Louis XVI., 1774-1789
Foreign Policy
France 1792-1795
Foreign Policy
France 1789-1792
Intellectual Life
Habsburg Netherlands
Brabant Revolution, 1789

Revolution and Constitutional Republic, 1789-1792 : Foreign Policy

In 1789 the National Assembly formally annexed CORSICA (bought by France from the republic of Genova in 1768) and the Kingdom of NAVARRA (in dynastic union with France since 1589); in 1791 the annexion of AVIGNON followed (a principality hitherto belonging to the pope).
Revolutionary propaganda had aggressively targetted Austrian-born Queen MARIE ANTOINETTE with exaggerated or even invented accusations; her brother, Emperors JOSEPH II. (-1790) and Leopold II. (1790-1792) were naturally concerned, all the more as revolution also had erupted in the AUSTRIAN NETHERLANDS (1789). The French NATIONAL ASSEMBLY for the moment was busy discussing and implementing political reforms. Many of these were bitterly resented be French noblemen (ROYALISTS), which controlled some regions such as the VENDEE; others chose EMIGRATION; the city of KOBLENZ in Germany became a center of French emigrants.
In 1791, the royal family, in an action planned by Swedish nobleman AXEL VON FERSEN, attempted to flee Paris and France (the FLIGHT TO VARENNES); at Varennes, they were stopped by a revolutionary patrol and returned to Paris.
The governments in Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and elsewhere were extremely concerned regarding events in France, as they feared that the revolutionary spark was contageous. Britain, Austria, Prussia, Spain and Savoy-Piemont formed a COALITION; Royalists handed the fortress of the port city of TOULON over to an Anglo-Spanish expedition. An Austro-Prussian expedition corps commanded by the DUKE OF BRUNSWICK invaded France. The Duke, in the MANIFESTO OF THE DUKE OF BRUNSWICK, called on the Parisians not to resist the Austro-Prussian forces. King Louis XVI. ordered the manifesto to be published; this act was regarded, by the National Assembly, as treason, King Louis XVI. deposed and arrested, the REPUBLIC proclaimed

Corsica : A Brief Chronology, from corsica.net
Annexation of the Northern Basque Territories to the French Crown (1789/90), from EHJ (Basque Country Journal)
Biography of Axel von Fersen, by WFS
Timeline French Foreign Policy : Fr. Revolution, 1789-1799, from France Diplomatie
DOCUMENTS Manifesto of the Duke of Brunswick, July 25th 1792, from WFS
La Revolution Française, posted by Martine Lopez, click "les textes", numerous documents, in French
VIDEOS La Marseillaise, 1937, b/w, in French with English subtitles.
REFERENCE William Doyle, The Oxford History of the French Revolution, 1989, 466 pp.

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on November 9th 2004

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