Was The French Revolution Radical Or Radical

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A key question concerning the French Revolution is whether it was truly radical and Rousseauistic from the beginning or whether there was a moderate early phase distinguishable from the excesses of the Terror. In this article I examine the debate over "binding" mandates held in the National Assembly on July 3 and 7-8, 1789, to test the claim that the deputies had adopted radical and modern forms of political representation, jettisoning forms inherited from the Old Regime. Evidence suggests that when the deputies ruled out of order a proposal to invalidate binding mandates, they endorsed the right of the assembly to act despite the absence or protests of a minority of its members. They did not, however, break their bonds to their constituents,
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