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Studying French Revolution

Fruitful exchanges between international researchers


Bettina Frederking is a development engineer in the Paris I University: she is in charge of editing the parliamentary records of French Revolution. The study of this historical period has been enriched by the point of view of international researchers.



How did you end up working on the French Revolution? 

When I completed my course in Freiburg, I came to France to pass a DEA degree: it was about the European Restoration period, which followed the downfall of Napoleon in 1814, and preceded the Three Glorious Days of the second French Revolution of 1830. In 2011, I was recruited by the Paris 1 University in the History Institute of the French Revolution (IHRF). We are editing and publishing online parliamentary records, which are debates held in the Parliament from 1787 to 1799. This publication is occurring just when the historiography of this topic is in complete change: the analysis of the French Revolution has been improving for several years, thanks to fruitful exchanges between French and international researchers.


Have international researchers brought a new point of view on this matter? 

Renewal generally comes from a dialogue between different cultural and scientific traditions. In the case of the French Revolution, it's even more exciting because it's a very important aspect of French identity. This foundational period of French history is being put in a larger geographical scope. It is being compared to other revolutions that happened at the same time, like the American Revolution, for instance.