revolution eventually led to a situation in which the search for a stable compromise broke down. It was that which created the conditions in which a minority of the bourgeoisie, the Jacobins, were able to put forward a programme for uncompromising fight to the finish. ‘Liberty or death’ was their slogan, around which significant social forces rallied. That involved the Jacobins allying themselves with sections of the popular urban movement and making huge concessions to the peasant revolts too. Out of this they led a revolution which smashed the old order entirely.

The victory of the revolution elevated the bourgeoisie from an oppressed junior partner in the exploiting classes to the dominant class in society. And with this went a state and legal structure that reflected their interests. Those who reject the connection between the political conflicts in the revolution, class struggles, the outcome of these and the further development of capitalism, should set themselves a simple task: try and imagine the mid-19th century industrialisation of France taking place with the essential structures of the old regime still intact.

The revisionists’ real argument is not so much about what happened in France 200 years ago but about their opposition to revolution in general. François Furet denounced the revolutionaries of two centuries ago because they tore ‘France away from its entire past’, ‘revoked’ everything that had been done in previous centuries and set out on ‘the immense and utopian ambition to create an entirely new social order and a new set of institutions’. [29] Furet declared ‘the revolution is over’, meaning there was no longer any need for radical social change – repeating the exact slogan of the Feuillants, a right wing faction of the bourgeoisie in France in the 1790s. Furet commended the capitalist ‘market society’ because competition leads to balance. And he declared himself delighted that Frenchmen no longer believe that in order to change society you have to take over the state by force. [30]

It is clear such arguments have more to do with current politics than with history. In fact they are little more than a nicely dressed version of Burke’s tirade against fundamental social change and revolution. Furet and the revisionists want to bury the notion of revolution in history – to abolish its spectre today. While some of the essays in this book demolish the details of the revisionist historical case, they unnecessarily accept far too much of the revisionist framework.

Let me conclude by quoting the view of Michael Kennedy, a historian who has made a massive study of the Jacobin clubs that were at the heart of the French Revolution. Despite his approval of François Furet’s revisionism, Kennedy concludes, ‘Nevertheless my own studies of the clubs have led me to the conclusion that there is much truth in the radical-Marxist view of the revolution, that class conflict was, indeed, a major determinant’. [31]


1. G. Kates, in G. Kates (ed.), The French Revolution: Recent Debates and New Controversies (Routlege 1997), p. 1.

2. F. Furet, ibid., p. 84.

3. K. Baker, ibid., p. 146.

4. R. Evans, In Defence of History (Granta 1997), p. 124.

5. W. Sewell, in G Kates (ed.), op. cit., p. 144.

6. C. Jones, ibid., p. 182.

7. T.C. W Blanning, The French Revolution: Aristocrats versus Bourgeois? (London 1987), p. 42.

8. C. Jones, in G Kates (ed.), op. cit., p. 178.

9. C. Jones, ibid., p. 165.

10. W. Doyle, Origins of the French Revolution (Oxford 1980), pp. 129, 231.

11. C. Lucas, in G. Kates (ed.), op. cit., p. 51.

12. Quoted in P. McGarr, The Great French Revolution, International Socialism 43 (1989), p. 23.

13. Quoted in C. Jones, in G. Kates (ed.), op. cit., p. 177.

14. C. Lucas, ibid., p. 52.

15. W. Doyle, op. cit., p. 210.

16. F. Furet, in G. Kates (ed.), op. cit., p. 85.

17. Quoted in P. McGarr, op. cit., p. 128.

18. Ibid., p. 29.

19. Ibid., p. 27.

20. Ibid., p. 28.

21. Ibid., p. 92.

22. Quoted ibid., p. 101.

23. T.C.W. Blanning, op. cit., p. 23.

24. F. Furet, in G. Kates (ed.), op. cit., p. 85.

25. Quoted in P. McGarr, op. cit., p. 31.

26. T. Tackett, in G Kates (ed.), op. cit., p. 198.

27. F. Furet, ibid., p. 80.

28. Quoted in J. Markoff, ibid., p. 201.

29. Quoted in P. McGarr, op. cit., p. 94.

30. Ibid., p. 94.

31. Quoted ibid., p. 104.

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