To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This chapter argues that rather than a unilinear extension of the market project from England to France, the Anglo-French contestation, and the concomitant processes of uneven and combined development during the early modern period sharpened and restructured existing sociohistorical differences, ultimately leading to the formulation of a qualitatively different regime of property and modernization in France. Jacobinism was neither absolutism nor capitalism, but combined and bypassed both based on a new form of sociality and political economy. It produced novel social, economic and geopolitical dynamics that gave modernity a radically multilinear texture.
This book offers a radical reinterpretation of the development of the modern world through the concept of Jacobinism. It argues that the French Revolution was not just another step in the construction of capitalist modernity, but produced an alternative (geo)political economy – that is, 'Jacobinism.' Furthermore, Jacobinism provided a blueprint for other modernization projects, thereby profoundly impacting the content and tempo of global modernity in and beyond Europe. The book traces the journey of Jacobinism in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey. It contends that until the 1950s, the Ottoman/Turkish experiment with modernity was not marked by capitalism, but by a historically specific Jacobinism. Asserting this Jacobin legacy then leads to a novel interpretation of the subsequent transition to and authoritarian consolidation of capitalism in contemporary Turkey. As such, by tracing the world historical trajectory of Jacobinism, the book establishes a new way of understanding the origins and development of global modernity.
Chapter 11 of Earthopolis: A Biography of Our Urban Planet explores cities’ role as creators and creations of the political revolutions of the late-eighteenth-century Atlantic world. It argues that traditions of urban “freedoms” going back to the revival of European cities, imperial conflict throughout the world between regimes based in London and Paris, restive settler colonial cities in the Americas, and the Atlantic economy’s reliance on enslavement made the Atlantic into the world’s first “cauldron” of modern revolution. It traces the close connections between the American Revolution that started in Boston and the French one in Paris, while investigating the ways revolutionaries used the spaces of a cities designed for colonial or authoritarian control to overthrow otherwise all-powerful-seeming regimes, replacing them with structures designed for democracy or People Power.
The connection between politics and magic largely faded from view in eighteenth-century Britain, as it became socially unacceptable in elite circles to show interest in the supernatural. However, the apparent support of some mystical prophets for the French Revolution re-engaged the government’s interest, and a tradition of ‘mystical nationalism’ was born at this time (influenced by William Blake) that would go on to influence British politics to the present day. Elite interest in ritual magic returned at the end of the nineteenth century, sometimes connected with traditionalist and ultra-conservative political views. In the Second World War notorious magician Aleister Crowley attempted to offer magical advice to Winston Churchill, and magicians claimed to have performed rites against the enemy, while the politically motivated conviction of the Spiritualist medium Helen Duncan resurrected the 1736 Witchcraft Act. By the 1980s extreme politics in Britain had a magical fringe. The British far right, in particular, drew on earlier traditions of ‘mystical nationalism’. British royalty’s fascination with magic likewise continued in the twentieth century. Belief in magic remains an undercurrent in British political life to the present day, far less prominent than it was four centuries ago but nevertheless present, and sometimes influential in unexpected ways.
Chapter 3 explores the consequences of the French Revolution's transformation of European politics through an Irish lens, linking the political thought of key Irish radicals to the emerging propaganda war between the rival empires of Britain and France. For Wolfe Tone and Arthur O’Connor, two key United Irish emissaries to France, French intervention in Irish politics presented an opportunity dismantle the Irish Kingdom’s sectarian property order and replace it with the peasant proprietorship being spread by French arms in the Low Countries, the Rhineland and northern Italy. Ireland’s poverty and instability was meanwhile held by a range of French and German observers to be a clear demonstration of the injustice and weakness of the British Empire, and the superiority of the French alternative. Following their defeat in 1798, key United Irish figures including O’Connor and William James MacNeven mounted powerful defences of Napoleonic empire. At least as far as its leaders were concerned, the 1798 rebellion was borne not of a radical repudiation of empire, but of an embrace of a French over a British variant.
