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The French Revolution, 1789-1799

Peter McPhee

Publication Date - January 2002

ISBN: 9780199244140

240 pages

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $84.99


This book provides a succinct yet up-to-date and challenging approach to the French Revolution of 1789-1799 and its consequences. Peter McPhee provides an accessible and reliable overview and one which deliberately introduces students to central debates among historians.
The book has two main aims. One aim is to consider the origins and nature of the Revolution of 1789-99. Why was there a Revolution in France in 1789? Why did the Revolution follow its particular course after 1789? When was it 'over'? A second aim is to examine the significance of the Revolutionary period in accelerating the decay of Ancien Regime society. How 'revolutionary' was the Revolution? Was France fundamentally changed as a result of it?
Of particular interest to students will be the emphasis placed by the author on the repercussions of the Revolution on the practives of daily life: the lived experience of the Revolution. The author's recent work on the environmental impact of the Revolution is also incorporated to provide a lively, modern, and rounded picture of France during this critical phase in the development of modern Europe.


  • Interprets the main questions in the history of the French Revolution within a chronological framework
  • Introduces students to the central debates in the historiography of the French Revolution
  • Concise and accessible style conveys essential information without excessive detail
  • Emphasises the repercussions of the Revolution on daily life
  • Provides a balanced and unbiased interpretation of the period
  • Peter McPhee is a well-respected historian who has published widely in the field of modern French history

About the Author(s)

Peter McPhee was educated at the University of Melbourne. He taught at La Trobe University (Melbourne) and the Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) before returning to the University of Melbourne, where he has held a Personal Chair in History since 1993. He has published widely on the history of modern France, notably, 'A Social History of France 1780-1880' (London, 1992) and Revolution and Environment in Southern France, 1780-1830' (Oxford, 1999).

Table of Contents

    1. France in the 1780s
    2. The Crisis of the Old Regime
    3. The Revolution of 1789
    4. The Reconstruction of France, 1789-91
    5. A Second Revolution, 1792
    6. The Revolution in the Balance, 1793
    7. The Terror: revolutionary Defence or Paranoia?
    8. Ending the Revolution, 1795-9
    9. The Significance of the Revolution
    Appendix 1: Chronology
    Appendix 2: The Revolutionary Calendar
    A Guide to Further Reading

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