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19th-Century French History

The primary documents and other resources related to 19th-century France on this website are organized chronologically, from the Restoration to the Third Republic.

One of the exhibits from the Library of Congress's Treasures from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, this online collection of artifacts and manuscripts focuses on the ultimate success of Revolutionary principles.

This informative and well-designed site from San Jose State University contains a plethora of essays, images, and overviews.

This archive of more than 1,200 images from the siege of Paris includes portraits, photographs, landscapes, political cartoons, caricatures, and documentation.

Part of an online exhibit about the development of modern anti-Semitism, this section on the Dreyfus Affair includes a handful of images with explanatory text


Written in 1804, the Napoleonic Civil Code formed the basis for French law throughout the 19th century.

From the Napoleon Foundation, this site contains thousands of documents from the Conseil d'Etat (1800-1814), 150 letters from Napoleon to Bigot de Preameneu, and 255 drawings from the collection of Houdetot.

From the ARTFL Project, this site leads users to a collection of periodicals and pamphlets from the 1848 Revolution, a time when the number of publications exploded.

Proclamations, campaign manifestos, eyewitness accounts: the Hanover Historical Texts Project consolidates a range of translated documents related to 1848.

This site offers (in French) the full text of Zola's article defending Alfred Dreyfus


Taking a long view of the Revolution, François Furet examines how the nation shifted between republics and empires, coming to terms with the Revolution.

Maurice Agulhon looks beyond the political movements of 1848 and the Second Republic and into the larger historical meaning of popular culture and thought

Jean-Denis Brédin's deep research and clear writing make this comprehensive account of the Dreyfus Affair excellent reading as well as excellent history.

In this engaging narrative, Eugen Weber shows how the railroad, education, and the standardization of the French language turned provincial peasants into modern French citizens.

Jerrold Seigel's work offers a textured history of the 19th-century bourgeoisie and the space in which they tested social boundaries: Bohemia. Within this context, readers encounter such notable figures as Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Zola.

With glossy pictures and engaging writing, T. J. Clark uncovers how Impressionism expressed modern notions of class.

An interesting complement to The Painting of Modern Life, Philip Nord's work studies the rise of Impressionism within the broader social, economic and political context of 19th-century France.

Prostitutes and brothels were a constant concern in 19th-century Paris. Alain Corbin explores this underworld and its role in French morality and law.


Special Selections

Images from pamphlets and woodcuts from 1811 to 1830 are available online through the ARTFL Project at the University of Chicago.

Explore a range of French painters from the 19th century - Manet, Pissaro, Monet, Degas - in this online tour from the National Gallery.

This timeline covers events in France and throughout Europe, allowing users to see the French Revolution of 1848 in a wider context of continental rebellion and political discontent.

Follow the complicated series of events that made up the Dreyfus Affair with this complete, easy-to-understand chronology.


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