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THE FRENCHREVOLUTION0-

H I P P O LY T E TA I N E

T HE FR E NCHR E VOL UT I ONH IPPOLYTE TAINE0Translated byJohn DurandIntroduction byMona OzoufV OLUME IL IBERTY F UNDIndianapolis

This book is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., a foundation establishedto encourage study of the ideal of a society of freeand responsible individuals.The cuneiform inscription that serves as our logo and as the design motiffor our endpapers is the earliest-known written appearance of the word “freedom”(amagi), or “liberty.” It is taken from a clay document written about 2300 B.C.in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash.䉷 2002 Liberty Fund, Inc. All rights reserved.Introduction by Mona Ozouf reprinted here by permission of the publishersfrom A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution, edited by François Furet andMona Ozouf, translated by Arthur Goldhammer, Cambridge, Mass.: The BelknapPress of Harvard University Press, 䉷 1989 by the President and Fellowsof Harvard College.Footnotes to the Introduction 䉷 2002 Liberty Fund, Inc.Frontispiece from CorbisThe French Revolution is a translation of La Révolution, which is the second part ofTaine’s Origines de la France contemporaine.Printed in the United States of America02 03 04 05 06 C 5 4 3 2 102 03 04 05 06 P 5 4 3 2 1Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataTaine, Hippolyte, 1828–1893.[Origines de la France contemporaine. English. Selections]The French Revolution / Hippolyte Taine; translated by John Durand.p.cm.“The French Revolution is a translation of La Révolution, which isthe second part of Taine’s Origines de la France contemporaine”—T.p. verso.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 0-86597-126-9 (alk. paper) ISBN 0-86597-127-7 (pbk. : alk. paper)1. France—History—Revolution, 1789–1799. I. Title.DC148.T35 2002944.04—dc212002016023ISBN 0-86597-126-9 (set: hc.)ISBN 0-86597-363-6 (v. 1: hc.)ISBN 0-86597-364-4 (v. 2: hc.)ISBN 0-86597-365-2 (v. 3: hc.)ISBN 0-86597-127-7 (set: pb.)ISBN 0-86597-366-0 (v. 1: pb.)ISBN 0-86597-367-9 (v. 2: pb.)ISBN 0-86597-368-7 (v. 3: pb.)Liberty Fund, Inc.8335 Allison Pointe Trail, Suite 300Indianapolis, Indiana 46250-1684

9 CONTENTS Introduction by Mona Ozouf / xiBibliography / xxxiPreface / xxxvB O O K F I R S T . Spontaneous AnarchyChapter I / 3I. The Beginnings of Anarchy—Dearth the first cause— Bad crops—Thewinter of 1788 and 1789—Dearness and poor quality of bread—In theprovinces—At Paris— II. Hopefulness the second cause—Separation andlaxity of the Administrative forces—Investigations of local Assemblies—The people become awake to their condition—Convocation of the StatesGeneral—Hope is born—The coincidence of early Assemblies with earlydifficulties— III. The provinces during the first six months of 1789—Effects of the famine— IV. Intervention of ruffians and vagabonds—V. The first jacquerie in Provence—Feebleness or ineffectiveness of repressive measures.Chapter II / 26Paris up to the 14th of July— I. Mob recruits in the environs—Entry ofvagabonds—The number of paupers— II. Excitement of the press and ofopinion—The people take part— III. The Réveillon affair— IV. ThePalais-Royal—Popular gatherings become a political power—Pressure onthe Assembly— V. Defection of the soldiery— VI. July 13th and 14th—VII. Murders of Foulon and Berthier— VIII. Paris in the hands of thepeople.Chapter III / 60I. Anarchy from July 14th to October 6th, 1789—Destruction of the Government—To whom does real power belong?— II. The Provinces—v

