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Lessons from the French Revolution
by Ruth Scurr
About this EXP
Ruth Scurr, lecturer at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, talks about the principle of representation during the French Revolution.
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Key point 1
When the revolution began in 1789, France was an absolute monarchy – nobody thought that it could become a republic.
Key point 2
A lot of the political thought in that initial period went into arguing for a new vision of representation: the idea that sovereignty is located in the people.
Key point 3
A crucial concept was accountability: the king was arrested, put on trial and executed in a very short space of time.
Other EXPs by Ruth Scurr
The imperial gardener: at home with Napoleon
From progress to excess: The revolutionary life of Robespierre