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Distributed for University of Wales Press

The Road to 1789

From Reform to Revolution in France

The subject of the origins of the French Revolution is one of the most important and controversial themes in European history.
This fresh critical appraisal begins with a masterly exposition and assessment of recent scholarly debate on the subject, followed by a lucid analysis, supported by documentary evidence, of the multiple stresses which undermined the Old Regime.
The author concludes that a revolution was unavoidable because the Old Regime was incapable of reforming fundamental defects in its political structures, but it was the contingent circumstances of 1788-9 that made the Revolution unexpectedly radical.

122 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 1992

Past in Perspective

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Table of Contents

Editors’ Foreword
1.  What was the Revolution?
2.  The Depredations of War and Debt
3.  The Crown, the Parlements and the Church
4.  The Failure of Reform
5.  The Revolution becomes Radical
Illustrative Documents
Further Reading

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