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Author: Stephen Miller

Feudalism, venality, and revolution is about the political and social order revealed by the monarchy’s most ambitious effort to reform its institutions, the introduction of participatory assemblies at all levels of the government. It should draw the attention of anyone interested in the sort of social and political conditions that predisposed people to make the French Revolution. In particular, according to Alexis de Tocqueville’s influential work on the Old Regime and the French Revolution, royal centralization had so weakened the feudal power of the nobles that their remaining privileges became glaringly intolerable to commoners. Feudalism, venality, and revolution challenges this theory by showing that when Louis XVI convened assemblies of landowners in the late 1770s and 1780s to discuss policies needed to resolve the budgetary crisis, he faced widespread opposition from lords and office holders. These elites regarded the assemblies as a challenge to their hereditary power over commoners. The monarchy incorporated an administration of seigneurial jurisdictions and venal offices. Lordships and offices upheld inequality on behalf of the nobility and bred the discontent evident in the French Revolution. These findings will alter the way scholars think about the Old Regime society and state and should therefore find a large market among graduate students and professors of European history.

The case of Romania

The post-communist transition in Romania has been a period rife with high hopes and expectations as well as strong disappointments and disillusions. The engagement with these disappointments or disillusions has mainly fallen along the lines of critical editorial comments by dissidents and intellectuals or academic engagements that connect it to different forms of social and political apathy. What seems to be lacking however, is a more head-on engagement with disillusionment as a self-contained process that is not just a side-effect of political corruption or economic failures but rather an intrinsic part of any transition. This book provides the basis for a theory of disillusionment in instances of transition. It also elaborates on how such a theory could be applied to a specific case-study, in this instance, the Romanian transition from communism to capitalism. By defining disillusionment as the loss of particularly strong collective illusions, the book identifies what those illusions were in the context of the Romanian 1989 Revolution. It also seeks to understand the extent to which disillusionment is intrinsic to social change, and more importantly, determine whether it plays an essential role in shaping both the direction and the form of change. The book further inevitably places itself at the intersection of a number of different academic literatures: from regional and comparative studies, political science and "transitology" studies, to sociology, psychology and cultural studies.

Abstract only
Brian D. Earp and Julian Savulescu

Ch a pter 1 REVOLUTION to combat divorce.” At least, that’s what a blogger at Dose Nation said we were doing when we first started writing about the chemical enhancement of love and relationships. The blogger was referring to an interview we’d done with The Atlantic, where we argued that certain psychoactive substances, including MDMA—the key ingredient in the party drug Ecstasy—might help some couples improve their connection if used in the right way. The truth is, we were not promoting the use of MDM A outright. We were calling for research into this

in Love is the Drug
Seditious memories after the British civil wars
Author: Edward Legon

Parliamentarians continued to identify with the decisions to oppose and resist Crown and established church after the Restoration. By expressing these views between 1660 and 1688, these men and women were vulnerable to charges of sedition or treason. This book examines these ‘seditious memories’ and asks why people risked themselves by expressing them in public. It does so without dismissing such views as evidence of discontent or radicalism, showing instead how they countered experiences of defeat. As well as in speech and writing, these views are shown to have manifested themselves as misbehavior during official commemoration of the civil wars and Restoration. It also considers how such views were passed on from the generation of men and women who experienced civil war and revolution to their children and grandchildren.

Allan Antliff

10 Aestheticising revolution Allan Antliff War is a State activity which does not characterize a transitory and circumscribed period of its action but has been the very essence of its structure for as long as we know during the whole course of exploitation. Alfredo Bonanno1 In August 1914, America’s best-known English-language anarchist journal, Mother Earth, responded to the outbreak of the First World War with a cover illustration by the modernist artist Man Ray. ‘Capitalism’ and ‘Government’ were depicted as two heads of the same beast ripping ‘humanity

in Anarchism, 1914–18
Seventeenth-century England and eighteenth-century France
Rachel Hammersley

