Louis XVI., 1774-1789
Intellectual Life
France 1792-1795
Intellectual Life
France 1789-1792
the Economy
France 1789-1792 Foreign Policy

Revolution and Constitutional Republic, 1789-1792 : Intellectual Life

The early years of the French Revolution saw the emergence of a patriotic culture. In clear defiance of the traditional dress code, patriots expressed their political opinion by their outward appearance. They wore the PHRYGIAN CAP (or JACOBIN CAP). Progressive noblemen who openly had renounced their noble privileges were referred to as SANSCULOTTES, as they did not wear culottes (socks which made part of the dress nobles had to wear).
The TRICOLORE was adopted as France's national flag; the BASTILLE, symbol of oppression now overcome, was torn down. In liberated towns, a TREE OF LIBERTY was planted on market square.
French language underwent a reform, too; the expressions 'kingdom' and 'state', more and more, were replaced by 'NATION', the term 'subject' replaced by CITIZEN (Fr. citoyen). A host of complex addresses (of persons according to their rank) was abolished. A NATIONAL IDENTITY emerged, based on the conception of rights and obligations equal for all citizens. This unity was expressed in national symbols such as the national flag (tricolore).
In this period, political propaganda, in the form of pamphlets, caricatures and songs, continued. One of these songs, LA MARSEILLAISE, expressed Jacobin view and called on the French citizens to defend their country against foreign invaders - irt was to become France's national anthem.

Artists such as JACQUES-LOUIS DAVID painted revolutionary topics, f.ex. the OATH OF THE TENNIS COURT (1791) .
In 1791, the LOUVRE was turned into a national museum.

The Louvre, from Tricolors - a whisper of France
DOCUMENTS Image : Storming of the Bastille, posted by CUNY
J.L. David, Oast of the Tennis Court, posted by WFS
Print : March to Versailles, posted by WFS
Print : Flight to Varennes, posted by WFS
French Medals 1789 The Glory of France, 1790 : Consociare Amat, Optimo Principi, Federation Martiale, 1791 Amor Patriae, Dignissimo, Felicutas Publicas, Omnibus non sibi, Mirabeau
Image index : French Revolution, from CUNY
VIDEOS La Marseillaise, 1937, b/w, in French with English subtitles.

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

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