La Guillotine Permanente: A French Revolutionary Timeline

Chapter 12: Reggenza Radicale
Chapter 12
Reggenza Radicale
Ingresso a Sassari.jpg


"Happiness is a new idea in Europe."
Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, 1794.


Napoleon Bonaparte was present in Paris during the first anniversary of the Coup of Thermidor. The date was met with widescale celebrations, as citizens danced in the streets and sang revolutionary songs. On 10 Thermidor [1], the March on the Tuileries was re-created as citizens paraded their way from the Hôtel de Ville to the National Convention. Saint-Just had been asked to join them to lead the people as he had the year prior, but declined the offer, as he viewed the celebrations as being somewhat undignified. Once they reached the National Convention, they broke into revelry. Some members of the Convention were unnerved by the large crowds outside and feared that they may turn hostile, and requested that the Committee of Public Safety order the dispersal of the growing masses of people outside, but this was vetoed by Saint-Just, who proclaimed that this would be tantamount to 'punishing proper citizens and republicans for their devotion' and so, the celebrations continued. In addition, effigies of Paul Barras were hanged on lamp posts across all of Paris to commemorate his famous lynching. 12 Thermidor [2] marked the celebration of the execution of the Thermidorians as their executions were re-created, with wooden figures beheaded with miniature guillotines. Moderates were somewhat apprehensive regarding these celebrations, but they kept their concerns private, as being publicly sympathetic to the Thermidorians in any shape or form was a near-guaranteed death sentence.

Certain up-and-coming political figures took the opportunity to make speeches directly to the people during the festivities. These consisted mainly of either promising politicians looking to make names for themselves, such as Marc-Antoine Jullien, or established figures looking to spread their ideas, such as François-Noël Babeuf. Bonaparte, a well-known war hero, and fervent revolutionary, made a speech himself in which he implored the people to maintain vigilance against all 'assassins of virtue' and to defend the ideals and institutions of the revolution against all who aim to destroy them. In particular, he directed his fury at the feudalist regimes that directly bordered France, declaring that as long as tyranny reigned abroad, liberty at home was under threat. His speech was met with a somewhat mixed reception, with his native Corsican accent being perceived as 'odd' and 'foreign' to Parisian ears. His good reputation and ideological purity did much to make up for this fairly tolerable flaw, however. The speech also served to promote his views to the French populace and, by extension, the government.

Bonaparte's jingoistic beliefs were met with caution by the Committee Of Public Safety, as their main priority was the end of the war, with any unnecessary adventures being frowned upon. Maximilien Robespierre in particular, was especially opposed to any new conflicts. Bonaparte personally made his case before the Committee, pleading that the consolidation of the revolution domestically, would be meaningless if the Republic did not consolidate itself abroad. He pointed to Italy as a prime example, as states that were fundamentally hostile to the revolution persisted in subjugating their citizens and plotting with larger hostile powers against the revolution. His ideas still faced considerable opposition from Saint-Just and Maximilien Robespierre, who were suspicious of Bonaparte's true intentions. They worried that Bonaparte was motivated by self-aggrandizement and that he was simply trying to improve his position. Saint-Just and Robespierre had long been wary of the coming of a French Caesar to subvert the republic for their own ends and had been public about such concerns since the very beginning of the war. Because of this, they were adamantly against any expansion of the war and were firm in their belief that Bonaparte's only mission in Italy was that of defending the frontiers of the revolution by protecting the Italian Republics. They were, however, willing to concede that if the republics were to enter into any conflict, Bonaparte would be obliged to intervene, merely to maintain stability in the region. This disagreement between Bonaparte, Saint-Just, and Robespierre was smoothed out thanks to their mutual friends, Augustin Robespierre and Antoine Saliceti [3], lest it cause a schism between them. Bonaparte departed Paris for Italy on 14 Thermidor [4] with haste to prevent any feudalist aggression.

