Historiographical Approaches to the French Revolution
Keywords:French Revolution, Marxist interpretation, Marxist theory, Albert Soboul, Alfred Cobban, Georges Lefebvre, Thomas Carlyle
Beginning in 1789, the French Revolution can be seen as a series of revolts against the oppressive social and political conditions in France. Within a span of less than ten years, France had radically transformed itself. The French king was beheaded by the masses, while the monarchy was replaced by a republic; wars were declared between France and many of the other countries in Europe; and reforms were initiated which were to transform the lives of many. Because of its importance in modern history, historians have grappled with many different aspects of the Revolution, ranging from its causes, its influence, and how its overall significance is to be measured. While most historians do not deny the significance of the French Revolution, the adoption of different historiographical perspectives has had a major impact on how they understand it.