I spoke in my previous lecture about the significance of the French Revolution for the slave populations of the Caribbean colonies of France. And what I want to do in today's lecture the 5th perspective on the French Revolution's significance, is to say something more about the international repercussions and argue that in some sense we're talking about a global crisis that the French Revolution is at the heart of. You'll remember that the philosophes of the 18th century, the great writers of that period that we call the Enlightenment, here represented by the Encyclopedia, define themselves very much as in the forefront of humanity's search for knowledge and reason and see themselves, as in some sense, bound together across national boundaries. They often refer to a Republic of Letters. This is represented most starkly I think in the similarities between some of the wording of the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizen of 1789. In 1776 the founding fathers of American independence stated, clearly, that we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Thirteen years later their French peers expressed it in similar terms, that men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Men's natural and imprescriptible rights are liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression. It's the political and ideological similarities between these two revolutions, and many other reform movements that are happening else where in Europe that led two prominent historians in the 1950's, Robert Palmer in the United States, and Jacques Godechot in France, to argue that what we're observing in the second half of the 18th century, is what they call at various times the Atlantic or Western, or Democratic Revolution. That as they put it, from the Appalachians, the mountains in the east of the United States all the way across the Atlantic, to the Ural Mountains of Russia, that the west is swept in the second half of the 18th century into the early 19th, century by a great democratic impulse, that while it does not result in full democracy, as we would understand it, is about constitutional government, and popular sovereignty, and insistence on liberty and human rights - an Atlantic, western, or democratic, revolution. A very powerful thesis that retains it's resonance even today. Some historians argue however, and I agree with them, that one of the limitations to this argument is it tends to make all of the upheavals of these years of similar scale and magnitude and significance. The French Revolution, I would argue, stands out because it is much more sweeping and radical than any of the other revolutions. Particularly because it is the one upheaval, of the second half of the 18th century, which involves something that is socially as radical, and as transforming, as the attack on feudalism, that what results from the French Revolution in the end is the destruction of a whole social system, which had been based on, feudal social relationships and seigneurial dues. There's no question that the French Revolution is seen by contemporaries as being at the forefront of dramatic change that ultimately has the capacity to inspire reform and improvement across the globe. William Wordsworth, a man who is 19 at the time, that the French Revolution breaks out in 1789 recalled in 1805, in The Prelude, perhaps his greatest poem, that Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive But to be young was very heaven-Oh times. In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways of custom law and statute, took at once the attraction, of a country in romance! When reason seemed the most to assert her rights, not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth, the beauty wore of promise. What temper at the prospect did not wake. To happiness unthought of? Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive. Wordsworth writes that in 1805 in the context of anti-French feeling at the time of the Napoleonic wars and in fact it's a poem which is not published until his death in 1850, because, merely the expression of the nostalgia for the enthusiasm of 1789 is deemed to be politically dubious until he dies in 1850. That one of the important international consequences of the French Revolution is a reaction against revolution which is very powerful in Britain, and also in Germany. Remember that Goethe the great German writer and poet had done this watercolor of the French frontier in 1790: Please enter, this land is now free. Goethe himself joined the Prussian army in 1792, but the German states like Britain, like much of the rest of Europe is swept up in the reaction against the French Revolution. One of the important consequences of the revolutionary upheaval is the power of political, and social reaction, against it. This becomes particularly acute after the execution of Louis XVI in January 1793, when effectively the French Revolution is saying we don't compromise with monarchs, we don't compromise with Kings, Louis the XVI is a traitor, and as such, he will be tried and executed like any other traitor. And that's the signal for Britain, and Spain in particular to enter the war. It becomes a European wide war to the death, which has repercussions in another parts of the globe as well, most obviously in the Caribbean. It is a conflict which is fought, not only in Europe, but also in the Caribbean, in parts of Latin America. The French Revolution continues to be the key ingredient of international foreign policy relations across that revolutionary decade. There remain parts of Europe however which are inspired by it, rather than repelled against it. And two striking examples are what happens on the extremities of Europe, first of all here in Eastern Europe in Poland and then, in Ireland in 1798. In 1794, in Poland, which then did not have an independent existence, it was divided between Prussia, Russia and Austria, patriots led by, Kosciuszko seize power and temporarily create a Polish Republic in the image of the French Republic that had been established on the other side of the continent. An heroic failure. Similarly in 1798 a political movement in Ireland called the United Irishmen attempt to stage their revolution for freedom from Britain, remembering that at that time the whole, island of Ireland is ruled directly from Britain. It's a British colony and Wolfe Tone is one of, a group of protestants and Catholics who together form a society called the United Irishmen and look to revolutionary France for inspiration and support in their struggle to create an independent and free Irish state. In 1798 there's a French naval invasion, which is temporarily successful and arising by united Irish patriots against the British army - again, temporarily successful, but ultimately repressed with huge loss of life. There are more people tried and executed in Ireland in six weeks in 1798, for being revolutionaries than executed during the period of the terror in France itself. But, the French revolutionary legacy remains one capable of inspiring people who seek some form of national independence, national sovereignty, popular involvement in constitutional government. I pointed in an earlier lecture to the ambiguities in Napoleon Bonaparte who, on one level, is man committed to imperial territorial expansion to social order and hierarchy. But who, in other ways, is the man who continues, stabilizes, reinforces some of the changes of the French revolutionary period. This depiction of him at his coronation in 1804, is telling, because among the people who attend this coronation is someone from Latin America, from South America, a man named Simon Bolivar. And one area of the world which is to be profoundly affected in the long run by what's happened during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic period is the whole continent of South America, which before the French Revolution is effectively divided into parts of the Spanish empire, and the massive Portuguese colony of Brazil. The map of Latin America during the 19th century, is to become radically different. Because those areas that are colored here, blue or mauve effectively become independent nations, in the early decades of the 19th century. They are inspired, in part, by the French revolution and Napoleon, the ideal of national self-determinism against colonial governments, but also, the impact of the great global crisis of empire, the battles between France, Britain, Spain, and Portugal, make the the cost of maintaining those empires impossible, for Spain and Portugal. And by the 1810's and 1820's, they're having to concede self government, to their former colonies. The French Revolution in other words, is to be one of the reason's why the map of a whole continent is to become very different, early in the 19th century. They're not movements for democracy, certainly the position of slaves and indigenous people in South-America does not change, they are rather moves for national self-determination, for, independence from colonial powers. My argument would be then, that if we consider the French Revolution in global perspective it's very helpful to understand it as being both the result of a global clash of empires - it's that global clash of empires which results in the recalling of the Estates General, because of France's bankruptcy - but the repercussions of the French Revolution, go well beyond France itself, across Europe but also have a dramatic effect on the Caribbean, on Latin American and are even felt, historians are now showing, through North Africa and across the Mediterranean as well. This is a unique revolution in all sorts of ways because of the radicalism, of what the French Revolution seeks to achieve, in terms of internal change, but it is also a revolution which has profound global repercussions and which creates changes across the world, which make the world forever a rather different place.