Zur Psychopathologie der Französischen Revolution: Hippolyte Taine, Édouard Drumont, Gustave Le Bon
In my article, I examine the different receptions and interpretations of the French Revolution during the period of the Third Republic up to World War I. I focus on the right-wing adversaries of parliamentary democracy because they used historical imagery to feed populist political discourses and as the fundament of an anti-Semitic and nationalist opposition both to republicanism in general and to the specific republicanism represented by the contemporary rulers, the “les républicains modérés” (moderate republicans) who supported the consolidation of parliamentary democracy. In this context, several authors used elements of psychological methods to explain history, very often at the level of the individual historical actors, such as the Jacobins. The article presents three examples: a text by the philologist Hippolyte Taine, a chapter of the anti-Semitic book “La France juive” (The Jewish France) by Édouard Drumont and the writings of the popular psychologist Gustave Le Bon.
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