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Don’t Mess with the Bourgeoisie
A country operating at a feudal level in the late eighteenth century may, in the words of Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest, “be regarded as a misfortune.” A country operating at a feudal level in the early twentieth century may be described by that same good lady as, “carelessness”. And so it was that two kings, over a century apart, opted to ignore the march of time, the advancement of modernity with its ensuing benefits, the agricultural and industrial revolutions, and the Enlightenment. One was a Bourbon and one was a Romanov. They chose to enjoy outmoded lifestyles of lavish splendour adhering to ridiculous feudal codes while the majority of their subjects subsisted in disgraceful and abject poverty. Like all bad cooks, these two kings slept on the job and allowed the simmering pot to boil over; there is only so much social injustice a growing proletariat can take; only so much dismissal an increasingly prosperous and educated middle-class can take, before heated debates spill over into full-blown revolutionary pot-boilers.
Not only did Louis XVI inherit the French throne in 1774, he also inherited a French debt of four billion livres and defeat by Britain in the Seven Years’ War (1756-63). What did give the party an extension, a happy hour, if you will, for Louis XVI and his Ancien Regime, or ‘old order, was colonial trade. It thrived and facilitated an enthusiastic growth in consumerism, which logically led to capitalism - one of the first signs of the old order being diluted. A new, commercial bourgeoisie, or middle class, was emerging, and this was blurring class distinctions. One observer of Parisian life, Louis-Sebastien Mercier, obviously cut from the same cloth as Lady Bracknell, grudgingly noted ‘…the wife of the petit bourgeois seeking to imitate the wife of the marquis and the duke.’
France was absolutist, Catholic and feudal. The people of France were divided into three estates – First Estate – the clergy, Second Estate – the nobility, and Third Estate - everybody else – from the wealthiest merchant to the lowliest rat catcher. It was the rising prosperity yet political disenfranchisement of a large rump of the Third Estate who were desperately looking for acceptance that underpinned the revolution. When Manon Roland, the respected but bourgeois wife of Interior Minister Jean-Marie Roland de La Platière, was invited to visit a noble lady, “she raised a cry of protest that went to the hearts of the middle class” when she was asked to eat with the servants. The clergy helped to perpetuate the rigid hierarchies by maintaining the image of the king as divine or appointed by God and indoctrinating the so-called ‘lower orders’ in this belief.
The nearest thing France had to a representative parliament also reflected this feudal division of French society. It was called the Estates-General and it was divided into that already mentioned medieval trinity of the First, Second and Third Estate. It existed by royal appointment and had not met since 1614. In the intervening years the vacuum was filled by 13 supreme law courts, known as parlements. The most powerful was the parlement of Paris, whose jurisdiction covered one-third of the kingdom. If the parlement of Paris refused to register royal edicts it disapproved of, it could possibly undermine the Crown; so it was seen as a threat. But these parlements represented only the church and the landed gentry; a situation that greatly irritated the bourgeoisie who, as we know, were firmly placed in the Third Estate.
On the eve of the revolution, the nobility, who counted for little more than 1% of the population, owned over a fifth of the land. Furthermore, nobles held most of the key positions in the army, navy, judiciary and church, and along with the church, who owned 6-10% of the land, they paid no tax; they were very good at collecting it from the Third Estate though, who, remember, comprised the rest of the population – or to put it more bluntly, the tax payers.
The bourgeoisie, who had trebled in number between 1660 and 1789, were divided between landed, commercial and industrial, and professional sectors. They owned a quarter of the land in France and one-fifth of its private wealth. In a famous pamphlet called: What is the Third Estate? Siéyes, a Roman Catholic clergyman and one of the chief political theorists of the French Revolution, described this group as ‘a new and intolerable aristocracy’ – a fancy way of saying new money or noveau riche. These educated and property-owning middle classes would come to see themselves as the natural leaders in post-revolutionary France.
The most numerous social grouping in France on the eve of the revolution was the peasantry at 67%. Life for this group was not so bad because many had trades or small holdings; in the twentieth century they might have been categorised as blue-collar workers. Most threatening of all though in the Third Estate, was an uncategorised “Fourth Estate,” also called sansculottes, that half of the entire population who lived hand to mouth; consumers rather than producers who were the first to lose their unreliable and unskilled jobs in times of unrest. Sansculottes, by the way, refers to their signature ragged trousers that only reached the knee, the inference being that they were too poor to adequately clothe themselves. They were an uncomfortable and unsettling sight in a country where the gap was widening between the rich and the poor – something we can see happening across the world today. They would become the ‘dangerous classes’ who would play a key role in pre- and post-revolutionary politics.
