Violence, Terror, and the French Revolution | Newberry

Violence, Terror, and the French Revolution

Dr. Michael Lynn, Purdue University Northwest
Friday, February 18, 2022

9:30am - 12:30pm  

The Newberry Library

Newberry Teachers' Consortium

Violence pervaded the French Revolution (1789-1799) and propelled it forward. Crowd behavior, riots, executions, military actions, slave revolts, and organized political movements all had elements of inherent violence. Such violence had social factors, involving peasants and artisans, professionals, business owners, and nobles, as well as a strongly gendered component with women leading and initiating some actions. In addition, the Haitian Revolution introduced a racial factor to violence even as the revolutionaries in France articulated ideas about human rights and equality. This seminar will examine several instances of violent behavior and explore how and why people resorted to violence or the threat of violence, and what it means for the history of the revolution. Examples will include the storming of the Bastille, bread riots, the October Days, the Massacre at the Champ de Mars, the total war of the Vendée, the Terror and the guillotine, the Haitian revolution, and the coup of Napoleon.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration for all NTC seminars opens Friday, September 10, 2021 at 8 a.m. (Central Time). Registration instructions and pricing information can be found here. Once open, registration for this seminar will be available through this link. For more information about NTC purchases, please contact Cate Harriman, Teacher & Student Programs Coordinator, at

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