In truth, no French citizen had much to fear from the feudalist powers of Italy, as they were all currently completely focused on their own survival. Piedmontese revolutionaries were growing progressively bolder in acting against the state; the Papal States were under increasing diplomatic and military pressure from the Cispadane Republic; Naples was busy fending off an internal succession crisis; and Sardinian separatists had almost completely overrun the island. Filippo Buonarroti was himself, increasingly audacious in his efforts to spread the revolution. He understood that the current Officer Corps of the Cispadane Republic was terribly inexperienced and would face calamitous defeat if it engaged a truly professional force, such as the Imperial Army of Austria. Therefore, it needed experience in battle if it wished to meet the same success as the French Revolutionary Army; to achieve this, it needed to pick its battles carefully and with great care in order to both build up an experienced army of revolutionaries and to consolidate the Cispadane state itself. To achieve this, during Bonaparte's absence from Italy, Buonarroti dispatched an Army of 20,000 men to Liguria to pressure the Piedmontese government. The Cispadane Republic had been directly sending aid to the Sardinian revolutionaries since Germinal [5] and threatened to enforce a blockade on the island with the recently captured Genoan Fleet to prevent any pro-Piedmontese aid from reaching the island. Ever since the beginning of the revolt in 9 Floréal Year II [6], the Piedmontese government had attempted to arrange for the transportation of royalist aid to the island, but this was made impossible first due to the war, then due to the French invasion, and finally due to Cispadane pressure. The situation was further exacerbated when on 2 Thermidor [7] Cispadane forces attacked and occupied the coastal Piedmontese port of Oneglia. The province was of immense strategic value to the Piedmontese because it contained the only ports in Piedmont. Buonarroti proclaimed that this was a peaceful mission intended to prevent the invasion of the sovereign "Republic of Sardinia" [8]. This was met with outrage by the Piedmontese, who immediately dispatched an army of 15,000 men to repulse the Cispadane forces. Because they viewed the Cispadane army as 'mere rabble,' they did not send any more than they thought strictly necessary, as they feared that sending too many men would embolden the Jacobins in Turin enough to revolt.

The Piedmontese army arrived in Oneglia on 16 Thermidor [9], where they found an army larger than expected. The Cispadane army had been reinforced by garrisons from Liguria and impromptu militias raised primarily from the urban centers of Oneglia. What the Cispadane officers lacked in experience, they had in enthusiasm, in contrast to the Piedmontese army, which was still reeling from the shock of the French invasion the year prior. The stage was set for a momentous battle as the Piedmontese army launched its offensive against the fortified positions of the Cispadane forces in Oneglia. The air was thick with anticipation; both sides were keenly aware of the high stakes and the outcome that could serve to shape their nations' futures.

The once-mighty forces of the Kingdom Of Sardinia-Piedmont were now a shadow of their former selves, their morale was low, and their ranks were depleted. Compounding their troubles, a growing sense of revolutionary sentiment spread like wildfire throughout the capital of Turin, unsettling the government, and fueling fears of rebellion. In contrast, the Cispadane Republic had embraced revolutionary ideals fervently. Their troops were driven by a deep-seated passion for change and united under the banner of the Republic. The once-disciplined Piedmontese soldiers, now demoralized and divided, pressed on with a mix of trepidation and desperation. The Cispadane defenders, awaited the approaching enemy with an unwavering resolve. Their ranks, bolstered by passionate local volunteers and fervent revolutionaries, formed a united front against the Piedmontese onslaught. As the battle commenced, the clash of metal and the thunderous roar of cannons echoed through the field. The two armies collided with a ferocity befitting the high stakes of the conflict. Bayonets gleamed, swords flashed, and muskets roared as bullets tore through the air. The battlefield became a chaotic symphony of warfare, the ground trembling under the weight of advancing soldiers.

The Piedmontese soldiers struggled to maintain their composure. Their ranks faltered, plagued by internal dissent and a lack of unity. By contrast, the Cispadane troops, emboldened by their cause and united in their determination, fought back with incredible ferocity. They unleashed a torrent of musket fire and launched fierce counterattacks that took the Piedmontese by surprise. Their ranks, driven by a shared sense of purpose, held firm against the invading force.

The Piedmontese found themselves on the back foot; their offensive faltering as they, demoralized and disorganized began to retreat under the relentless onslaught of the Cispadane troops. As the battle reached its climax, the Cispadane forces pushed forward with a relentless determination. They exploited the Piedmontese weaknesses, launching swift yet somewhat uncoordinated attacks that broke their lines. Their revolutionary fervor fueled their fighting spirit, as they saw in this victory an opportunity to shape the destiny of Italy. The Piedmontese were forced into a hasty retreat, their dreams of suppressing the revolutionary forces and reclaiming their lost territories shattered on the battlefield. The defeat dealt a severe blow to the Piedmontese forces, leaving them extremely demoralized and vulnerable to the growing revolutionary sentiment at home.

