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In her work, Politics, Culture and Class in the French Revolution, Lynn Hunt pinpoints one of the achievements of the French Revolution as the “institution of a dramatically new political culture.”[1] It created a new language based on a sense of republican French-ness. This new language was collective in nature[2]; it had the purpose of unifying the people, it used France as a common identity. The French Revolution made the people aware of their status as actors and their ability to implement change. As Georg Lukács argues, “the French Revolution, the revolutionary wars and the rise and fall of Napoleon […] for the first time made history a mass experience […].”[3] In short, the revolutionary rhetoric was about unification. It sought to standardize and make the whole country into one France.[4]


[1] Lynn Hunt, Politics, Culture and Class in the French Revolution (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1984), 15. Cf. Timothy Tackett, Becoming A Revolutionary: The Deputies of the French National Assembly and the Emergence of a Revolutionary Culture (1789-1790) (Princeton, 1996), 307. Despite differences between social groups and strains of ideology, I would argue that they had this universalizing rhetoric in common.
[2] Hunt, Politics, Culture and Class, 213-5.
[3] Georg Lukács, The Historical Novel (Lincoln, 1962[1937]), 23.
[4] From: Pieter Verschuren, ‘Communication and Revolution: Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century France.’

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