The French Revolution has often been presented as the crowning achievement of the century of the Enlightenment and thus essentially as an ideological act. From the period of the Restoration, historians of the liberal school, even if they were hardly interested in the economic origins of the social movement, had strongly emphasized one of the essential characteristics of our national history: the appearance, growth and final triumph of the bourgeoisie; between the people and the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie had slowly created the framework and clarified the ideas of a new society of which was the consecration. From the period of the Revolution, however, Barnave had pushed the social analysis further. In his Introduction to the French Revolution , written in , after having posited the principle that property influences institutions, Barnave states that the institutions created by the landed aristocracy impeded and slowed the arrival of a new era. Thus the social interpretation of the French Revolution plunges deeply into our historical past. From the beginning, this interpretation alone, through its scholarly demands and critical reflection, established itself as truly scientific: compare the work of Guizot — or even that of Thiers — always concerned with documents, even if they were official ones, to that of Lacretelle.
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Albert Mathiez 10 January — 25 February was a French historian, best known for his Marxist interpretation of the French Revolution. Mathiez emphasized class conflict. He argued that pitted the bourgeoisie against the aristocracy and then the Revolution pitted the bourgeoisie against the sans-culottes , who were a proletariat-in-the-making.
Mathiez greatly influenced Georges Lefebvre and Albert Soboul in forming what came to be known as the orthodox Marxist interpretation of the Revolution.
He showed high intelligence as a young student, with a strong interest in history. After graduation, he passed the aggregation in history and after doing his military service entered the teaching profession.
Earlier a pacifist , Mathiez developed into a nationalistic Jacobin after the World War I erupted in He used his scholarship on the Revolution to demonstrate that just as Revolutionary France had defeated the allied coalition in the s, so too the Third Republic would triumph over Imperial Germany. Wth its serious economic and social stresses such as shortages of food and rationing, the war prompted him to study similar conditions during the Revolution.
Mathiez saw the French Revolution as the critical first stage in a proletarian advance that would gather strength in the revolutions of , the Paris Commune of and the Russian revolts of and reached its highest point during the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia which created a dictatorship in the name of the proletariat. Mathiez rejected the common view of Robespierre as demagogic, dictatorial and fanatical.
Mathiez argued he was an eloquent spokesman for the poor and oppressed, an enemy of royalist intrigues, a vigilant adversary of dishonest and corrupt politicians, a guardian of the French Republic , an intrepid leader of the French Revolutionary government and a prophet of a socially responsible state. Mathiez was active in the French Communist Party from to By , he was attacked by Stalinist historians, who condemned Mathiez and his Jacobinism as adversaries of the proletarian revolution.
He was a vigorous polemicist. In his own defense after , he mounted a sharp critique of Stalinism. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Albert Mathiez Facts
Albert Mathiez 10 January — 25 February was a French historian, best known for his Marxist interpretation of the French Revolution. Mathiez emphasized class conflict. He argued that pitted the bourgeoisie against the aristocracy and then the Revolution pitted the bourgeoisie against the sans-culottes , who were a proletariat-in-the-making. Mathiez greatly influenced Georges Lefebvre and Albert Soboul in forming what came to be known as the orthodox Marxist interpretation of the Revolution.
The French historian Albert Mathiez was one of the major 20th-century historians of the French Revolution. After teaching for a short time in the provinces, he returned to Paris to prepare a doctoral thesis under the direction of Alphonse Aulard. The thesis, on Revolutionary religious cults , marked him as a historian of independent mind. Mathiez argued that these cults were profoundly related to the Revolutionaries' views of the role of religion in society. Three years after presenting his thesis Mathiez broke with Aulard, beginning a feud that continued for the rest of his life.