La révolution armée: Les soldats-citoyens et la révolution française

TitleLa révolution armée: Les soldats-citoyens et la révolution française
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1979
AuthorsBertaud, Jean-Paul
Number of Pages379
PublisherEditions Robert Laffront

While the military history of the French Revolution was largely neglected since the end of the 19th century, Jean-Paul Bertaud renewed this field of research in his thesis of 1978 which gave the following year the Armed Revolution. As André Corvisier did for the ancien regime, Jean-Paul Bertaud was interested in the soldier and the officer focusing on the angle of social history to that of "history-battle". Based on an analysis of the Vincennes archives, and particularly on the registers of troops, he analyzes the geographical and social origins and careers of thousands of citizens who engage in the armies of the Revolution in order to deliver a vivid image fully "political" in nature. Jean-Paul Bertaud first shows that the crisis of 1789 was also a social, political and cultural crisis of the army in the continuity of the cleavages of the royal army of the 1780s. It then describes how the Assemblies have sought to "regenerate" the former royal army, while the volunteers of 1791, 1792 and 1793 altered their composition in depth. The heart of the work is devoted to Year II and the consequences of the mass lifting of August 1793. It highlights the will of the Montagnards to make the army not only an effective instrument by the amalgam between former royal troops and new battalions, but also a "school" of civic spirit and the crucible of a political and cultural model given to the whole nation: the "soldier-citizen". He explains how these transformations have led to changes in strategy, tactics, and in the material means of combat. Finally, Jean-Paul Bertaud studies the way in which the armies of the Republic gradually became those of his generals under the Directory. (Publisher/Translated from Original French)

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