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Conclusion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2012

David Andress
Affiliation:
University of Portsmouth
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Summary

Popular assertion and political exclusion in revolutionary Paris

The Champ de Mars Massacre did not, in the end, change very much. In terms of the constitutional crisis ignited by the Flight to Varennes, it was a mere postscript, as the leaders of the Jacobin Club understood when they withdrew from the petitioning process. The train of events launched by the massacre itself, most notably the tortuous judicial inquiry dissected by Albert Mathiez, expired in the amnesty of September 1791 as France supposedly turned her back on past troubles. Insofar as the event lived on during the revolutionary era, it was thanks to its revival as part of a republican heritage after 10 August, going along with the municipal persecution of Marat as part of the infamous history that led Bailly to the guillotine in November 1793, and many of his colleagues to rather less formal deaths in September 1792. Here its value was largely symbolic, the specifics of the event and its antecedents absorbed into a generalised picture of monarchist misdeeds and aristocratic plots. For us, however, if we choose to see the massacre not as a finger pointing to the future, but as a culminating point in a long series of events, almost a catharsis, we can suggest it holds a deeper significance.

Of course the leitmotif of aristocratic plot had already shaped the events themselves, but the issues which need to be addressed more closely here go beyond that generalised concern.

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Chapter
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Massacre at the Champ de Mars
Popular Dissent and Political Culture in the French Revolution
, pp. 213 - 224
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2000

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  • Conclusion
  • David Andress, University of Portsmouth
  • Book: Massacre at the Champ de Mars
  • Online publication: 12 September 2012
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  • Conclusion
  • David Andress, University of Portsmouth
  • Book: Massacre at the Champ de Mars
  • Online publication: 12 September 2012
Available formats
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  • Conclusion
  • David Andress, University of Portsmouth
  • Book: Massacre at the Champ de Mars
  • Online publication: 12 September 2012
Available formats
×