Histories of Irish political thought in this period have adopted an overwhelmingly national focus. While they have frequently engaged with the transnational contexts, whether British, Atlantic or European, that have shaped traditions such as unionism, nationalism and republicanism, their ultimate purpose has been to better understand the principal actors in what remains an Irish story. 4 This focus on Irish national and confessional identities has tended to sideline other questions that we might usefully ask of texts produced in and around Ireland during this turbulent period. Where was Ireland located, by Irish and non-Irish contemporaries alike, within the broader political conjuncture of the later-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries? What can debates concerning Ireland can tell us about the evolution of British and European political thinking in the era of the American and French Revolutions, and of Britain’s rise to global commercial and colonial hegemony?
Arguments for the 1801 Union of the British and Irish parliaments drew on the intellectual resources of the later British Enlightenment to implement a new system of economic and political regulation of Irish society. Proponents of Union articulated a renewed belief in the ability of commercial integration with Britain to act as a solvent to the confessional and ethnic tensions laid bare by the United Irish rising and attempted French invasions of 1796-8. The 'diffusion' of British capital to Ireland would give Ireland’s shattered Anglican aristocracy the opportunity to re-establish its political legitimacy, while forcing them to share power with a rising Catholic mercantile and professional class. The case for Union was interpreted in a broad European context of state competition and reform. The leading continental defender of British policy, the Prussian diplomat and publicist Friedrich von Gentz, hailed the legislative unification of the British Empire as a model for a necessary consolidation of the European states-system in the wake of French revolutionary violence.
To Kant, the French revolution's central events were the transfer of sovereignty to the people in 1789 and the trial and execution of the monarch in 1792-1793. Through a contextual study, this Element argues that while both events manifested the principle of popular sovereignty, the first did so in lawful ways, whereas the latter was a perversion of the principle. Kant was convinced that historical examples can help us understand political philosophy, and this Element seeks to show this in practice.
This chapter considers the upheavals of 1781 (The Comunero Revolution), and the decade of 1790, when authorities believed the New Kingdom of Granada was under threat by the French and Haitian Revolutions. High officials became increasingly convinced that foreign literature, foreign agents, and disloyal local vassals would seek to overthrow the Spanish monarchy to establish a republic and a system of equality. This would allegedly include the liberation of slaves, the destruction of the slave-based gold economy, and the undoing of the hierarchical, sacred order of society. However, political tensions hinged on local and regional dynamics, with many slaves seeking to advance their own interests and express their opinions in the judicial forum rather than to turn the world upside down. The chapter critically analyzes stereotypes about French influence (epitomized by the works of the Abbé Raynal) and rebellious slaves.
This chapter argues that in the Age of Atlantic Revolutions (c. 1770s–1790s) republican conceptions of liberty were put into service of both antislavery and proslavery discourses. Focusing on the American, Dutch, French, and Haitian revolutions, it distinguish three lines of republican reasoning that informed arguments against slavery: the 'extension' of political freedom to enslaved people; the idea that the institution of slavery leads to corruption; and third, the notion of republican liberty as a reward for military courage and sacrifice. It then identifies three ways in which republican conceptions of liberty were widely reconciled with the existence of chattel slavery: only a certain delineated group in society could responsibly enjoy republican liberty; enslaved people were a form of property and therefore not part of a society of free citizens; and finally, the idea that enslaved people who did not resist their slavery, basically acquiesced in their unfree status and were unworthy of republican liberty. Eighteenth-century republican arguments about liberty did not necessarily contradict chattel slavery, but could also form part of the legitimization of slavery. The chapter, then, demonstrates not so much the limits but the versatile employability of the republican discourse of liberty.