In the final years of King Louis’ reign things began to look tricky for the ailing monarch. The money pot was well depleted and the nobility, who remember didn’t even pay tax, refused to help. While Louis watched the debt get bigger and sensed the dissatisfaction of the bourgeoisie the Paris Parlement stepped in, claiming it could save the country. In a ridiculous political merry-go-round, Louis banished the Paris Parlement from the capital in August 1787, recalled it in September, dismissed it again, and finally recalled it in May 1788. After all that, the Paris Parlement had nothing new to offer. After reaching this cul-de-sac, there was only one thing left for Louis to do, summon the Estates General, which, remember, had not met since 1614.
The grand gathering of the Estates General then was set to take place at Versailles. But two nagging questions that clearly demonstrated the rarefied snobbery of the upper echelons of French society needed answering. Should representatives from the three estates meet separately or together? Should the Third Estate have the same number of representatives as each of the First and Second estates, or should their number equal the two of them combined? Louis agreed that the estates should meet separately – perhaps for fear that cross contamination with the lower orders would result in a mutant strain of revolutionary - but he magnanimously agreed that the Third Estate should equal the number of the First and Second estates combined. But the trickledown effect of gratuitous snobbery was inescapable. Most of these Third Estate representatives were professionals, industrialists, merchants and bankers from the bourgeoisie, sprinkled with a handful of token peasants.
But no political gathering; choreographed or real, could predict the weather. While the resplendent procession to Versailles for the opening of the Estates General may have resembled the Cirque du Soleil, it wasn’t going to pull off a miracle of loaves and fishes. Bad weather meant bad harvests; bad harvests forced up the price of bread and expensive bread meant that poor people starved. By February 1789, the staple four-pound loaf had risen from eight to fifteen sous, more than half a worker’s daily wage. Considering that a family of four needed two loaves a day, it is not surprising that the urban poor were on the verge of revolution.
It didn’t help either that all this social and political ferment was happening in tandem with the Enlightenment, which incidentally, was pretty narrow in its definitions of universal equality. With the likes of Voltaire and Rousseau stirring the masses with notions of natural rights, what chance did a bankrupt, ineffective, absolutist monarch have? And hadn’t the American Republic only recently been established on these very principles of natural rights? Those hardy colonists had paid enough tax without representation to King George III. Isn’t it bizarre then, that the absolutist Louis XVI sent French soldiers to help what was effectively the American bourgeoisie gain their independence from Britain whose king, by the way, was a constitutional monarch? What was Louis thinking? Was his well coiffured head temporarily turned by the rhetoric of the Enlightenment? Or, was it just that age-old hatred of England?
But snobbishness will prevail. When the Estates General gathered for its first meeting at Versailles the representatives of the nobles and the clergy voted to meet in separate chambers, while the Third Estate wanted everyone to meet in the same chamber. Furthermore, each group was granted the same amount of voting power. The Third Estate rejected this proposal because even though they represented 98% of the people, thay could still be outvoted 2:1 by the other two estates.
When you can’t beat them, just pretend that they no longer exist. A miffed Third Estate appointed itself as the National Assembly - which was of course a de facto revolutionary assembly - that would represent all of France and run the country without any input from the king. An even more miffed Louis closed down the chamber they were due to meet in, whereupon, the by now outraged deputies, gathered in a local tennis court, vowing to stay there until France adopted a new, written constitution. This became known as the Tennis Court Oath. An alarmed Louis responded by promising reforms while stubbornly insisting that the three estates remain separate. The Third Estate was having none of it; they told Louis what he could do with his separate estates. Louis’ response this time was to tell the nobles to join the National Assembly while he sneakily summoned 20,000 troops to “apparently” protect the National Assembly. The Assembly deputies did not believe him and asked for the troops to be removed, but Louis refused. The starving masses though, saw the National Assembly as their great white hope. Interestingly, the terms "left-wing" and "right-wing" originated with the National Assembly where the supporters of the king sat on the right, while the more radical revolutionaries sat on the left.
