The French Revolution (HIST*4580) | College of Arts

The French Revolution (HIST*4580)

Code and section: HIST*4580*01

Term: Winter 2017

Instructor: William Cormack


This course explores the major themes of the French Revolution of 1789-1799 in the light of modern research. These include: the state of France on the eve of revolution, the crisis of the Old Regime, the Revolution of 1789, the Constituent Assembly’s reforms, the radicalization of the Revolution, the fall of the monarchy, the struggle in the National Convention, the role of the sans-culottes, the emergence of counter-revolution, the Terror, the collapse of the Jacobin dictatorship, and the subsequent efforts to establish political stability in France. The course also examines topics which sometimes receive less attention: the role of women, the upheaval in the Caribbean colonies, and the Revolution’s cultural dimensions. Throughout, the course places much emphasis on the historiographical debates regarding the nature and significance of the French Revolution.

The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.