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Four Cultural Upheaval and Class Formation During the French Revolution

1. Delamare, Traité de Police , vol. 1., chap. 12, "Des Confrairies" (Amsterdam, 1729).

Man is so obviously born for social life, that he makes of it his favored concern and his principal satisfaction. Hence his search for narrower associations in the natural order of things: not content with the first link which make of humankind one vast and single society, he has avidly sought other and more narrow unions, from which emerged in time families, Cities, and even greater States; and, in each one of those States, even more intimate societies, through particular professions and employments. [BACK]

2. See my Class, Ideology, and the Rights of Nobles During the French Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981). [BACK]

3. Cited by Dominique Godineau, Citoyennes tricoteuses (Alinéa, 1988), p. 15. [BACK]

4. On this score, see the illuminating introduction by Elizabeth Badinter in Paroles d'hommes (1790-1793) (Paris: P.O.L., 1989), p. 34. [BACK]

5. Thus, in the royalist newspaper Journal de la ville et de la cour , 16 May 1792: "Puisqu'il est impossible de trouver des hommes capables d'occuper longtemps la place de ministre, pourquoi ne pas recourir à Mmes Condorcet et Théroigne? Elles ont assez de talent pour être femmes publiques." [BACK]

6. Butterfield, Lyman Henry, ed., The Adams Family Correspondence , letter to R. H. Lee (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963), 4:172. [BACK]

7. Dominique Godineau, Citoyennes Tricoteuses , p. 213. [BACK]

8. Sentiments sur quelques ouvrages de peinture, sculpture et gravure, écrits à un particulier en province (Paris, 1754), pp. 91-92. [BACK]

9. See "The Rose-Girl of Salency: Representations of Virtue in Prerevolutionary France," in Eighteenth-Century Studies (Spring 1989): 395-412. [BACK]

10. José Ortega y Gasset, "Mirabeau el Politico" (1927) in Obras Completas (Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1987), 3: 608. [BACK]

11. Rumors of Chaumette's homosexual past were widely known. [BACK]

12. See Anthoine Léonard Thomas, Diderot, Madame d'Epinay, Qu'est-ce qu'une femme? with a preface by Elizabeth Badinter (Paris: P.O.L., 1989). [BACK]

13. See Lynn Hunt's review of the Handbuch politisch-sozialer Grundbegriffe in Frankreich 1680-1720 in Journal of Modern History 60, 2 (June 1980): 387. [BACK]

14. See Lucien Jeaume, Le Discours Jacobin et la démocratie (Paris: Fayard, 1988), and my review of this important book in Commentaire (Fall 1989). [BACK]

15. Louis Sébastien Mercier, Le Nouveau Paris , ed. Fuchs, Pougens, et Crémer (Paris, 1798), 2: 100-101.

. . . is precisely an anti-federalist work, in that it strives to bring back all the parts of a state to a unicity of government, to that very unicity which Brissot wanted, as we all did, we who signed a proclamation to the departments on behalf of the exterior safety of France and of her internal union. [BACK]

16. "I dared to conceive," wrote Lepelletier de Saint-Fargeau (a noble-born Jacobin) of a school designed to train revolutionary male elites, "of an inspiration more vast than that of mere instruction. Having considered the extent to which the human species has been corrupted by the vice of our former social system, I became convinced of the need to operate a complete regeneration and, if I dare to speak in this manner, of the need to create a new people." [BACK]

17. As Romme wrote, "time opens up a new book in the history of man; and in its new and majestic march, as simple as equality, time needs to engrave anew the annals of regenerated France. The former era was a time of cruelty and mendacity, of perfidy and slavery. It ended with the monarchy, source of all our misery." [BACK]

18. Cited in P. Barret and Jean Noêl Gurgand, Ils Voyagaient la France: Vie et traditions des compagnons du tour de France au 19e siècle (1980), p. 93. [BACK]

19. Cited in Elizabeth Badinter, Paroles d'hommes (1790-1793) (Paris: P.O.L., 1989), P. 33. [BACK]

20. François Furet, Interpreting the French Revolution , trans. Elborg Forster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), p. 74. [BACK]

21. Bonnie Smith's Ladies of the Leisure Class (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981) gives an unrivaled description of that process, but her interpretation of women's reaction to this change seems to us highly problematic. [BACK]

22. This comparison is developed in Patrice Higonnet's Sister Republics: The Origins of French and American Republicanism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988).

Funds for researching and writing the essay on which this chapter is based were generously provided by the Faculty Development Committee of Trinity University. I would like to thank John Martin, Judi Lipsett, and Char Miller for their valuable suggestions. [BACK]

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