Attacks on grain stores increased, and when news circulated that Jacques Necker, the reasonable and sensible finance minister had been sacked, simmering discontent turned into outright revolt. Gunpowder was needed for the weapons that had been seized, and there were 250 barrels of it stored in the Bastille. By 1789 the Bastille was more a symbol of tyranny than a tyrannical prison – at the time of the storming it had only seven inmates - but this symbolic resonance was enough. After the storming of the Bastille, Louis visited the National Assembly at Versailles to humbly inform it that the soldiers had been called off. The Marquis de Lafayette, who coincidentally was a veteran of the American War of Independence, led a triumphant procession to Paris and the royal government was replaced with a Patriot one. Crazily, at this stage, a far more soberly dressed Louis was hailed as a supporter of the revolution while his brother and some shrewd nobles were attempting to flee the country; one can only assume that Louis wished he was with them.
Louis, now a lone figurehead, was pitted against a united bourgeoisie and sansculottes. The Ancien Regime was gone, but what would replace it? By 1791 France had a new constitution, nobles’ privileges were abolished, a new legal system was established, church lands now belonged to the state and the National Assembly was replaced by a Legislative Assembly – everything the bourgeoisie had wanted. This new bourgeois state did not sit well with Louis and he wanted out. In June 1791, the royal family tried to flee in disguise to Belgium. Unfortunately, the makeup artist fell short of convincing, as they were recognised at Varennes and brought back to Paris. Most unfortunate of all, before the botched escape, Louis had, incredibly, left a letter behind venting his real feelings about the revolution. Now his position changed from ineffectual buffoon to possible traitor. He should have posted it from Belgium!
European monarchs were petrified that they would be the next to lose their thrones, so Austria and Prussia launched failed invasion attempts on France in 1792. Unabashed, the people of Paris forced the new Legislative Assembly to declare France a republic. A few months later this Assembly was replaced by a Convention made up mainly of the bourgeoisie. In 1793 the Convention eventually came around to finding Louis XVI guilty of treason and he met his end with Madame Guillotine. His Austrian wife, Marie Antoinette, met a similar fate. The royal executions were followed by the Terror – a bloodbath of Stalinist proportions where the nebulous accusation of being an ‘enemy of the people’ lost you your head.
How Tsar Nicholas did not learn from Louis XVI
Why then, you might justifiably ask, did another monarch re-enact the reign of Louis XVI only to pay a similar price, 128 years later? How did Tsar Nicholas not learn from Louis XVI? By 1900, Russia was a huge empire ruled by Tsar Nicholas ll. His family, the Romanovs had ruled for about three hundred years. They held power over a largely peasant society, but the number of industrial workers was increasing. To say that Russian society was polarised in 1900 would be an understatement. Its societal structure more resembled pre-revolutionary France than a modern European country. It was to all intents and purposes another ancien regime.
Russian peasants scraped a living from medieval farming methods. Incredibly, however, most peasants were loyal to the Tsar and the Romanov family. But this was more to do with ignorance and blind obedience to the Church. They were taught, as were the French in pre-revolutionary France, that loyalty to the monarch and loyalty to God was the same thing. The poor preferred to see the wealthy industrialists and landowners as evil and the Tsar as some blameless man of God led astray by bad advisors, rather like the Trump apologists in the United States today. More and more peasants started moving to the cities to find work in factories rather than starve in the countryside. But life for the industrial worker was just as hard. They worked long hours in dangerous conditions for very low pay. Because they had no political power, they could only demonstrate their anger through industrial strikes. Many Russian factories were owned by foreign companies who deliberately located in Russia because of the low cost of employing Russian workers, a mercenary practice that continues in our modern global economy. This put Tsar Nicholas in an odd and uncomfortable situation. If he passed laws forcing these companies to pay higher wages and provide better conditions, they would more than likely pack up and leave, having a negative knock on effect on the march of industrialisation.
Even the factories owned by the Russian government were built on borrowed money from abroad, so the Tsar could do little here also, because Russia was deeply in debt to the lending countries. Russia was desperate to become rich and powerful like Britain, Germany and the USA. Workers were powerless and trapped in a web of opportunistic foreign investment.
The three main political groups who opposed the tsar were the Constitutional Democrats called the Kadets, the Social Revolutionaries, and the Social Democrats.
