Overcoming the Terror, Rebuilding the Empire

Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

in The Abbe Gregoire and the French Revolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780520241800
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931091 | DOI:
Overcoming the Terror, Rebuilding the Empire

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This chapter explains that since regeneration had come to mean a complete repudiation of the past to many revolutionaries, Henri Grégoire found himself struggling to portray the national agenda differently: as a cleansing of corrupted traditions, a connecting of the best of the past with that of the present. Grégoire's new vision of regeneration was not a radical reconceptualization; after all, the root of the word was regeneration, creating something again. Even as he lessened his parliamentary involvement during the Thermidorian Convention and the Directory, Grégoire remained enormously busy in other spheres. In his efforts to root innovation in a usable past and thus avoid the mistakes of the Terror, he looked particularly in three directions: creating a science of society, reestablishing a republican Church, and reorienting the French colonial system. His efforts would help refound republicanism, while ensuring the future of imperialism of France.

Keywords: regeneration; Henri Grégoire; Thermidorian Convention; Directory; Terror; Church; republicanism; imperialism; France

Chapter.  7971 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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