vi / ContentsDestruction of old Authorities—Incompetency of new Authorities— III.Disposition of the People—Famine— IV. Panic—General arming— V.Attacks on public individuals and public property—At Strasbourg—AtCherbourg—At Maubeuge—At Rouen—At Besançon—At Troyes—VI. Taxes are no longer paid—Devastation of the Forests—The new gamelaws— VII. Attacks upon private individuals and private property—Aristocrats denounced to the people as their enemies—Effect of news fromParis—Influence of the village attorneys—Isolated acts of violence—Ageneral rising of the peasantry in the east—War against the chateaux,feudal estates, and property—Preparations for other jacqueries.Chapter IV / 95I. Paris—Powerlessness and discords of the authorities—The people,King— II. Their distress—The dearth and the lack of work—How menof executive ability are recruited— III. The new popular leaders—Theirascendency—Their education—Their sentiments—Their situation—Their councils—Their denunciations— IV. Their interference with theGovernment—Their pressure on the Assembly— V. The 5th and 6th ofOctober— VI. The Government and the nation in the hands of the revolutionary party.B O O K S E C O N D . The Constituent Assembly,and the Result of Its LaboursChapter I / 127The Constituent Assembly—Conditions required for the framing of goodlaws— I. These conditions absent in the Assembly—Causes of disorderand irrationality—The place of meeting—The large number of deputies—Interference of the galleries—Rules of procedure wanting, defective, ordisregarded—The parliamentary leaders—Susceptibility and overexcitement of the Assembly—Its paroxysms of enthusiasm—Its tendency toemotion—It encourages theatrical display—Changes which these displaysintroduce in its good intentions— II. Inadequacy of its information—Itscomposition—The social standing and culture of the larger number—Their incapacity—Their presumption—Fruitless advice of competentmen—Deductive politics—Parties—The minority; its faults—The majority; its dogmatism— III. Ascendancy of the revolutionary party—Theoryin its favour—The constraint thus imposed on men’s minds—Appeal tothe passions—Brute force on the side of the party—It profits by this—

Contents / viiOppression of the minority— IV. Refusal to supply the ministry—Effectsof this mistake—Misconception of the situation—The committee of investigation—Constant alarms—Effects of ignorance and fear on the workof the Constituent Assembly.Chapter II / 159Destruction— I. Two principal vices of the ancient régime—Two principalreforms proposed by the King and the privileged classes—They suffice foractual needs—Impracticable if carried further— II. Nature of societies,and the principle of enduring constitutions— III. The classes which forma State—Political aptitude of the aristocracy—Its disposition in 1789—Special services which it might have rendered—The principle of the Assembly as to original equality—Rejection of an Upper Chamber—Thefeudal rights of the aristocracy—How far and why they were worthy ofrespect—How they should have been transformed—Principle of the Assembly as to original liberty—Distinction established by it in feudal dues;application of its principle—The lacunae of its law—Difficulties of redemption—Actual abolition of all feudal liens—Abolition of titles andterritorial names—Growing prejudice against the aristocracy—Its persecutions—The emigration— IV. The corporations of a State—Abuse andlukewarmness in 1789 in the ecclesiastical bodies—How the State used itsright of overseeing and reforming them—Social usefulness of corporations—The sound part in the monastic institution—Zeal and services ofnuns—How ecclesiastical possessions should be employed—Principle ofthe Assembly as to private communities and mortmain—Disestablishmentand disendowment of all corporations—Uncompensated suppression oftithes—Confiscation of ecclesiastical possessions—Effect on the Treasuryand on disendowed services—The civil constitution of the clergy—Rightsof the Church in relation to the State—Certainty and effects of a conflict—Priests considered as State-functionaries—Principal stipulations of thelaw—Obligations of the oath—The majority of priests refuse to take it—The majority of believers on their side—Persecution of believers and ofpriests.Chapter III / 217Construction—The Constitution of 1791— I. Powers of the Central Government—The Assembly on the partition of power—Rupture of every tiebetween the Legislature and the King—The Assembly on the subordina-

