Taming the Furies of Revolution

Required Reading:

Philip G. Dwyer, “Napoleon, The Revolution and the Empire,” The Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution, ed., David Andress (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

Michael Broers, “The First Napoleonic Empire, 1799-1815,” in Alexei Miller and Stefan Berger, eds., Nationalizing Empires. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2015.

Peter S. Onuf, “The Revolution of 1803,” The Wilson Quarterly, 27:1 (Winter 2003).

Seminar Topics

Revolutionary radicalism and republicanism posed problems for order and stability. Class discussion will examine how leaders and statesmen attempted to contend with the revolutionary fury that was unleashed throughout Europe and the Atlantic world. Particular attention will be given to the establishment of the Napoleonic Empire and the early American Republic, noting the ways in which leaders attempted to come to terms with their nation’s respective revolutionary inheritances and found durable social and political orders in a period of mass unrest.

Questions to consider

  1. Was Napoleon and “child of the Revolution” or the epitome of absolute monarchy?
  2. How did the problems of the French Revolution influence the creation of the Napoleonic regime that assumed power?
  3. What importance did expansion have for the American Republic? What does Peter Onuf mean when he speak of the “revolution” that took place in 1803?
  4. Broadly considered, what might be the relationship between empire and revolutionary movements? Are empire and revolution contradictory or compatible?

Further Reading:

Peter S. Onuf, Jefferson’s Empire: The Language of American Nationhood. Charlottesville: UVA press, 2000.

Terry Bouton, Taming Democracy: “The People,” the Founders and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Andrew Jainchill, Reimagining Politics after the Terror: The Republican Origins of French Liberalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008.

Branislaw Baczko, Ending the Terror: The French Revolution After Robespierre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Mette Harder, “A Second Terror: The Purges of French Revolutionary Legislators after Thermidore.” French Historical Studies, 38:1 (February 2015).

Howard Brown, Ending the French Revolution: Violence, Justice and Repression from the Terror to Napoleon. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006.

Malcolm Crook, Napoleon Comes to Power: Democracy and Dictatorship in Revolutionary France, 1795-1804. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1998.

Philip G. Dwyer, “Napoleon and The Foundation of the Empire,” The Historical Journal, 53:2 (June 2010)

Martyn Lyons, Napoleon Bonaparte and The Legacy of the French Revolution. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 1994.

Michael J. Hughes, Forging Napoleon’s Grande Armée: Motivation, Military Culture and Masculinity in the French Army, 1800-1808. New York: New York University Press, 2012.

Alexander Grab, Napoleon and The Transformation of Europe. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Stuart Woolfe, Napoleon’s Integration of Europe. New York: Routledge, 1991.

Michael Broers, Europe Under Napoleon, 1799-1815. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996.

Michael Broers, The Napoleonic Mediterranean: Enlightenment, Revolution and Empire. London: I.B. Tarius, 2017.

Christophe Belaubre, ed., Napoleon’s Atlantic: The Impact of Napoleonic Empire in the Atlantic World. Leiden: Brill, 2010.

Alexander Mikaberidze. The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.

Ute Palnert, “From Collaboration to Resistance: Politics, Experience, and Memory of the Revolution and Napoleonic Wars in Southern Germany,” Central European History, 39 (2006)

Pierre Branda and Thierry Lentz, Napoléon, l’esclavage et les colonies. Paris : Fayard, 2006.