Historians have been slow to examine the political ramifications of the consumer revolution. Europe and the Americas experienced intense political strife in the eighteenth century, culminating in the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, and Latin American revolutions. Did the consumer revolution (lowercase “r”) have anything to do with these political Revolutions (uppercase “R”)? This chapter provides a framework for understanding how consumer goods became implicated in revolutionary movements. It argues that activists during the age of Revolution politicized consumer goods in three ways. First, by protesting against the “despotic” commercial regulations and consumption taxes at the heart of imperial political economies, activists politicized colonial goods, such as tea and tobacco. They demanded that such “necessities” circulate freely and at low cost. Second, citizens imbued everyday objects with revolutionary meaning. Material objects like the tricolor cockade mediated revolutionary ideas and aspirations, enabling citizens to participate in and express their allegiance to (or rejection of) evolving political projects. Finally, consumer activism shaped debates on slavery. The enslaved of Haiti launched the era’s greatest attack on slavery, overthrowing a brutal system of production that provided Europeans with large quantities of colonial products. Further, abolitionists in Europe and North America protested slavery by abstaining from slave-produced sugar. They argued that consumers had the power to effect large-scale change through a new mode of collective action: the boycott.
The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries have long been seen as a foundational period for modern Irish political traditions such as nationalism, republicanism and unionism. The Case of Ireland offers a fresh account of Ireland's neglected role in European debates about commerce and empire in what was a global era of war and revolution. Drawing on a broad range of writings from merchants, agrarian improvers, philosophers, politicians and revolutionaries across Europe, this book shows how Ireland became a field of conflict and projection between rival visions of politics in commercial society, associated with the warring empires of Britain and France. It offers a new perspective on the crisis and transformation of the British Empire at the end of the eighteenth century, and restores Ireland to its rightful place at the centre of European intellectual history.
This chapter examines the double vision of hope, sacred and profane, epitomized in English literature by the jointly authored poem, “On Hope,” in which Cowley’s satire on worldly wishes is interlaced with Richard Crashaw’s encomium on religious hope. Yet religious hope is de-centered in the Protestantism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Milton, in Paradise Lost, shies away from hope as a theological virtue, seeing it tied to ambition and original sin. Hobbes, focused on things seen rather than unseen, treats worldly hope as a necessary part of human motivation and the reason, along with fear, for the strictures of civil authority. Hobbes’s naturalism tinges subsequent Christian writers, including Addison, Pope, and Johnson, who alternately satirize worldly hopes and treat them as inevitable and consolatory. In the French Revolutionary era there arises a new, properly political hope, aimed at alleviating or eliminating the structural conditions of poverty via democratic-representative activity. Hope as an anodyne for poverty, and for slavery, is questioned by laborer poets and the former slave and anti-slavery polemicist, Olaudah Equiano.
Is hope a virtue? Not necessarily. We hope for many things, some of them good, some bad. What we do or don’t do about our hopes may also reflect on us, for better or for worse. Is hope pleasurable or comforting? Again, not necessarily. Hope may involve anxiety and pain. What about hopes in as well as for others? As good and generous as such hopes may sound, even they are not necessarily virtuous. If hope appears an unqualified good to you, independent of any specific context, it is likely for one of two reasons: first, you belong to or have been influenced by one of the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), in which faith-based hope counts as a virtue; second, you are a political liberal. Starting with supporters of the French Revolution, hope has served as shorthand for progressive politics. I start my literary history with the classical counterpoint, in which hope is at best problematic, something in need of regulation and restraint if not extirpation. I then turn to Judeo-Christianity, and European and American Romanticism, and offer a preliminary sketch of the reasons why hope features as a good thing in these over-lapping but distinct contexts.
This chapter analyses the move of historians away from text and towards the interpretation of visuals. Starting with art history’s turn to the social and the cultural, it traces the interest of historians for an ever wider group of images, including popular images. It also highlights the emergence of perspectivalism and transdisciplinarity in the field of visual history. The main bulk of the chapter is taken up with presenting a range of examples showing how the visual turn in historical writing has contributed to deconstructing national identites, class identities and racial/ethnic identities. Ranging widely across different parts of the globe it also discusses the deconstruction of religious and gender identities through visual histories that have in total contributed much towards a much higher self-reflexivity among historians when it comes to the construction of collective identities through historical writing.
