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War and Political Change: Military Experience and the French Revolution

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Abstract:

Approximately 6,500 French soldiers were sent to fight in the American War of Independence, before returning to France in 1783. These soldiers were, we show, a c.3% representative sample of the French Army of the time and we know the name, age and birthplace of each soldier. Using a wealth of new data we have collected on these soldiers, socio-economic data, and political activity from 1789-1793, we demonstrate that veterans from the American war were disproportionately involved in revolutionary activity in the first crucial years of the revolution. We argue that their wartime experiences gave them much greater organization and skills to mobilize than those soldiers who were not exposed to combat. Exposure to the anti-monarchical American war also arguably made them much more radical than those soldiers who remained in France.
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Association:
Name: American Political Science Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.apsanet.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1123833_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Wilkinson, Steven. and Jha, Saumitra. "War and Political Change: Military Experience and the French Revolution" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, TBA, Philadelphia, PA, <Not Available>. 2017-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1123833_index.html>

APA Citation:

Wilkinson, S. I. and Jha, S. "War and Political Change: Military Experience and the French Revolution" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, TBA, Philadelphia, PA <Not Available>. 2017-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1123833_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Approximately 6,500 French soldiers were sent to fight in the American War of Independence, before returning to France in 1783. These soldiers were, we show, a c.3% representative sample of the French Army of the time and we know the name, age and birthplace of each soldier. Using a wealth of new data we have collected on these soldiers, socio-economic data, and political activity from 1789-1793, we demonstrate that veterans from the American war were disproportionately involved in revolutionary activity in the first crucial years of the revolution. We argue that their wartime experiences gave them much greater organization and skills to mobilize than those soldiers who were not exposed to combat. Exposure to the anti-monarchical American war also arguably made them much more radical than those soldiers who remained in France.


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