The first, and only important, event of Bakunin’s three months’ residence in Brussels was a short visit to Paris, at the invitation of a Russian friend, probably Alexandra’s old suitor, Botkin. In the forties of last century, when Bakunin first set foot in the French capital, Paris was what London became in the next decade—the recognised asylum of political émigrés from every part of the Continent, and the rallying-point of advanced thought. Beneath the dull, dispiriting monotony of the July monarchy, the tradition of 1789 lived on. Malcontents of many nationalities and of every school—including more than 80,000 émigrés from Germany alone—were preaching their panaceas and predicting the downfall of the bourgeois state. Everyone interested in the theory or practice of revolution was bound sooner or later to come to Paris. It was the bugbear of the conservatives and the Mecca of the malcontents. It was the proper element of such a spirit as Michael Bakunin.
KeywordsOptimistic Temperament Social Revolution Proper Element Russian People French Authority
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