viii / Contentstion of the executive power—How this is nullified—Certainty of a conflict—The deposition of the King inevitable— II. Administrative powers—The Assembly on the hierarchy—Grades abolished—Collectivepowers—Election introduced, and the influence of subordinates in allbranches of the service—Certainty of disorganization—Power in the handsof municipal bodies— III. The municipal bodies—Their great task—Their incapacity—Their feeble authority—Insufficiency of their means ofaction—The rôle of the National Guard— IV. The National Guard aselectors—Its great power—Its important task—The work imposed on active citizens—They avoid it— V. The restless minority—Its elements—The clubs—Their ascendency—How they interpret the Rights of Man—Their usurpations and violence— VI. Summary of the work of the Constituent Assembly.B O O K T H I R D . The Application of the ConstitutionChapter I / 253I. The Federations—Popular application of philosophic theory—Idylliccelebration of the Contrat-Social—Two phases of human volition—Permanent disorder— II. Independence of the municipalities—The causes oftheir initiative—Sentiment of danger—Issy-l’Evêque in 1789—Exaltedpride—Brittany in 1790—Usurpations of the municipalities—Capture ofthe citadels—Violence increased against their commanders—Stoppage ofconvoys—Powerlessness of the Directories and of the ministers—Marseilles in 1790— III. Independent Assemblies—Why they took the initiative—The people in council—Powerlessness of the municipalities—Theviolence to which they are subject—Aix in 1790—Government disobeyedand perverted everywhere.Chapter II / 287The Sovereignty of Unrestrained Passions— I. Old religious rancours—Montauban and Nismes in 1790— II. Passion supreme—Dread of hungerits acutest form—The noncirculation of grain—Intervention and usurpations of the electoral assemblies—The rural code in Nivernais—The fourcentral provinces in 1790—Why high prices are kept up—Anxiety andinsecurity—Stagnation of the grain market—The departments near Parisin 1791—The supply and price of grain regulated by force—The mobs in1792—Village armies of Eure and of the lower Seine and of Aisne—

Contents / ixAggravation of the disorder after August 10th—The dictation of unbridledinstinct—Its practical and political expedients— III. Egotism of the taxpayer—Issoudun in 1790—Rebellion against taxation—Indirect taxes in1789 and 1790—Abolition of the salt-tax, excise, and octrois—Direct taxation in 1789 and 1790—Delay and insufficiency of the returns—Newlevies in 1791 and 1792—Delays, partiality, and concealment in preparingthe rolls—Insufficiency of, and the delay in, the returns—Payment inassignats—The tax-payer relieves himself of one-half—Devastation of theforests—Division of the communal property— IV. Cupidity of tenants—The third and fourth jacquerie—Brittany and other provinces in 1790 and1791—The burning of chateaux—Title-deeds destroyed—Refusal ofclaims—Destruction of reservoirs—Principal characteristics, prime motive, and ruling passion of the Revolution.Chapter III / 346Development of the Ruling Passion— I. Attitude of the nobles—Theirmoderate resistance— II. Workings of the popular imagination with respect to them—The monomania of suspicion—The nobles distrusted andtreated as enemies—Situation of a gentleman on his domain—M. deBussy— III. Domiciliary visits—The fifth jacquerie—Burgundy andLyonnais in 1791—M. de Chaponay and M. Guillin-Dumoutet— IV. Thenobles obliged to leave the rural districts—They take refuge in the towns—The dangers they incur—The eighty-two gentlemen of Caen— V. Persecutions in private life— VI. Conduct of officers—Their self-sacrifice—Disposition of the soldiery—Military outbreaks—Spread and increase ofinsubordination—Resignation of the officers— VII. Emigration and itscauses—The first laws against the emigrants— VIII. Attitude of the nonjuring priests—How they become distrusted—Illegal arrests by local administrations—Violence or complicity of the National Guards—Outragesby the populace—Executive power in the south—The sixth jacquerie—Its two causes—Isolated outbreaks in the north, east, and west—Generaleruption in the south and in the centre— IX. General state of opinion—The three convoys of nonjuring priests on the Seine—Psychological aspectof the Revolution.

