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The old régime and the French Revolution

Author: Alexis de Tocqueville
Publisher: Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1955.
Series: Doubleday anchor books.
Edition/Format:   Book : English : [1st ed.]View all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Brilliantly and searchingly examines the nature of French society in the years before the Revolution. Why did the Revolution break out? Was it inevitable, and if so, why? How was France really changed by the Revolution? Why did the intellectuals become enemies of the old French state and society? Why was the French nobility so estranged from the French people? Why, in short, were Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Alexis de Tocqueville
OCLC Number: 427301
Description: xv, 300 pages ; 18 cm.
Contents: Part one. Conflicting opinions of the Revolution at its outbreak --
How the chief and ultimate aim of the Revolution was not, as used to be thought, to overthrow religious and to weaken political authority in France --
How, though its objectives were political, the French Revolution followed the lines of a religious revolution and why this was so --
How almost all European nations had had the same institutions and how these were breaking down everywhere --
What did the French Revolution accomplish? Part two. Why feudalism had come to be more detested in France than in any other country --
How administrative centralization was an institution of the old regime and not, as is often thought, a creation of the Revolution or the Napoleonic period --
How paternal government, as it is called today, had been practiced under the old regime --
How administrative justice and the immunity of public servants were institutions of the old regime --
How the idea of centralized administration was established among the ancient powers, which it supplanted, without, however, destroying them --
Of the methods of administration under the old regime --
How in France, more than in any other European country, the provinces had come under the thrall of the metropolis, which attracted to itself all that was most vital in the nation --
How France had become the country in which men were most like each other --
How, though in many respects so similar, the French were split up more than ever before into small, isolated, self-regarding groups --
How the suppression of political freedom and the barriers set up between classes brought on most of the diseases to which the old regime succumbed --
Of the nature of the freedom prevailing under the old regime and of its influence on the Revolution --
How, despite the progress of civilization, the lot of the French peasant was sometim6es worse in the eighteenth century than it had been in the thirteenth. Part three. How towards the middle of the eighteenth century men of letters took the lead in politics and the consequences of this new development --
How vehement and widespread anti-religious feeling had become in eighteenth-century France and its influence on the nature of the Revolution --
How the desire for reforms took precedence of the desire for freedom --
How, though the reign of Louis XVI was the most prosperous period of the monarchy, this very prosperity hastened the outbreak of the Revolution --
How the spirit of revolt was promoted by well-intentioned efforts to improve the people's lot --
How certain practices of the central power completed the revolutionary education of the masses --
How revolutionary changes in the administrative system preceded the political revolution and their consequences --
How, given the facts set forth in the preceding chapters, the Revolution was a foregone conclusion --
Appendix : The pays d'etats, with special reference to Languedoc.
Series Title: Doubleday anchor books.
Other Titles: Ancien régime et la Révolution.
Responsibility: translated by Stuart Gilbert.

Abstract:

Brilliantly and searchingly examines the nature of French society in the years before the Revolution. Why did the Revolution break out? Was it inevitable, and if so, why? How was France really changed by the Revolution? Why did the intellectuals become enemies of the old French state and society? Why was the French nobility so estranged from the French people? Why, in short, were Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette doomed to the guillotines of the Revolution? In this book, Tocqueville examined these and many other questions, and in large measure definitively answered them.

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schema:description"Part two. Why feudalism had come to be more detested in France than in any other country -- How administrative centralization was an institution of the old regime and not, as is often thought, a creation of the Revolution or the Napoleonic period -- How paternal government, as it is called today, had been practiced under the old regime -- How administrative justice and the immunity of public servants were institutions of the old regime -- How the idea of centralized administration was established among the ancient powers, which it supplanted, without, however, destroying them -- Of the methods of administration under the old regime -- How in France, more than in any other European country, the provinces had come under the thrall of the metropolis, which attracted to itself all that was most vital in the nation -- How France had become the country in which men were most like each other -- How, though in many respects so similar, the French were split up more than ever before into small, isolated, self-regarding groups -- How the suppression of political freedom and the barriers set up between classes brought on most of the diseases to which the old regime succumbed -- Of the nature of the freedom prevailing under the old regime and of its influence on the Revolution -- How, despite the progress of civilization, the lot of the French peasant was sometim6es worse in the eighteenth century than it had been in the thirteenth."@en
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