The production, acquisition, and use of consumer goods defines our daily lives, and yet consumerism is seen as increasingly controversial. Movements for sustainable and ethical consumerism are gaining momentum alongside an awareness of how our choices in the marketplace can affect public issues. How did we get here? This volume advances a bold new interpretation of the 'consumer revolution' of the eighteenth century, when European elites, middling classes, and even certain labourers purchased unprecedented quantities of clothing, household goods, and colonial products. Michael Kwass adopts a global perspective that incorporates the expansion of European empires, the development of world trade, and the rise of plantation slavery in the Americas. Kwass analyses the emergence of Enlightenment material cultures, contentious philosophical debates on the morality of consumption, and new forms of consumer activism to offer a fresh interpretation of the politics of consumption in the age of abolitionism and the Atlantic Revolutions.
It is now well acknowledged that socio-economic rights were already recognised and defended at the time of the French Revolution. The aim of this chapter is not simply to extend the genealogy of socio-economic rights farther back. I wish to show that both socio-economic and political rights, during the French Revolution, came from the same intellectual source, namely the belief in a naturally regulated economic sphere. This belief would find its peak expression in Physiocracy, but it also informed a number of other liberal movements. Going back to the late seventeenth century, one even finds the assertion of socio-economic rights before that of political ones. Economic liberalism, in this sense, came before, but also paved the way for, political liberalism. This process extended up to the French Revolution, where it was deputies with strong Physiocratic attachments who pushed for both socio-economic and political rights.
This chapter traces the rise and fall of social rights in the French Revolution. In 1789, economic liberals proposed them, but failed to persuade the National Assembly to include them in its Declaration of Rights. Nevertheless, invocations of them persisted. Their advocates, however, imagined achieving them through the voluntary means of free markets and charity; the state might manage charitable endowments, but it was not to finance them with taxes. The latter prospect eventually gained ground by 1793. Still, the National Convention declared ‘society’ to be the duty-bearer of social rights in its new rights declaration, not the state. During the Terror (1793–4), officials frequently conflated charity and taxes in their efforts to finance social assistance, creating a sense of arbitrariness. Social rights, now associated with the Terror, were suppressed in the rights declaration of 1795. Henceforth, the Revolution’s fundamental problem of obligation was often recast as the problem of social rights.
While Chapter 3 sought to situate international commercial arbitration in the broader context of international adjudication, this chapter focuses on a specific context – that of France. It uses a key concept, the arbitration clause, to explore a wider set of attitudes toward international commercial arbitration that prevailed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first part of this chapter explores the movement from renewal to anxiety in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France – the largely pro-arbitration regime of the French Revolution and the current of hostility toward arbitration that emerged during the Consulate and the First Empire. The second part of this chapter explores the pendulum movement from anxiety to renewal in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This seminal period for arbitration saw French legislators recognize the validity of arbitration clauses in commercial contracts and create a special regime for international commercial arbitration. In short, this chapter is about the “saga” of the arbitration clause, which offers a unique means of exploring the dynamic of renewal and anxiety in the Age of Aspirations.
French Revolutionary principles and mobilization methods radicalized colonial Saint-Domingue (the future Haiti) even more profoundly than France itself. The collapse of absolutism set all factions in competition – leading to standoffs between elite planters and gens de couleur (free men of color) over voting rights, while conflicts between French abolitionists and colonial lobbyists also destabilized the social order. All sides, however, sought to mobilize social movements along recent revolutionary lines – organizing corresponding societies to make their pressure felt. The slave revolt that began the Haitian Revolution erupted amid near-civil war, as the fundamental questions of the era could not be contained by the small, repressive elite that had long controlled the colony.