The Kadets were a middle-class liberal party who sought political change through peaceful means. They were divided between those who were willing to work with the Tsar and those who wanted Russia to become a republic. They ultimately wanted control of the duma or parliament. As Douglas Brown in his book, Doomsday 1917: The Destruction of Russia’s Ruling Class says, “They felt themselves to be competent adults confined to the political nursery.” Lenin thought differently though, he considered the Russian middle classes to be “too small and immature to be capable of filling the gap left by the Tsarist administration”. The Kadet’s support base was urban, well-educated, and wealthy. The political reforms they craved though were useless to the peasantry and factory workers.
The Social Revolutionaries were supported by a section of the peasantry who wanted to seize power through revolution. If they ever achieved power, they would put the land into the hands of the peasants. While some just simply wanted to share out the land others wanted to abolish private ownership altogether and adopt a commune system. Some wanted peaceful change while others felt justified in using violence.
Finally, the Social Democrats were supported mainly by factory workers and they followed the communist teachings of Karl Marx whose theory divided industrial society into the proletariat and the capitalists.
In 1903 the Social Democrats broke into two opposing factions – the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. The Mensheviks wanted to try and win the support of a sympathetic middle class to create a political party with widespread support before working their way slowly towards a fully communist society. The Bolsheviks believed that the Tsar would never allow the Mensheviks to develop such a movement. They regarded themselves as revolutionaries waiting in the wings to stage a revolution at the first opportunity. Neither the Bolsheviks nor the Mensheviks held much appeal for the peasantry.
1905 was probably the first of the bad years for Tsar Nicholas ll, but he survived. The Russo-Japanese War ended disastrously for Russia and Nicholas. Nicholas had hoped a quick victory would increase his popularity at home and improve Russia’s standing as a world power; now he had no choice but to take the blame for defeat. But it wasn’t just the pride of a nation that was hurt; the disruption to the economy had a much deeper impact. The war had pretty much commandeered all the resources of the country. Initially the workers supported the war effort but as food shortages and unemployment accelerated and news of defeat circulated, support dwindled. Workers began to strike for higher wages, for the right to form trade unions and for the abolition of unpopular laws.
Things came to a head on January 22nd, 1905 when 200,000 workers peacefully marched to the Tsar’s Winter Palace in St Petersburg to deliver a petition. The soldiers guarding the palace fired on the workers killing hundreds. This incident became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’. In protest, millions of workers all over Russia joined a general strike that soon paralysed the whole country.
The more impatient revolutionaries no longer supported moderates. Workers organised themselves into soviets in many large cities to lead the protests. Trotsky became leader of the St Petersburg Soviet which was supressed after only a few weeks. He did manage though to get the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks to co-operate in the hope that they would eventually re-unite.
But an alliance between the middle classes or bourgeoisie, and the working classes created an opposing or hostile rump that was too large for comfort. The Tsar’s Chief Minister, Sergei Witte cleverly put such an alliance to bed by persuading the Tsar to issue the ‘October Manifesto’. This gave the middle class a duma (parliament) that would share power with the Tsar rather than be subservient to him, and it put an end to their opposition.
It was clear to the Social Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats that the ‘October Manifesto’ was not designed to meet the needs of the industrial city workers or the rural peasants, and so they continued with their revolutionary activities. The Tsar employed all his resources to quell the unrest. He had only allowed the duma to meet under the new rules to keep the bourgeoisie happy while he sorted out the workers and the peasants. By 1906 he felt safe enough to reduce the power of the duma and he did this by adding two new reforms to his ‘October Manifesto’ which pretty much turned it into a puppet institution. The first reform gave him the right to dismiss any duma that he did not like. The second reform gave him the right to decide how new duma members were elected. The bourgeoisie, so desperate to partake in the running of the duma, were no longer happy. Nicholas was not shy about using his new rights. Within a year he dismissed two dumas and changed the election rules so that only the extraordinarily rich had a real say in elections. The duma was now filled with his aristocratic supporters who would give him no trouble. Is this not beginning to look more and more like pre-revolutionary France?
Now that the October Manifesto had uncoupled the working class and the middle class, they would never join forces again. This bought the Tsar some time, but unfortunately, he did not use it wisely. Many middle-class politicians, initially buoyed up by the October Manifesto, felt betrayed when Nicholas amended it to suit him and him only. He would never again fully regain their trust. So, while he had succeeded in dividing the middle class from the working class, they were both angry at him for different reasons.
