This article argues that, despite the revisionist trend in recent historiography, the Champ de Mars Massacre has continued to be seen as a straightforward social conflict. Moreover, a strong tendency simply to denounce popular violence still prevails in that historiography, despite a body of work on the cultural complexities of this phenomenon in the eighteenth century. Contemporary reactions to the massacre present a more ambivalent picture of it. Detained individuals frequently expressed social hostility toward the elite, and it is clear that much of the violence of this day partook of these attitudes and of their inverse expression from above, but press and administrative reactions focused on locating groups outside society on whom to pin the blame. Such reactions crossed the political spectrum, and it is suggested that the whole episode demonstrates at once the complex sociopolitical tensions of the French capital and the inability of the contemporary political culture to theorize a divided body politic.
|Number of pages||27|
|Journal||French Historical Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|