The Battle of Oneglia sent shockwaves across Piedmont, with the Jacobins of Turin launching mass demonstrations in the streets once the news arrived. Panicked, King Charles Emmanuel IV, fearing revolution, ordered the army to suppress the demonstrations. This only served to exacerbate the situation, as the Jacobins, who had prepared themselves for an armed revolution, took up arms in revolt with weapons obtained through Cispadane benefactors. Some royalist regiments even sided against the government due to both chronic low morale and the defeat at Oneglia being viewed as the first shots of a potential French invasion.

In fact, it was the fear of the French returning that seemed to drive the Piedmontese Revolution forward, motivated by the belief that replacing the monarchy was their only hope at avoiding disaster. The capital had been engulfed into a brutally violent urban struggle, as royalists and revolutionaries battled for control of the city. The Cispadane army, meanwhile, rushed to Turin at full speed in hopes of enforcing the revolution. Spontaneous uprisings also served to paralyze the Piedmontese army, as unrest spread throughout the urban areas of Piedmont. If royalist forces were effectively concentrated against the Cispadane incursion, they may have won. As they were currently scattered across the cities of Piedmont to quell the insurrection, however, they were unable to effectively meet any challenges. The Cispadane Army arrived in Turin on 24 Thermidor to find the capital battered by days of brutal urban fighting. Some had exploited the chaotic situation to settle their own personal grievances, further driving up the death toll. With the royalist forces so heavily decentralized and scattered across Piedmont, facing both the revolutionary and Cispadane forces, the latter, as a result, were able to seize control of Turin, capturing the government and the royal family in the process. This allowed for the consolidation of power in revolutionary hands, as royalist morale collapsed throughout Piedmont due to the fall of the capital.

No time was wasted, as Giovanni Antonio Ranza formed an emergency revolutionary government in the newly created 'Republic of Piedmont,’ with a new red, blue, and orange tricolor flag. The new government was largely composed of exiles who had fled to Nice, where Buonarroti had organized them into a revolutionary cadre. Prominent members included Giovanni Antonio Ranza, a notorious publisher and agitator, and Ignazio Bonafous, a merchant who (somewhat against his interests) became infatuated with Babouvism, much to the annoyance of Ranza, who favored Federalism. Divisions had already formed within the revolutionary government between those who favored Federalism, with voting rights reserved for the landed gentry, and those favoring Bavouvism, with universal male suffrage. Other prominent Babouvists in government included the lawyer, Maurizio Pellisseri, and the former medical student Guglielmo Michele Cerise, who were closely politically aligned with Buonarroti. The Federalist faction included Ranza's fairly young protegé, Giuseppe Antonio Azari, Giuseppe Giorna, the man who organized the armed revolt in Turin, and Angelo Pennoncelli, a priest who had inducted many poorer clergymen into the revolt, gaining the revolutionaries an invaluable ally in recruiting from the lower classes, and spreading their message beyond the middle class (which the majority of the Piedmontese Jacobins were.)

With Turin taken and their army defeated, the royalist's ultimate defeat became inevitable. It would still take several more weeks for the new Republic to fully consolidate its hold over Piedmont, but with Cispadane support, it would be sooner rather than later. Controversially for some of the Piedmontese, they were forced to relinquish control of Sardinia, which was to gain its independence. News of the royalist collapse had been met with widespread celebration across the new Republic of Sardinia, as it signified the end of the Sardinian Revolution. Giovanni Maria Angioy, the foremost Sardinian revolutionary, was immensely grateful for the Cispadane aid and would prove to be a close ally of Buonarroti in the future.

