Regicide and Revolution: Speeches at the Trial of Louis XVI

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Maintaining that the trial and public execution of Louis XVI was an absolutely essential part of the French Revolution, Walzer discusses two types of regicide: the first, committed by would-be kings or their agents, left the monarchy's mystique and divine right intact, while the second was a revolutionary act intended to destroy it completely.

Walzer defends the trial and execution of Louis XVI as necessary, since it not only tried to destroy the monarchy's mystique and divine right, but also required the deputies to fully explain their guiding philosophies and applied the rules of judicial process to establish equality before the law.

New to this edition is an appendix containing "Revolutionary Justice," Ferenc Feher's classic rebuttal to Walzer's thesis, and Walzer's response, "The King's Trial and the Political Culture of the Revolution."

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

The New Republic
A very provocative essay, fecund with insights into the enduring problems of citizenship, servitude, political responsibility and legislative statesmanship."
New Republic
A very provocative essay, fecund with insights into the enduring problems of citizenship, servitude, political responsibility and legislative statesmanship.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231082594
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 3/18/1993
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Walzer is a member of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton. His other books include Just and Unjust Wars and Exodus and Revolution.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Morningside EditionPreface to the Original EditionTranslator's Preface

Regicide and Revolution

1. Two Kinds of Regicide2. The Old Regime3. The King and the Law4. The Revolutionary Argument5. A Defense of the Trial and Execution of Louis XVI

The Speeches

1. Maihle: 7 November 17922. Morisson: 13 November 17923. Saint-Just: 13 November 17924. Paine: 21 November 17925. Robespierre: 3 December 17926. Condorcet: 3 December 17927. Marat: 3 December 17928. Saint-Just: 27 December 17929. Robespierrre: 28 December 179210. Vergniaud: 31 December 179211. Paine: 7 January 1793


1. Revolutionary Justice by Ferenc Feher2. The Kind's Trial and the Political Culture of the Revolution by Michael Walzer3. Excerpts from the Constitution of 1791

Index of Names

Columbia University Press

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