Misconceptions about the French Revolution

My guest on this episode of the podcast is historian Suzanne Levin and we discuss common misconceptions about the French Revolution.

Questions we tackle about the French Revolution
The French Revolution didn’t happen in a vacuum. In this episode, let’s set the stage for what happened and why.

In the “pop history” version of the French Revolution there is a tendency to compress events into ridiculous simplifications such as “one day peasants got angry and started chopping the heads of Royalty, the end.”

Another version goes a little more in-depth. The way the French Revolution is often taught is that there are 3 moments:

1789 where all the big events happened (Estates General, Tennis Court Oath, Bastille, Women’s March on Versailles).

Jump four years to 1793 -1794 with Robespierre who made himself a dictator and chopped off the heads of anyone who disagreed with him.

Overthrown and a weak government with a military dictatorship.

What we’re trying to do with this episode is fill in many important details while still keeping an eye on the big picture.