Meanwhile, the Neapolitan Jacobins had been working vigorously in pursuit of their goals. With the death of the late Ferdinand IV, the extensive system of internal espionage that he had cultivated became rudderless, owing to its heavily centralized nature. The newly crowned King of Naples, Francesco I, had isolated himself in his palace, cut himself off from the world, and only let relatives and close associates in. This was to his severe detriment, as his late father was known for being highly personable and unusually down-to-earth due to his famous mingling with the Lazzeroni of the city of Naples. This allowed the Jacobins to intensify their propaganda efforts to new heights, as they now claimed that the assassination of Ferdinand IV had been orchestrated by the Austrians on behalf of Queen Maria Carolina and her illegitimate son, Francesco I. This allowed the Jacobins to position themselves not as radical Republicans who wished to destroy the monarchy and the Royal House of Bourbon but as staunch royalists who were merely acting out of veneration for the late King Ferdinand. This gave them some support among the Lazzeroni, which was crucial if they wished to establish a popular government. Even more importantly, support from figures within the Royal Army was acquired, although these figures differed dramatically in their revolutionary enthusiasm. Lieutenant-Captain Gabriele Manthoné, the commander of the Royal Arms Factory of Torre Annunziata, for example, was an enthusiastic Jacobin and Republican who wished for the total overthrow of the entire monarchist system, and not just Francesco I. Others were driven by personal animosities, like the Prince of Strongoli and Count of Melissa, Francesco Pigniatelli, who had seen his brothers, Ferdinand and Mario, jailed unjustly on the orders of Ferdinand IV, and as a result, Pigniatelli wanted to retaliate against the monarchy. Other supporters genuinely believed the libelous claims against Francesco I, such as Cavalry Lieutenant Michele Carrascosa, a descendant of the Spanish nobility who had arrived in Naples to support King Charles III [10] in 1734. Another was Francesco di Laino [11], who had been designated Vicar General by Ferdinand IV and was another highly influential figure who bought into the rumors surrounding Francesco I. The Leopoldists greatly benefited from the interconnected nature of the nobility, as the Jacobins were able to form an impressive coalition from familial contacts alone. Francesco di Laino, for example, was the paternal uncle to Francesco Pigniatelli and the maternal uncle to the Count of Ruvo, Ettore Carafa d'Andria.

Ettore Carafa (as he preferred to be known) was a Neapolitan Jacobin and exile who had fled the country in Year II [12] to become one of the foremost radicals in the expatriated Neapolitan Jacobin movement. He had become enamored with Saint-Just due to his incredible accomplishments, his fire, and their similar age (they were born the same month, only 15 days apart.) He would strive to emulate Saint-Just in all things down to the way he was known to dress. While other expat Jacobins favored returning to Naples, only once the Leopoldists had taken power, Carafa favored a far more ambitious plan. Carafa wanted to build a small army of devout Jacobins, composed of exiled Neapolitans. Trained in the Cispadane Republic, this army would then be smuggled into Naples, where they would rise against the monarchy. This would allow the Neapolitans to act with a greater degree of political flexibility, as they would not be completely dependent on moderates in the regular army. It would also place an organized and effective group of revolutionary regulars composed of fervent Republican Jacobins in the city of Naples, where they could counter the Lazzeroni. This plan had several flaws. First, the organization and secrecy required to execute such an operation were beyond both the Neapolitan Jacobin and Cispadane means. Second, even if they were capable, they simply could not afford to spend the money and material required to put such a force together. Carafa promised them they would be repaid with his vast inheritance (Carafa was one of the highest-born and most privileged men in all of Naples.) Still, they remained wary of the expenses needed to train them. As a result, Carafa offered a compromise; the force would be small, consisting of only 2,000 men, and it would also not be necessary to arm them, as they could be armed once they reached Naples. This was far more reasonable for his benefactors, and they soon began to support the plan.

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Ettore Carafa

The Jacobins could rely on their extensive and decentralized networks to accomplish the plan. Gennaro Serra, the Duke of Cassano, through his position in the Papal States, informed his co-conspirators of the plan. They would then carefully select the 2,000 men who would be recruited. These recruits were then sent on what would colloquially become known as a "Revolutionary pilgrimage" to Rome, where they would quietly cross the border into the province of Romagna in the Cispadane Republic. There they would be trained alongside Cispadane Regulars before drilling until word of the death of Ferdinand IV reached them. After this, they would be carefully and gradually smuggled into the city of Naples, which was achieved thanks to the idle nature of Francesco I. Somewhat controversially, Ettore Carafa was personally accompanying them and was in hiding. On 30 Fructidor [13], all the men were in place, and the revolution could commence.

The morning sun cast its warm glow over the city of Naples as Ettore Carafa, at the head of his expatriate army of 2,000 fervent Jacobins, set out on their fateful march. Their destination: the heavily guarded Royal Arms Factory of Torre Annunziata, the largest factory for the military supplies of firearms and weapons for the Kingdom. The rhythmic tramp of their boots echoed through extremely narrow streets, signaling their determined intentions. Clad in tattered green shirts and bearing the weight of their aspirations, these men were driven by a burning desire for change, a longing for a new order to replace the monarchy that had reigned for far too long.

