When the French revolutionaries stormed the Bastille, they had no plans to overthrow the king or declare a Republic like the Americans. Yet by 1791, Louis and Marie-Antoinette tried to flee their own kingdom. And within two years, the French had sent the king to the guillotine and created a fragile Republic. Dr. Suzanne Desan, Vilas-Shinners Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will address three questions in this quick history of the French Revolution: Why did the revolution take this radical turn? Why did democratic politics catch fire inside France? Why did the Republic leave such a powerful legacy, despite the Terror? We’ll watch as the king, queen, ordinary citizens, and revolutionary leaders like Robespierre all struggle to shape the Revolution.
This talk is part of Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art.
IMAGE: Jean Antoine Theodore Giroust, The Harp Lesson, 1791, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund, 2015.10 FA