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Revolution and Political Conflict in the French Navy 1789–1794

Revolution and Political Conflict in the French Navy 1789–1794


  • Date Published: May 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521893756

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About the Authors
  • Although historians of the French Revolution have paid it little attention, the French navy provides a striking illustration of the impact of the new ideology of Popular Sovereignty. This book examines the navy's involvement in political conflict from 1789 to 1794 and charts the evolution of a struggle between opposing definitions of authority in France. The fleet depended on the support of executive power. In 1789 royal government collapsed in the face of defiance from the National Assembly, but Popular Sovereignty was not confined to the legislature. The struggle between competing claims to represent the National Will lay behind the fleet's surrender at Toulon in 1793 and the mutiny at Quiberon Bay. Sent to Brest to save the Republic's navy, Jeanbon Saint-André sought to restrict Popular Sovereignty in the context of the Terror. Thus this 1995 study presents a revisionist interpretation of the nature of revolutionary politics.

    • First book in English since the 1890s on the navy in the French Revolution
    • Provides national and local perspectives on political conflict during the French Revolution
    • Contributes to revisionist interpretations of the Revolution through its analysis of Popular Sovereignty
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521893756
    • length: 360 pages
    • dimensions: 247 x 160 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 9 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The French navy, the revolution and the historians
    2. The French navy on the eve of revolution
    3. The revolution begins: the Toulon Affair of 1789
    4. Naval reorganisation and the mutiny at Brest, 1790–1
    5. Bertrand de Moleville and the dissolution of the officer corps, 1791–2
    6. Naval officers and the Jacobin Regime, 1792–3: the court martial of Captain Basterot
    7. The Great Treason: the surrender of the Mediterranean fleet in 1793
    8. Naval authority and the National Will: the Quiberon Mutiny of 1793
    9. A navy for the Republic: Jeanbon Saint-André's missions to Brest and the Prairial Campaign, 1793–4
    10. Conclusion: revolutionary politics and the French navy

  • Author

    William S. Cormack, University of Guelph, Ontario

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