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Revolution and World OrderThe Revolutionary State in International Society$
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David Armstrong

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198275282

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198275285.001.0001

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State and Nation the French Revolution

State and Nation the French Revolution

(p.79) 3 State and Nation the French Revolution
Revolution and World Order

David Armstrong (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The question of the origins of the French revolutionary wars is controversial, with some seeing them as fundamentally ideological, others as power‐political. The Revolution undermined in some significant respect the central assumptions of the Westphalian conception of international society by advancing a new understanding of international legitimacy, through its cosmopolitan aspects, through its challenge to international law and diplomacy, and through its transformation of warfare. The vigour of the counter‐revolutionary response, particularly from Prussia and Austria, derived in large part from a perception that the Revolution posed a challenge to the international system as a whole. Napoleon also threatened the balance of power in Europe.

Keywords:   balance of power, cosmopolitanism, counter‐revolution, diplomacy, French Revolution, ideology, international law, international legitimacy, international society, Napoleon

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