10 Parallel revolutions: seventeenth-century England and eighteenth-century France Introduction The French revolutionaries were keen to demonstrate the epoch-changing nature of the events in which they were involved. It was they who invented the term ancien régime, in order to distinguish the period before 1789 from that which followed. Similarly, their attempts to draft a new constitution, to change the dating system and calendar, and to rationalise weights and measures were all designed to reflect the fact that the events of 1789 had ushered in a new era

in The English republican tradition and eighteenth-century France
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Transformations around the year 1000
Paul Fouracre

revolution’, no less. The divergence in these views proceeds from different understandings of the nature of Carolingian society and government. If one thinks of that government as relatively centralized and as one that maintained order through effective public institutions, then, logically, the crumbling of the centre would lead to the demise of the public and the rise of private power and institutions. The weaker in society would fall into the grasp of warlords, and near anarchy would follow. This, essentially, is the view of the ‘feudal revolution’ around the

in Debating medieval Europe
English Politics and the American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century
Editor: Robert M. Bliss

Seventeenth-century England saw the Puritan upheaval of the 1640s and 1650s and the Glorious Revolution of 1688. These crises often provoked colonial reaction, indirectly by bringing forth new ideas about government. The colonies' existence was a testament to accumulated capital and population and to a widespread desire to employ both for high and mundane ends. The growth of population and production, the rise of new and the decline of old trades were important features of 17th-century American and English history. This book presents a study that brings attention back to a century when the word imperialism had not even been coined, let alone acquired the wealth of meanings it has now. The study covers the North American and West Indian colonies as well as England. Research on American sources concentrated on the main settlements of Massachusetts, Virginia, Barbados and Jamaica, their public records, printed and manuscript correspondence and local and county records. Lesser colonies such as New York, Carolina and the New England fringe settlements they have their own stories to tell. The study firstly rests on the proposition that England's empire was shaped by the course of English politics. Secondly, it argues that although imperial history was marked by tension between colonial resistance and English authority. Finally, the broad view is taken of the politics of empire aims to establish a general framework for understanding seventeenth-century colonial history. Attention has also been paid to the political writings and the "non-colonial" activities of governments and politicians.

Many people in the West can recognise an image of Mao Zedong (1894–1976) and know that he was an important Chinese leader, but few appreciate the breadth and depth of his political and cultural significance. Fewer still know what the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966–76) was, or understand the extent of its influence on art in the West or in China today. This anthology, which is the first of its kind, contends that Maoism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution were dominant cultural and political forces in the second half of the twentieth century – and that they continue to exert influence, globally, right up to the present. In particular, the book claims that the Chinese Cultural Revolution deserves a more prominent place in twentieth-century art history. Exploring the dimensions of Mao’s cultural influence through case studies, and delineating the core of his aesthetic programme, in both the East and the West, constitute the heart of this project. While being rooted in the tradition of social art history and history, the essays, which have been written by an international community of scholars, foreground a distinctively multidisciplinary approach. Collectively they account for local, regional and national differences in the reception, adoption and dissemination of – or resistance to – Maoist aesthetics.

From Communism to Pluralism

This book reassesses a defining historical, political and ideological moment in contemporary history: the 1989 revolutions in central and eastern Europe. It considers the origins, processes and outcomes of the collapse of communism in eastern Europe. The book argues that communism was not simply an 'unnatural Yoke' around the necks of East Europeans, but was a powerful, and not entirely negative, historical force capable of modernizing societies, cultures and economies. It focuses on the interplay between internal and external developments as opposed to an emphasis on Cold War geopolitical power struggles and the triumphalist rhetoric of how the 'freedom-loving' USA 'defeated' the 'totalitarian' Soviet Union. The book also approaches the East European revolutions from a variety of angles, emphasizing generational conflicts, socio-economic and domestic aspects, international features, the 'Gorbachev factor', and the role of peace movements or discourses on revolution. It analyses the peace movements in both parts of Germany during the 1980s from a perspective that transcends the ideological and geopolitical divides of the Cold War. The history of the East German peace movement has mostly been written from the perspective of German unification in 1989-1990. Many historians have read the history of the civil rights movement of 1989-1990 backwards in order to show its importance, or ignored it altogether to highlight the totalitarian character of the German Democratic Republic.