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New Man, New Nation, New World

The French Revolution in Myth and Reality- Edited by Janusz Adamowski- Translated by Alex Shannon


Janusz Adamowski

In this new interpretation of the French Revolution, Jan Baszkiewicz examines revolutionary attempts to «regenerate» man, France and the world in the face of deep-seated and persistent traditions. Using a broad array of primary sources – including pamphlets, diaries, police reports, and debate protocols – Baszkiewicz analyzes the tools French revolutionaries used to build a new society on the wreckage of the Ancien Régime: Spectacular holidays, reforms in family and marriage law, general schooling, the Republican Calendar, the «liberation» of public spaces, education through work, a new religion, terror and war. In the end, the great plans for regeneration failed, though the myths that surrounded those failures lived on well into the twentieth century.


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Regeneration 7 Enlightenment philosophers on revolutionary regeneration 7 The “disappearance” of the ancien régime 12 The Revolution as Final Judgment 16 The Revolution as a process 22 Two images of regeneration 28 The Individual 29 The moral existence of the individual 29 The new man and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen 34 Immediate and spontaneous regeneration 39 Regeneration directed and long-term 47 Universal Schooling 53 Problems with compulsory schooling 59 The formation of civic attitudes 63 The goals of the school curriculum 70 Education for adults 75 Education for women 79 The fiasco of educational reform 82 Shedding old skin 87 The liberation of spaces and the toponymic revolution 91 The spatial revolution 96 Revolutionary holidays 102 The republican calendar 111 Regeneration through contact with high culture 118 Popular culture, the problem of vandalism 125 The educational mission of the clubs 131 Education in the armed forces 136 Political participation as a school for “citizenship” 141 Education through work 146 Intentions and results 152 The new man: Was it just utopian? 161 We: The Nation 167 National unity on the ruins of regional differences 167 The problem of linguistic unity 174 Efforts to create a new language 179 Socio-political guarantees of national unity 187 Religion as an instrument of integration 200 6 Jan Baszkiewicz Regeneration and integration through law 216 The family, the model for the social community 223 The problem of those excluded from the political community 229 The conflict over political rights for...

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