In 1906 the American Consul in Odessa summed up the feelings of the people very well: “The present ruler has lost absolutely the love of the Russian people; whatever the future may have in store for the dynasty, the present Tsar will never again be safe in the midst of his people.”
Following the disaster of the Russo-Japanese War it was clear that Russia could not afford to become involved in World War 1.
Throughout World War 1 Russian cities suffered food shortages. While the people starved, a militarily inexperienced Nicholas insisted on leaving his administrative duties to join his generals well behind, admittedly, the front lines. We can assume that he was more of a nuisance than a welcome presence. A combination of being on the losing side and starving will always result in hostility towards the ruling classes; and this is exactly what happened in Russia in 1917.
But who runs the country while the Tsar is being a nuisance at the front? The Tsarina does. Inexperience (and perhaps arrogance?) prevented her from taking any advice from loyal middle-class members of the duma. Like Tsar Nicholas, she was blamed for everything that went wrong. The middle-class members of the duma felt excluded, disempowered, and frustrated at the Tsarina’s incompetence. They were chomping at the bit to take over the reins. It did not help that the Tsarina was German; not a popular nationality in a Russia that is being trounced by Germany. There were even rumours that she was sabotaging Russia’s war efforts to ensure a German victory. Russia did not need a German Tsarina to further thwart the war efforts. As the conflict escalated, all things German were increasingly despised, so much so that St Petersburg (sounding a bit too German) was renamed Petrograd (much more Russian!)
But wait a minute, the Tsarina did have somebody to help her, someone equally inexperienced and unqualified for the job. His name was Rasputin. The Tsarina, who was devoutly religious, had put all of her trust and faith in this ‘holy’ man because she was convinced that he could heal her only son who suffered from haemophilia. This blind faith made her close her eyes and ears to reports of Rasputin’s questionable behaviour, and this blind spot added to her unpopularity. Rumours spread that Rasputin was also a German agent, but more menacingly, that he had a satanic hold over the royal family and that he was leading Russia to its doom. It would be safe to say that panic was brewing in the background and that some members of the nobility were determined to eliminate Rasputin. This wish came to fruition in December 1916 when he was murdered by a group of noblemen; but this act was too late to redeem the reputation of the royal family. Leaving his German wife and Rasputin to mind the shop while he was playing soldiers at the front only served to dig a deeper hole for Tsar Nicholas ll.
In March 1917 starving citizens and striking workers joined forces to protest in Petrograd. The army was called out to fire on the protesters – and here is where the worm started to turn. Many soldiers refused to obey orders and instead joined the protesters. This was ground-breaking because no leading revolutionaries were involved, being either in prison or in exile. This was the angry citizenry working independently.
Remember the October Manifesto; that not so clever ploy that tried to divide the middle class and the working class? This was now going to bite the Tsar in a very vulnerable place. In response to the Petrograd riots and in defiance of the Tsar, some middle-class members of the duma called a meeting to set up what would be called the Provisional Government. Their intention was to rule the country until proper elections could be held to establish a new parliament. Just like Louis XVI in the Estates General merry-go-round, Nicholas II did not take the bourgeoisie seriously. While this in itself may not have been a guillotine or firing squad offence, in both cases, it set in motion a series of other, perhaps unexpected ‘unfortunate events’ that would end in the untimely deaths of both monarchs.
Things were developing quickly now. While the middleclass or bourgeois duma members tried to establish parliamentary democracy, representatives of the workers and soldiers joined forces to re-ignite the Petrograd Soviet which had been suppressed after the 1905 Revolution. It was like the French National Assembly all over again; all that was missing was a Tennis Court.
Tsar Nicholas was in a very bad place. The realisation that he no longer had any supporters was made all the more painful when even his own bodyguard deserted him. Back in 1906 the American Consul in Odessa had summed up the feelings of the people very well:
The words of the American consul in Odessa were so prescient; eleven years later the Tsar was no longer safe in his own country. Nicholas was forced to abdicate. In the confusion that followed there was a period in which convinced socialists urged the bourgeoisie to take over the reins of power.
