Paul Schroeder, William Pitney, February Seventeen discussed on The Napoleonic Quarterly
Now for those of you wondering what. An earth is the idea with this podcast. Please do have a listen to episodes zero but in a sentence right quickly. The napoleonic courtly is breaking down the epic conflicts of the seventeen ninety two to eighteen fifteen period into three months chunks beginning with the first quarter of seven thousand nine hundred eighty two so in this episode and the ninety five episodes which will hopefully follow. You can expect to hear an initial summary of developments in the three months in question. Then look at the three biggest stories and more detail and finally a brief discussion between two leading historians of the period to make sense of it. All in fact. They're here with me now. Charles s dale of the university of liverpool and alexander bridge say of louisiana state university. Hello charles hi hi good to be with you and hello alex. Greetings from louisiana. Well let's see what they think of my attempt to some state of play in the three months ending march thirty first seventeen ninety two. There are three main narrative strands to report on throughout season. The first of which is developments in the maelstrom. That is the politics of the french revolution at the beginning of seventeen. Ninety two france had been a constitutional monarchy for three months. The national assembly having prepared the new constitution being replaced by simply from the start of october seventeen ninety one the big development in the first three months of seventeen ninety two was king. Louis the sixteenth. Getting rid of his ministry's appointing republicans to form a new government. Jack pierre is in a position of great influence and those appointed to power being known as the breach attack after him including us foreign minister shelf wa do marie who is very keen on invading your strean netherlands than spawned belgium our second narrative strand is about the allies taking on the french revolution. As britain's william pitney younger is not really looking at the continent much at all at this stage. August is on eastern near and the great power struggle between austria prussia and russia which is going to remain a theme throughout all the twenty four years. This podcast covers and will threaten more at the beginning and end. The question at stake is about what to do with poland how to carve it up really talented set itself up as a hereditary constitutional monarchy just a few months beforehand in may seventeen ninety one not good news for many members of the polish nobility who are gathering in saint petersburg to form the Beat confederation and call on russia to intervene militarily. Prussia also decides to ally with austria in february seventeen. Ninety two your string emperor leopold the second actually dies but is replaced in march by his son who becomes emperor francis of the holy roman empire and king of australia at the habsburg and in a further change the swedish king gustav third is assassinated in a palace plot and our third narrative. Strand is about the progress of the war not that there's a war in europe at this stage but austria and prussia are moving troops towards the french frontier as everything seems to be heading in one direction namely towards armed conflict in europe. So that's your introductory summary to the state of play in this opening three months of seventeen ninety. Two and alex all told. I think things are looking a little ropey here as we heard at the start of this episode. It's clear that the storm clouds are gathering across europe. If i were living in europe in the early seventy nine hundred would be very concerned because you have this mess. In france you have this Rather explain interesting rather talented ruler in austria whom the great american historian. Paul schroeder famously described as one of the shrewdest insensible monarchs ever to wear crown. He just kills over and he's replaced by his son who is far lists experience. Then you have this estimation of swedish king gustav the third Who shot cold-bloodedly the bed. What masquerade and now you see. Great powers Converging on on this polish state of alabi very concerned. If i wear and so in europe in seventeen ninety two charles. Is it about right to boil this down. Initially to the revolution in france and all sorts of shenanigans near more generally because looking ahead to eighteen fifteen. This is basically the starting point which we're gonna come back to at the very end of this story all the way through. It's about the politics of how france is governed being resolved in eighteen fifteen so we went too much looking at but seeing as we're at the very beginning to recognize that this is really where the story begins. The origins of the fruition have been have been debated incessantly and continue to be debated. And i would suggest that we really rainy tope wants to get involved in all of that too much because we were never get to seventeen ninety two. That'll fifteen factored enough. What happens when you get historians big mistake thickness to historians in a room free opinions. Well chosen joking you signed. I always explain the french revolution to my students. As if you like a a two-fold process you got two different. Things happening at once in france and they kill you side on the one hand. You've got a growing sense amongst many elements of the propertied classes when low -bility or the say you're not so distinction which has been much of overdrawn but you got a sense amongst mcpeek re property people education that france is going down the drain that france as an international power is in decline. That france is helpless and france is humiliated. The dutch revolution in seventeen eighty seven analysis growing sense. That france is being humiliated. Also francis in is in hot to austria francis. Chief ally was an australian. Was doing nothing to help. France and it didn't help of course ozias vicious campaign of demonization marie-antoinette's who who is for here in the australian woman is turned around to be lucian three The austrian bitch out. Yes okay so a sense fronts. Is national prestigious rather bruised fury than the ball bounced doing nothing to protect france. Nothing to help people's interests and on the other hand you call a popular crisis which is all about peasants. Desperate for land of the urban population. Suffering terribly a high prices and those things come together to produce what we call the french revolution. And so you can see yes rightfully from the beginning. that is an international dimension. In france the earliest you is the nobody else is interested in. What's happening in france except to the extent that the friendship obviously taken themselves out of the equation for a couple of years. Yeah well alex. Can i ask you to sum up the french revolution from seventeen thousand nine to seventeen ninety two in three sentences..