The French Revolution of 1789-95

The course will explore the origins of the French Revolution of 1789, the impact of Enlightenment ideas and events, whether the revolution was inevitable or an accident of history. Subsequent debates will focus on the role of Louis XVI and the politicians of the constitutional monarchy (1789-92), the rise of republicanism, the Jacobins, Robespierre, the Terror (1792-4) and its aftermath; also the revolutions and regimes it inspired in 19th century France. Its impact on Europe, with the war of 1792-1815, will be a major feature. Was this revolution the true birth of modern politics?

Students will gain most from the sessions if they are willing to undertake some guided preparation: an optional reading list will be sent well in advance.


Suitable for all


Teaching Style:




Christopher Dean