Chasing Rainbows: the Nineteenth-Century Revolutionary Legacy

  • Pamela Pilbeam
Part of the Themes in Focus book series (TIF)


It is no flight of fancy to compare rainbows and revolution; both are elusive, will-o’-the-wisp, transient. Revolutions fit this definition both as process and as philosophy, even before historians start to unravel them. After the turmoil which followed the French Revolution of 1789, the nineteenth century experienced a plethora of revolutions from the smaller skirmishes of the 1820s and early 1830s to the major upheavals of 1848, terminating in the Paris Commune of 1871. The memory and effects of the 1789 Revolution dominated concepts of revolution for much of the century, stimulating liberal/constitutional objectives and nationalist ambitions. The experiences of the 1790s and responses to economic change in the following century also helped to shape the socio-economic aspirations of those involved in revolution.


French Revolution Social Revolution Secret Society Revisionist Historian French Army 
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© Pamela Pilbeam 2001

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  • Pamela Pilbeam

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