Lieutenant-Captain Gabriele Manthoné, a devout republican and commander of the factory, had meticulously planned this pivotal operation over the past few weeks. His unwavering loyalty to the cause had earned him the trust and respect of his co-conspirators, who were placing their lives and the fate of the Revolution in his hands. As the Revolutionary Forces approached the walls of the Royal Arms Factory of Torre Annunziata, adrenaline coursed through their veins. The factory was a symbol of royal authority, producing the weapons needed for despotic repression and guarded by soldiers loyal to the monarchy. But within its walls lay the key to their success—a stockpile of weapons that would arm their uprising and fuel their revolution.

Ettore Carafa's heart swelled with a mixture of anticipation and apprehension. He knew that the success of their mission hinged on a delicate balance of surprise, skill, and unwavering determination. The men under his command shared his resolve, and their eyes burned with the fire of rebellion. As they reached the Factory, Carafa's eyes locked with Lieutenant-Captain Manthoné. With a nod of agreement between Carafa and Manthoné, the fortress gates swung open, granting the revolutionaries access to the vast stockpile of weapons within. No clash of arms or struggle for control ensued, for Manthoné and his soldiers had embraced the cause, casting their allegiance to Francesco I aside in favor of their own designs.

Amidst the factory's halls, the revolutionaries and the soldiers, once opponents, now found themselves united in purpose as Manthoné, oversaw the orderly distribution of weapons to Carafa's expatriate army. Cheers of camaraderie filled the air as the revolutionaries emerged from the fortress, armed to the teeth, their spirits soaring with newfound hope. The news of Manthoné's allegiance and the acquisition of the weapons spread like wildfire, galvanizing the Lazzaroni of Naples. While some supported Francisco I, just as many backed Leopold. The vast majority of them remained neutral, however. The Jacobins quickly exploited the vast information network that they had developed over the past months to invoke the memory of Ferdinand IV in their call for rebellion. They had been made aware of the plan to seize the Royal Arms Factory in advance and were prepared to spread the news of the rebellion fast.

Michele Carrascosa, along with several other officers with Leopoldist sympathies, rallied the Royal Dragoons to their side. With them by their side, the revolutionaries gained a crucial advantage, as the well-trained and disciplined cavalry unit provided the revolt with an organized and formidable force more than capable of challenging the loyalist troops. Leopoldist Lazzeroni soon poured into the streets, joining the revolutionary cause and further swelling their numbers.

Under Carrascosa's leadership, the Royal Dragoons acted swiftly, coordinating with the Jacobins and their underground army to stage coordinated attacks on the key loyalist strongholds. Their sudden and calculated assaults caught the loyalist forces off guard, further weakening their resolve and sowing chaos among their ranks.

As the revolt escalated, the majority of the Lazzeroni, while ultra-royalists by nature and sympathetic to both, remained neutral, hesitant to fully commit to either side. However, their neutrality worked in favor of the revolutionaries, as it created an environment of uncertainty and instability that further undermined the monarchy's hold on power. Overwhelmed by the combined force of the revolutionaries, the disarrayed loyalist troops found themselves outmaneuvered and outnumbered.

The streets of Naples became a battleground, with sporadic skirmishes erupting as the revolutionaries pressed forward, inching closer to their ultimate goal of dethroning King Francesco I and securing Prince Leopold's ascension.

The final blow came when the revolutionaries, emboldened by their successes, launched a coordinated assault on the royal palace itself. With the Royal Dragoons leading the charge, they stormed the palace gates, overwhelming the remaining loyalist guards. In the face of the inevitable, King Francesco I, isolated and devoid of support, abdicated his throne, and Prince Leopold, the chosen puppet of the Jacobins, was installed as the symbolic ruler under their influence. Ettore Carafa d'Andria, the Count of Ruvo was installed as regent due to the part he played in the revolt.

