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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The starting point of the French Revolution, or ‘pre-revolution’ has often been depicted as entirely national, because historians do not take seriously international connections and interactions. Yet, during the years preceding the fall of the Bastille, numerous cross-national debates and publications were discussing institutional and political relationships. Stimulated by the American Revolution and by the reforms devised by the French king, a huge debate about constitution, representation, human rights and patriotism was taking place in France. Indeed, the kingdom’s financial problems constrained Louis XVI to open a discussion with the French nation. Meanwhile, the American, Swiss and Dutch experiences and the Enlightenment had inspired the French people to new ideas about politics. The aim here is to discover how this change happened and whether it can be considered a precondition for the following revolutionary events.

Keywords: Revolution, representation, constitution, context, ideas, experiences, expectations, Europe, America

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