Revolution and Political Conflict in the French Navy 1789-1794

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Professor Cormack's study examines the French Navy during the Revolution, focusing on the fleet's involvement in political conflict. Although ignored by historians of the Revolution, the navy's experience illustrates a nation-wide struggle between authority based on executive power and authority based ambiguously on the "People's Will." The book charts the evolution of this struggle in the assemblies and in the ports of Toulon and Brest, revealing its impact on the navy and its central importance to the French Revolution.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...[an] excellent study...[an] extensively documented and thoroughly annotated work..." American Historical Review

"...a promising doctoral a scholar with a nice style and an evident talent for synthesis..." The Northern Mariner

"Cormack's study is easily the most important book on the French navy during the Revolution in a generation and should soon become a standard reference not only for the naval, but also for the political, history of the French Revolution." Samuel Scott, Journal of Military History

"Highly recommended, particularly for those interested in the relationship between revolutionary politics and the development of the French Navy during the first five years of the Revolution." Choice

"...Cormack has written a splendid political study of the navy during the French Revolution. He argues that turmoil within the navy, 1789-94, resulted largely from a clash in concepts of public authority between the central government and localities. The broad sweep of his book is rather remarkable..." International History Review

"...Cormack has provided an extremely valuable contribution to the history of the French Revolution, on a subject that has been too often neglected by non-Navy historians." Jill Harsin, The American Neptune

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521893756
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/9/2002
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

1. The French navy, the revolution and the historians; 2. The French navy on the eve of revolution; 3. The revolution begins: the Toulon Affair of 1789; 4. Naval reorganisation and the mutiny at Brest, 1790–1; 5. Bertrand de Moleville and the dissolution of the officer corps, 1791–2; 6. Naval officers and the Jacobin Regime, 1792–3: the court martial of Captain Basterot; 7. The Great Treason: the surrender of the Mediterranean fleet in 1793; 8. Naval authority and the National Will: the Quiberon Mutiny of 1793; 9. A navy for the Republic: Jeanbon Saint-André's missions to Brest and the Prairial Campaign, 1793–4; 10. Conclusion: revolutionary politics and the French navy; Bibliography; Index.

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