With the revolt completed, the streets of Naples echoed with a mixture of jubilation and uncertainty. The Leopoldists, having achieved their goal, now faced the formidable task of shaping the future of the newly formed regime and managing the delicate balance of power while the Lazzeroni, who had been instrumental in toppling the monarchy, were watchful of any government action that could be perceived as Republican or Jacobin by nature. As the dust settled, the fate of Naples hung in the balance. The success of the revolution had been realized, but the true test lay ahead, as the Jacobins sought to navigate the complexities of governance and reconcile the vast differences in the diverse coalition that had brought them to power.


[1]: 28th of July, 1795.

[2]: 30th of July, 1795.

[3]: Corsican Jacobin, Deputy to the National Convention, Montagnard and Robespierre loyalist. Served as representative on mission to suppress the Federalist revolts in Marseille and Toulon where he met and befriended Napoleon Bonaparte with whom he bonded over their shared heritage and beliefs. Was instrumental in Bonaparte's promotion after Toulon.

[4]: 1st of August, 1795.

[5]: March-April.

[6]: 28th of April 1794.

[7]: 20th of July, 1795.

[8]: Was only named such after the Piedmontese Revolution, though the revolt had been ongoing since the 28th of April 1794 (9 Floréal, Year II.)

[9]: 3rd of August, 1795.

[10]: Charles III was at the time only the Duke of Parma and Piacenza. In 1734 he invaded and conquered Naples, ascending to King in the process. He would only inherit the Kingdom of Spain in 1759.

[11]: Full name: Francesco Pignatelli, Marquis of Laino and Count of Acerra. Here referred to as Francesco di Laino for the sake of clarity and to prevent confusing him with his nephew who has the same name.

[12]: 1794.

[13]: 16th September, 1795.

[14]: I feel some clarification may be needed here. The Royal Arms Factory is not located within the city limits of the City of Naples itself, but just to its outskirts in Torre Annunziata. The Factory is about 20 kilometers away from the Royal Palace of Naples itself.
 
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His ideas still faced considerable opposition from Saint-Just and Maximilien Robespierre, who were suspicious of Bonaparte's true intentions. They worried that Bonaparte was motivated by self-aggrandizement and that he was simply trying to improve his position. Saint-Just and Robespierre had long been wary of the coming of a French Caesar to subvert the republic for their own ends and ha
Its hilarious that without even realising they got Nappy's character down to a tea
Like thats exactly what he was IOTL

The Caesar of Paris

If they only knew... then again Im happy they dont because they'd immediately kill him and that would make everything much less fun
 
OK, so I have updated the map, however the site will not let me upload it as apparently the file size is too large.

Could someone please give me some advice in how to get it to work?
 
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@Mildtryth , thanks for the suggestion. Happily, I have just discovered another way to get the image to upload, namely to crop it so that it is smaller than what I assume is a limit of 500KB.

As with my previous attempt at mapmaking, feedback would be appreciated. Apologies for the slightly lower resolution than before.
 
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@Mildtryth , thanks for the suggestion. Happily, I have just discovered another way to get the image to upload, namely to crop it so that it is smaller than what I assume is a limit of 500KB.

As with my previous attempt at mapmaking, feedback would be appreciated. Apologies for the slightly lower resolution than before.
Thank you! Naples controls Sicily and Corsica is still under British control in the form of the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom.

It's incredible how much mileage i've gotten out of Buonarroti's time in Nice. Even more incredible is that how little exaggerating has been done here.
 
I've been reading this TL for the past two days, and let me say, excellent work! I'm really excited for what's to come, especially the invasion of Ireland. The French Revolution is a very interesting topic that deeply fascinates me. I haven't been able to study it properly, beyond listening to Mike Duncan's Revolutions, but it's simply such a pivotal time for humanity. It's a shame this site is so anglocentric because you're absolutely right, it's incredible that this is the first TL to truly explore the idea of continued Jacobin France. When I think of the French Revolution I think of Mark Twain's quote:

“THERE were two “Reigns of Terror,” if we would but remember it and consider it; the one wrought murder in hot passion, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, the other had lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death upon ten thousand persons, the other upon a hundred millions; but our shudders are all for the “horrors” of the minor Terror, the momentary Terror, so to speak; whereas, what is the horror of swift death by the axe, compared with lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty, and heart-break? What is swift death by lightning compared with death by slow fire at the stake? A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by that brief Terror which we have all been so diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over; but all France could hardly contain the coffins filled by that older and real Terror—that unspeakably bitter and awful Terror which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves.”

