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The Age of the Democratic RevolutionA Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800$
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R. R. Palmer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161280

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161280.001.0001

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1798: The High Tide of Revolutionary Democracy

1798: The High Tide of Revolutionary Democracy

(p.614) Chapter XXVI 1798: The High Tide of Revolutionary Democracy
The Age of the Democratic Revolution

R. R. Palmer

Princeton University Press

The period of about a year beginning late in 1797 was the high point of the whole decade, and indeed of all European history until 1848, in the matter of international agitation stirred up by the revolutionary-democratic movement. This chapter attempts to recapture this moment of excitement, and to offer an impression of the movement as a whole before following it again in separate countries. Events happened so swiftly, with so little central direction, and yet with so many immediate repercussions over hundreds and thousands of miles, that no plan of exposition can do justice to the reality, which is best seen, though elusively, in any number of chain reactions. For example, in March 1798 the French occupied the Swiss city of Bern and seized its famous “treasure” of some 6,000,000 livres in coin. The money was used to help finance Bonaparte's expedition to Egypt, which in turn was directed in part against the British in India, where the Earl of Mornington was at war with Tipu Sultan who considered himself an ally of the French Republic.

Keywords:   democracy, revolutionary movements, democratic movements, European history

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