On July 14 of that same year, the Bastille was stormed: in October, Louis XVI and the Royal Family were removed from Versailles to Paris.
A Legislative Assembly sat from October 1791 until September 1792, when, in the face of the advance of the allied armies of Austria, Holland, Prussia, and Sardinia, it was replaced by the National Convention, which proclaimed the Republic.
In January of 1793 the revolutionary government declared war on Britain, a war for world dominion which would continue for another twenty-two years.
The Reign of Terror, during which the ruling faction ruthlessly exterminated all potential enemies, of whatever sex, age, or condition, began in September of 1793 and lasted until the fall of Robespierre on July 27, 1794
The French Revolution was welcomed not only by English radicals like Thomas Paine and William Godwin and William Blake, but by many liberals as well, and by some who saw it, with its declared emphasis on "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity," as being analgous to the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
As it descended into the madness of the Reign of Terror, however, many who had initially greeted it with enthusiasm — Wordsworth and Coleridge, for example, who came to regard their early support as, in Coleridge's words, a "sqeaking baby trumpet of sedition" — had second thoughts.
Edmund Burke denounced the Revolution in 1790 in his great Reflections on the Revolution in France, Burke maintained that the radicals who had begun the Revolution were interested first in the conquest of their own country and then in the conquest of Europe and of the the rest of the world, which would be "liberated" whether it wished to be or not.
Tom Paine's great response to Burke's work,The Rights of Man, appeared in 1791, and the debate between conservatives and radicals raged on for many years.The Great French war lasted between 1793 and 1815.
Propadanda is a form of communication that aims to influence a community towards some cause or idea.
Garth Jowett and Victoria O'Donnell - "Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist."
A propaganda organization employs propagandists who engage in propagandism—the applied creation and distribution of such forms of persuasion."
James Gillray was one of these propagandists in Britain working during the French Revolution.
He produced prints for the Anti-Jacobin (anti french revolutionary) Journal in around 1797.
Gillray would work for different publishers, under different names attacking both Whigs (drew support from wealthy merchants, aristocratic familys, country estates) and Tories (drew support from church of england, the royals.)
"Initially many Britons were sympathetic to the aims of the revolution, ... However as Terror raged and the guillotene began to rise and fall, so did much public opinion begin to turn. ... The blood of King Louis XVI, shown as a martyr by Gillray, flows in torrents ..." - The Art of Caricature, Richard Godfrey, Tate Publishing 2001
The execution of Louis XVI was shocking to most of Britain and Gillrays "The Blood of the Murdered Crying for Vengeance." was sympathetic to the french Aristocracy.
"The revolution was at its ugliest in Paris during 2-6 September, with bloody massacres of prisoners, including many preiests and political prisoners, as well as prostitutes and common criminals. At least 1400 people died in dreadful butchery. "
"The composition (talking 'A Family of Sans-Culottes...' pictured below) looks dashed off, improvised in a frenzy, but it is in fact a very skillful adaption of an egnraving after Pieter Brueghel, The Poor Kitchen."
The Poor Kitchen - After Brueghel
A family of Sans-Culottes enjoying a feast after the fatigues of the day - Gillray 1792
"As events were nearing their bloody apogee - the Revolution was at its ugliest from 2 to 6 September - reports from Paris containing (often inflated) accounts of the massacres were translated by Gillray into prints such as this." The National Portrait Gallery, Website
French Liberty, British Slavery - Gillray
In the above print, published by H. Humphrey (I assume for the the anti-jacobite rag) we can see a free frenchman happily sitting by a small fire in ragged clothes eating raw onions and snails. In contrast is the fat englishman, red with booze, complaining about taxes and eating huge amounts of beef. I wonder what Gillrays opinion on this actually was. I think the image is showing how much better off we were while having a dig at people who complain at the amount of taxes we were paying, I think on the surface it says "Look at the french, they think they are free but they live like shit. We should appreciate the country and government we live under." Also though he may be digging at the fat and wealthy upper classes for complaining about taxes, he was the son of a soldier and as a caricaturists regarded as a low artists. His print and etching abilities raised him in society slightly.
On the 21st september 1792 the French National Convention abolished the Monarchy.
On the 16/17th January 1793 a vote was taken by roll-call for the death of the King, the voting being 387 to 334 in favour. On the morning of 18th January 1793 Louis XVI was guillotined before a vast crowd, in the place de revolution (now place de la concorde). This lead to the Conventions declaration of war against Great Britain and Holland on 1st February.
Fear of a french invasion was a constant fear in Britain and Ireland until 1805.
Britain goes to war in the shape of George III transformed into a crude map, his feet Kent and Cornwall, his tassled nightcap Northumberland. He craps vigorously on the top coast of France, dispersing a number of tiny gun boats.
Charles James Fox was a British Whig Statesmen.
Fox had little interest in the actual exercise of power and spent almost the entirety of his political career in opposition, he became noted as an anti-slavoury campaigner, a supporter of the French Revolution, and a leading parliamentary advocate of religious tolerance and individual liberty.
William Pit The Younger was the British Primeminister at the time (although they didnt use the term then). Although often referred to as a Tory, or "new Tory", he called himself an "independent Whig" and was generally opposed to the development of a strict partisan political system.
End of the Irish Invasion - Gillray
Fox portrayed here as the dismayed figurehead of the french warship Le Revolutionaire, had repeatedley scorned fears of a French descent upon Ireland. However, on 23rd December 1797 in an expedition organised by the fanatical and Anglophobe General Lazare Hoche (A lower class born french soldier who rose to be a general in the Revolutionary army.) A french squadron with numerous millitary transports anchored in Batry Bay in Southern Ireland but was dispersed by foul weather.
The opposition identified with the revolution, are destroyed by violent storms, fortified by the gales of the wind emitting from Pitt and other politicians.
The Apotheosis of Hoche - Gillray
One of Gillrays most obviously propagandist pieces. Hoche had alot of hatred for Britain. He died in 1797 but it was rumoured he was poisoned. This etching mocks Hoches funeral which was a grand affair. It shows France burning beneath him while he rises amidst a choir of sans culottes to two demonic looking creatures holding 2 tablets with the opposite of the ten comandments written on them. He also plays a guillotine instead of a harp.
On the 1st of August 1798 the British fleet, commanded by Horatio Nelson, destroyed the French in Aboukir Bay in one of the most devastating of all naval victories. The Battle of the Nile instantly turned Nelson into a national hero of almost unprecedented status.
The Vexation of Little Boney - Gillray
The first appearance of Napoleon Bonaparte as a caricature. Small, but horribly energetic, vain, paranoid, easily distressed, a guttersnipe aping his betters, ridiculous, but fearsome nonetheless, Gillray's conception was immediately imitated by other caricaturists
Sources of Research:
James Gillray - The Art of Caricature, Richard Godgfrey, Tate Publishing 2001