Indeed, why is it that when we think of the French Revolution we only remember its excesses and the Terror? They were, of course, appalling, but if anything the fault lies on the aristocracy and monarchy that had for centuries fed on the poor and denied them their rights.
 
Indeed, why is it that when we think of the French Revolution we only remember its excesses and the Terror? They were, of course, appalling, but if anything the fault lies on the aristocracy and monarchy that had for centuries fed on the poor and denied them their rights.
British propaganda has colored historiography of the French Revolution pretty much from the beginning, and the Great Terror proved to be such a ghoulishly effective cudgel against the revolutionary project that it keeps its staying power even as our understanding of the period improves and those early sources are placed under heavier scrutiny for their dual purpose as primary sources and contemporary political propaganda. As I state earlier in the thread, the most telling detail that this phenomenon is at play is the wildly different treatment The Great Fear of 1789-90 gets in historiography: both more widespread and bloodier than the much more infamous Great Terror, it doesn't get nearly as much attention, never mind negative attention.

And the great irony, of course, is that the Great Fear constitutes a far more visceral and spontaneous backlash against that historical terror that Mark Twain describes: the violent purges at the bottom of the guillotine are gruesome, yes, but even such a coordinated campaign of violence paled in comparison to the widespread, indiscriminate and ruthless vengeance the peasantry exacted upon their aristocratic and ecclesiastic landlords.
 
British propaganda has colored historiography of the French Revolution pretty much from the beginning, and the Great Terror proved to be such a ghoulishly effective cudgel against the revolutionary project that it keeps its staying power even as our understanding of the period improves and those early sources are placed under heavier scrutiny for their dual purpose as primary sources and contemporary political propaganda. As I state earlier in the thread, the most telling detail that this phenomenon is at play is the wildly different treatment The Great Fear of 1789-90 gets in historiography: both more widespread and bloodier than the much more infamous Great Terror, it doesn't get nearly as much attention, never mind negative attention.

And the great irony, of course, is that the Great Fear constitutes a far more visceral and spontaneous backlash against that historical terror that Mark Twain describes: the violent purges at the bottom of the guillotine are gruesome, yes, but even such a coordinated campaign of violence paled in comparison to the widespread, indiscriminate and ruthless vengeance the peasantry exacted upon their aristocratic and ecclesiastic landlords.

I know that when I was in university, even the assigned texts just mentioned the Great Fear in passing and never even elaborated on what it was.

To this day i still don't know anything about it and even the Wikipedia articles are as vague as they can get.
 
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I know that when I was in university, even the assigned texts just mentioned the Great Fear in passing and never even elaborated on what it was.

To this day i still don't know anything about it and even the Wikipedia articles are as vague as they can get.
 
British propaganda has colored historiography of the French Revolution pretty much from the beginning, and the Great Terror proved to be such a ghoulishly effective cudgel against the revolutionary project that it keeps its staying power even as our understanding of the period improves and those early sources are placed under heavier scrutiny for their dual purpose as primary sources and contemporary political propaganda. As I state earlier in the thread, the most telling detail that this phenomenon is at play is the wildly different treatment The Great Fear of 1789-90 gets in historiography: both more widespread and bloodier than the much more infamous Great Terror, it doesn't get nearly as much attention, never mind negative attention.

And the great irony, of course, is that the Great Fear constitutes a far more visceral and spontaneous backlash against that historical terror that Mark Twain describes: the violent purges at the bottom of the guillotine are gruesome, yes, but even such a coordinated campaign of violence paled in comparison to the widespread, indiscriminate and ruthless vengeance the peasantry exacted upon their aristocratic and ecclesiastic landlords.
The Great Fear is never mentioned as it goes against the narrative of the "good" revolution of 1789 as opposed to the "bad" revolution of 1792, which allows for people fundamentally opposed to the French Revolution and its goals to pay lip service to its popular ideals while still maintaining their self-righteous moral grandstanding about "mob rule" and other dog whistles for popular government and self-rule. The Great Fear exposes this contradiction and it is therefore, forgotten. One simply cannot condemn 1792 while eulogizing about 1789. This can also be seen in the disproportionate amount of sympathy reserved for the Girondins, an infamously self-serving and corrupt group who started 20 years of war and were rightfully deposed for it, simply due to misplaced veneration of 1789.
 
Speaking of, how the Jacobins will influence the development of the Democratic-Republican Party in the US, considering that the Jacobins despised slavery?
 
