Lecture 10 04.25.08

Lecture 10 04.25.08 - Lecture 10 04.25.08 Crisis of 1793...

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Lecture 10 04.25.08 Crisis of 1793 began on January 21, with the execution of Louis XVI. Sense of shock, rupture with the past. There was a general will in France for constitutional monarchy, so the execution of Louis was more than the execution of a criminal – it was the end of a kind of revolutionary certainty, the notion that the general will was infallible. Revolutionaries were now faced with their own fallibility. Wanting to do good was not enough. There was fear, uncertainty. Paranoia of the terror grows in the spring and summer and into the next year and stems from the fact that the core revolutionary belief of the infallibility of the general will had fallen in. A crisis based not only on practical realities but also based on faith. The Crisis of 1793 1. Crisis of legitimate authority a. Anarchy i. Theory: Sovereignty of the People ii. Practice: Rule of the Crowd/Individual insurrection b. Factions: Gironde vs. Mountain (Jacobins) i. September Massacres ii. King’s Trial 2. Challenges to the Convention a. Vendée b. “Federalist” revolt c. The Sans Culottes Movement Theoretical problem of the sovereign people. The law is the will of the sovereign people, the government should act in the name of the sovereign people, but the sovereign people could also override the law. Rousseau said that the sovereign people could not be represented – the people themselves must make the laws. Increasing pressure of the crowd in revolutionary politics – beginning with the attack on the Bastille, the Women’s March, then the Invasion of the Tuileries Palace, 20 June, 1792. Organised crowds appearing in the legislature, before the King – continual pressure from the crowd, essentially influencing politics and political decisions. Doctrine of the sovereign people denies any kind of intermediary between the state and
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Lecture 10 04.25.08 - Lecture 10 04.25.08 Crisis of 1793...

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