The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution

Sarah Maza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


In recent years, a number of works on the cultural environments of different groups in late eighteenth-century France have proposed a wealth of possible answers to the question of what it means for an event to have "cultural origins"?. Cultural historians have tracked in the writings of the decades before 1789 significant prefigurations of revolutionary ideologies and cultures in a range of materials which include, but go far beyond, the writings of the canonical philosophes. The exchange of information and critical commentary about public matters was not limited to the elites or to conventional printed forms, at least in the large urban centers that would be the sites of the Revolution. The cultural origins of the French Revolution have been located, then, in ideas and texts, on the one hand, and in institutions and modes of communication on the other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to the French Revolution
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781444335644
StatePublished - Oct 29 2012


  • Cultural origins
  • French Revolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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