Speaking of, how the Jacobins will influence the development of the Democratic-Republican Party in the US, considering that the Jacobins despised slavery?
The Democratic-Republican Party is pretty Francophile by nature and it is basically inevitable for Jacobin ideas to enter into common Democratic-Republican thought. The slavery issue is actually easier to reconcile then one may think, as it was commonly believed that slavery will die out on its own without outside intervention. This changed with the invention of the cotton gin which made slavery far more profitable. The divisions within the Democratic-Republican Party are therefore, sure to grow overtime as Jacobin thought becomes more popular. The Jacobins (despite some Federalist claims) remain a fringe part of the Party for the time being, however.
 
I'm wondering what is happening in Hatti. It's mentioned that the British planed an invasion, which happened IOTL and the Republic of France recognized the nation itself as free and independent (Napoleon later changed this policy which caused much suffering). Is Hatti a free nation now?
 
I'm wondering what is happening in Hatti. It's mentioned that the British planed an invasion, which happened IOTL and the Republic of France recognized the nation itself as free and independent (Napoleon later changed this policy which caused much suffering). Is Hatti a free nation now?
Probably free but also tied economically towards France and probably serving as a safe haven for would be revolutionaries like Bolivar, Miranda, Morelos that they could use to gather men, guns and money to throw off the yoke of Spain.
 
I'm wondering what is happening in Hatti. It's mentioned that the British planed an invasion, which happened IOTL and the Republic of France recognized the nation itself as free and independent (Napoleon later changed this policy which caused much suffering). Is Hatti a free nation now?

If i can remember well, they didn't acknowledge Haiti's independence at that point - they just abolished slavery there and offered amnesty to the rebels.
 
If i can remember well, they didn't acknowledge Haiti's independence at that point - they just abolished slavery there and offered amnesty to the rebels.
IIRC they originally wanted it to just be a department of France, with the Hattians as citizens. Louvature was a big proponent of this concept at the time, but his fellow Hattians were not all that convinced. But I thought by this point they had become totally independent.
 
While I am hardly an expert on the Haitian Revolution, my understanding of Robespierre (at least as he has been portrayed in this timeline) is that when it comes to foreign policy, he is very much a pragmatist. As such, I can see him being willing to accept Haitian independence, on the condition that the independent Haitian state agrees to continue trading with France, to allow French military personnel to remain there and to intervene on France's side in any conflicts in the area.
IIRC they originally wanted it to just be a department of France, with the Haitians as citizens. Louverture was a big proponent of this concept at the time, but his fellow Haitians were not all that convinced. But I thought by this point they had become totally independent.
Yeah, as far as I can tell, Louverture was supportive of the integration of a free Haiti into France, only attempting to declare independence in 1801 when he feared that Napoleon would reintroduce slavery to the island (a fear that, unfortunately, proved to be justified IOTL). ITTL, Napoleon is highly unlikely to end up in power, and the pro-slavery faction back in France has mostly been purged in the aftermath of Thermidor II, meaning that provided that Robespierre does not do anything too rash (which I find hard to imagine he would do), it would be relatively straightforward for him to win Louverture's trust and fully integrate Haiti into France.

What would be interesting is if Haiti remains part of France, how it could influence colonies of other revolutionary states. Of course, while Revolutionary France is unlikely to take additional colonies, it does still possess other colonies in the New World, for example in Guadeloupe, Martinique, etc. Additionally, its ally Batavia still possesses colonies in the Cape, Ceylon and the East Indies. Granted these are likely under British occupation at the moment, like they were IOTL to prevent them falling into the hands of the Jacobins, but in the event that the war with Britain ends in a French victory, France will likely demand the return of these colonies to Batavia. In this event, I can imagine that the Dutch would either attempt to directly integrate the colonies into Batavia (for example the Cape Colony, which is culturally perhaps the most closely related to the Dutch metropole, as well as the Dutch Caribbean and American colonies) or place them under some sort of protectorate status, granting them complete control over domestic affairs whilst controlling their foreign affairs. This, in my opinion, is the most likely outcome regarding Ceylon (which, with the exception of strategically important points such as the Colombo and Galle forts and Trincomalee Harbour, will likely be returned to the Kandyan Kingdom) and with the various Indonesian sultanates, which will likewise receive independence.
 
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