Challenging classical histories of the French Revolution, this revisionist work argues that any history and analysis of the period must give as much weight to counterrevolution as to revolution itself. Sutherland demonstrates that the effects of the Revolution varied greatly according to regional economies, social structures, and religious affiliations. For example, while many groups--particularly urban groups--benefited from the revolutionary reforms of 1789-91, there were many others--such as the rural poor--whose condition markedly deteriorated. The book examines how massive counterrevolutionary movements profoundly affected the course of the Revolution, leading to the failure of constitutional government and ultimately, to an elitist dictatorship that paved
the way for many of the struggles of the 19th century.