Download Full Text (98.0 MB)

Download Front Matter, Acknowledgements, and Introduction (7.3 MB)

Download Chapter 1: Local Economy and Social Structure (5.6 MB)

Download Chapter 2: Revolutionary Politics Take Shape, 1789-1792 (14.4 MB)

Download Chapter 3: Crisis in National Politics, 1792-1793 (10.9 MB)

Download Chapter 4: The Provinces Respond: June, 1793 (20.6 MB)

Download Chapter 5: Repression and Reorganization (11.5 MB)

Download Chapter 6: Behind the Scenes: A Social Analysis of Local Politics (15.1 MB)

Download Conclusion (4.8 MB)

Download Appendices and Bibliography (7.4 MB)


This book is first and foremost a study of revolutionary politics, of what molded and determined those politics at the local level. More than simply to compare the local politics of two towns, however, my goal has been to establish the links between local and national political actors, between local and national political issues. Although the nature of local politics tells us a great deal about national political divisions, we need to consider social and economic factors to understand why local politics took the shape they did. Indeed, since I consider those factors to be primary, the manuscript begins and ends with them. Chapter One establishes the economic context in each town and also discusses urban geography and associational patterns among both the social elite and the lower classes of Caen and Limoges at the end of the Old Regime. Chapter Two explores the development of political alignments and confrontations during the first three years of the Revolution. By 1793, the local elite dominated the political arena in Caen, while in Limoges that arena was much more open and contentious. An examination of the events of 1719 through 1792 sheds some light on how that contrasting situation came to be. Chapter Three departs from the local scene to shift our focus to Paris in 1792 and 1793, where an emerging political crisis was increasingly drawing the attention of provincial leaders. My concern in that chapter is to emphasize the ongoing political dialogue between Paris and the provinces and the degree to which national and local issues were intertwined. Chapters Four and Five describe and discuss the federalist revolt and the subsequent repression and reorganization of departmental administrations, stressing the themes established in Chapters Two and Three. Throughout these chapters, the sections devoted to Caen are somewhat lengthier than those devoted to Limoges. This denotes no implicit judgment as to relative importance but rather the simple fact that Caen produced a revolt, with the resultant mountain of documentation, while Limoges did not. Chapter Six analyzes the social and economic factors that, in my view, explain the political differences already established. The Conclusion returns to the broader context of French revolutionary politics in order to appraise the explanatory value of the conceptual interpretations offered by Albert Soboul, Edward Whiting Fox, and Alexis de Tocqueville (discussed first in the Introduction) and to ask whether a regional analysis can help us to understand the federalist revolt and the French Revolution. - Taken from Preface (XV)



Publication Date



Lousiana State University Press


Baton Rouge, Louisiana


French Revolution, Provinical Politics, Caen, Limoges, Political History, French History


This book was archived with permission. © 1989 Louisiana State Press University, all rights reserved.

Provincial Politics in the French Revolution: Caen and Limoges, 1789-1794