9 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ayer, Alfred S. Logical Positivism. New York: Free Press, 1966.Castex, Pierre Georges. Critique d’art en France au XIX e siècle. Paris:Centre de documentation universitaire, 1966.Castiglioni, Guilio. Taine. Brescia: “La Scuola” editrice, 1945.Charlton, D. G. Positivist Thought in France during the Second Empire,1852–1870. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959; Westport, Conn.:Greenwood Press, 1976.Chevrillon, André. Taine; formation de sa pensée. Paris: Plon, 1932.Ciureanu, Petre. Renan, Taine et Brunetière a quelques amis italiens:correspondance. Florence: Institut français de Florence, 1956.Codazzi, Antonella. Hippolyte Taine e il progetto filosofico di una storiografia scientifica. Firenza: La nuova Italia, 1985.Engel, Otto. Einfluss Hegels auf die Bildung der Gedankenwelt Hippolyte Taines. Stuttgart: F. Frommann, 1920.Eustis, Alvin. Hippolyte Taine and the Classical Genius. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1951.Evans, Colin. Taine: essai de biographie intérieure. Paris: Nizet, 1975.Gautier, Théophile. Honoré de Balzac, sa vie et ses oeuvres: biographiepar Théophile Gautier; analyse critique de la Comédie humaine, parH. Taine. Bruxelles: Melina, Cans, 1858.Gibaudan, René. Idées sociales de Taine. Paris: Éditions Argo, 1928.Giraud, Victor. Essai sur Taine, son oeuvre et son influence. Paris:Hachette, 1902. Hippolyte Taine: études et documents. Paris: J. Vrin, 1928.Goetz, Thomas H. Taine and the Fine Arts. Madrid: Playor, 1973.xxxi

xxxii / BibliographyGummere, Francis Barton. Democracy and Poetry. Boston: HoughtonMifflin, 1911.Jeune, Simon. Poésie et système, Taine interprète de La Fontaine. Paris:A. Colin.Kahn, Sholom J. Science and Aesthetic Judgment: A Study in Taine’sCritical Method. New York: Columbia University Press, 1953.Kuczynski, Jürgen. Muse und der Historiker: Studien über Jacob Burckhardt, Hyppolite Taine, Henry Adams. Berlin: Akademie Verlag,1974.Lacombe, Paul. Psychologie des individus et des sociétés chez Taine,historien des littératures. Paris: F. Alcan, 1906. Taine, historien et sociologue. Paris: F. Alcan, 1909.Léger, François. Jeunesse d’Hippolyte Taine. Paris: Albatros, 1980. Monsieur Taine. Paris: Critérion, 1993.Leroy, Maxime. Taine. Paris: Rieder, 1933.Petitbon, Pierre Henri. Taine, Renan, Barrès: étude d’influence. Paris:Société d’edition “Les Belles lettres,” 1934.Pozzi, Regina. Hippolyte Taine: scienze umane e politica nell’Ottocento.Venezia: Marsilio, 1993.Roe, Frederick Charles. Taine et l’Angleterre. Paris: É. Champion,1923.Rosca, Dumitru D. Influence de Hegel sur Taine, théoricien de la connaissance et de l’art. Paris: J. Gamber, 1928.Saint-René-Taillandier, Georges. Aupres de M. Taine: souvenirs et vuessur l’homme et l’oeuvre. Paris: Hachette, 1928.Schaepdryver, Karl de. Hippolyte Taine: Essai sur l’unité de sa pensée.Paris, 1938.Schuin, Anik. Pessimisme historique au XIX e siècle: Hippolyte Taine.Genève: Institut universitaire de hautes études internationales,1982.Seys, Pascale. Hippolyte Taine et l’avènement du naturalisme: un intellectuel sous le Second Empire. Paris: L’Harmattan, 1999.Siqueira, Esmeraldo. Taine e Renan. Rio de Janeiro: Pongetti, 1968.Taine, Hippolyte. Ancien regime. Translated by J. Durand. NewYork: H. Holt, 1896. Arte en Grecia. Madrid: La España moderna, 1893.

