Abstract

This paper investigates the French response to the Brunswick Manifesto of July 1792. This event has often been seen as a radical turning point, accelerating the events of 10 August and fueling resentment against foreign and internal enemies. This paper will show that the response was more varied than previously thought, ranging from ridicule to an absence of commentary among the extreme left, who have so often been charged with using such ‘circumstances’ as instruments of political radicalization. Moreover, it prompted a response that invoked the law of war and rejected the Manifesto as unlawful. This essay thus wishes not only to investigate the problematic role of the Brunswick Manifesto in the events of 1792, but also re-evaluate whether radical views of the foreign enemy, and of the war more broadly, were held at this time.

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