Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and American Social History Project
The French Revolution’s impact on European and world history has been immense. This website examines its causes, explains the course of the Revolution, explores important issues, and discusses the interpretation of artifacts as well as the impact on France and the world.
The site allows users to explore the Revolution through both scholarly essays and primary source documents. There are eight essays written by historians Jack R. Censer and Lynn Hunt—two of the foremost scholars of the French Revolution—that examine the social causes of the Revolution; the embattled monarchy before the Revolution; the enlightenment and human rights; the politics of rebellion; women and the Revolution; the fall of the monarchy; war, the Terror, and resistance to the Revolution; slavery and the Haitian Revolution; Napoleon Bonaparte; and the French Revolution’s legacy. One of the site’s best features is the integration of selected primary materials from its archive of more than 600 primary source documents—250 images, 350 texts, 13 maps, and 13 songs—into the essays. Each essay is accompanied by links to maps, texts, songs, and images related to the essay’s discussion that can be viewed in a separate window without leaving the essay page. The user can also browse the complete archive of primary source documents by images, texts, maps, or songs. And to aid in using these documents there is an essay by Philippe Bordes on the reading of images and an essay by Laura Mason on interpreting the songs of the Revolution, each accompanied by primary source examples. Additionally, the site offers a timeline and a glossary (both accessed through the browse feature). The site can be searched by keyword, by 20 pre-selected topics, or by resource type.
This website offers outstanding resources for understanding and teaching the French Revolution and its impact on world history.
Read a more in-depth review written by West Chester University professor Wayne Hanley at World History Sources—Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Or explore other world history website reviews at World History Sources—Finding World History.