Bibliography / xxxiii. Balzac, a critical study. Translated and with an appreciationby Lorenzo O’Rourke. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company,1906. Carnets de voyage; notes sur la province, 1863–1865. Paris:Hachette, 1897. Correspondance. Paris: Hachette, 1902–1907. De l’ideal dans l’art. Paris: G. Balliere & Cie, 1879. De l’intelligence. Paris: Hachette, 1870. Essais de critique et d’histoire. Paris: Hachette, 1866. Essai sur Tite-Live. Paris: Economica, 1860. Etienne Mayran. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1931. Fontaine et ses fables. Paris: Hachette, 1861. French Revolution. Translated by J. Durand. New York:H. Holt, 1878. H. Taine: sa vie et sa correspondance. Paris: Hachette, 1908. Histoire de la littérature anglaise. Paris: Hachette, 1863. Introduction à l’histoire de la littérature anglaise, avec des remarques préliminaires par Gilbert Chinard. Princeton: PrincetonUniversity Press, 1944. Introduction à l’histoire de la littérature anglaise (l’histoire, sonprésent et son avenir). Edited from the original text by H. B. Charlton. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1936. Introduction à l’histoire de la littérature anglaise, par H. Taine.Edited and with an essay on Taine by Irving Babbitt. Boston:D. C. Heath & Company, 1898. Italy: Florence and Venice. Translated by J. Durand. NewYork: Leypoldt & Holt, 1869. Italy: Naples and Rome. Translated by J. Durand. NewYork: Leypoldt & Holt, 1867. Journeys through France, Being Impressions of the Provinces.London: T. F. Unwin, 1897. Lectures on Art. Translated by J. Durand. New York:H. Holt, 1889. Modern Régime. Translated by J. Durand. New York:H. Holt, 1890.

xxxiv / Bibliography. Notes on England. Translated by J. Durand. New York:H. Holt, 1872. Notes on England. Translated, with an introductory chapterby W. F. Rae. London: Strahan & Company, 1872. Notes on Paris. Translated with notes by John AustinStevens. New York: H. Holt, 1875. Notes sur Paris, vie et opinions de M. Frédéric-Thomas Graindorge. Recueillies et publiées par H. Taine, son exécuteur testamentaire. Paris: Hachette, 1868. On Intelligence. Translated by T. D. Haye. New York: Holt& Williams, 1872. Origines de la France contemporaine. Paris: Hachette, 1899. Origins of Contemporary France. Translated by J. Durand.New York: P. Smith, 1931. Philosophes français du XIX e siècle. Paris: Hachette, 1860. Philosophes français du XIX e siècle, extraits. Paris: J. J. Pauvert, 1966. Philosophie de l’art, par H. Taine; leçons professées à l’Écoledes beaux-arts. Paris: G. Baillière, 1865. Positivisme anglais: étude sur Stuart Mill. Paris: G. Baillière,1864. Taine’s Notes on England. Translated with an introductionby Edward Hyams. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press,1971. Tour through the Pyrenees. Translated by J. Safford Fiske,with illustrations by Gustave Doré. New York: H. Holt, 1874. Voyage aux Pyrénées. Paris: Hachette, 1860. Voyage en Italie. Paris: Hachette, 1866.Weinstein, Leo. Hippolyte Taine. New York: Twayne, 1972.Wiarda, Rein. Taine et la Hollande. Paris: E. Droz, 1938.

9 PREFACE second part of “Les Origines de la France Contemporaine”will consist of two volumes.—Popular insurrections and thelaws of the Constituent Assembly end in destroying all governmentin France; this forms the subject of the present volume.—A partyarises around an extreme doctrine, gets possession of the power, andexercises it in conformity with that doctrine; this will form the subject of the second volume.A third volume would be required to criticize authorities. For thisI have no room, and I merely state the rule that I have observed.The most trustworthy testimony is that of the eye-witness, especiallywhen this witness is an honourable, attentive, and intelligent man,writing on the spot, at the moment, and under the dictation of thefacts themselves—if it is manifest that his sole object is to preserveor furnish information, if his work is not a piece of polemics plannedfor the needs of a cause, or a passage of eloquence arranged forpopular effect, but a legal deposition, a secret report, a confidentialdispatch, a private letter, or a personal memento. The nearer a document approaches this type, the more it merits confidence, and supplies superior materials.—I have found many of this character in thenational archives, principally in the manuscript correspondence ofministers, intendants,

Fontaine et ses fables. Paris:Hachette,1861.French Revolution. TranslatedbyJ.Durand.NewYork: H.Holt,1878.H. Taine: sa vie et sa correspondance. Paris:Hachette,1908.Histoire de la litte rature anglaise. Paris:Hachette,1863.Introduction a l’histoire de la litte rature anglaise

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