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Nationality and Citizenship in Revolutionary FranceThe Treatment of Foreigners 1789-1799$
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Michael Rapport

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208457

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208457.001.0001

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Foreigners between Thermidor and Brumaire

Foreigners between Thermidor and Brumaire

(p.259) 5 Foreigners between Thermidor and Brumaire
Nationality and Citizenship in Revolutionary France

Michael Rapport

Oxford University Press

The period after the Terror of 1793–1794 has been described as a period in which conditions for foreigners in France improved. Cosmopolitanism flourished once more and the repressive measures against foreigners were steadily repealed. The assumption has been that the more draconian measures against foreigners were related to the system of the Terror. The Thermidorians, however, proved more willing to speak cosmopolitan language than to act on it. The Thermidorians and the Directory retained the same fears about foreign conspiracy and espionage as before. With real ‘conspiracies’ involving foreigners, such as the royalist landings at Quiberon and the Babouvist plot, the reflex of the post-Thermidor regimes was to re-enact measures of control, naturally reverting to the models of the Year II. The timid emergence of cosmopolitan rhetoric from its hibernation during the dark months of the Terror did not herald the return of the civil freedom that foreigners had enjoyed before the war. Instead, it shrouded expansionist and exploitative policies in attractive packaging.

Keywords:   Terror of 1793–1794, France, foreigners, cosmopolitanism, Thermidorians, Directory, foreign conspiracy, espionage, civil freedom

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