But Russia was in a complete mess and that’s a very dangerous thing, especially in a country that has overthrown a dictator but has never experienced democracy. Russia was now a republic with no legal government and two rival political factions – the middleclass parliamentarians and the worker soviets.
What ensued was complicated. The Provisional Government and the Bolsheviks tested each other’s mettle; it was a faceoff between the middleclass members of the duma and the workers’ soviets; those who wanted to abandon World War 1 – the Bolsheviks, and those who wanted to continue the fight - Mensheviks. People began to support Lenin’s call for a revolution. Now there was only one party who claimed they could offer most people what they wanted. Having encouraged the soldiers to desert and the peasants to seize the nobility’s land, Lenin’s next course of action – pull out of the war, feed the people, and bring in land reform - satisfied everyone – soldiers fed up with a losing war, starving city workers and peasants living like feudal serfs.
1917 was a very busy year
Red Guards and Revolutionary sailors surrounded the Provisional Government in the Winter Palace in Petrograd. They arrested the members, took control and declared a new workers’ government. Like the storming of the Bastille, the storming of the Winter Palace would be much exaggerated and romanticised. The Bolsheviks were keen for their followers to believe that this was a violent and heroic struggle. This could not have been further from the truth; this storming was more ‘velvet’ than violent.
There followed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in March 1918, its fallout resulting in civil war. In this humiliating peace treaty Russia agreed to losing one-third of its farmland and factories, a quarter of its railways, three-quarters of its iron and coal mines and 62 million of its citizens. Lenin only accepted these ridiculously harsh terms because he was convinced there would soon be a communist uprising in Germany and that the harsh terms could be renegotiated with a new communist leader there. This treaty resulted in a split; many proud army officers sided with the Social Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks because they were ashamed of the way Lenin had surrendered. These officers started forming their own army which would come to be known as the White Army. The Bolsheviks already had their Red Army. This Red Army occupied the centre of Russia while the White Army attacked it from the outer fringes. It was during one such White Army advance in July 1918 that the Bolsheviks murdered the Tsar and his family rather than have them taken prisoner by the Whites; like the Bourbons, the Romanov’s were expendable.
B is for bourgeoisie, Bolshevik and Lady Bracknell. The eventual bloody fates of King Louis XVI of France and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia were the result of years of intransigence, poor judgement and an inability to share their toys with other players, or, in grown-ups’ language, not listening to other people, in particular, the bourgeoisie. These monarchs had, after all, been raised as deities in the royal nurseries, imposing their feudal values on a world that was trying to move on. Well, the world did move on, and with better services and higher standards of living, the bourgeoisie are increasing around the globe, especially in countries like China and India. They won America its independence, toppled France’s Ancien Regime and dismantled Tsarist Russia. The monarchs who tried to trick and appease them, paid with their lives. King Louis XVl and Tsar Nicholas ll should not have messed with the Bourgeoisie
Suggested reading - these books are all available in the public library
Brown, D. Doomsday 1917: The Destruction of Russia’s Ruling Class. 1976. Putnam. New York
Carlyle, T. The French Revolution: A History. This iconic book published in 1837 is an interesting take written not too long after the revolution. You would, of course, need to read a more modern historical analysis. Dickens loved it though, and it inspired A Tale of Two Cities.
Kallen. S. (Ed.) The Age of Revolution: Volume 6. 2002. Greenhaven Press. San Diego.
Lih, L.T. Lenin. 2011. Reaktion Books - Critical Lives.
McPhee, P. The French Revolution, 1789-1799. 2002. Oxford University Press.
Wilson. E. To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History. 1953. Anchor Books.
 The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
 French: “old order” - political and social system of France prior to the French Revolution. Under the regime, everyone was a subject of the king of France as well as a member of an estate and province - www.britannica.com
 The terms bourgeoisie and middle-class are interchangeable and mean the same thing
 Kallen, S. A. (Ed). (2002). The Age of Revolution Volume 6. San Diego. Greenhaven Press.
 A French Roman Catholic clergyman and one of the chief political theorists of the French Revolution
 Sansculotte, French sans-culotte ("without knee breeches"), in the French Revolution, a label for the more militant supporters of that movement, especially in the years 1792 to 1795. https://www.britannica.com
 Brown, D. A. (1975). Doomsday 1917: The Destruction of Russia’s Ruling Class. New York. G. P. Putman’s Sons.