Browse Items (65 total)


Composed by Joseph Rouget de Lisle when he learned that France had declared war on Austria, the Marseillaise quickly became the anthem of the republican Revolution. it remains the French national anthem today. A republican anthem, the Marseillaise…

November 20, 1790

Despite a show of support for the Revolution, by the fall of 1790, the royal family and its entourage increasingly felt that the changes of the past eighteenth months had cost them their dignity and power. Unable to stop or even control the changes…


Rainsford paints a glowing portrait of the abilities and accomplishments of L’Ouverture, the most noted leader of the rebellion and one of the key founders of the nation of Haiti.

August 27, 1791

In response to the "Padua Circular," King Louis’s brother, the Count of Artois, a leader of the émigré nobles, expressed his support for Emperor Leopold II of Austria. Leopold, in conjunction with Prussian King Frederick–William III, then issued this…

June 1792

In the spring of 1792, the Legislative Assembly—particularly its Executive Committee, dominated by Girondins—took a more aggressive attitude toward Austria, repeatedly arguing that France needed to act first to ward off invasion and thereby not only…

June 22, 1798

In his Proclamation, issued en route to Egypt, Bonaparte explained his aims and urged his soldiers to respect the customs of the Muslims.


The “French” armies included units from many allied states. Excerpted below is the memoir of an ordinary foot soldier in Napoleon’s army. Jakob Walter came from Württemburg, one of the medium-size German states allied with Napoleon. He fought against…


This account, probably by Thomas Howell, a soldier of the Highland Light Infantry regiment, offers a firsthand account of the skirmishes between British/Portuguese forces and the French armies. Little is known about Howell except that he was born in…

November 21, 1813

This account by British Private William Wheeler of the 51st Regiment gives a vivid account of the hand–to–hand fighting in Portugal. Wheeler’s letters home were saved by the family and form the basis of their publication in 1949.

September 14, 1812

Philippe de Ségur served as Quartermaster–General during the invasion of Russia and had accompanied Napoleon on many of his military campaigns.
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